A little about Kaempferias

Kaempferias are compact gingers which like shade. Although they bloom, the reason to cultivate them is the leaves. In fact Kaempferias are known as peacock gingers because of the wild patterns on some species’ leaves. Some Kaempferias have iridescent leaves and still others are variegated. Some have large round leaves that lie flat on the ground.

The different Kaempferias tend to be short and the tallest I’ve seen is only two feet tall. The flowers on Kaempferias are small, delicate, and white, lavender or bicolored. They last only one day but a clump of Kaempferia will always have blooms in season. Like most gingers they need lots of water and quality soil in the growing season.

When temperatures start to go down in Houston, I taper off on the watering and the Kaempferias will begin to go dormant. If I want to divide them I will lift them and over winter them inside. When growing season starts again, I divide the rhizomes and put them back in the ground. Otherwise they stay in the ground and I stop watering all together in the winter. I don’t water again until spring the following year.

In my Ginger Garden they happily live in the deepest shade and thrive.





  Kaempferia pulchra mansonii