Peacock Ginger Plant Care: What Are Peacock Ginger Plants?
Peacock ginger (Kaempferia purpurea) is a tropical evergreen shrub with small white flowers. It grows up to 10 feet tall and wide. Its leaves are alternate, oval shaped, dark green, smooth and shiny. They have five leaflets each arranged in two rows of three leaflets each. The fruit is a yellowish-white capsule with four pointed tips at the top. It is covered with tiny hairs which give it its name. The flower buds are pink or purple and grow from the base of the plant. Flowers bloom in spring and summer, but they do not last long due to their short life span. The fruits ripen in late winter and early spring.
The seeds of peacock ginger plants germinate when temperatures reach above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Seeds are usually dispersed by birds, insects, rodents or other animals.
The seeds develop into young plants within one year after germination. Peacock ginger plants produce 1 to 2 bushels of seeds per plant depending on variety.
How Do You Grow Peacock Ginger Plants?
Growing peacock ginger requires lots of space because the plant needs room to spread out and grow tall enough to reach full height in just a few years time. Peacock ginger plants grow best with full sun to partial shade in well-drained loamy soil that is constantly moist but never soggy. Soil should be rich in organic matter. This plant thrives when it receives regular feedings of a complete liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season. Increase feeding during flowering and fruiting periods.
Peacock ginger plants can be propagated from cuttings or seeds. Seeds are generally easy to grow as compared to cuttings.
Sow seeds in containers in a good quality seed starting mix. The mix should not be too fine or too coarse. Water the mix and place the containers in a shaded area until the seeds germinate. Peacock ginger is difficult to start from cuttings. Take 4 to 5 inch cuttings from tip growth of healthy plants. Sever the bottom of the cutting using a sharp knife or razor blade. Immediately place the cuttings in a container of water. Insert the cuttings into a well-draining cactus/succulent mix soil. Spray cut end with water daily. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Place the containers in a bright area out of direct sunlight. Transplant the rooted cuttings once they develop root growth.
How To Care For Peacock Ginger Plants?
Peacock ginger plants require lots of water but also require good drainage to avoid root rot. Water thoroughly and allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out before watering again. It is important not to let the soil get soggy or the roots will rot. Fertilize every two weeks during the growing season using a complete liquid fertilizer.
Reduce watering in the fall and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Spread a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the plants to help with moisture retention and reduce weed growth.
Peacock ginger plants can be affected by several pests and diseases including aphids, root knot nematodes, mealybugs, ants, thrips, and anthracnose. Some varieties of this plant are more susceptible to frost than others.
Peacock ginger plants have hollow stems that are very fragile. They can be damaged by heavy winds.
Peacock ginger plants are very hardy and can withstand cold temperatures (5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit with little foliage damage). They can be damaged at temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
How To Harvest Peacock Ginger?
Peacock ginger plants are propagated by seed. Allow the flowers to fully bloom and develop into round seed pods. The pods will turn from green to tan or brown. Harvest the seed pods when they are ready by cutting them off at the base of the stem. Spread out the seed pods to allow them to dry further before cracking them open to retrieve the seeds. Clean the seeds and store in an airtight container.
Peacock ginger plants can also be propagated by taking stem cuttings. Take cuttings from healthy, non-blooming stems during the spring.
Cut the stems into 6-inch pieces and remove the leaves from the lower half of each cutting. Insert the cuttings into a mixture of sand, fertile soil and compost and push them down until just the tip is exposed. Keep the cuttings moist until roots form. Transplant the cuttings into individual pots filled with potting soil once they develop roots.
Peacock ginger plants can also be grown from peaches. The stems and roots of peaches contain a plant hormone called indolebutyric acid (IBA).
IBA is used to start new peaflower plants by inducing them to grow roots. The process is simple. You just need a sharp knife, a bowl of water and a few peach stones.
Sources & references used in this article:
Biotechnology and genetic engineering by KW Peacock – 2010 – books.google.com
Food for the gods: new light on the ancient incense trade by DPS Peacock, ACS Peacock, D Williams – 2006 – books.google.com
Systematic and variability studies on ‘hidden purple ginger’, Curcuma inodora Blatter J. (Zingiberaceae) – an endemic promising ginger from Peninsular India by KM Prabhu Kumar, VP Thomas, M Sabu, AV Prasanth… – Webbia, 2014 – Taylor & Francis
The good path: Ojibwe learning and activity book for kids by TD Peacock, M Wisuri – 2009 – books.google.com
Natural Area Inventory of Pamlico County, North Carolina by KN Babu, K Samsudeen, D Minoo, SP Geetha… – Ginger, 2016 – CRC Press
A Glossary of the Dialect of the Hundred of Lonsdale: North and South of the Sands in the County of Lancaster, Together with an Essay On Some Leading … by SL Peacock, JM Lynch – 1982 – repository.library.noaa.gov
Eco-climatic assessment of the potential establishment of exotic insects in New Zealand by RB Peacock – 1869 – books.google.com