How to Grow Hedychium Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Garland Flower and Ginger Lily

Hedychium are a genus of half hardy Perennials that are usually grown as annuals in the garden.

They have spiky flowers of orange, red, white or yellow, that may often be bicoloured; and broad lance like leaves.

They come into flower in the summer and reach a height of 60 cm to 6 m (2 to 20 feet).

Hedychium coronarium
Hedychium coronarium - Butterfly Ginger Lily by Mauroguanandi.

Hedychium are very fragrant plants, and should be grown where their smell can be appreciated, or in borders.

Some of the more common names for Hedychium include Ginger Lily, Butterfly lily, and Garland Lily.

Hedychium Gardnerianum
Hedychium Gardnerianum by Jeff Kubina.

Commonly Grown Hedychium Species

Hedychium coronarium

Hedychium coronarium
Hedychium coronarium (White garland-lily / White ginger lily / Indian garland flower), photograph by Dinesh Valke; CC.

hedychium coronarium white butterfly ginger
Hedychium coronarium White Butterfly Ginger, picture by Megan Hansen; CC.

Hedychium gardnerianum

Hedychium gardnerianum
Hedychium gardnerianum (Kahili ginger / Kahila Garland Lily), Image by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.

Hedychium longicornutum

Hedychium longicornutum
Hedychium longicornutum (Hornbill's Ginger), photograph by Raul654; CC 3.0.

Hedychium coccineum

Hedychium coccineum
Hedychium coccineum (Red ginger lily Cultivar 'Tara'), photograph by Esin Üstün; CC.

Hedychium Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Garland Flower, Ginger Lily, Yellow Ginger, Butterfly Lily, White Ginger, Orange Ginger, Kapur, Sandharlika.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 24 to 150 inches (60 to 380 cm).
Native: Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10. As a perennial in zones 8 to 10.
Flowers: Summer and early autumn.
Flower Details: White, yellow, red, orange. Dense spikes. Lily-like. Fragrant - Citrus.
Foliage: Lanceolate. Green. Stems are often leafless.

Sow Outside: Cover seed. Before last frost or in autumn. Spacing 18 to 36 inches (45 to 90 cm).
Sow Inside: Soak seeds in warm water for a couple of hours. Germination time: three to four weeks. Temperature 70 to 75°F (21 to 24°C). Six or seven weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors a few weeks after the last frost; temperature should not fall below 41°F (5°C).

Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Humus rich soil. Moist soil. Regular watering. Cut back stems once flowering has completed. If growing as a perennial supply an autumn mulch. If growing as an annual bring rhizomes indoors and store indoors over winter. Propagate: in winter divide the rhizomes so that they each contain one eye.
Family: Zingiberaceae.
Miscellaneous: Invasive species in Brazil, Hawaii, New Zealand and many other countries.

How to grow Ginger Lily (Hedychium)

Hedychium plants can be sown outside at the beginning of spring before the last frost has happened.

Simply cover the seed with a light dusting of topsoil.

Ginger Lily and other Hedychium members like to grow in an area of the garden that is sunny and has very good drainage. They prefer to grow in a moist Humus rich soil.

If you prefer to first start to grow Ginger lilies as seedlings indoors, then they should be prepared about two months before due to be transplanted in the garden - a few weeks after the last frost of spring.

The Hedychium seeds should first be soaked for two hours in warm water prior to sowing. They should then be kept at about 21 to 24 degrees centigrade (70 to 75°F) and will take about three or four weeks to germinate.

When ready the young Hedychium plant should be put in the garden at about 60 to 80 cm (24 to 32 inches) apart.

Caring for Ginger Lilies and other Hedychium Plants in the Garden

Ginger Lilies require regular watering.

Once the flowering season is over cut back the flowering stems to the ground.

If growing as a perennial then the rhizomes should be brought inside in cold areas.

More Hedychium plants can be germinated through the division of the rhizomes (make sure that each section contains an eye) at the end of winter.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Hedychium plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Lily and Roscoea plants.