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Hedychium - Growing Guide
Commonly known as ‘Ginger Lily’
These are rhizomatous perennials which grow in moist, lightly wooded, parts of the Himalayas. As such they make excellent border plants but they can also readily be grown in clumps in an open woodland garden situation where they provide some of the last flowering colour and interest before the arrival of autumn and winter. Indeed their pronounced seed heads with bright orange seeds are an interesting feature as well.
The hedychium species which we offer are in a variety of colours and are all hardy. In colder areas of the country, where the tops of the rhizomes are visible at ground level, a heavy autumn mulch will readily protect them. Alternatively hedychium can be grown in large deep pots in the greenhouse where they need to be kept dry and reasonably frost free over winter.
Hedychium are slow to appear above ground level in the spring and are one of the last plants to break into leaf. Not surprising really when you realise that they are one of the last plants to flower, seed and die down in the autumn.
Hedychium species can grow as much as 4-6ft tall when well established as a clump. The flower buds in some species look like large green striped bananas before they come out. The flower spikes are fragrant and borne in spikes of racemes which can be lemon-yellow (H. gardnerianum), yellow (H. flavum), salmon red (H. greenii) or orange red (H. aurantiacum). The flowers are two lipped and tubular to trumpet shaped.
The seed can be sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. The rhizomes can also easily be lifted and divided in spring.