Spiral ginger will get your attention in IDEA Garden

Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 21:54 - Written by By Dee Bishop In Our Garden

We have several gingers in our gardens and this variegated spiral ginger is especially lovely in a shady behind the fence in the IDEA Garden.

Gingers are considered tender perennials, but have made it through winter for a good many years. However, if the ground ever freezes again, we will most likely lose these beauties.

Costus spiralis variegatus, known as spiral ginger, comes from South America and can get as tall as 6 feet. This ginger, with bold white and green variegated foliage, demands attention. Spiral ginger’s foliage is arranged in a spiral around the stem, which gives it “motion.” It literally seems to be dancing right where it grows.

Yes this ginger blooms, but seldom before cold weather knocks it down for the winter. The blooms are not nearly as showy as other gingers, but oh what a dramatic plant! This lovely little dancing lady provides a bright spot that would otherwise be too dark and because you get the idea she’s twirling her skirts, the garden seems to come alive.

Gingers need moist soil in summer while they are actively growing, but need well drained soil so they won’t get too wet in winter and rot. We purchased ours at the annual SFA plant sale.

You need to plant gingers, as well as other tropicals, in spring after the soil warms up. They will grow in quite a bit of sun, but really prefer afternoon shade, and this variegated one especially needs some shade.

These gingers do well in pots as well as in the ground, but you will have to protect them by moving them inside a garage or other cool but not freezing place to spend the winter.

Please come out to our gardens and watch all the lovely butterflies darting and dancing throughout our garden, and while you are there, come to the IDEA Garden to see our lovely spiral ginger