On the other hand, obtaining good results, especially in pots, is not particularly difficult and the plant also has a certain ornamental value.
The speckable Zingiber, better known as ginger, is an evergreen perennial plant, with rhizomatous roots, native to Malaysia; it belongs to the same genus as the Zingiber officinalis, aromatic and edible plant.
Zingiber spectabile forms large heads of long ribbon-like leaves, of a light green colour; the tufts tend to widen very much, reaching a height close to the 50 cm and equal width, developing fleshy roots, of rhizomatous type. During the summer period, from the base of the leaves, firm, erect stems develop, carrying a club-shaped inflorescence, formed by fleshy bracts, of green colour, which, with the time, become yellow, red or orange.
Between the bracts, small white flowers bloom, streaked with violet or purple, in succession, reminiscent of small insects, from this particularity derives the name of the flower in English, flower hive.
These plants are cultivated in pots, where they are kept quite small, even if the inflorescences can easily reach the 45-50 cm of height; the whole plant is very aromatic, and exudes an intense scent of ginger. The ginger inflorescences can be utilized as cut flowers.
Origins and description
The ginger used in cooking and in herbal medicine is a plant called Zingiber officinale, belonging to the family of Zinberaceae. It is a herbaceous plant composed of a rhizomatous root that grows horizontally just below ground level (such as iris barbata). This is where erect stems branch off, similar to small canes with persistent lanceolate medium green leaves or, in some cultivars, with beautiful cream streaks. In summer, it produces beautiful yellow flowers with purple-stained bracts.
Its origins can be found in the tropical areas of the Asian continent, in particular in India, China, and Malaysia, where it continues to grow abundantly in the wild, but in these same areas is also grown extensively (given the strong demand for both spice and its medicinal virtues). The largest world producer today is India, but it is also growing rapidly in Indonesia, China, countries of tropical Africa and Central America.
- Native to the Far East, belonging to the Zingiberaceae family, it is a perennial herbaceous plant. Since ancient times, it has been the subject of fruitful trade between East and West and for reasons of…
- Many people know ginger only as a spice to be used in the kitchen to give more flavor to different dishes, especially sweets and biscuits. Ginger in fact has a particulate taste, very spicy, …
- The properties of the ginger root help us in particular to take care of our gastrointestinal system, but also to combat colds, but also throat and flu symptoms.
- The ginger infusion, widely used in traditional oriental medicine, is an effective remedy to treat the body in a natural and healthy way. That’s why this type of preparation is among the most popular…
The cultivation of the two species is very similar; only the ideal climatic conditions change in order to obtain a good development and also to reach the flowering.
Climate and exposure
For the officinal species, we repeat that it is strongly recommended to cultivate it in pots practically everywhere. The plant has vegetative activity only above 15°C and the ideal temperature is around 21-25°C.
To avoid any kind of damage, it is advisable to repair the pots in hot greenhouses already from mid-October, or at the latest November in the South, or at least when the minimum temperatures drop below 10 ° C.
In all seasons we always choose well-lit locations throughout the day or for at least 8 hours every day: ideal only for exposures to the south or east.
The myoge species is more tolerant: it can bear very well even -15°C, provided that it is placed in a sunny position even in winter and is protected from cold winds. It is also essential to choose a very draining substrate to avoid the onset of rottenness during periods of intense rain and humidity.
IL CALENDARIO DELLO ZENZERO
picking From May to November
Ginger plants prefer shady or semi-shaded positions, direct sunlight often changes the colour of the bracts, which tend to become darker. These plants are not very rustic and are cultivated as apartment plants; they need minimum temperatures over 5°C, and tend to develop better if the minimum temperatures are over 12-15°C. In summer, they can be placed outdoors in a well ventilated and not too sunny place.
As for the irrigation, we must emphasize that they do not need excessive watering; let’s moisten the soil only when it is dry, avoiding excesses and waterlogging. During the winter months let’s water sparingly, remembering to vaporize the foliage periodically, to increase the humidity.
Species and varieties
The officinal species is the most prized and in demand, but its cultivation requires pedoclimatic conditions which are difficult to reproduce in Europe. We can therefore grow it in pots or try at the limit to introduce it in the garden if we live in the coastal areas of the southern regions and islands. On the contrary, it is possible to plant the rustic species everywhere, a little less aromatic, but nevertheless with an effect from the aesthetic point of view.
It grows to a height of 1.5 metres and produces beautiful yellow or red flowers. It is a very delicate plant as it requires temperatures constantly above 15°C together with a high level of humidity to grow well. The root has the typical spicy and aromatic taste.
Interesting plant for cultivation in the garden throughout Italy: resists well even at cold temperatures (about -15 ° C). It is very popular in Japan: its roots (with a more delicate taste than the officinale and with intense citrus notes) are widely used, raw or cooked, to flavor dishes, as well as a key ingredient in soups. Young and tender jets as well as flower buds are also widely used.
Family, genus, species : Zinberaceae, Zingiber Officinale and Mioga
Type of plant : Rhizomatous root herb
Foliage From persistent to transient
Fertilization Granular for green plants, every 4 months
Resistance to cold Gentle (maximum 15°C) to resistant (Mioga, even -15°C)
Place of cultivation Warm, sheltered from the winds
Exposure Full sun, south or east
Ambient humidity high
Container At least 30 cm high, possibly wide.
Substrate 50% sand, 50% leaf soil
Height Up to 1,5 meters
Flowers Yellow or red
The reproduction of plants, for lovers of gardening is not only a hobby but a real passion! This is because it is an operation that allows us to obtain great satisfaction simply by dedicating time and attention to our crops. Not all species reproduce in the same way! That’s why it’s important to know which is the best way to reproduce the species we love the most!
The reproduction of the spectable Zingiber plant usually takes place by seed, or even by cutting; in this case, you just need to have a branch of the plant or fragment to be able to multiply it and get a specimen identical to the mother one. In autumn you can divide the heads of leaves, keeping some roots well developed for each portion practiced.
The rhizomes can be found on the market in early spring, at specialist dealers. You can also try to bury the roots that are on sale in the grocery department of the supermarket. In this case we choose an organic product: we will be sure that no anti-sprouting products have been used.
We put the root vertically in a pot and then fill it half with water: it will be ready when several secondary roots are visible.
Let’s choose a container at least 30 cm deep; let’s prefer wide bowls or rectangular pots so that its natural horizontal development can be exploited to the maximum, avoiding continuous scaling interventions.
On the bottom we create a thick draining layer with gravel or expanded clay. The ideal substrate will be obtained by mixing sand and woodland in equal parts, enriching with a little mature manure.
Insert the root superficially, burying it at most 2/3 cm: if too deep you will risk rottenness or vegetate with difficulty.
The myoge species is interesting for its beautiful semi-persistent leaves (depending on our winter climate). We are looking for potted plants at the beginning of spring, at specialist aromatics dealers. For best results we work the area thoroughly, create a draining layer on the bottom and lighten the soil with sand if it is too compact and clayey. We insert the specimens without excessively burying the collar. Let’s irrigate abundantly.
Irrigation and ambient humidity
For both species it is important to water copiously only during the first weeks after planting. Afterwards it will be sufficient to keep the substrate slightly moist: both in pots and in the ground it is advisable to prepare a thick mulch in order to maintain freshness and reduce interventions.
In pots we distribute water on alternate days, checking before they are dry the 2 cm more superficial; we always avoid the use of saucers.
These plants also like a high level of ambient humidity: especially from spring to autumn, during the hottest hours of the day, it is recommended to spray abundantly the foliage.
For both species it is possible to wait until autumn for the complete harvest. The ginger mioga is ready, however, already 6 months after planting: the younger parts retain a more delicate and citrus aroma.
In any case, we can extract the roots and then take portions of them using a sharp knife. It is advisable to dust the cuts with sulphur and put them back in place again immediately.
Pests and diseases
As far as the development of pests and diseases is concerned, ginger plants are afraid of radical rot, which quickly causes the plant to deteriorate; they can also be affected by cochineal and aphids. These are tiny parasites (1-3 millimetres) which, by sucking the sap of the plants, weaken them by curling the leaves and depriving them of their main source of sustenance. To solve this problem, use specific pesticide products.
The rustic garden species is extremely resistant and is rarely attacked by pests. The only problem we can face is the rottenness of the rhizome: it is prevented by preparing a well-draining soil at the time of planting.
The officinal species is more delicate and, especially if cultivated in apartment or due to environmental stress (cold, low humidity), it may be attacked by the cochineal. We remove the insects manually and disinfect them with alcohol.
The ideal is to use this spice as soon as possible. The root segments can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for a few days, until they maintain a firm consistency. It is also good to put them in the cellar, cool and dark (e.g. with potatoes and onions).
It should be noted, however, that the most delicate aromatic notes are lost in a short time leaving room only for spicy notes.
A good alternative is also freezing: however, we will have to grate what we need without thawing: in fact, it would acquire a too soft consistency and be unusable.
We can also obtain a powder by grinding slices that we have previously dried in a ventilated oven, at about 60 ° C for a few hours. This guarantees us a very long preservation, but many aromatic notes and the vitamin content will inevitably be lost.
Ginger – Zingiber spectabile: Culinary and medicinal uses of ginger
Ginger is one of the most widely used spices in oriental cuisine. It is one of the fundamental components, together with curcuma, of curry. It cannot be missing as an aromatization of the dishes sautéed in the wok, typical of China and Indonesia. The Japanese marinate it and combine it with sushi, while candied sushi is widespread in the Middle East and Africa. Together with other spices it is used for the preparation of biscuits and breads, especially suitable for the Christmas holidays.
It has also become an indispensable ingredient for many beverages, both summer refreshing and warm winter: it is a must in Christmas punches, widespread in all Central European countries.
This root is rich in minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and iron. There are also plenty of different vitamins, such as those of the B group and of the C.
È known to encourage the production of bile and is its consumption is recommended for those who follow chemotherapy therapies: it stimulates the appetite and is capable of reducing the sense of nausea.
The spicy and fresh sensation that it is able to transmit to the mucous membranes is due to the presence of alkaloids called gingerols and shogaols.
- The ginger plant is a perennial evergreen rhizomatous plant that belongs to the family of zingiberaceae and is of the type z
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