Why Doesn’t My Ginger Bloom?
By: Julie Day
I planted ginger a few years back and the fragrance from the flowers that first year was heavenly. We mulch it heavily in the late fall/early winter and cut away the dead stalks. It comes back in the spring but has never bloomed again.
Ornamental gingers are tropical garden plants with wonderfully aromatic flowers or foliage. The group of plants known as “gingers” actually include a number of different cousin plants such as Shell gingers (Alpina sp.), Butterfly gingers (Hedychium sp.), and culinary ginger (Zingiber officinale).
Some are featured for their long-lasting blooms, while others are grown more for the aroma of flowers or foliage. Gingers go dormant for the winter, but the foliage may or may not stay green depending on climate. For specific troubleshooting, it’s important to know what kind of ginger you have, as cold hardiness and light requirements vary by species.
The most common causes for ginger not blooming are:
- Inadequate light
- Cold or frost damage
They also may not bloom if:
- They are not yet established (some take several years to bloom).
- They are not receiving adequate nutrients (feed with a balanced organic fertilizer every month or two during the growing season).
In general, ginger plants like:
- Plenty of light, but protect them from hot afternoon sun.
- Lots of humidity.
- Consistent moisture but not soggy.
- Rich soil with neutral pH.
- Protection from harsh sunshine and strong wind.
- Protection from cold temperatures (cold hardiness varies by species, but remember they are tropical plants!).
- Ornamental Ginger, Red and Pink (Univ. of Hawaii Extension, PDF 205kb)
- Ornamental Gingers (Bachman’s)