Ask a Question forum: Variegated Ginger

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London
KimLD
Dec 1, 2017 1:39 PM CST
Hello! I live in London and I bought a Variegated Ginger two weeks ago (with leaves green/white on top and pink/red on the bottom). It looked great when I bought the plant and the day after all the leaves were kind of hanging down when the day before they were all rising up to the ceiling. We watered the plant and it appeared that some leaves were coming back up after a few days. Two days ago we turned on the heater (around 20C now) and it looks like the leaves are hanging down once again. Some leaves also have stains appearing or kind of little waves around the leaf (shown on pictures). The soil is moist and we did not replant it after purchase. Please help, I want to save my baby!!

It looked like that before:

Thumb of 2017-12-01/KimLD/8f6431

And now it looks like this:

Thumb of 2017-12-01/KimLD/7c68bb


Thumb of 2017-12-01/KimLD/7b623f


Thumb of 2017-12-01/KimLD/7cff06


Thumb of 2017-12-01/KimLD/fb4d2b


Thumb of 2017-12-01/KimLD/ccd450


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 1, 2017 2:39 PM CST
Your Alpinia zerumbet is responding to the light source. Before you purchased it, it was getting light from overhead and the leaves oriented themselves horizontally to maximize their ability to receive light. In your home, the light is mostly from the side, so the leaves are orienting more vertically to catch the light. This is not a cause for concern, yet.

I say yet because it appears that the location that you have it in is too far from the nearest window. Although this plant does not require a lot of sun falling directly on its leaves when indoors it must be within a few feet of a sunny window so that it gets lots of very bright indirect light. Moving it closer to the window won't have much effect on the leaf orientation, but it is essential for the long-term health of the plant.

It is still very healthy and you have not waited too long to improve its light. It is good that you did not repot it and that you are keeping the soil damp. Just move it closer to a window and it should be fine.

The small blemishes are not a concern. They appear to be physical damage and not a sign of pests or any disease.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 1, 2017 2:52 PM CST
It could be my old eyes but your plant does not look like ginger Variegated Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet 'Variegata') to me but rather Stromanthe (Stromanthe thalia 'Triostar') Lovely plants but I can't offer growing advice because I've never been able to keep one alive for long.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Dec 1, 2017 3:04 PM CST
Lin's young eyes are very sharp and she may well be correct that this is a Stromanthe. It is very hard to distinguish between the two via photos. If it was sold to you as Ginger, then it probably is.

In either case, the care is pretty much the same when used indoors and both respond to light similarly.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
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Paul2032
Dec 1, 2017 3:04 PM CST
I agree with Lynn.....
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
London
KimLD
Dec 1, 2017 3:04 PM CST
plantladylin said:It could be my old eyes but your plant does not look like ginger Variegated Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet 'Variegata') to me but rather Stromanthe (Stromanthe thalia 'Triostar') Lovely plants but I can't offer growing advice because I've never been able to keep one alive for long.


You are actually right! It is a Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar'. Thank you for the information!
London
KimLD
Dec 1, 2017 3:07 PM CST
WillC said:Your Alpinia zerumbet is responding to the light source. Before you purchased it, it was getting light from overhead and the leaves oriented themselves horizontally to maximize their ability to receive light. In your home, the light is mostly from the side, so the leaves are orienting more vertically to catch the light. This is not a cause for concern, yet.

I say yet because it appears that the location that you have it in is too far from the nearest window. Although this plant does not require a lot of sun falling directly on its leaves when indoors it must be within a few feet of a sunny window so that it gets lots of very bright indirect light. Moving it closer to the window won't have much effect on the leaf orientation, but it is essential for the long-term health of the plant.

It is still very healthy and you have not waited too long to improve its light. It is good that you did not repot it and that you are keeping the soil damp. Just move it closer to a window and it should be fine.

The small blemishes are not a concern. They appear to be physical damage and not a sign of pests or any disease.


Thank you for the advice, it is much appreciated!

I moved it closer to the window, but the windows are not well isolated so I hope she will not feel the cold of the outside... I am so sad the leaves are hanging down, it looked splendid with the leaves up.

Do you think I should mist it for the humidity? And if yes, how many times per week would you say?

I was also told to water the plant every 7 to 10 days. I prefer touching the soil and water it when it gets dry. Should I continue that way?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Dec 1, 2017 3:31 PM CST
If you had a skylight or a bright artificial light to place right above it, that might get the leaves to orient the way that you prefer.

Unless you mist every hour through the day and night, misting will not substantially increase the humidity. As long as you keep the roots properly moistened, low humidity should not be a problem.

Beware of predetermined watering schedules. Water your plant as needed. That means when the top half inch or so of soil feels dry to the touch, as you prefer. When you do water, add enough so that a bit trickles through the drain holes.

Unless there is a noticeable draft blowing directly onto the plant, the cooler winter temps should be okay.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Dec 1, 2017 4:10 PM CST
WillC said:Lin's young eyes are very sharp and she may well be correct that this is a Stromanthe.

Rolling on the floor laughing My almost 70 year old eyes have cataracts that need to be removed so I can't say for certain that my ID of Stromanthe is correct because most things appear as a blur. Green Grin!

~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Dec 1, 2017 4:26 PM CST
Lin - I can't imagine how terrific you will be after you have the cataract surgery!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Dec 1, 2017 4:29 PM CST
Will, everyone keeps telling me I won't believe the difference! Hope to get the surgery done in March or April ... surgeon's schedule right now is booked for 3-4 months. I do look forward to having decent eyesight again. Smiling
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


London
KimLD
Dec 1, 2017 4:39 PM CST
Lin, my grandmother had the surgery a few months ago and she said the difference is astonishing. Hope everything will go fine for you too!

Thank you Will for taking the time to answer my questions, it is very nice of you.

I have a last question, do you know anything I could use all day long to give my plant artificial light so the leaves can straighten a little bit upward?

I have already ordered a humidifier and will look for a pebble tray so that the plant gets all the humidity it needs!
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Dec 1, 2017 4:54 PM CST
Kim, thank you! I'm sure everything will be fine. My sister had cataracts removed recently; it's an easy procedure nowadays. I had to have a laser procedure a few years ago and probably should have asked if they could have removed the cataracts at the same time but my vision wasn't so bad back then but had deteriorated quickly the past year and a half!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Dec 1, 2017 5:12 PM CST
Kim - Two fluorescent tubes - one warm white and one cool white - suspended right above the plant might work pretty well.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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