Costus productus

Family: Costaceae

Common name: Spiral Ginger

 

This is undoubtedly one of the most prolific flowering, ornamental ginger plants on the market.

 

The Spiral Costus is from Peru and prefers dappled light conditions such as those found in the understorey of established trees or palms.

 

Growing no more than 1.2 metres high, Costus productus creates a mass of green foliage crowned with orange cones. There is only one cone per ‘stalk’, but each cone produces a succession of flowers over many weeks. The overall effect can provide 8 months of flowers in tropical and subtropical conditions. The flower cones can be collected and used as a cut flower decoration for the home.

 

In cool climates the plant may die down and go dormant until warm weather and summer rains begin.

 

This plant cannot tolerate dry conditions so additional water may be needed during dry periods if you do not live in an area with regular rainfall.

 

Dividing the plant is an easy task of lifting and separating the underground rhizome into a number of clumps for replanting. The plant can also be grown from stem cuttings

 

Best growing conditions are

-          dappled shade

-          soil moisture is essential

-          fertilise regularly with a complete organic blend

 

Outdoor growing in the landscape:

Ideal for tropical style gardens.

Use the plant along the shaded sides of the house.

Can be grown in a pot provided ample water is supplied

If winter dormancy occurs, cut off old decaying leaves, mulch well and ignore till early summer at which time water and fertilising will encourage fresh growth.

 

Written by Paul Plant, Editor of subTropical Gardening magazine - www.stgmagazine.com.au





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