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Alpinia zerumbet (Shell ginger)

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Dealing with possums in the garden.

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Plant description

Alpinia zerumbet, shell ginger, is a perennial, clumping tropical plant that grows from a rhizome. It has arching sprays of delicate flowers that resemble sea shells. The flowers are white tipped with pink, with a red and yellow throat. It is a more cold hardy variety of the ornamental ginger family, and can be grown in temperate as well as tropical to sub tropical areas, and makes an attractive foliage plant. It can grow to around 3 metres in warmer areas, making it a good screening plant.  It is also good for large containers. This alpinia is moderately drought tolerant once established. It makes a good pool side plant, as it drops little plant litter.

Alpinias like free draining soils with plenty of organic matter. They like a semi shaded position. Regular applications of fertiliser every 4-6 weeks, and regular watering will ensure good growth of the plant. Mulching of the plant will conserve soil moisture and will minimise weed competition.

Propagation is from division of the plant.

 

Additional plant information

Flowers

Flower colour: white, pink, yellow and red
Flowering season: spring summer autumn winter

Scent

The leaves have a light ginger fragrance

Plant size

Maximum height: 3 metres
Minimum height: 1.5 metres

Maximum width: 3 metres
Minimum width: not specified

Sunlight, frost & salt tolerance

Will tolerate partial sunlight.
Light frost tolerance.
Plant is salt tolerant.

Fauna attracting?

Yes. Attracts: Birds, insects, bees.

Climate

This plant species will grow in the following climates: temperate, subtropical, tropical.

Soil types & conditions

Loam: moist, well-drained.

Clay: moist, well-drained.

Sand: moist.

Soil pH: 6.0-6.5

Pests

Red spider mite

Miscellaneous information

Planting season: Any.

Types of fertiliser: Good general purpose fertiliser.

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