Shell Ginger and Lilies

“Shell Ginger and Lilies”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


The shell ginger has started to bloom.  I think this is a little early, but I’ll have to check my garden journal to make sure.  I have the green and the variegated forms of shell ginger, and it is the variegated that has started to bloom.  I am a little surprised it is blooming already, since this is the first year it was knocked back by freezes.  I received this ginger from my generous sister.



This cluster of flowers is so pretty.  It reminds me of baroque pearls.  Soon after the cluster fully develops, the individual blooms open.  The demure string of white and pink-tinged buds open up to bright yellow and orange-red flowers.  I like the texture of the foliage and the tropical feel this ginger brings to the garden.



The Easter lilies are in their glory now.  In a few more days, I am afraid the heat will get to them.  They have done extremely well, blooming for over two weeks, and this is only their second year.  They must love where they are because they have multiplied and grown bigger than expected.  I bought them last year from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.  They did well last year, but this year has been unbelievable.  I will have to divide them in the fall.  I couldn’t be more pleased with these bulbs.  I can’t wait until next year when all the smaller bulbs will have grown and will display so many flowers.  The fragrance, esp. in the early morning is heavenly.



Well, my plans for the summer are working out.  Today, I planted seven daylilies that had been growing in containers, transplanted a hydrangea, replanted rain lilies, cut back some of the bamboo that was shading the azaleas, cut out an orange lantana to make more room for better plants, and dug some more lirope out of the garden beds.  Tomorrow will be another day to try and catch up with all the gardening chores that still need to be done.




  1. Jane Marie said,

    May 30, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    I love that grouping of lilies. I wish I could get a good whiff of their fragrance.

  2. May 30, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    I love ginger plants. How old is yours? I put mine in last year and wondering when it will bloom. I know many gingers do not bloom until at least a year in the gound.

  3. Jan said,

    May 31, 2008 at 5:31 am

    Thanks, Jane Marie, I am so pleased with the way those lilies have performed. The whole neighborhood has commented on them. I think it is because Easter lilies are not grown much in gardens anymore, but they do evoke memories of the past when everyone had a few in their gardens.

    Well, Wicked Gardener, those ginger plants are about three to four years old. They did bloom last year. They have done better in the last two years since they are getting more sun. Even though they will grow in shade, I think they need some sun to bloom. This spring I put in some pine cone ginger and am waiting to see if it will bloom this fall. I know my hidden ginger took a few years to bloom, so you are probably right about gingers not blooming the first year.

  4. Nancy Bond said,

    May 31, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Your ginger is stunning — I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a ginger plant before, believe it or not. 🙂 Your garden looks lovely, and I can almost smell the heady fragrance of those lilies! Heavenly.

  5. Jan said,

    June 1, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Thanks for stopping by, Nancy. You’re right, I can’t believe you’ve never seen a ginger plant before. They are such great plants to have in the garden.

  6. Phillip said,

    June 2, 2008 at 8:28 am

    I have the shell ginger but it has never bloomed. I bet yours stays in the ground all year. I have to dig mine up and bring it in during the winter months. Could this be the reason it doesn’t bloom? The blooms are really beautiful!

  7. Jan said,

    June 2, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Phillip, I have read where shell ginger is supposed to be difficult to get it to bloom. Mine bloomed the second year, so I do not know if mine gets more sun or what to make it bloom. Mine froze to the roots this year and quickly sent up new shoots, so I don’t think digging it up in the winter would make that much difference if you are not cutting the plant back to overwinter it.

  8. Randy said,

    June 4, 2008 at 6:29 am

    I know I’ve said this before, but I just love your garden. The beds are just wonderful and so well taken care of, you can see the love that goes into it.

  9. Jan said,

    June 4, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Oh, thank you, Randy, for such kind comments. I get such peace and joy working in the garden. I always say this is my therapy from the hectic world.

  10. Darwin said,

    August 19, 2008 at 7:23 am

    I just bought a shell ginger and it has done great potted on my porch. I thought about putting in my office at work for the winter or in my house. If I were to plant in the ground when would be a good time to do that?

  11. Jan said,

    August 19, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Darwin, you don’t say where you are located, but shell ginger should overwinter inside with no problem. If I were to plant it in the ground, I would do so now. It needs to get established before cold weather starts, but I am in the Gulf South. If you are farther north, you probably should wait until after the last frost in spring before putting it into the ground because I don’t know if there is enough time before cold weather sets in for it to get established. Your local extension service probably could tell you if it is too late in the year to plant it now.

  12. Reba said,

    May 10, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I had breakfast at Brennan’s in New Orleans today and they had a wonderful blooming ginger (I think). Your photos make me think it is a shell ginger. Do you have a suggestion for where to purchase?

    • Jan said,

      May 11, 2009 at 3:48 pm

      Reba, many of the nurseries around here have them, you could call around and see. I have even seen them at Home Depot or Lowes. If you don’t live in the New Orleans area, Stokes Tropicals is a good source.

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