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Tropicals & Tender Perennials: Tropical ID

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Forum: Tropicals & Tender PerennialsReplies: 6, Views: 98
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Central, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 15, 2012
5:17 AM

Post #9333655

I received this house plant in a trade a few years ago and never took the time to identify it. It is near two feet tall. I've never had it bloom. I've also never done anything special to it to try and make it bloom.

It has been suggested that it might be some kind of ginger?!?

Please take note the baby walking iris' on the bottom are not in question (they're yellow not the white/purple)

Thanks in advance,

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Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

November 15, 2012
1:54 PM

Post #9334082

Sure looks like a ginger to me but there are many, many varieties that look like that when they are small. Did you have it outside for the summer and have you fertilized it? Most outdoor gingers are starting to wind down now and will be going dormant. I am not sure what a ginger would do in the house, they thrive in humid environments.
Central, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 15, 2012
2:28 PM

Post #9334100

It was outside for the summer but I have never fertilized it. It actually has another shoot growing out right now. Hmm so maybe put it in a bathroom?

November 15, 2012
4:34 PM

Post #9334189

If it only stays small it could be Zingiber officinale, the normal edible ginger. The leaves do look a little broad for that though. There is another edible one just called Thai Ginger here that has leaves like that but it grows a bit taller. There definitely are a lot of different gingers out there and ID can be difficult without seeing the flowers.
Central, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 15, 2012
5:41 PM

Post #9334240

Hmmm I really don't think I have interest in it then. Guess I'll look to find a home for it when the warmer weather comes.


Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

November 15, 2012
10:01 PM

Post #9334416

You can very likely tell for sure if it's a ginger by just scraping a bit of the root with your fingernail and smelling it. Most of the gingers have roots - rhizomes really - that are at least a little aromatic like the edible ginger.

They do stay green and nice here if the weather stays warm through winter like it did last year, so I would think the foliage will be ok for you in the house. Bathroom or kitchen would be good as long as there is good light from a window. They like lots of water, and if you give it some fertilizer when the weather warms up enough to put it outside, it may even bloom in late summer, and might be a gorgeous house plant by next year. Most gingers do get fairly big, though.

Give it a shot of half-strength Miracle Gro or something similar and see what the new shoot does.
Central, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 16, 2012
5:03 AM

Post #9334481

OK thanks everybody. I appreciate the help.

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