Native Ginger - Alpinia caerulea - Care Guide
Alpinia caerulea! More commonly referred to as Native Ginger, this rainforest tree is native to the rainforest under-stories of Northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland. However, this specific variety comes from the Atherton Tableland highland region near Cairns. It grows beautiful bold blue, edible round fruits.
With its flavour varying depending on ripeness, Native Ginger berries have a pleasant lemony ginger flavour. The root can also be eaten and has a spicy taste! You can enjoy the berries raw on their own, or as an incredible ingredient in all kinds of sweet and savoury recipes such as jams, marmalades, candies, tea and so much more!
You can expect this spectacular native to blossom with fragrant white flowers from late Spring to early Summer, eventually leaving the blue berries.
Once the fruits have turned a bright blue colour that's when they're ready for harvest. Waiting until this stage will guarantee the most delicious taste!
|Botanical Name||Alpinia caerulea|
|Size Plant:||Seedling pot, min 20 cm tall|
|Frost Tolerance:||Not Frost Tolerant|
|Drought Tolerance:||Tolerant once established.|
|Soil Type:||Moist Soils|
|Pots:||Does well in pots.|
|Feeding:||Feed a high-quality native plant food every 6 months.|
For best results, plant your Native Ginger in moist soils and place your plant in part shade. You can also grow in full shade for reasonable results. This dense, strappy shrub can attain a height of up to 2m. It's the perfect fruit tree for hedging or screening.
Native Ginger is unable to tolerate frost. If you live in a cooler climate like Melbourne keeping your plant well protected is super important, so we recommend offering it extra protection during winter.
This lovely species does well in part shade but it can thrive in full shade but with lower fruiting amounts.
Watering & Drought Tolerance
As a species that loves moist soil, you'll want to water your Native Ginger regularly. During wintertime, you can hold back a bit on watering but as the temperature increases ensure that you're keeping it well watered. When dry, it will wilt which is a good indication of when to water.
Although drought-tolerant once established, it will need additional watering in the summer.
Fertilising your Native Ginger
Being a plant that generates fruit, to ensure continued fruiting it's important that you feed well. We recommend fertilising in Spring and mulching generously before Summer.
Harvesting should be done when the fruits have turned a bright blue colour. Waiting until this stage will guarantee the most delicious taste!
Growing Native Ginger in pots
Native Ginger does well in pots. You'll want to keep it in a spot that will shelter it from the elements. Use a high-quality potting mix without fillers or additives and add your own plant food for the highest success.