Ginger Lilies, Hedychium species and hybrids
Wed, 14 Jul 2004 16:31:26 PDT

These plants are not exactly "bulbs" but they must surely be geophytes.  I 
have grown 4 types, and they all like lots of fertilizer (compost, or aged 
manure is perfect), and they like moist soil, even if it means occasional flooding.

I have grown, but no longer have, the old pass-along plant, the white and 
very fragrant Southern plant (H. coronarium), and I have 3 hybrids/selections.  
1.  Hedychium x 'Daniel Weeks', early blooming (first week of July), cream 
and orange, some fragrance
2.  Hedychium densiflorum 'Tara', salmon orange, fragrant, early, 5-6 ft. 
3.  Hedychium x 'Elizabeth', 8 ft. tall, orange, fragrant.

They are 2 years in the ground and 'Elizabeth' has not bloomed and has not 
yet reached 8 ft. in height.  But, I'm hoping for big things.  They are all in 
sandy soil, and I think that nutrients are leached out too quickly.  Aged cow 
manure has helped this year and I'll keep adding it as it is depleted.  Fish 
emulsion is a problem, it brings out too many raccoon and possum, and maybe 
other things; the leftover scent drives the dogs wild and the holes that the wild 
animals dig are a nuisance.    

Here is a link to 'Elizabeth' at Plant Delights… 

The description makes me want to quit work and follow the bloom cycle around 
the globe from Northern to Southern hemisphere.  I've really got to learn how 
to write the way they do for that catalog; always enticing and (I have to 
agree) correct, but the verbs and adjectives are more than I can bear on some days 
(oh well).

I'm looking for a trade or two.  You know what plants I have and if you want 
something special, and have a great ginger lily trade, I'll order what you 
want.  Plant Delights seems to have an endless selection of species and hybrids.  

These plants love our long, hot summers; they do well in full sun if they 
have lots of water.  I enjoy seasonal flooding at the back of my lot, and grow 
cattails in the low areas and ginger lilies in between.  However, these plants 
don't need "wet," they only need the type of irrigation that you might give to 
hybrid tea roses--and about the same amount of fertilizer for  best bloom and 
growth.  Here, near Houston, I've never seen insect problems or disease.  
Similarly, the H. coronarium was bulletproof in Alabama, and came back year after 
year, even when temperatures dropped to 3 F (-16 C).  


Joe Shaw

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