Ginger Plants

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Name: White Ginger, Butterfly Ginger, Shell Ginger
Scientific Name: Alpinia Purpurata, Alpinia Zerumbet
Family: Zingiberaceae

Soil: Soil that is rich in organic content.  Make sure not to cover the roots too deep under the soil.  This prevent new shoots from coming out.
Sun: It likes partial shade.  As far as I remember, most ginger I have seen was grown under the shelter of larger trees.
Water: The roots should be kept moist at all time.  It can stand to be half submersed in water.  Because of it, it can be planted next to pond, water fall, or water fountain.
Fertilizer: During growing season, I use regular Miracle Grow and Super Bloom.  


Back in Hawaii, ginger plants can be found almost anywhere.  They can be found in abundance surrounding trails such as Aiea Loop, Manoa Falls, Likelike Trail & Old Pali Road.  I also had a few varieties of them growing in my backyard.  White ginger is the most common one.  The plants usually multiply and spread out in areas.  The flowers are bright white with long yellow stem.  They are very fragrant and always remind me of something refreshing and carefree.  A lot of times when I was hiking, I would pick a few and put them in my hair.  Or while I was sun bathing outdoors on my back patio, I would be surrounded by the scent of my white ginger flowers. 

The first time I encountered shell ginger I was on the Nu'uanu Pali Lookout.  Besides the white gingers, guava trees, coconut trees, banyan trees, mango trees, and some wild orchids, shell ginger populated a large portion of the trail.  The shell ginger plants were relatively tall.  At Pali Lookout trail, they are as tall as people.  Large clusters of flower stems often grown near the tip of the plant.  They are heavily laden with exotic looking flowers.  The flowers, like the name, are shell like (or now I think of it, they also look like pistachios with their pink husks).  The shell gingers, however, are not nearly as fragrant as the white gingers.  Most parts of the flowers are white, but the tips are in a gradient in shades of pink.  The openings expose the yellow inside with bright orange/red patterns. 

got one of each of these gingers from an online store.  They are both very small at this point.  I have been leaving them outdoor so they can enjoy some sun light.  But their leaves looked a bit sad.  I am thinking about moving them indoors.  By my previous experience with them, I probably won't see them flowering for at least a year or so.



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