Monday, June 23, 2008

Growing Shell Ginger

It's amazing how many different tropical plants will grow in Southern California. Even the deliciously fragrant plumeria, a long prized Polynesian, will prosper if given a southern or westerly exposure. We've been having unseasonably hot weather these past few days, with the typical June Gloom overcast days nowhere to be seen. The extra heat has prompted the ginger to bloom early ~ the photograph is of the first buds of a shell ginger. The plant has beautiful varigated leaves and each stalk puts up one cluster of blossoms. This species of ginger sends shoots underground, so a single plant can double in size quickly. It's easy to divide and transplant, much like a canna. Although shell ginger prefers shade inland, it can tolerate some sun on the coast. It blooms all summer and has leaves all year.

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