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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.
Flower colour: white, pink, yellow and red
Flowering season: spring summer autumn winter
The leaves have a light ginger fragrance
Maximum height: 3 metres
Minimum height: 1.5 metres
Maximum width: 3 metres
Minimum width: not specified
Will tolerate partial sunlight.
Light frost tolerance.
Plant is salt tolerant.
Yes. Attracts: Birds, insects, bees.
This plant species will grow in the following climates: temperate, subtropical, tropical.
Loam: moist, well-drained.
Clay: moist, well-drained.
Soil pH: 6.0-6.5
Red spider mite
Planting season: Any.
Types of fertiliser: Good general purpose fertiliser.