Anyone growing Ginger in Northern Utah?

Linda's Garden z6 UtahMarch 16, 2008

Has anyone had success growing ginger or curcuma in northern Utah? I am thinking of growing them in pots and bringing inside for the winter or digging and storing the rhizomes as you would a canna. I was wondering if our growing season is long enough to get them to bloom. Has anyone tried this? If so what varities are you growing?

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zubababy(6b Utah)

i've been looking at some gingers that i would like to grow, haven't yet.

is some parts of the state you can leave canna's in the ground and they will return. in Sandy the ones that were placed next to their houses are starting to emerge already.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 11:21AM
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zone_denial(6b)

Hi Tropic

I'm going to find out this year. I have a buddy in PA who stores them in a pot, but I don't know if they flower for him or not. The foliage is so awesome on the variegated that it'd be beautiful even without the flowers

Alan

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:25AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi Alan, I would love to know if they have time to flower in PA. Are they the same zone? I have been thinking about ordering a Hedychium kahili ginger. I did order some curcuma rhizomes called "Indian Surprise". I hope they do well. I have read that you can store the rhizomes like a canna but they are slower too bloom doing it that way rather than keeping the plant alive thru the winter. The foliage is beautiful, but some of the flowers I have seen are so cool I would really like them to bloom even if it is at the end summer or early fall.
Linda

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 7:09PM
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zone_denial(6b)

Hi Linda

I think the area he's in is quite similar to the Wasatch Front in lows, 6a/b - 7b this winter for me. They seem to stay warmer until Feb, and then when we're warming up the east coast has their lowest temps of the winter.

One thing you might try instead of overwintering like canna rhizomes is to pot the ginger up and store somewhere in the house where you get minimal light. This is how I do my bananas lately - I let the first freeze kill off most of the foliage, then pot up the healthy pseudostem and root ball and water it once a month. This keeps them semi-dormant all winter but ready to continue the previous years growth. I've killed countless musa varieties trying to be macho and prove I can overwinter them in the ground, where now I pot them up in ten minutes and have it done and still keep all of the previous years hard work and growth. No elaborate protection - I save that for most of the palms and agave and borderline trunking yuccas.

Best, Alan

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 8:10AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi Alan,
Thanks for the suggestion. I think I will try that with the ginger and my bananas too. What variety of ginger are you going to try? There are so many to choose from I will probably have a hard time choosing. How tall do your bananas get once they are planted in the ground. I have kept mine in pots so far but this summer I plan on putting them in the ground. Hopefully they will get a lot taller.
Linda

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 7:00PM
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zone_denial(6b)

Hi Linda

I haven't quite decided yet but most likely one of the variegated hedychium sports. I'm basically starting from scratch again with bananas, I do have a musa ice cream in a pot right now but that's about it. My friend in PA I was talking about has numerous in pots with about 4 foot pseudostems that are just now coming out of dormancy - they look great already, even with just a couple of leaves sprouting out.

You can really push the bananas growth in the ground with lots of moisture and fertilizer. They love tons of nutrients, same with cannas. The best summer yet was when I sprayed once a week with those green sprayers you attach to the end of the hose, as well as a dose of Superthrive every two to three weeks.

Alan

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 6:52AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi Linda! I have grown ginger outside for about 5-6 years and dig them up and store them like I do the cannas. However, they have never bloomed for me. They may bloom for you since you are two climate zones warmer than where I live. Hope to see you in April!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 3:33PM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi Kevin, What variety of ginger are you growing? There is one in the plant delights catalogue that is a hedychium called "Daniel Weeks" that states it is one of the longest flowering and starts flowering in late July or early August. Don't know if it would start that early here. I guess I could always start it in the house earlier.

Yes, I am still planning on coming up there sometime in April. What time would be best for you? Maybe whenever you start planting your garden. Any Saturday is good for me. I am really excited to try the banana cannas!

Alan, Thanks for the info on the bananas. I will give them a lot of fertilizer and see what they do. I am sure they will get much bigger once they are not pot bound.

I am so excited all the snow has finally melted out of my yard and I will able to go out and get it cleaned up and ready to plant my new tropical plants. I did buy a few more elephant ears and some caladiums that I am starting in the house because they take so long to get going.

Linda

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 6:41PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Good morning Linda. It's been so long I can't remember the varieties, especially since they have never bloomed. This "Daniel Weeks" sounds interesting. If you try it, please let me know if it ever blooms. Regarding coming up in April, weren't you coming up for a wedding? Whenever that is would be fine. If it is not on a Saturday, just let me know so that I can arrange my schedule to be home when you come. I have some elephant ears I can probably give you as well. I sold about 800 cannas and 100 elephant ears to Valley Nursery this month, but should have enough elephant ears to give you some. They are already growing their pink "growing tips" in the bags I have them in, so they should be ready to take off once planted. I uncovered one of my palms for the first time yesterday before it snowed last night, and it looks just fine. I also had a couple of smaller Sabal palms in the same box in pots that looks like they had been growing during the winter. Will spring ever come?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 10:53AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hey Kevin,
I would love to have some of your elephant ears too if you don't mind. The wedding isn't until June but I was planning on going up there to visit with his family. My friend and her husband want to see the boxes you made for your palms before you take them off. You haven't done that yet have you? Maybe April 12 would be a good day.

I can't believe you have that many canna tubers to sell. You must have a ton of them!

Did you get a lot of snow? This morning when I went to work it was snowing here but of course it did not stick.
Spring has already arrived here. I have daffodils and crocus blooming. It makes me really happy to see them!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 6:56PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Linda, What? You have daffodils and crocus blooming? Mine have just started popping out of the ground. It snowed a little yesterday, but it all melted. However, I still have some remaining snow packs here and there in the yard. Thank goodness most of the snow has melted in the last two days. April 12 should be fine. Even if I take the boxes off, I store them behind a shed in the back of my yard, so you can see them any time.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 9:03AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Kevin, We will be up there on April 12, probably sometime in the afternoon around 2Pm. I will call you when it gets closer to get directions to your house.

Hopefully all your snow melts soon! I know I plan on doing some yard work this weekend since the weather is going to be pretty good. I have a small pond that I need to clean out soon before my dogs try to drink the disgusting water that makes them sick. I think I might do that today. But thats not very fun!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 11:08AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi Linda! I just found out that I will be headed in your direction on April 12. Our son is in the Mountain Crest winter percussion unit (drum line) and they will be having the state final competition at Lone Peak High school that afternoon. I'm sorry to say I won't be around, but I can leave the banana canna and elephant ears on the cement deck in front of our house unless you would like to do something different. Please let me know.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 2:15PM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi Kevin,
It's no problem to change the day. I'm pretty flexible. How about the 5th or the 19th? Which ever one works for you is fine with me.
Linda

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 7:25PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Linda, I checked schedules with my wife and don't see any conflicts with April 5 or 19. You decide what's best for you and let me know. Thanks! (In case you want to correspond by E-mail, it is: arctictropical@aol.com.)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 12:19PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Linda, I just thought of something. April 19 might be better in case you wanted to see the larger outdoor palms. I might not take the larger boxes off until mid April since it takes our tractor & loader to lift them off and once I lift them off I don't want to worry about covering them up again because of too cold of weather, so mid April might be better, but whichever day is best for you is OK.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 12:34AM
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zone_denial(6b)

Linda

I did some research and it appears that shell ginger won't flower until the second season, so my killing off the foliage and potting won't work. It would need to be potted before the first freeze.

Alan

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 5:27AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi Kevin, I think we will still be up there on the 5th. It will be fine if the boxes are still on the palms. My friends husband is very interested in seeing the setup. We are also going to the Cartee's house to discuss wedding plans. Hope this is still ok with you. Of course I would still love to see your yard when it is in full bloom and since my daughter will be living up there after June, I'm sure I will be up there occasionally and will be able to see the palms then.

Alan,
I see that some hedychium gingers are hardy to zone 7. Do you think you would be able to overwinter it outside here with some kind of protection? I don't know if they go dormant in zone 7 or stay evergreen. Do you know if they can take full sun? Up against the front of my house which faces south stays really warm. Maybe I could plant one there. I have had a lot of annuals live thru the winter when planted there. Or I guess I will have to bring it in the house to overwinter. Linda

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 10:25PM
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zone_denial(6b)

Hi Linda

Just a guess, but if you've had annuals make there I would think that it's a good micro climate for ginger. I'm not sure how well it does in full sun but I wouldn't waste a spot like that on something else if you really want to get the ginger to blossom.

Alan

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 8:09AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Linda, April 5 will be fine. Just let me know about what time you would like to stop by.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 10:35AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Kevin, I sent you an email, let me know if you didn't get it.

Alan,
Well I just order a Hedychium called Pink V. I think I will try planting it there. On one end there is a small weeping cherry tree so I think it may get some shade on that side. And yes I have been wasting that space on spirea bushes which I just dug out last weekend. We will see how it goes!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 7:19PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Linda and Alan, good morning! Regarding early flowering ginger, I understand that Curcuma Elata is the way to go. It is a totally different flower than Hedychium, but it blooms in the Spring for those in the south, so it should bloom for us at some point during the summer. The foilage is similar to Hedychium, and can grow quite tall.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 10:46AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi Kevin, I ordered a curcuma called Indian Surprise and I received the rhizomes in the mail last friday. I started them in pots in the house so maybe they will bloom early. I wanted to give them a head start before planting them out in May. Hopefully I will get some blooms.
Linda

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 7:54PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Linda, did you ever order "Daniel Weeks" from Plant Delights? I looked it up and it sounds promising. Maybe I'll give it a try.

Kevin

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 2:00PM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi Kevin!
No, I didn't order it because a friend of mine at work was ordering some plants from Aloha Tropicals and I decided I would order a Hedychium called "Pink V" from them. This one is supposed to be hardy to zone 7 and I think I will try planting it in the warm spot in the front yard and see if it makes it. So now I will have a curcuma and a hedychium. I looked up the curcuma you suggested and it looks really cute. Kind of strange that it sends up the flower stalks before the leaves appear but that way you would get to see the flowers.

I couldn't believe how much snow we got this morning! And it is still here, I was hoping it would be melted when I got home from work. Hopefully it will be nice weather this weekend!
Linda

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 6:42PM
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zone_denial(6b)

Hi Linda

I have petasites japonicus(and a few of its varieties) all over the yard that sends up flower shoots long before leafing out. It's one of my favorite tropical looking plants, and fully hardy here(probably even for Kevin!). It is a thug, but who cares, it's the best thug I ever saw.

Alan

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 7:30AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Alan, I've never heard of Petasites Japonicaus. Must be a thug, since it sounds like "Parasites".

Kevin

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 5:24PM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi Alan, I've never heard of Petasites Japonicus either so I googled it. Looks pretty cool! Do you grow it in a shady wet area? I'm not sure I would like it spreading all over though. I like plants that stay where I put them! I am currently doing battle with Jupiters Beard that I planted years ago and will probably never get rid of.
Linda

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 6:38PM
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zone_denial(6b)

Kevin

If you can make in May, I'll hook you up, if they're out by then. The foliage is so cool that it'd be awesome amongst other various plants, ie broadleaf hostas, arum italicum, etc. Parasites japonicus LOL

Linda

They do best in some shade, especially the first summer season, but they'll take alot of sun with good moist soil. Even in there second season I've had leaves a good foot or so across. If that doesn't scream tropicalesque I don't know what does!!!! I have one called P. hybridus that gets even larger leaves than the species.

Alan

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 8:07AM
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steve22802(7a VA)

I was just wondering if Linda (tropic_lover) could give some feedback on her experiences growing Curcuma Indian Surprise. I just planted some today and was wondering what advice she might have to share.

Thanks,
Steve

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 10:07AM
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