The red ginger plant is a popular choice among the different ornamental gingers. This plant species is different from the ginger which we use as a spice. Also known as Alpinia purpurata, this plant flaunts itself with showy flowers and long brightly-colored red bracts, which adds to the life and beauty of flower arrangements.
It can grow up to a height of 6 - 8 feet and most varieties maintain a good length. The most suitable location is a greenhouse. Places which have an abundant growth of the species of these plants are Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and many Central American Nations. It is the national flower of Samoa.
The soil type suitable for the growth of a red ginger plant should be able to retain water and yet drain well. For this, you can get a good potting soil for general purpose.
The soil should also be well aerated and if not so, then sand or perlite and peat moss can be added to loosen it. Best soil mix for the plant would consist of garden soil (3 parts), fine sand (1 part) and peat (2 parts). Not to mention, always use a pot with a hole.
Lighting Conditions and Watering
This plant favors full sunlight coming from the South/West. The ideal temperature for the growth is 16-29 °C. Coming to the watering needs, it does well when it is kept evenly moist. During the hot season, water the plant daily, as it gets thirsty very often. High humidity is also one of the requirements.
It is also recommended that the drainage dish of the plant should be filled with pebbles or gravel. This helps in holding water and increasing the humidity. However, ensure that the plant does not sit on the water, but sits on the gravel.
Fertilizer and Plant Pests
A water soluble fertilizer is appropriate for its healthy growth. You can also fertilize using a slow-release fertilizer once in the spring. It is not so vulnerable to any pest infestation like most plants. However, if you are introducing some new varieties, do a thorough check for any possible signs of infestation.
Plantation can be done from a root cutting and it is fairly easy. Loosen the roots before planting. This will prevent the roots from getting intertwined with each other. Fill the pot with loam (a rich soil consisting of a mixture of sand and clay and decaying organic materials).
If the pot is not of your preference, then add a top layer of loam if planting directly on the ground. Thereafter, the root cutting must be planted two inches below the soil surface and you can leave the green growth above the soil line.
Now, use a water-soluble fertilizer immediately, and this should be followed every two weeks, while the plant is growing. Your newly planted red ginger would need a generous amount of watering too. The soil must be soaked well and repeatedly if it becomes too dry.