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Torch Ginger guidance needed

#1 User is offline   Thumbs 

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 11:50 PM

Hi All,

I got back home from work today and hehe theres a new torch ginger plant sitting at the back... :drunk:/> Oh well... now I need to plant it. Problem is I know nothing about this plant. So I have a typical list of questions...

1. What sort of soil conditions do these plants like? I read that clay type grounds are fine.
2. I also read that they are heavy feeders, so what sort of additional fertilization should we do to prepare for planting? Also whats the fertilization regime after?
3. If planting in a corner, how far should I plant the rhizome from the 2 walls?

Thanks for your help.... :D/>
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#2 User is offline   mm 

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 12:40 AM

They can take full sun, although bright shade will be fine also.

If you're planting them against a wall, you can plant if fairly close (up to 1-2 ft), but be sure to point the growing tips away from the wall. Eventually, some will end up growing towards the wall, but you can chop those off to conserve the plant's resources. Also, depending on now high the wall is, and whether it shields the ginger from light - it may cause the ginger to lean AWAY from the wall, in which case you may end up with almost semi-cacading stems. This can look quite nice, but it also means the grass under it will no longer grow. I just had a 40 ft long grove of this removed, because was getting too unmanageable.

Prepare the soil well. You don't have to dig very deep, as they are fairly shallow rooters - 9 to 12 inches deep should be more than suffiicient. For a 4 sq ft area, dug to 1 ft deep, mix in approx 1 cu ft of compost, 1/2 cu ft of chicken manure, and 1/4 cu ft of bonemeal. That should get it off to a good start. Be sure to water in well while the plant is settling in. They actually prefer moist soil, but will tolerate some dryness.

Be aware though, that well fed and looked after, and in the right conditions, they can grow to 12-15 ft tall.

Good luck. BTW - what colour is yours ? Red, Pink or white? Post a pic!
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#3 User is offline   islaverde 

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 09:38 AM

With torch gingers, you can't go wrong over fertilising them; especially with nitrogen rich (growth) fertilisers. Just dump all the chicken manure, sheep manure, compost, urea... whatever.

Then sit back and watch 'em spring up and envelope the whole area including your neighbours! The domestic torch ginger E elatior is still quite well behaved; if you happen to get one of its wild relatives, they will literally walk all over your garden including up to your front porch with their "running rhizomes".

Aesthetics: Thin out the clump periodically and cut off weak and yellowing stems. Like bamboos, maintain only the strongest stems.
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#4 User is offline   Han Chong 

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 12:42 PM

My torch ginger that planted near to my fish pond even send its rhizome over the edge of the pond and have its roots grow into the pond. The wild species send its rhizome far away from its original planting site like the running bamboo.


View Postislaverde, on Jun 19 2007, 09:38 AM, said:

With torch gingers, you can't go wrong over fertilising them; especially with nitrogen rich (growth) fertilisers. Just dump all the chicken manure, sheep manure, compost, urea... whatever.

Then sit back and watch 'em spring up and envelope the whole area including your neighbours! The domestic torch ginger E elatior is still quite well behaved; if you happen to get one of its wild relatives, they will literally walk all over your garden including up to your front porch with their "running rhizomes".

Aesthetics: Thin out the clump periodically and cut off weak and yellowing stems. Like bamboos, maintain only the strongest stems.

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#5 User is offline   Thumbs 

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 01:37 PM

Well heres a pic of the plant I took this morning... the wall itself is about 2m high, so I'm guessing the plant itself will be about 1.7m when planted... area gets the morning and noonday sun. I'll probably plant the initial plant about 1.5 ft from both walls...

Just curious, does the rhizome run deep or close to the surface? I'm wondering if I can limit the rhizome's spread... if It runs along the surface, is it possible to just dig down about 2 feet and say use bricks to block it?

http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa160/allen_1971/plants/Gingers/ginger.jpg
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#6 User is offline   limxuanhong 

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 04:32 PM

Just to add that the rhizomes will keep invading new space and theold growths may die down leaving an empty space. I'm not that sure about blocking it though....it may climb over/puch the bricks?
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#7 User is offline   mm 

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 05:03 PM

View PostThumbs, on Jun 19 2007, 01:37 PM, said:

Just curious, does the rhizome run deep or close to the surface? I'm wondering if I can limit the rhizome's spread... if It runs along the surface, is it possible to just dig down about 2 feet and say use bricks to block it?


View Postlimxuanhong, on Jun 19 2007, 04:32 PM, said:

I'm not that sure about blocking it though....it may climb over/puch the bricks?


Does this answer your questions? :rolleyes:/>

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e79/mmlim/Etlingeraoverwall.jpg
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Posted 19 June 2007 - 05:13 PM

View Postmm, on Jun 19 2007, 05:03 PM, said:

Does this answer your questions? :rolleyes:/>


Muahahahaha OMG! What have I gotten myself into :hitmyself:/>

Ok So I just be really nasty and keep cutting back the Rhizome? Is that a good control method?
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#9 User is offline   limxuanhong 

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 06:40 PM

View Postmm, on Jun 19 2007, 05:03 PM, said:

Does this answer your questions? :rolleyes:/>


Hm...yes I remember you mentioning it before. Now I have seen it for myself :lol:/>
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#10 User is offline   Thumbs 

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 09:42 AM

OK the plant is planted using a mix of the clay/compost/chicken poo, and bonemeal... and heres a pic I took this morning

Unfortunately the light was bad, so pic didn't come out too well

http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa160/allen_1971/plants/Gingers/gingerplanted.jpg

I also noticed that there is a new shoot coming out of the rhizome, but the top of which has already turned dry and black. Does this mean I should just cut it off? Heres another pic (sorry a bit blur thanks to my shaky hands)

http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa160/allen_1971/plants/Gingers/questions.jpg
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Posted 20 June 2007 - 09:43 AM

Ooops... Sorry double post... edited to keep it short. :hitmyself:/>

This post has been edited by Thumbs: 20 June 2007 - 09:44 AM

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#12 User is offline   mm 

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 10:13 AM

View PostThumbs, on Jun 20 2007, 09:42 AM, said:

I also noticed that there is a new shoot coming out of the rhizome, but the top of which has already turned dry and black. Does this mean I should just cut it off?

It's ok to cut that off, or leave it until it dries. There will be no new growth from that one anyway.

The present stems are somewhat weak and spindly. Now that's it's in the ground, and with sufficient light and feed, the new stems will come out sturdier and taller.
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#13 User is offline   islaverde 

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 10:57 AM

Thats the correct depth to plant the clump. congrats
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#14 User is offline   islaverde 

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 11:00 AM

nice painted wall. somehow, I'd like to have natural material for the wall instead; so that the monstera can creep up
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Posted 20 June 2007 - 11:13 AM

View Postislaverde, on Jun 20 2007, 11:00 AM, said:

nice painted wall. somehow, I'd like to have natural material for the wall instead; so that the monstera can creep up


Heh you noticed that :)/>

Well, I'm not decided on how to put the monsterra... i.e. leave it in the pot, or plant it in the ground. So for now it remains potted. As for the wall, do you have any suggestions? a wooden trellis maybe?

Back to the e. elatior, how often should I fertilize?
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#16 User is offline   Mamat 

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 05:22 PM

Wow..

Who left that plant there?? how come no one did that to me!!.. haha

But am also curious.. Coz I have the pink and white ones of this torch ginger.. but Mine is in abig pot.. Hope it wont climb UP the pot like the pic there.. and escape.. Heheh..

Ya.. tell us please, the fertilizing requirement
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#17 User is offline   superfinefeline 

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 04:11 PM

View PostMamat, on Jun 20 2007, 05:22 PM, said:

Wow..

Who left that plant there?? how come no one did that to me!!.. haha

But am also curious.. Coz I have the pink and white ones of this torch ginger.. but Mine is in abig pot.. Hope it wont climb UP the pot like the pic there.. and escape.. Heheh..

Ya.. tell us please, the fertilizing requirement


I love Torch Gingers! However, I didn't know that they could grow so big!

I would like to buy a Torch Ginger plant & plant it in a big pot. Can anyone please advise where I can buy this plant from?
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#18 User is offline   mm 

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 05:10 PM

View Postsuperfinefeline, on Jan 1 2008, 04:11 PM, said:

I love Torch Gingers! However, I didn't know that they could grow so big!

I would like to buy a Torch Ginger plant & plant it in a big pot. Can anyone please advise where I can buy this plant from?

Sorry to bring you back down to earth - but Torch Gingers really do have to be planted in the ground. Their growth habit really do not lend themselves to being pot bound - they spread by (semi-)surface rhizomes, and would outgrow the pot within a year. Plus they would remain stunted, and be pitiful caricatures of their rightful 12-15ft majesty.
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#19 User is offline   superfinefeline 

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 05:43 PM

View Postmm, on Jan 1 2008, 05:10 PM, said:

Sorry to bring you back down to earth - but Torch Gingers really do have to be planted in the ground. Their growth habit really do not lend themselves to being pot bound - they spread by (semi-)surface rhizomes, and would outgrow the pot within a year. Plus they would remain stunted, and be pitiful caricatures of their rightful 12-15ft majesty.


oOPS! Thanks for the info. I can plant the Torch Ginger in the ground but am not sure if they will overwhelm the rest of the plants that are already in the garden. :unsure:/>

By the way, 12-15 feet sounds really tall...how to get the flowers to make laksa?

This post has been edited by superfinefeline: 01 January 2008 - 05:44 PM

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#20 User is offline   mm 

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 11:26 PM

View Postsuperfinefeline, on Jan 1 2008, 05:43 PM, said:

oOPS! Thanks for the info. I can plant the Torch Ginger in the ground but am not sure if they will overwhelm the rest of the plants that are already in the garden. :unsure:/>

By the way, 12-15 feet sounds really tall...how to get the flowers to make laksa?

Yes, they can be overwhelming, and, especially if planted against a wall, the branches (or whatever they're called) tend to arch over, and shade the ground below it. It can be very graceful, but you have to be prepared to have the space for them, and the right type of understorey plants below them - right type of understorey plants being those that like damp shade, and not requiring much food, as Torchies are hungry feeders and quickly robs the soil of their nutrition. Hence, regular and generous feeding and watering (if the ground is not naturally moist) will be required.

Once they are established and well fed - they will flower for you. The pink variety tends to be more forthcoming with their rewards, but the red one's somewhat more reticent. By the way, as I understand it, they are more commonly used in rojak than in laksa, although I would think they might do nicely in laksa as well. hmmm ... must try shaving some into the next laksa we tar-pau back. :rolleyes:/>

This post has been edited by mm: 01 January 2008 - 11:30 PM

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