Blue Ginger

Blue ginger

Blue ginger (Dichorisandra thyrsiflora) in the University of South Florida's Botanical Garden.

It's hard to miss the vivid color of blue ginger. In late summer and fall, this tropical plant puts out 10-inch tall spikes of rich purplish-blue flowers. The blooms look great in the garden, but can also be cut and used in floral arrangements.

Not truly a ginger, blue ginger (Dichorisandra thyrsiflora) is actually in the same family as spiderwort and wandering Jew. It's a clump-forming perennial that can grow 5 to 8 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

Unlike some plants, blue ginger thrives in shade. It grows into a large clump that is perfect for mass planting. This plant does best in a moist, but well-drained soil. In general, it's pest-free with only mealy bugs causing occasional problems.

Blue ginger is typically evergreen in South Florida but may die back in winter in North or Central Florida. Blue ginger was even named a plant of the year in 2008 by the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association. It's the perfect plant to fill any shady spot in your landscape.

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