Shell Ginger

Alpinia zerumbet

Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Alpinia (al-PIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: zerumbet (ZER-um-bet) (Info)
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Mobile, Alabama

Camarillo, California

Newport Beach, California

Oakhurst, California

San Marcos, California

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Bokeelia, Florida

Brooksville, Florida (2 reports)

Clearwater, Florida

Deerfield Beach, Florida

Fort Mc Coy, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Lake Mary, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Maitland, Florida

Miami, Florida

Naples, Florida

Navarre, Florida

Ocoee, Florida

Orange Park, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Port Orange, Florida

Port Saint Joe, Florida

Safety Harbor, Florida

Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)

Tampa, Florida (2 reports)

Trenton, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Park, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii

Gonzales, Louisiana

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Piscataway, New Jersey

Stilwell, Oklahoma

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Bluffton, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Belton, Texas

Galveston, Texas (2 reports)

Houston, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Pleasanton, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Victoria, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 6, 2015, siege2055 from Stilwell, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have this in zone 7a, I left out a test plant this winter to see if it is hardy here. It won't bloom here since the stems get frozen back, but it has nice foliage. So far it has gotten down to 10F at night and I can see live Rhizome at the surface. It has only had less than an inch of leaves over it that have blown there. I went ahead and covered it with a foot of leaves today as it is supposed to be down to 5F tomorrow night. So far it looks like this is hardy here, I will update in spring.


On Jan 9, 2011, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've had this perennial ginger growing along a fence in my FL garden in zone 9B for well over seven years. It has reached a height of six feet and will stay evergreen in warmer winters. It has survived temperatures below 26 the last two winters with only frost damage to tops of plants, and completely to the ground on outer edges of the bunch, but always come back from the ground in spring. The flowers are some of the first bloomers in my garden each spring and resemble little orchids, or a string of shells. I've never seen any quite like mine in garden centers, my father gave me these from some he had. I've seen a wider variegated leaved one with similar flowers, but none quite a beautiful as mine. I hardly water it and it is in a morning filtered sun light, but shaded during the hot hours... read more


On Sep 25, 2008, hedonic from porto
Portugal wrote:

Porto - Portugal (zone 9b/10a)
Partial Shade - semiprotected with taller trees.
Exotic look


On Apr 17, 2008, leighgalv from Galveston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Plantings beside the spa are over 8 ft tall! Waited 3 growing seasons before I was awarded with blooms....beautiful, tall plants, great for screen and/or privacy fencing!


On Nov 19, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

A native of Southeast Asia this large and attractive perennial is grown for its glossy foliage and fragrant flower clusters. Once established this plant will tolerate some drought as long as it has good light and a moderately rich soil. It is one of the first gingers to bloom in the spring. The unopened flowers look like strands of threaded pink seashells. When they open, the seem to contain tiny orchids with yellow and orange markings. Being vigorous growers they need to be divided every 2 years. If grown outside in colder zones you will need to mulch them well when the foliage dies back in the fall. You can also lift the rhizomes and store them in vermiculite in a cool room until the danger of frost is over.