Alpinia (Shell Ginger)

Alpinia zerumbet ‘Shell Ginger’

  • Grow outdoors year-round
  • Suitable for growing in containers
  • This plant is suitable for growing indoors
  • Full sun to part shade.

Alpinia zerumbet, commonly called shell ginger is native to eastern Asia. It is a rhizomatous, evergreen perennial that grows in upright clumps to 8-10’ tall. It more typically reaches 4-8’ tall in the greenhouse and 3-4’ tall as a houseplant. It is commonly called shell ginger because its individual shell pink flowers, particularly when in bud, resemble sea shells and its rhizomes have a ginger-like aroma. It is distinguished from other members of the ginger family by the fact that its flowers droop from the ends of leafy stems rather than rise directly from plant rhizomes. Waxy, light pink flower buds open to tubular flowers with yellow inside lips and red throats. Flowers are fragrant. Flowers appear in drooping racemes (to 1’ long) in summer. Lance-shaped green leaves to 2’ long and 5” wide.


Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’

VARIEGATED SHELL GINGER –   Variegated shell ginger is a bold plant with bright, colorful foliage that makes a statement in the garden. Variegated shell ginger is an easy-to-grow tropical suited for use in the border, mixed containers plants on the patio or as a houseplant during the winter. It’s best in full sun or light shade in a rich soil amended with organic matter. It should be kept uniformly moist and, if container grown, fertilized on a monthly basis with any good houseplant fertilizer.