How to grow Shell Ginger, Alpinia zerumbet

Shell Ginger, Alpinia zerumbet

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Shell Ginger, Alpinia zerumbet

Delicate ivory shells slowly unfurl. Arching stems explode with tropical foliage. Reminiscent of a beach holiday ! We like the arching leafy-canes and polished shell-like flowers of shell ginger. We like how they gently arching to frame a garden view, soften house corners or screen out an unpleasant fence.

There are many desirables in the big ginger family: galangal, ginger, turmeric, spiral, torch and beehive gingers, but most prefer warmer climes like Port Douglas. This one - halleluiah!- is tough and hardy as far south as Melbourne. Shell gingers have fragrant leaves and come in two forms - deep green and golden striped. The green form is more robust and reaches 2m pretty quickly; the gold stripe reaches about 1.5m. Both prefer morning sun and in very cold weather may disappear underground, but will return. 


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Author: Linda Ross