|Their scientific name means "sweet snow". Whether pure white, yellow, pink, or red, their ethereal, orchidlike blossoms all exude a delicious fragrance, never quite matched by bottled perfumes. Showcased in the finest Hawaiian leis, they keep their scent for several weeks. Native to moist tropical forests from sea level into the Himalayas, they spread by stout rhizomes. Attractive leaves flare out in a single plane around the many reedy stems. Hedychium coronarium (White Ginger) tolerates standing in water and thrives in temperature climates with mild winters (above freezing) and warm summers. Hedychium gardnerarium, greenei, flavum, and forestii do well in subtropical beds. Himalayan species are hardy to 28º F by a south-facing wall, with mulch. All other species are tropicals, demanding temperatures over 65º F, high humidity, richly fertile soil, and plenty of water. Where there is any danger of frost, dig up the roots in fall and store in damp soil at 35º to 45º F until spring. Outdoor plants seemingly killed by frost may produce new stalks in early spring. Good in tubs, though they will not grow as tall. Place tubs in a shallow pan of water to keep soil constantly moist, and liquid feed while growing. In winter, cut back on water and let go dormant. Trim off dead flower spikes, but keep old leafy stems to nurture new spring growth until well established. Too much shade and warmth in winter inhibit blooming. Grow from fresh seeds or by division in spring. Bulbuls of Hedychium greenei may sprout plantlets while still attached.
It is called Kahili Ginger for its resemblance to Hawaiian royal standards -- cylinders of red and yellow feathers on tall poles. Native to 8000 feet in Nepal and hardy in cold climates, down to 10-20° F.
Attributes - Hedychium gardnerianum
Plant Type: Perennial
Bloom Season: Mid Summer through Early Fall
Flower Color: Yellow
Height: 5 ft. to 7 ft.
Width: 7 ft.
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Climate: Zones 8, 9, 10, 11
Notes: Container Plants, Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Long Blooming, Low Maintenance, Showy Flowers.