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Growing ginger

Q. We are in the process of moving from Florida to Kentucky. I have recently started growing a few ginger plants here in an outdoor bed, and was wondering if I can do the same when we finish the move to Isonville or if I would need to grow them in a greenhouse or hoop house?

– -Joy Carroll-King, Isonville


A. Hi, Joy: Variegated ginger ( Alpina zerumbet) is one of my favorite plants. I do enjoy it year-round but it is considered a tropical in Kentucky and will not survive outside during the winter months. If you have a greenhouse that would be great, but a brightly lit room indoors will work just fine. It is hard to beat the striking variegated foliage that this ginger provides.

I use them a lot as container plants since I know they will need to come inside as the weather turns cold. It is winter-hardy in USDA hardiness zones 8-10; Elliott County in Kentucky is considered zone 6. You will be able to find them in garden centers and nurseries here but likely not as common as they are in Florida. It might be nice to bring a piece of your Florida garden with you to your new home. Welcome to Kentucky!


Angie Oakley

Kentucky Living- Ask the Gardener

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