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Torch Ginger (Etlingera Elatior) Profile

Written by Maggie

Mar 25 2021

Torch Ginger (Etlingera Elatior) Profile

Torch Ginger (Etlingera Elatior) is a perennial herb of the ginger family, with clusters of plants, 2-5 meters high, tall and straight branches, dark green leaves, solitary flowers, roselike flowers, dignified and elegant, elegant and novel.  

Torch Ginger Picture

Torch ginger

Torch Ginger info

Botanical Name Etlingera elatior
Common Names Torch Ginger, Philippine wax flower, ginger flower, red ginger lily, torch lily
Plant Type Herbaceous, perennial
Sun Full, partial
Hardiness Zones 10–12 (USDA)
Flower color Red, Pink, White, Orange Torch Ginger
Native Area Asia
Mature size 6–15 ft. tall, 4–10 ft. wide

Torch Ginger Morphological Characteristics

Torch Ginger is a perennial herb. The stem and branches of torch ginger are usually clumpy and long. The height of the plant can reach more than 10 meters in the original country, but only 2 to 5 meters in China.

The stem of torch ginger is covered with leaf sheaths, and the leaves are alternate, arranged in 2 rows. The leaves are green, linear to elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate. The leaves are 30-60 cm long, smooth and shiny. Flowers for the base of the head inflorescence, conical cone-shaped, like the burning torch, so the name Torch Ginger; Inflorescences of Torch Ginger are extracted from underground stems in spring, summer and autumn, up to 1 -- 2 m high and about 15 -- 20 cm in diameter, with stout stems. Bracts are pink, thick, porcelain or waxy, shiny, laminated; The upper lip of the Flower is golden yellow, very enchanting and gorgeous, also like a rose in the bud.

Torch Ginger also has one variety, which has a rare purple stem and leaves, and a deep red flower. It can be seen that the flower is in full bloom from spring to autumn all year round.

Torch Ginger Ecological Habits

Torch Ginger likes high temperature and humidity, and the growth temperature is suitable for 25 ~ 30℃. It likes a sunny environment but can tolerate half sunshine. Torch Ginger should be slightly shaded in the early growth stage, and the sandy loam with loose, permeable and humus is the best cultivation soil. Because the plant is tall, the cultivation place should be sheltered from the wind.

How to Grow and Care for Torch Ginger

Torch Ginger Size & growth

In ideal settings, Torch Ginger grows in dense groves up to 20′ feet high. 

In semi-tropical settings, the plant may grow to be between 6′ and 15′ feet high, with individual plants spreading in rhizomatous clumps of 4′ to 10′ feet wide.

The arching, evergreen leaf stalks may grow to be 15′ feet tall. 

The leaves are each about 3′ feet long and are centrally grooved, leathery, ribbed, and resemble banana leaves. 

In temperate climates, the foliage can add a great deal of winter interest to the garden.

Torch Ginger Flowering 

The showy flowers bloom seasonally. 

Petals may be pink, yellow, orange, or red and grow on red bracts. 

After flowering, the 3′ foot stem of the plant will die; however, new plants will grow up from the base.

Torch Ginger Care - Temperature & environment 

Torch Ginger is native to tropical and subtropical regions. It likes high temperature and high humidity, and the suitable temperature for growth is 25 ~ 30℃. When the temperature is lower than 15℃, the growth stops. Some provinces and cities in the south can be planted in the open ground, there is not serious frost, the stem and leaves of the ground part will dry up and die, but the second year after cutting off the dead branches and leaves, still can germinate and bloom.

Torch Ginger Care - Humidity

Because Torch Ginger is an underground tuber, the loose and semi-humid growth environment is favorable for rhizome germination. When the soil humidity and air humidity are moderate, the leaves and roots are full, the flowers are gorgeous and the plants are strong. In the summer and autumn high-temperature dry season, it is best to water 1 time a day. Winter if see the stem and leaves dry can be cut off, and reduce watering stop fertilization, so that its smooth winter, after the next spring warm, since the regeneration of new stem and leaves.

Torch Ginger Care - Light

Torch Ginger loves the sun. The sun is shining and the colors are bright. In the semi-shade environment, the plants can still grow normally and grow to a large size. However, when the light is too weak, the plants are fragile and easy to fall down.

Torch Ginger Care - Fertilization

Torch Ginger has a strong nature, easy cultivation, extensive management and a lax selection of substrates. Generally, loose loam is suitable for its growth, but sandy loam rich in humus is the best. Just planted plants, if enough organic fertilizer as base fertilizer, 2 years enough for its growth, can not fertilize, depending on the size of the flower to decide the amount of fertilizer, topdressing is generally from spring to autumn every 1 ~ 2 months fertilize 1 time, according to the proportion of phosphate and potassium fertilizer is conducive to flowering.

Torch Ginger Care - Pruning

After 2 to 3 years of cultivation of Torch Ginger, if the plants are too clustered, splitting should be forced. In particular, the Torch Ginger should be made to have large and colorful flowers and robust plants free of diseases and pests. In addition to strengthening water and fertilizer management, it should be pruned. In winter, should cut some dead branches yellow leaves, cut some dense leaves, especially the dead plants, flowers, poor growth plants cut, in order to ensure ventilation and light, reduce diseases and insect pests, promote the next year growth exuberantly, flowers more gorgeous.

Torch Ginger

Torch Ginger Propagation

The propagation of Torch Ginger can be achieved by seeding, dividing and tissue culture. Torch Ginger uses sowing to propagate, the germinating speed is slow, and it is seldom used in China. Due to the strong tillering ability of Torch Ginger, the conventional propagation could be divided into tubers.

For the mother plants to be divided, the management of fertilizer and water should be strengthened first to make them grow healthily and to promote them to germinate more and make strong buds. Planting can be carried out in spring to autumn. During operation, tubers are dug out and cut with a sharp knife. Planting and transplanting are carried out with 3 to 4 buds as a cluster. Torch Ginger is coarser, and in cool, shaded conditions, it usually takes about a month to produce new plants. The stalks bloom in the next year, and three years later, they are in the shade and are ripe for harvest.

In order to obtain a large number of Torch Ginger seedlings for large-scale planting in a short period of time, the tissue culture method can be used for the large-scale production of seedlings. Its explant can use underground just sprout or just unearthed bud, but decontamination is more difficult. Therefore, reproductive buds obtained under artificial control are generally used as explants.

During the operation, the underground stem of the mother plant can be washed first, soaked in 50% carbendazem 1000 times solution for 1 day, and then put into a black plastic bag at a temperature of about 25℃ to promote germination. When the bud grows to about 2 cm, the growing point inside is peeling off as explants, so the pollution is relatively low. Torch Ginger explant is easy to Browning in tissue culture, which can be solved by adding vitamin C or activated carbon in the culture medium.

Torch Ginger Disease Control

Torch Ginger's pests, which mainly scale insects when poorly ventilated, can be sprayed with 25% thiophos emulsion 1000 times liquid.

The diseases of Torch Ginger mainly include leaf blight and root rot, and leaf blight can be controlled by spraying 50% tobutine WP 1000 times. Root rot can be controlled by spraying 75% chlorothalonil wettable powder 800 ~ 1000 times liquid.

Torch Ginger Distribution

Torch Ginger is native to tropical Africa but is also found in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and other places. China's southern Guangdong, Fujian, Taiwan, Yunnan and other places have been introduced cultivation.

Torch Ginger Varieties

Torch Ginger is available in varieties primarily based on its flower color, including: 
  • Yamamoto: This plant is notably tall and features large light pink blooms. 
  • Giant Red Torch Ginger: This variety can grow to 20 feet tall and blooms with bright red flowers.
  • White Torch Ginger: This rare plant features large white blooms with hints of yellow.
  • Borneo Pink Torch Ginger: This is another rare plant with pink blooms and red to maroon leaves. 
  • Orange Torch Ginger: This plant features orange blooms.
  • Sunset Red Torch Ginger: This rare plant has red blooms and leaves that are dark green on top and reddish-purple underneath.

Torch Ginger Uses

The value of cut flowers

Torch Ginger is a beautiful and important cut flower that lasts a long time in the bottle. It is also a novel and high-grade cut flower.

Potted ornamental

As the bracts of Torch Ginger are hypertrophied and have strong water retention ability and are not easy to lose water, they can be kept fresh for half a month under normal conditions. They can also be used as pot plants for indoor ornamental use.

Torch Ginger's garden use

Torch Ginger is a kind of high-grade flower with great ornamental value and is mainly used for garden ornamental.

Torch Ginger