Hedychium forrestii is beautiful jungly hardy ginger with large showy leaves topped in late summer by white open flower clusters. Forests ginger has a sweet delicate fragrance to the flowers which often have pale pink to yellow bases to the stamens and petal stems making an attractive contrast to the large white petals. For me however it is bold almost banana like foliage that makes this ginger stand out. As a jungly hardy exotic ginger Hedychium forrestii is perfect for the back of a border reaching up to 2 metres high contasting with perhaps miscanthus grasses or red hot pokers this ginger looks fabulous.
Pretty tough and easy to grow Hedychium forrestii is hardy with us when planted in a sunny position in fertile free draining soil. Once the foliage has been frosted I recommend cutting the stems back to 30cm then mulching the base of the plant with 15cm with good organic compost. In cold areas I would do the prevous and then add a layer of straw which I'd then cover with a large up turned terracota or clay pot to keep the winter frosts and wet awy from the dormant rhizomes.
As with all hardy or temperate gingers they all make wonderful container plants. In really cold areas this is perhaps the best way to cultivate them as they can easily be moved in winter to a frost free location such as a shed or garage to prevent the roots from freezing. A small tip, if you give them regular fortnightly feeds with a tomato fertiliser during the growing period you should be rewarded by mutiple flowers from late summer right through to late autumn.
- Position: Full sun to part sun
- Soil: Most soils
- Eventual Size: Up to 2 metres
- Habit: upright, bushy
- Foliage: Jungly
- Common Names: Forests Ginger
- Flower colour: White
For gingers grown in open ground, we recommend a thick layer of mulch to help reduce frost penetration. Planting gingers into raised beds with good drainage or incorporating some extra drainage into the soil when planting can overcome the problem of winter wetness. General fertilizer can be used as gingers are heavy feeders and when in growth feeding and watering can be critical to keep your ginger looking good and healthy. We would recommend adding organic matter each year and liquid feeding seaweed extract fortnightly during the growing period (also good for your home grown veg!).
For northern regions of the UK, other than the warmer coastal areas, the hardier gingers should be sited in full sun, with a deep mulch in the autumn, with the less hardy varieties being brought in for the winter. For southern areas, most varieties can be planted out in full sun through to full shade, with a good winter mulch.
Most ginger can also happily be grown in a container if your garden is on the cold side this is a good option it also allows you to bring the plant indoors prolonging the growingand flowering period. We use a good quality multipurpose compost with a little John Innes Number 3 added. Feed during the growing period with seaweed fertilizer.
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