ASK THE AG EXPERTS
Anemone problem, sedum splitting, cyclamen care
Q How should I overwinter my Hedychium (ginger lily)? Last winter I kept it in the greenhouse but had to cut it back significantly, which may have been a mistake as it didn’t flower this summer. So what should I do? John White (via email) A The natural flowering time for Hedychium is late summer and I wonder, given their Mediterranean origins, whether they need a longer warm season than we had this year. The autumn warmth obviously did the trick but too late for the flowers to open.
At this time of year the top growth will naturally die away, and the plants overwinter by their tuberous roots.
During the autumn and winter, plants should be kept barely moist and at a minimum of 7˚C/45˚F during the winter. In a sheltered spot they can survive short periods of cold weather outside.
I have grown them permanently outside in a walled garden in Dorset with great success, but you do need to be wary of frost or prolonged cold weather.
Plants in pots are more vulnerable because the compost is likely to freeze more quickly, and for longer. Wrap the pot in an old blanket or thick layer of newspaper. Don’t cover the top unless to prevent the compost becoming too wet.
New growth appears in March, when watering should be resumed, but only sparingly, increasing amount as growth progresses. If the plant has been kept cooler, growth may be delayed by a few weeks but this should not be a problem as long as we have a warm summer.
Ginger lilies are a Mediterranean plant