Tip of the Week – Focus on Beehive Gingers

Zingiber spectabile Coffee, Beehive Ginger

Zingiber spectabile Coffee

Beehive Gingers have fascinated people through the ages with their unbelievably unusual and attractive long lasting colourful basal cones and luxuriant foliage. Named Beehive due to the similar shape to a Skep Beehive. The leaves are long and oblong with that lushe tropical look.

Species

They occur naturally in Eastern Asia and are in the Zingiber Genus and there are two species of Beehive Ginger found in cultivation. They are:

Zingiber spectabile -2.5-3m tall…Known as Beehive Ginger with lots of basal cones.
Zingiber olivaceum -1.5-2m tall….Known as Dwarf Beehive Ginger with smaller basal cones and also terminal cones!!
There are other species that have cones but they are different types and not the Beehive Gingers.

Characteristics

Beehive Gingers develop a strong rhizome from which new shoots emerge. The rhizome gets bigger annually. Flowering from October to April ..the cones last for months. They come in bright tones of yellow, orange and chocolate…..they all  end up red  when they age. Please note there are no Beehive Gingers that start off red. Beehives  have cone and height variations.Their leaves are bright green and although not long themselves are paired off on long tropical looking arching stems. They exhibit strong energy.

Uses

Great feature and landscape plants which will set your garden apart. As well as for their beauty they also have anti-microbial and medicinal values. Cut flowers last for weeks.

Botany

The true flowers emerge from under the scales of the cones. They are pretty and orchid like and unusual but due to size only spectacular to true believers.

Propagation

Is usually done by dividing up rhizomes and/or backbulbs. You can get them to strike by layering -laying down the canes. They dont seem to produce fertile seed by themselves  so to produce fertile seed you would have to engage in hand pollination.

 Beehive Care

Grow in the ground or in a pot. They need well drained conditions. Filtered light right through to full sun. Fast growers so if you want to encourage this keep up the moisture and fertiliser when its warm. In winter in cold areas they will be deciduous. They come back quickly and will alsoreflower quickly when it warms up.

 

See Our Short Video of Us Visiting our local Beehive Ginger Farm

 

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