Leo A. Martin leo1010@attglobal.net
Tue, 23 Aug 2005 15:11:49 PDT
Hello Ken,

Don't know which side of the Cascades you are on. The issues with 
Hedychiums in areas with frost include

1 they take a long time to begin growing after any root disturbance

2 they need to make a lot of new growth before flowering

3 they require a long warm season to make enough growth to flower

4 in marginal climates they need lots of root room - ie in the ground

5 they need lots of water and lots of fertilizer, more than almost any 
other plants

6 if they receive any setback during the summer, they won't bloom that 
summer. This would include forgetting to water and having the plants 
wilt, just once.

I know people in northern USA climates who dig Hedychium coronarium 
rhizomes each fall to store over the winter and they get flowers. But 
just barely before the frost.

It is highly unlikely you will get flowers this year. If you are willing 
to give it one more try, you might shoot for the moon:

If you have space someplace with even a little bit of light and above 
freezing, bring the pot in for the winter and try to keep the shoots 
from going dormant. Water just enough to keep the leaves alive. Watch 
out for spider mites; spray with water regularly.

Next spring try to get the plant into growth as soon as possible inside 
a window or greenhouse or sunroom.

When you might set out tomato plants protected with a wall of water, 
very very carefully unpot and plant in the warmest, sunniest spot in 
your garden and put a wall of water around your plant. They key is to 
try to get it growing in a warm microclimate much earlier than you have 
done so before.

Apply fertilizer weekly once they begin growth after transplanting. Use 
a lot. Keep the plants dryish until growth begins in the ground, then 
water heavily. Try to get a luxuriant plant.

If it still doesn't work, in the fall please chop up the plant into 
rhizomes and send them to Dell for the bulb exchange! I bet they would 
go fast.

I haven't been successful flowering Hedychium here in Phoenix. I should 
be able to but each year it is something different - forget to water, 
dog making a bed out of the plant... I do get my bananas to fruit each 
year. The fragrance of the gingers is so good I will not quit until I 

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

More information about the pbs mailing list