S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Ginger Curcuma petiolata Variegated
in the Northeast Florida Landscape
Ginger Curcuma petiolata variegated Hidden Ginger Origins:
– Another member of the Zingiberaceae family plant that is native to tropical Asia. Curcuma’s are hardy
perennial plants that grow from underground rhizomes.
Like so many of our plants, the taxonomy of these tropical beauties are under being questioned with genetic
testing. The once thought curcuma petiolata may actually be a curcuma longa, but I will as I always leave
that to greater minds than mine to determine and for practical purposes leave it classified here as the
curcuma petiolata that you are likely to find it sold as.
Sun Exposure of the Curcuma petiolata Variegated Hidden Ginger:
– Plant your Hidden Ginger / Variegated Curcuma plants in a shady garden location in the Northeast Florida
landscape. Or use as an indoor plant!
Foliage of the Curcuma petiolata Variegated Hidden Ginger:
– Foliage of the Variegated Curcuma is my favorite part of the plant! The leaves emerge on stalks (pseudostem,
much like banana plants do) from underground rhizomes and emerge with brightly green and white variegated coloring
that really is quite pretty and helps brighten up those shady garden areas.
– Each leaf can be up to 18 inches in length and 6 inches in width making it a bold tropical foliage plant
that is perfect for our Jacksonville and St. Augustine gardens!
– Foliage is winter dormant and emerges late in the spring or early summer.
Soil Preferences of the Curcuma petiolata Variegated Hidden Ginger | Salt tolerance:
– Curcuma’s prefer moist garden locations during the growing season, amend generously with compost if
planting in dryer or sandy soil land capes to help the soil retain moisture.
– I find curcuma to tolerate both my sandy soil dry garden and my mothers constantly moist soil garden
equally well. Although they do tend to multiply quicker in her wetter garden areas. I do however try to
remember to give my plants a healthy shovel full of garden compost each summer as they emerge from the ground. So
soil amendment when planting with compost is advised for our sandier soil Northeast Florida gardens.
– Salt tolerance is poor.
Size Variance of the Curcuma petiolata Variegated Hidden Ginger:
– Variegated Curcuma petiolata plants will grow 2-3 ft high and wide in our Northeast Florida
Growth Habit of the Curcuma petiolata Variegated Hidden Ginger :
– Clumping perennial rhizomes forms an attractive, strongly upright mound of gently arching foliage.
Growth Rate of the Curcuma petiolata Variegated Hidden Ginger:
– Moderately fast growing Ginger selection, expect them to reach full size potential within their third
growing season in the landscape when planted into moist shady garden areas.
– Dig and divide every 5 years of so for best results.
Blooms on the Curcuma petiolata Variegated Hidden Ginger Plant:
– The blooms of the Hidden Ginger plant are just that, hidden! Well, at least they are
somewhat obscured by the foliage of the plant, but can be cut off at the base and brought indoors for
beautiful long lasting floral arrangements!
– Blooms are born in the late summer and fall and emerge from bracts at the base of the flower spikes. the top
bracts are mostly white with just the barest hint of lavender pink at the tips. The base of the flower stalk is
mostly green with some white striping and the florets that emerge from this green and white bract portion are a
Water Requirements of the Curcuma petiolata Variegated Hidden Ginger Plant:
– Moist soils during the growing season and drier soils during the winter dormant months. Although
much more durable once established in the landscape, regular water is necessary to get the plant rooted and growing
on its own after being planted in the ground from an S & J Nursery container. Amend the soil generously when
planting and use supplemental irrigation through a professionally designed irrigation system or hand water with a
hose bi-weekly when planted in drier soil situations.
Best Uses For Curcuma petiolata Variegated Hidden Ginger in the Jacksonville | St. Augustine Area Landscapes
– Use as an indoor house plant!
– Gorgeous massed at the edge of wooded areas or under larger canopy trees.
– Perfect backdrop plant for lower growing perennial plantings for the shaded garden..
Care of Curcuma petiolata Variegated Hidden Ginger in the North Florida Landscape:
– Low care landscape pant selection when planted into rich soils. Amend soil generously with compost or cow
manure when planting for best results.
– Water every day during the establishment period after planting in the garden from an S & J Nursery
– Curcuma plants will need good water during the establishment period and supplemental irrigation during
dry spells or particularly hot dry summers, especially when planted into sandier soils.
– Fertilize each spring with a handful of garden compost or a mixture of Milorganite or Green Edge Fertilizer and
a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general
purpose plant food or 10-10-10.