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Pacific Northwest Gardening: Hedychium (ginger) in the Pacific NW?

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Forum: Pacific Northwest GardeningReplies: 6, Views: 66
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kosk0025
Salem, OR
(Zone 8b)

June 9, 2011
8:36 AM

Post #8619919

Hi all,
Yesterday I helped construct a new garden at my friend's house (see pic). It has a tropical flair, and the mulch is cocoa shells...so it smells like chocolate! It's stunning! Her kids love the stepping stones. It will really fill out this summer with orange impatiens, red salvia, pineapple sage, a canna, a euphorbia, and a flowering ginger. This garden gives a nod to many of the places she has lived in the world with a hebe from New Zealand and the Hawaiian inspired ginger. The tree is a yew tree. We also used two barberries (one orange-red in the foreground and a golden one). We were able to utilize existing ferns and red dianthus plants as well as the mystery green shrub in the center that we pulled out from under a tree. We also filled in with 10 coleus plants of varying colors that I grew from seed for her. I can't wait to see this garden bed in August. Last but not least, we snuck in 2 pumpkin plants on the far edge which will be trained to grow outward over the rocky area towards the fence. This bed is a labor of love. It required many, many hours of prep work to amend the heavy, heavy clay soil with compost and sand. (the kind of clay you can make pots out of and then fire them in a kiln).

My question to you is: do you have experience growing ornamental ginger in the Pacific NW? How does it do here? Does it get huge? I have asked her to email me with the specific type of ginger that we put in...I can't remember the name...at the nursery it said it was hardy down to 0 degrees F. If you have any pics of your ginger, I would love to see them...The ginger is the semi-stalky tall plant in the pic.
Thanks, Stephanie ("kosk")

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bonehead
Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b)

June 9, 2011
5:48 PM

Post #8620957

Kosk, I tried grocery store ginger last year - buried a piece of the root in a pot. It did well over the summer, and I brought it indoors for the winter. It was doing well until it just up and died on me in the early spring. One day healthy, the next sickly, little while later dead. No clue what happened. I may try it again. Maybe put it in my basement over winter rather than in the house. Haven't tried any that are hardy to our area, let us know how this one fends.
kosk0025
Salem, OR
(Zone 8b)

June 9, 2011
6:47 PM

Post #8621069

The variety we put in is Hedychium densiflorum 'Tara'. Good amount of info on it in 'Plantfiles' here. But still, curious about first hand experience in Pacific NW.

Thanks, Deb, interesting. Perhaps it rotted? vs. dried out? Did you dig it up to see what happened to the tuber? The refrigerator life of fresh ginger root is so short---quickly either dehydrates or rots---so I wonder if the living, planted tuber is fussy, too. Did your grocery store ginger provide you with any blooms or just foliage?
bonehead
Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b)

June 9, 2011
7:14 PM

Post #8621148

Just foliage. It put out a stalk with several leaves unfolded and looks quite healthy until its demise. I did not dig it up, probably should have. It was sharing a pot with a bulb of some sort that my son thought had died, but which subsequently is growing - looks like a calla or something. Maybe it was the competition.
Azorina
(Linda)Gig Harbor, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 11, 2011
8:57 AM

Post #8623879

I have grown Hedychium densiflorum in my garden for several years and the season here is not long enough to bring them to bloom.

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Azorina
(Linda)Gig Harbor, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 11, 2011
9:08 AM

Post #8623892

On the other hand..I found a variety Cautleya spicata "Robusta" that has a lot of character, color and flowers predictably in summer..but the most amusing part was the tag that came with it: "Be forwarned - growing this plant can lead to obsessive and unreasoning mania for the hardy Zingerberaceae. Oh sure you laugh - how can I be entrapped by something I can't even pronounce? Put it in moist soil that drains and try no to love the orange-yellow torch-like flowers. Must have"
This selection is from Far Reaches Farm in Port Townsend, WA

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wannadanc
Olympia, WA

June 11, 2011
9:35 AM

Post #8623925

Arorina - love that tag!!!!!!!!!! It is always fun to feel as if a "real person" is involved in all of this!!!!!!!

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