Butterfly Ginger

RetiredFlorida(9)November 27, 2012

Bought a butterfly ginger maybe a month or two ago. Such a wonderfully fragrant plant, I kept it in the original nursery pot until I could find an appropriate location for it. It is starting to look quite ragged now and I have not planted it yet.

Is it going dormant? Should I just cut off the tops and put the rhizome in the ground?

Darren

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katkin_gw

It doesn't go dormant for me, but it does dies off after it's bloomed. And it is slower to bloom in the winter, it loves the summer heat. To bloom well it needs about 4 to 6 hours of sun, morning sun is the best. :o)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 6:10AM
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starryrider(9)

It does go dormant further north and die back to the ground. Plant the rhizome it will grow come spring.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 7:21AM
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thonotorose

I would add that you might be better to wait til the canes turn pretty brown. Maybe the rhizome keeps more vigor that way.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 6:55PM
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RetiredFlorida(9)

Thank you all. Good to know it loves the heat. It started wilting soon after arriving home, but I think it was kept in mostly shade at the nursery. I at first put it in almost full sun but thought that was doing it in, so I put it on the north wall of my home.

Is it a water loving plant?

Darren

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 8:21PM
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katkin_gw

If it was in shade at the nursery, you might need to harden it off, that is giving it a little sun at a time each day until it can take the 4 hours of sunlight or the leaves might scorch. :o)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:10AM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

Mine is in nearly full shade in a very wet spot. It is thriving - I have to shovel prune it multiple times a year. But it does go pretty much fully dormant for me in the winter.

I'd be happy to trade rhizomes if anyone wants more.

Anybody have varieties that remain short? Mine has white flowers and topped out around 8' tall this year!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:01AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Sunworshiper, I would love to trade shampoo ginger, variegated shell ginger or cannas (peach or dark pink) for a butterfly ginger, if you would be interested in any of those? No worries if you are not. Please email me through My Page.

Thanks!
Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 1:09PM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

Mine is growing in full sun right up against my pond. In fact it keeps trying to work it's way under the rock edging so that it can dip it's roots in the water! Here's an older picture of the butterfly ginger by the pond. The clump is at least twice as big now and I've had to add a brace in front of the plants to keep them from laying in the water.

Kara

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 2:53PM
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writersblock

That's just lovely, Kara! What a beautiful pondscape.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:10PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

I sent you an email Carol.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:29AM
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cavamarie(z8b/9a FL)

I had some butterfly ginger, and I had to get rid of it, it spread like a weed! You might want to keep it contained somehow. It is wonderful, tho.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 2:47PM
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RetiredFlorida(9)

Cavamarie,

Being a relative newbie to gardening, please elaborate on your comment a little more. I understand how some plants drop seeds and spread profusely in that manner and I've got those nasty natural muscadine vines that take over my trees but am not sure how this plant would spread so quickly. Are your plants near a source of water?

I have seen large groups of gingers, most being near or in swampy areas. Thanks for the warning.

Darren

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 9:08PM
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katkin_gw

Darren, gingers spread by making more rhizomes. You can dig them out if it gets to be too many. I didn't find this one spread too quickly but others do. The green shell ginger was one I had to remove.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 6:34AM
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RetiredFlorida(9)

Thanks Katkin, I was and still having a hard time understanding how a rhizome can spread so quickly.......

Oh BTW, mine wasn't getting enough sun and is greening up nicely now it is getting more sun.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 5:01PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

I wouldn't consider this invasive - but it does require management. My clump grew from a tiny start to 4' square in about a season. I am maintaining my clump at about 3' square, and doing so requires shovel pruning about 3 times a year. It is vigorous and can spread sideways a foot or two easily each season. But it isn't hard to pull out the parts I don't want, and it is such a pretty plant that this is an acceptable level of care for me. But if you treat it as a plant and forget - then yeah, you could get a jungle pretty quickly=)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 10:08AM
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