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Ginger: Everything you’d like to know!

What is Wild Ginger

Wild ginger or as it’s biologically called ‘Hedychium gardnerianum’ is a weed that belongs to the ginger family of plants. Introduced into New Zealand in the 1890s, it was an exotic plant to start off with. However, things soon turned sour as this ginger plant ended up becoming an unwanted weed.

Identifiable by its distinct yellow flowers and red seed capsules. Selling and distributing the plant is banned but that doesn’t stop birds from spreading the seeds. It’s a non-woody plant with a strong ginger scent that can grow up to 2m tall.  It has shallow roots and branches a large amount forming beds of the weed. Initially, the stems are soft but they thicken with time and can produce flowers in the early months of the year. 

Wild Ginger overtaking a household garden bed

How Does Wild Ginger Spread

These plants spread by having their seeds carried by birds and rodents. They grow in most kinds of soil and it’s tolerant to soil with good or bad drainage and fertile/infertile soil. Once it has started to grow, the weed is also resistant to drought and frost. 

Why Should I get rid of Wild Ginger

These plants grow in all types of soil and conditions so no garden is immune to it. They can be found in shady areas and among native plants which is the biggest danger they pose. Wild ginger also have the potential to grow tall and in doing so will block sunlight for native plants at the bush level as the wild ginger has thick leaves. The roots of these plants are shallow so there is a chance of soil erosion if they are found growing on the sides of hills and riverbanks. To learn some more about wild ginger, click here.

How Can I get Rid of it

Wild Ginger does not grow under thick shade. You can dig out or pull out these plants at any time of the year but you must not add them to compost pits. Instead, disposing of them in a bin or a refuse station is a safer option. If the plant has already grown to a large size then cutting above the base and painting the stump with glyphosate. Surviving without germinating for upto four years makes eliminating the seeds harder, they can be removed once spotted as seedlings. There are other ways to exterminate the plant, you can find them here.

What can Garden Services Auckland do to help?   

Here at Auckland Garden Services, removing weeds from gardens is our specialty! While we are at it, we can also clear your land leaving it tidy so you can start gardening without without the weeds.

Looking for more gardening information? Check out our blog all about moth removal here.

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