Nicolaia elatior

ton2(Holland)July 25, 2006

I have a question. Who Can help me?

I have a great plant of this Nicolaia but how can I get flowers in it. It is growing in a greenhouse by a temp of 20-25 Celcius. How must I give him water, much or less.

Please help me.

Thank you very much

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bihai(zone 9)

I think Nicolaia is an old genus name for Etlingera. Torch ginger, right?
I have the Red, the Pink and the Heiroglyphica in my greenhouse, all bloom for me regularly. I think its an issue of maturity. My Pink and Red have canes that are OVER 20 feet in height. If I had to estimate, I'd say they may be 25-26 ft. The greenhouse roof is 20 ft and they hit it and curve. Heiroglyphica has a slightly smaller stature at about 14-16 ft. These are all planted in the ground, not in containers, and get watered daily and are in full sun. Feeding is once weekly. Night time temperature, all year long, is never below 55 degrees F, I don't know what that is in Celcius, daytime temp ranges from 72-90+ F.
This is a photo of my Pink Torch taken maybe 2 months ago

It took mine about

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 12:59PM
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GingersRus(Tallahassee z8B)

Nicolaia elatior is an obsolete synonym for Etlingera elatior - the torch ginger. I have been told that it is nearly impossible to bloom in a greenhouse, and it seems to be true. I have been growing a pink one and a red one in my greenhouse (with a 12 foot peak) for 4 years with no flowers. Other Etlingeras (E. venusta and E. fulgens) bloom but not E. elatior. I maintain winter temps of above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees celsius)and summer temps of 90 degrees F - 32 degrees celsius. I give it plenty of water and fertilizer, grown under 20% shade cloth. If anyone else here knows the answer, please post it.

Dave Skinner

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 1:06PM
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bulbita(North Italy)

Hi all, I am not agree with Dave. I have seen Etlingera elatior blooming in the warm greenhouse of the Botanical Garden in Wien. It is really amazing.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 3:04PM
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bihai(zone 9)

Obviously I don't agree with Dave either as mine in the photo above is living proof that it blooms quite well in a greenhouse, LOL. My red one just finished up blooming too. This pink one is in almost constant bloom, and has been for over a year. The red one is younger, only about 2 years old.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 4:25PM
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GingersRus(Tallahassee z8B)

What I meant was that it is difficult to bloom in pots in a greenhouse - or at least so I have been told. Perhaps it needs much more room for the roots to grow and spread. I have been growing it in a 10 gallon pot with no success for several years. Not to say that it is impossible, but that it seems to be a difficult one.

Dave Skinner

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 8:23PM
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thank you all for helping me. Yes, I have also mine Etlingera in great containers. About watering: how much do you all give? And how? Above or in from under, in a scale??

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 9:38AM
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Etlingera elatior doesn't seem to want to bloom in a pot, period. Doesn't matter if it's in a greenhouse or outdoors in the tropics, it wants to be rooted in the ground before it will do anything, and as Bihai says, it has to be mature, which means BIG (15-20' tall). Possibly if you had it in a 15 gallon pot or larger it might do it, but anything smaller they just bust out of. At least that's been my experience.

As to water, they like a lot. They do well in muddy, saturated soil, and if planted at the edge of a pond they will grow into the water, almost like Papyrus.

A couple of smaller, more manageable species that will bloom in a pot are E. venusta and E. corneri. Both have very beautiful flowers too.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 1:24AM
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