The Red Ginger plant of the Zingiberaceae family is a stunning tropical plant with striking red blooms and leaves that surround it in the form of brackets. This plant is also called the Alpinia purpurata this vibrant plant is fuss-free and can easily be grown even by beginner-level gardeners.
In this detailed guide, our experts show you up front and close how you can grow this attractive Alpinia genus foliage in your home or garden. Read on to find tips and tricks to also tackle the most common problems you may face so that you can add in the much-required color.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- Red Ginger Plant Care
- Water Requirements
- Light Requirements
- Soil Requirements
- Temperature Requirements
- Humidity Requirements
- Fertilizing Requirements
Red Ginger Plant Care
This tropical plant is also referred to as the Hawaiian ginger or Hawaiian red plant and grows stems and leaves around the flower ensuring it protects its color and vibrance. Similar to other ginger plants, it is easy to care for and thus is a much sought-after plant by beginner-level gardeners.
All you must do is provide it with a bare minimum requirement similar to its native and you will find a happy, healthy, and thriving plant in your garden. In this below section we touch upon each of the care aspects so that you can grow it successfully.
The plant requires moderate levels of water to grow, thrive and sustain its healthy foliage and blooms. You will have to set a regular watering schedule to ensure the soil does not stay completely soggy or end up getting dehydrated or dry.
You could resort to doing a simple test to achieve an ideal watering schedule, by pushing your finger an inch into the soil to feel for moisture. If your finger comes out dry you know that it is indeed time that more water needs to be added.
Never over-water the plant or let the roots sit in water for a long time as this will damage the plant root. On the other hand, is it key to know that excess moisture prevents the roots from taking in more oxygen from the soil thus leading to fungal diseases or root rot. At the same time letting the soil go completely dry is hazardous as well, as the plant likes consistently moist topsoil.
Thus, if you are living in a dry zone or the weather is hot outside you will need to increase the frequency of watering. Scale back in the colder months of the year when the plant conserves energy and enters a state of dormancy.
To grow red plant you would be required to provide it with plenty of sunlight. On average, six to eight hours of direct light every day is needed to help the blooms remain intact and the leaves thrive in a lush green manner. This means you must be keen and not hesitate to place it under bright light, which will mimic its natural native environment.
On the other hand, never let the plant be under low light conditions as this will cause stress to the plant and the blooms may fall early, making the leaves and stems look weak and limp. The plant will not be able to successfully
Inadequate light can also turn the leaves into a darker shade, brittle and crisp. Thus, if you’re growing your plant indoors or in semi-closed spaces, move them closest to a window where they can receive ample morning sunlight. In addition, you could place it under artificial grow lights so that its requirement is adequately met even if it is away from direct sunlight.
The plant does not have a very complex requirement about the type of soil. All that it seeks is a well-draining, light, and porous potting mix. Avoid loamy or heavy soils as these retain a lot more moisture putting the plant at risk of developing root rot or fungal diseases. It has to be slightly moist and has to be well drained.
To increase the aeration and drainage of the soil, mix in perlite, peat, or wood shavings. You could also include vermicompost or other organic compost material to increase the nutrient composition of the soil to support the plant to grow through seasons healthily.
However, you must make sure that the pot or container has adequate, proper, and well-draining holes to enable water to flow out freely. The soil pH needs to be neutral to acidic between 6 to 7.
As a tropical plant, it thrives well in a temperature range between 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You may have the red plant grow below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, however, it will struggle to produce adequate blooms.
At temperatures beyond the ideal range, the plant is stressed and thus the foliage will turn limp, brittle, or curl inwards. At the same time, avoid subjecting the plant to sudden fluctuations or changes in temperature. It has to be steady and constant within the moderate to high range.
This plant requires a high humidity range, above 50 percent so if you are growing it in a dry zone, you will have to ensure there is adequate moisture around. The best way to make sure of the humidity is to mist the plant often.
Alternatively, you could also place a pebble tray below the pot or container filled with water and as the water in the tray evaporates it will kick in some humidity around the plant. You could also group it with other similar plans so that it can benefit from the collective humidity of the foliage around.
If you are growing the plant indoors use a humidifier so that there is adequate moisture for the plant. Also, take care not to overdo the humidity as this could put the plant at risk of developing fungal diseases.
However, scale back if the air around is already humid and place the plant in a well-ventilated area where there is adequate air circulation, because this should be ideal for the growth and survival of the plant.
The plant is a moderate feeder and thus would require over-the-top nourishment frequently. The ideal time to fertilize the plant is in the spring and summer months when the plant is in its active growth phase and the ginger flower is ready to bloom.
Stick to a frequency of adding fertilizer once a month to aid growth and development, using a water-soluble fertilizer, for your ostrich plume.
Additionally, you could provide the plant with some Epsom salt in case you feel it is deficient in magnesium. Avoid over-fertilizing the plant too as this results in soil build up and the foliage may wilt as a result of this. On the other hand, the plant will not require much fertilizer as it is in a state of dormancy during the winter months.
The plant, keep in mind that, is a slow grower and does not produce chunky and wild foliage; thus, pruning is required only to boost growth and to keep the plant from disease and pests-free.
Regularly inspect the cone ginger to get rid of dead and decayed sections of the foliage. Also, check for pests and fungal infections which need to be snipped away as soon as you spot them to reduce their spread.
Snip below the nodes so the main stem is not damaged, and prune only up to one-third of the plant. This will give the plant a good boost to its growth and also a neat look. Remember to always sterilize all garden tools with a diluted solution of isopropyl alcohol to reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
However, remember that prune the dead and the damaged parts of the plant, as it will help the new blooms grow and enhance their way out in their freedom. The reason for the latter is that the dead plants will hinder the way through the growth.
In addition, the infected leaves must be pruned as well, because they will harm the new blooming leaves and spread the contagious infection from the old ones to the new ones.
Keep in mind that the ideal time to prune the ginger is before new growth occurs. Furthermore, the process of pruning must typically be done early in the spring season before the actual warmth sets in.
If you are wondering how to propagate red plant, then you will be glad to know that this section addresses this very same query. There are several methods that one can use to create a new and nascent plant such as using stem cuttings, and plant division through rhizome offsets and seeds.
Read on as our experts reveal the hassle-free processes in a step-by-step manner. With just a few key tools you may easily propagate the plant, stress-free and successfully.
– Propagation Method Through Stem Cuttings
This method is easy and all you need are pruners, potting soil, a container, and a plastic bag. The ideal time to undertake any sort of propagation is in the warmer months of spring and summer.
With the help of sterilized garden pruners snip away six to eight inches of a stem section from a healthy and mature adult plant. Make sure the cut section has at least a few leaves intact at the top.
Place this in a pot filled with slightly moist well-draining potting soil. The cut end should be at least two inches below the soil. Additionally, you could dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder before planting it to boost growth.
Place it in a well-lit and warm spot covering it with a plastic bag to create some humidity around. After a few days, you can remove the bag so that there is no situation of excess moisture. however, in two or three weeks, this cut section will begin to root. In a couple of more months, the plant will establish healthy roots and grow independently similar to the parent.
Remember to propagate the plant in the seasons of spring or summer, because these seasons are known to be blooming and adhering to the growth of the plant. You have successfully propagated Alpinia purpurata using stem cuttings.
– Propagation Method Using Division
Ginger rhizomes are a perfect means to propagate the plant. With just a section of the rhizomatous roots, you can create your plant. Here is how you go about it. Similar to the above method, keep a potting mix, sterile pruners, and a pot with well-draining holes.
Pick a healthy adult plant from which you will be picking a healthy root ball. Tap the bottom of this plant pot and gently remove it. Loosen the soil around the roots, gently pull out a rhizomatous ball along with a part of the root section, and separate it from the parent plant with the help of a sterile garden pruner. This is your very own rhizome that can be used to grow another plant.
Wash the soil off the rhizome and snip away any blackened root sections. Allow this to dry for a day before planting it. Plant the rhizomes in moist potting soil in a well-draining container. It will take a couple of weeks for this rhizomatous section to develop further roots and establish itself in the soil. In a month or so, this will grow into a budding plant.
Remember, by doing so, you have successfully propagated the plant using rhizome division.
– Propagation Method Through Seeds
This plant produces seeds that can also be used to propagate however this process is far slower in comparison to stem cuttings or plant division. It may take a minimum of two years for the plant to bear flowers when propagated through seeds. Nevertheless, if you successfully source seeds and are keen to undertake the process from scratch.
Begin by picking the black seeds from the flowers and soak them in water overnight. Mix in some seed-starting mix with the soil and place the soaked seeds at a distance in them. Ensure the seeds are at least an inch into the top layer of the potting mix, with a thin layer of potting mix sprinkled just on the top.
Mist the soil to keep it lightly moist and place the container in a bright, well-lit, and warm spot. Alternatively, you could place a heating mat below the container to provide the plant with a steady temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
This will give the process of germination a boost. It can take at least four weeks for the seeds to germinate and a couple of months for the first shoots to erupt. You have successfully propagated the plant using seeds.
Growing this plant is very easy and hassle-free and you would not have to face too many challenges. However, there are a few common problems that may occur once in a way resulting in a stressful condition for the plant. In this section, our experts address each of the problems you may encounter and give you some quick fix solutions to tackle them, so read on and wait no longer to get all the information you need.
– Pest Infestations
Pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites are common houseplant pests that attack the leaves and blooms of a plant. They occur in clusters and leave behind their traces in the form of a white cottony mass. This in turn attracts further insects such as ants that feed on leaves and tender buds.
What you must do, in such a situation is look for several eggs on the underside of leaves or below buds, and as soon as you spot them, isolate the plant so that the pests don’t infect other plants nearby.
Pest infestations can be hazardous to the plant’s health as they suck off the sap from healthy foliage, making the plant become weak and limp over time. Thus, it is essential to tackle the problem as soon as possible. For mild infestations, blast a jet spray of water so that all pests fall off. Snip away sections with maximum clusters and apply an organic neem oil solution whose odor will repel the pests.
For major infestations, use a commercial insecticide. Repeat application once a few days until the plant is ultimately pest free. Prevent pest infestations by keeping the plant dust free by misting it often and frequently checking for their presence before they spread to the rest of the foliage.
– Root Rot
Root rot is a fungal disease that occurs especially if your soil is soggy or the plant has been overwatered. You will see the leaves turning yellow or they may wilt, this will show that the ginger grow will be weak.
If you suspect root rot the best way to tackle the condition is to gently remove the plant from the soil and inspect for blackened sections. What you should do is snip away these sections gently with the help of garden pruners and replant them in two fresh well-draining potting mixes.
Care for the plant now as per the details in our care section by monitoring the watering schedule and keeping the soil just slightly moist. Prevent root rot by ensuring your soil seldom stays soggy and the roots are never to be allowed to sit in water for a long time. This will protect the plant from any sort of fungal disease in the future, as well.
– Browning On Leaf Edges
If you find your leaf edges turning brown, be sure it is indicative of a stressful situation for the plant. The most common reasons for this condition are an underwater plant or exposure to extreme temperatures. The plant requires consistently moist soil.
Nonetheless, remember that it should not be soggy or bone-dry as well. If you are living in a dry zone or if the weather is hot and sultry, increase the frequency of watering ensuring never to let the soil go completely dry.
With regards to exposure to extreme temperatures, this plant likes moderate to high levels of warmth, thus exposure to cold drafts, frost conditions, and chilly winds hamper its health. Furthermore, the leaves turn brittle with cold exposure and browning edges. If you are growing this plant indoors, move it away from an air conditioner or heater vents which could blast hot or cold air on the foliage.
– Curling or Rolled Leaves
If you find your plants curled or rolled along with a slimy ooze from the base of the stem, it could be due to bacterial infection. Bacterial wilt causes the leaves to first turn yellow and brown and as the disease progresses they roll and curl. The stems become soft and mushy and over time begin to rot. Bacterial wilt, if ignored, results in stunted or slow growth and can even kill the plant over time.
There is no cure for bacterial wilt and the only solution is to prevent it. Always use sterile tools while pruning or propagating the plant. Isolate healthy plants from affected plants and dispose of infected plants far away from your garden so that they don’t re-enter your garden through the soil.
– Plant Foliage Turning Yellow
Your plant foliage may turn yellow for one or more of these reasons. Each of these conditions, from fungal disease and excess humidity to soggy soil, put the plant under stress, causing the foliage to turn yellow. Tackle fungal disease by using an organic fungicide to reduce its spread. Remember to keep the soil just slightly moist without overwatering it at all times.
Overwatering is one of the prime causes of the occurrence of fungal diseases. Do not mist the plant if there is adequate moisture in the air. Additionally, place the plant in a well-ventilated spot with good air circulation.
– Dying Plant
Is your plant looking weak, limp, and almost on the verge of dying? Then it is time you relook at your watering schedule as well as the exposure to light you are giving the plant.
An inaccurate watering schedule inclusive of over as well as underwatering can be hazardous to the health of the plant as mentioned in all of the above sections. Always do a simple finger test to detect the level of moisture before you add in more.
Another reason you will have to look at is the plant’s exposure to light. Much as the plant is tolerant to a range of conditions, it thrives best when placed in bright light for at least four hours every day. Avoid placing the plant in dark yet dingy corners as this puts it in stressful conditions making it wilt and die.
1. How Do I Get My Red Ginger Blooming?
You can get your Alpinia purpurata to bloom by providing it with adequate sunlight and warmth. Additionally, the plant also requires a well-nourished soi, thus fertilized with a liquid formula during the active growth months of spring and summer.
Moreover, ensure you propagate the plant in these warmer seasons as this will aid the roots to develop in a healthy manner producing healthy buds and blooms.
2. How Tall Can a Red Ginger Plant Grow?
The red ginger can grow to a height of nine feet. Their foliage grows and develops large clumps with deep red blooms.
3. Are Red Ginger Plants Toxic?
No, the plant is not toxic. In Fact, among the red ginger plant’s benefits is the fact that it is packed with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that aid in better blood circulation. The edible red ginger plant also eases digestive disorders and bloating.
Now that you have read all the information about the red ginger plant, you can quickly grow it in your home without any problems.
Let us summarize our learning in the below section.
- The ginger is an attractive rhizomatous plant that bears deep red blooms and leaves that whirl around it. The plant is relatively easy to care for and, along with its health benefits, is a favorite not only of beginner-level gardeners but of plant lovers the world over.
- It is a tropical plant and thus lives in bright light, adequate warmth, and high humidity. The plant is sensitive to the moisture levels in the soil, where both over and undersaturation can cause it stress. Thus keep the soil light and well-drained.
- It is a heavy feeder and sustaining its foliage and blooms requires well-nourished soil. Use a well-balanced liquid formula during the growing months of spring and summer to fertilize the plant.
- Propagate the plant using stem cuttings, plant rhizome division, and seeds. All of the methods are easy, and with beginner-level gardening skills, you can achieve success. However, do note that seed germination is a slower process in comparison to the other two.
- Pests and fungal diseases are common problems, along with an incorrect watering schedule and an improper environment. All of these can lead to stress conditions in the plant so tackle them at the earliest to keep the plant healthy and thriving.
After having read this detailed guide, you sure must be motivated to include this lovely foliage in your garden. Bring it in and let it charm its way to your heart as well as your home, and grab as many views as possible.