1) General Information:
Location on Property: Garden E by Jungle Cottage
- Scientific Name: Dichorisandra thyrsiflora
- Region of Origin: native to the tropical woodlands of North, Central and South America, specially in Atlantic Forest vegetation in Brazil
- Type: Useful & Ornamental
- General History: Blue Ginger is a tropical plant which resembles ginger in growth and habit, but is actually related to the spiderworts (the genus Tradescantia). The plant is native to the tropical woodlands of North, Central and South America, specially in Atlantic Forest vegetation in Brazil. Of the family Commelinaceae, they are cultivated for their handsome spotted stems, large shiny foliage which is held horizontally, surmounted by striking blue flowers. It was first described by the naturalist Johann Christian Mikan in 1823. It was first grown in England in 1822, and is recorded from Sir William MacArthur’s catalog in 1857 of plants he grew in Camden southwest of Sydney. It has become naturalized in a small region of northeastern New South Wales in Australia.
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: NOTE: Our ginger is not the edible or medical variety. The below is for edible Ginger which we are looking to incorporate into our food gardens.
- As Medicine: NA
- Other Uses: Houseplants and yard ornamental
3) Growing Instructions
- Growing: Plant the ginger sections in a shallow trench. You should not be planting the ginger root sections any deeper than 1 inch. Plant one ginger plant per square foot. Once the ginger root is planted, water it thoroughly. In a week or two, you will see the leaves of the ginger plant emerge. Once the leaves emerge, water sparingly, but when you water the ginger root plant, water it deeply.
- Best time to Harvest: Ginger plants take 10 months to mature. Your ginger plant will be ready for harvest in the spring, or you can let it grow through the next summer for a larger harvest.
- Sunlight Requirements: part to full shade
- Soil Requirements: rich, loose soil. If you will be planting ginger in the ground, it is a good idea to add lots of compost or rotted manure to the chosen spot. If you will be growing ginger in containers, using potting soil is a must.
- Propagation: Cutting, division, grafting, seed, separating. Prepare ground with compost/soil mix, Choose a healthy, plump looking ginger root that is about 4 to 5 inches long with at least a few “fingers.” If possible, find a ginger root where the tips of the fingers are greenish. Break or cut off a finger and make sure the section is at least 1 to 2 inches long as has at least one of the buds (looks like a rounded point) on it. To help prevent rot in the ginger root, allow the cut pieces to dry for a day or two in a warm, dry place before putting them in the ground.
- Controlling Spread: Give at least 6 inches between each planting, as they will shoot up ‘babies’ to fill in this space completely. Just dig up the rhizome and relocate, or thin out with loppers.
- Difficulties with this plant: If you live in zone 6 or lower, you will need to bring your ginger plant in for the winter, which means you will need to plant the ginger root in a pot.
- History of this Plant at Hedonisia: At the front property in Garden E by Jungle Cottage. Remained an Unknown plant until 2015.
Recipes: NA Ornamental Ginger not for human consumption.