S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Kaempferia pulchra ‘Silver Spot’
in the Northeast Florida Landscape
Ginger Kaempferia pulchra Silver Spot / Peacock Ginger Origins:
– Another member of the zingiberaceae ginger family plant that is native to tropical Asia. Kaempferias are
commonly known as peacock ginger due to their highly decorative foliage.
Sun Exposure of the Kaempferia pulchra Silver Spot / Peacock Ginger:
– Plant Peacock Ginger silver spot in a shady garden location in the Northeast Florida landscape. Or use as
an indoor garden plant!
Foliage of the Kaempferia pulchra Silver Spot / Peacock Ginger :
– Foliage of the Kaempferia ‘ Silver Spot’ is low growing , reaching only6-8 inches in height.
– Foliage is winter dormant and is an excellent substitution for Hosta’s in our Jacksonville and St.
Augustine area landscape.
– Highly decorative foliage of the ‘Silver Spot Peacock Ginger is arguably more attractive than its
flowers! The soft variegated pattern on the foliage catches the eye and makes a perfect edge of border plant
for any moist shady garden spot.
Here in my Northeast Florida garden, in the Switzerland area of St. Johns county, I have them planted in my
mothers garden under the shade of a large Oak tree. They edge the sidewalk in a few places along her garden path
and have faithfully returned year after year late in the season each spring. She literally does nothing to them and
they, like all good garden plants, continue to delight her.
– Gingers are a rhizomatous perennial plant, that is they grow and spread from underground rhizomes (
thick stem like roots, very similar to the more familiar Iris family of plants ) and form clumps of foliage. They
can be dug and divided and replanted with just the rhizome or both rhizome and foliage stalks successfully into
other garden locations with ease.
Soil Preferences of the Kaempferia pulchra Silver Spot / Peacock Ginger | Salt tolerance:
– Kaempferia’s prefer moist garden locations, amend generously with compost if planting in dryer or sandy
soil land capes to help the soil retain moisture.
– Salt tolerance is poor.
Size Variance of the Kaempferia pulchra Silver Spot / Peacock Ginger:
– I love the tidy habit that Silver Spot Peacock Ginger keeps. The foliage lays almost flat, making the
overall plant height even on larger clumps less than a foot high, about 6-8 inches and can form large clumps up to
2 ft across if not divided every 3-5 years.
Kempferia Ginger Growth Habit:
– Clumping perennial rhizomes forms an attractive, low spreading mound of foliage. Excellent
Growth Rate of the Kaempferia pulchra Silver Spot / Peacock 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.
Blooms on the Kaempferia pulchra Silver Spot / Peacock Ginger Plant:
– Although the foliage of these showy garden plants tend to be the main attraction, I do fall in love with
these dainty little satiny or almost iridescent looking lavender blooms each year. They are very much
reminiscent of African violets as the blooms are tucked up into the center of the plants foliage, except these
blooms will be about an inch across!
– Blooms are born in the late summer and fall on Kaempferia plants.
Water Requirements of the Kaempferia pulchra Silver Spot / Peacock Ginger Variegated Pinstripe Ginger
– Moist soils are a necessity with these lovely Kaempferia plants. 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 Kaempferia pulchra Silver Spot / Peacock Ginger in the Jacksonville | St. Augustine Area
– Use as an indoor house plant!
– Wonderful replacement for the much beloved Hosta plant here in the Northeast Florida landscape.
– Use as the edge of the border plant along walkways, shady drives, patios etc.
– Beautiful in masses under large canopy trees.
– Kaempferia do well as potted plants as long as they are irrigated.
Care of Kaempferia pulchra Silver Spot / Peacock 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
– Ginger 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.