The Cautleya sp. ginger is an excellent choice when looking for an ornamental foliage plant, as it displays large, variegated leaves. These leaves are yellow green in color, tinged with maroon underneath, and when mature can reach up to twenty-eight inches in length. During the summer, the plant will send up tropical-looking, crimson-bracted spikes that are adorned with stunning vinous-colored flowers with yellow and orange accents. The sight is truly something special!
This hardy ginger is native to northern India, the Himalayas and China. In these regions, it typically grows in light shade or semi-shade and prefers a moist, well-draining soil. It is mature plant cold-hardy at least to 30 degrees Fahrenheit for a short time, making it ideal for growing in USDA Zones 9-11. For those in colder regions who wish to grow this plant in a pot, it is recommended to choose a variety that is cold-hardy in your area, and to bring it indoors during the winter. This is especially true for those in areas with hard freezes.
Growers will find that this is a low-maintenance and undemanding plant. It is known to be pest and disease free, and does not require pruning, fertilizing or staking. Cautleya sp. does best when planted in an area that receives light shade or semi-shade, and in moist, well-draining soil. During the summer months, it is important to water the plant deeply to ensure that it has enough moisture. While Cautleya sp. can tolerate some drought, it is best to keep the soil moist as it will help to prevent wilting. The flowers of this plant can be cut and used as cut flowers in arrangements if desired.
Care of Cautleya sp. is relatively straightforward. It is important to note that this plant can be invasive, so it is best to plant it in an area where it will not spread too far. With proper care, the Cautleya sp. ginger can make a stunning addition to any garden. Its striking foliage and vibrant blooms will bring a taste of the tropics to any outdoor space.