If you’ve given up growing hostas down here or are looking for a hosta replacement, consider these gingers. Kaempheria pulchria grow in shade, remain small and provide wonderful foliage and small purple flowers.
All gingers are safe to eat from flowers to leaves to roots, that doesn’t mean they will all taste good though.
Like hostas they die back to the ground in the fall and they are the very last plant to show up in your garden each spring. Be patient if yours do not reappear. Some will wait till mid June before poking a leaf up, the ground must reach 70’F first.
They form rounded clumps as they grown between 6″-12″ in height and 9″-12″ across depending on the variety.
Peacock gingers bloom from June until November here. Each small purple flower blooms for one day to be replaced by a fresh flower the following day.
Plant them in the deep shade and water regularly all summer. They want to be moist. These are not drought tolerant plants. Go easy on the watering in the winter or them might rot.
The designs on the leaves are what draws people to peacock gingers more than the flowers. The leaves are much rounder than any of the other ginger families.
Propagate by dividing the rhizomes.
These gingers also do well in hanging baskets. They do well around the base of trees where it is too shady for other plants. Just remember to keep them moist.
Note: Survived extreme heat and drought of 2011