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Care of the plant Alpinia zerumbet or Shell ginger.

Care of the rhizomatous plant Alpinia zerumbet or Shell ginger

The genus Alpinia, family Zingiberaceae, includes about 230 species of tropical plants native to Asia, Australia and the Pacific islands. Some species are: Alpinia zerumbet, Alpinia purpurata,  Alpinia speciosa, Alpinia galanga, Alpinia officinarum.

Common names: Shell ginger, Pink porcelain lily, Variegated ginger, Butterfly ginger. This species is native to Asia.

They are rhizomatous herbaceous plants that reach 3 meters (9.84 feet) in height. The large elongated, deep green leaves are up to 70 cm (2.29 feet) in length. The long, hanging inflorescences present scented white tubular flowers with yellow and red interiors. They bloom during the second half of spring.

Shell ginger is used on borders, in flowerbeds, next to ponds and in large pots for terraces and patios.

Alpinia zerumbet requires a semi-shade exposure without direct sun in the central hours of the day and a medium-high humidity. It does not resist temperatures below 10 ºC (50 ºF).

The soil can be a mixture, in equal parts, of normal garden soil, leaf mulch, and coarse siliceous sand.

Water regularly so that the substrate is always damp but never waterlogged.

Fertilize every 15 days with mineral fertilizer during spring and the first half of summer.

Variegated ginger is an easy to grow plant and resistant to the usual pests and diseases.

Butterfly ginger is propagated by division of the rhizome in spring directly in the definitive location; new specimens can take up to 3 years to flower.

Images of the rhizomatous plant Alpinia zerumbet or Shell ginger

Alpinia zerumbet
Alpinia zerumbet