The bushy plant Alpinia is directly related to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). It is native to the subtropical and tropical regions of Southeast Asia.
This genus was named after the Italian Prosper Alpino, who is a rather famous traveler and physician.
Such a plant is a perennial. It has brown-red tuberous rhizomes that have a pungent and strong odor. A powerful, leafy stem grows out of each branch of the rhizome. In this regard, if Alpinia develops well, then it has about 40 stems. Lanceolate-shaped, two-row leaves encircle the shoot rather tightly.
The apical inflorescences are racemose, spike-shaped, or panicle-shaped, and they bear large flowers. The flower color is white, red or yellow. Inflorescences can hang down or be directed vertically upward (depending on the species). The fruit is presented in the form of a box. If you grind or break a leaf plate, you can smell a specific smell. There are types of Alpinia whose rhizomes are used in oriental medicine. And this rhizome is also used as a spice.
Alpinia care at home
Loves light very much. You should choose a place with bright, but always diffused lighting. In summer, shading is required from direct sunlight. In winter, the plant must be supplemented.
In spring and summer, Alpinia grows normally at temperatures ranging from 23 to 25 degrees. However, in winter, the room should not be too cool (at least 15-17 degrees).
High humidity is required, so foliage must be systematically moistened from a sprayer.
How to water
In the spring-summer period, the potted substrate should always be slightly damp (not wet). With the onset of autumn, watering should be gradually reduced. In winter, watered only after the top layer of the substrate dries out 2-3 centimeters deep.
Topdressing is carried out in spring and autumn once every 2 weeks. For this, fertilizers are used for flowering indoor plants.
The transplant is carried out in the spring. Young plants need to be transplanted once a year, and adults – when it is necessary (for example, if the roots no longer fit in the pot). To prepare the soil mixture, it is necessary to combine humus, leafy soil, sand and peat, which must be taken in a ratio of 2: 2: 1: 2.
You can propagate the seeds and divide the rhizome.
It is recommended to divide the rhizome in spring together with a transplant. In this case, it should be borne in mind that on each division there should be 1 or 2 kidneys. It is recommended to sprinkle the cuts with chopped charcoal. Disembarkations are planted in wide low containers. Stems tend to emerge and grow fairly quickly.
Seeds are sown in January. The optimum temperature is 22 degrees. Timely watering, protection from drafts, as well as systematic ventilation are necessary.
Diseases and pests
Differs in high resistance to pests. It rarely gets sick with proper care.
Alpinia officinalis (Alpinia officinarum Hance)
This rather large plant is a perennial. It’s brownish-red strongly branched rhizome can be up to 2 centimeters thick. Several shoots extend from the rhizome. Alternately sessile leaves have a linear shape and reach 30 centimeters in length. A short apical spike-shaped inflorescence bears flowers. The petal lip is white with reddish stripes on its surface. The fruit is a capsule.
This compact plant is a perennial. Its height, as a rule, does not exceed 60 centimeters. The stems are highly leafy. The sessile green leaves can be up to 20 centimeters long. They have a linear shape, and on their surface are whitish oblique stripes. The apical panicle inflorescence consists of crimson flowers.
Alpinia drooping (Alpinia zerumbet)
This rather large plant is a perennial. Its height can reach 300 centimeters. The lobed leaf plates are narrow at the base and widen towards the end. The drooping racemose inflorescences, reaching a length of 30 centimeters, are composed of whitish-yellow flowers.
There are several varieties with variegated foliage:
- ” Variegata Chinese Beauty ” – on the surface of the leaf plates there is a marble pattern of dark and pale green shades.
- ” Variegata ” – leaf plates have a large width, and on their surface, there are yellowish stripes of different directions and widths.
- ” Variegata Dwarf ” – This small plant grows to a height of about 30 centimeters. The flowers are white and the leaves are greenish-yellow. This variety is quite compact, and it is most convenient to grow it at home.
The height of this perennial reaches 200 centimeters. The bracts are red and the flowers are white.
This perennial has a smooth, almost cylindrical rhizome with a diameter of 2 centimeters. The stems can reach a height of 150 centimeters. The entire lanceolate leaves reach a length of about 30 centimeters. The dense, conical racemose inflorescence bears white flowers.
Such a plant is a perennial. On the surface of the elongated sheet plates, there are stripes of cream or white. The flowers are pale green, and the bracts are pink.