Torch Ginger Flowers: How To Grow Torch Ginger Lilies

Red Torch Ginger Lilies
(Image credit: Marc Bruxelle)

The torch ginger lily (Etlingera elatior) is a showy addition to the tropical landscape, as it is a large plant with a variety of unusual, colorful blooms. Torch ginger plant information says the plant, an herbaceous perennial, grows in areas where temperatures fall no lower than 50 degrees F. (10 C.) at night. This limits growth to USDA hardiness zone 10 and 11, and possibly zone 9.

Torch Ginger Plant Information

Torch ginger flowers may reach 17 to 20 feet (5-6 m.) in height. Plant it where it is somewhat protected from the wind, which can snap the shoots of this tropical plant. Due to the large height, growing torch ginger in containers may not be feasible. Learning how to grow torch ginger lilies will add unusual flowers to your outdoor display, available in a range of colors. The unusual torch ginger flowers may be red, pink, or orange-- blooming from colorful bracts. White blooms have been reported in some torch ginger plant information, but these are rare. Buds are edible and flavorful and used in Southeast Asian cooking.

Planting and Caring for Torch Ginger Plants

Growing torch ginger is possible in a range of soil types. A major problem when growing torch ginger plants is potassium deficiency. Potassium is necessary for the correct uptake of water, which is necessary for the optimum growth of this large plant. Add potassium to the soil before growing torch gingers by working it into unplanted beds to about a foot (30.5 cm.) deep. Organic means of adding potassium include the use of greensand, kelp, or granite meal. Test the soil. When growing these plants in established beds, fertilize them with a food that is high in potassium. This is the third number on the fertilizer ratio displayed on the packaging. Once the potassium is right in the soil, watering, an important part of learning how to grow torch ginger successfully, will be more beneficial.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.