Need Suggestions for Overwintering Shell Gingers

Ralph Whisnant(z7b-8 NC)October 24, 2009

I have two large potted Shell Gingers (Alpinia zerumbet) and would like to store at least one of them someplace other than in the greenhouse (I am out of room). Since they are evergreen I am not sure about putting them in the crawl space? Would they possibly survive against the house covered with shade cloth and plastic?

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I'm in central SC, and I love shell ginger. My shell gingers are planted outdoors. They die back during winter, but always return the following spring. Because they're perennial in my zone, they will never bloom, but the foliage is beautiful and worth the effort. I will never plant another hosta in my zone - they tend to peter out by mid summer. If you must keep it outside, I suggest you dig a hole for your potted ginger and mulch heavily. I've noticed my gingers return the same size they were the previous summer. I protect my gingers until they're too big to winter indoors, since they don't increase in size in my zone.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 2:33PM
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tamelask(z8a NC)

hmmm- so i wonder if they'd overwinter here since we are borderline 8a? Curious as to what you'll do, Ralph, since i picked up one of the varis and one of the pink versions this year.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 5:39PM
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I have seen them come back with no protection at all - but never in my yard! (in Raleigh) They do suffer with winter and never come back strong or early. I tried to overwinter some in pots in a trench in the ground and they just rotted. You might try the trench routine but take them out of their pots or cover the mulch with something to keep out the winter rain.

The few that I have now are just too big. I plan on chopping them way back. I kinda like them better when they are a smaller clump of leaves rather than the long arching branches.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 9:25AM
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chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

I had one in a container for a few years.
It went through frosts without protest, but
didn't come back from being left outside
all winter ... an experiment that failed.
Prior to that, it wintered over in an unheated
no light space just fine - like your crawlspace.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 3:37PM
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hightider(z8 NC)

Ralph Try frese proof,Iam trying it this year on bananas,palms,cyads,agaves,this is the first year its been on the market,but it is supose to give you a nine degree advantage that would put you almost in zone 9 on your outside plants,LOL Hightider

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 3:17PM
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