Variegated Ginger

Gallon – $5.97

Variegated Ginger

Variegated Ginger

Variegated Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’)  is a tropical plant grown for its large variegated leaves and bold striped foliage.  Treated as an annual or tender perennial in most areas (hardy in zones 8-10), it can also be grown as a houseplant. The gorgeous striped foliage adds drama to any garden with brilliant color and bold texture. Leaves are green, lance-shaped and adorned with yellow strips.  Variegated ginger is a moderate grower but can reach up to 6-10 feet tall in gardens of the warmer zones, but generally only get 3 or 4 feet tall in northern areas when grown as an annual.

Variegated ginger prefers high humidity and doesn’t tolerate drought.   It can grow in areas that provide at least six hours of sun and bright light throughout the day but can also thrive in partial shady areas of the garden. 

Variegated ginger can be grown in large containers as a houseplant or patio plant (alone or in mixed containers) for a tropical effect. It can be planted in the ground as a striking specimen plant, or in masses as a bright backdrop for other flowering plants. Combine it with dark foliage plants for a dramatic contrast to brighten up a lightly shaded area. For an exotic foliage garden, mix with elephant ears, castor bean or banana plants.

As the name implies, it is a member of the ginger family and grows from rhizomes.  Rhizomes can be dug and stored over winter  (if lifted before first frost) and stored in a dry area at around 55 degrees.

As a houseplant, variegated ginger needs bright light and does best in humid conditions. The leaves will brown on the edges if it does not have adequate moisture or gets too cold. Plants can be divided if they get too large for the container.

Variegated Ginger can be used as a single yard specimen, center of a circular drive, large accent for a mixed bed. around a pool or as understory plants among large trees.  A beautiful plant which I like to grow in containers which are then moved into the house before first frost.

These plants are common in Florida gardens growing under palm trees and as a accent in gardens.

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