Chic in every way plant. Not only is it blooming very spectacularly, many modern varieties have beautiful leaves that differ in bright patterns, from which it is difficult to look away.
And she also has aromatic rhizomes, used in medicine and in cooking.
Description, origin, species
Alpinia is a perennial herbaceous plant that can reach a height of up to three meters. He has a very powerful branched horizontal rhizome of red-brown color. The stems are also very strong, powerful, there may be several dozen, but only a few of them end in inflorescences. Leaves large, longitudinally oval or lanceolate, advantageously set off spectacular apical spike-shaped or paniculate inflorescences. They can be white, red, yellow or cherry in color, are directed upwards, and sometimes hang down. In many species, leaves can overshadow the beauty of flowers - they are mottled with bright pink, white or yellow stripes, and at the break emit a spicy aroma.
In the genus Alpinia, there are about 250 species that are widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. The name of the genus was obtained in honor of the Italian scientist and traveler P. Alpino.
Most often, indoor Alpinia Sander is grown (A.sanderae) mainly due to its small size. In height, this plant reaches only 50 -70 cm, but varieties with amazing leaf color are bred. It blooms in the summer months with raspberry panicles.
Features of indoor care
The plant needs a lot of light, but on hot summer days it may require shading from direct sunlight. In winter, they are no longer afraid of him, moreover, for the full blooming of the alpine, additional illumination in the darkest months from November to January may be required.
The plant does not like heat, therefore, the ideal summer temperature should not go beyond + 20 ° С - + 26 ° С. But in winter it is advisable to create a rest period with a temperature of about + 15 ° С- + 18 ° С. By the way, in the summer, alpinia will greatly appreciate being outdoors, in a place protected from the wind and the scorching sun.
From March to October, with the beginning of active growth, the flower is watered abundantly and regularly. He also needs constant spraying. In winter, especially when kept in cool conditions, watering is reduced. The land between the irrigations should dry out. If the plant hibernates in an ordinary warm room, then it is necessary to maintain high humidity by spraying or in any other way.
Alpinia is fed only during the growth period every two weeks. She responds well to the alternation of mineral and organic fertilizing. It is possible to use standard complex fertilizers for flowering plants.
Alpinia grows quickly enough and therefore young plants require an annual transplant. For adults, it will be enough to change the top layer of the substrate to fresh. It is best to carry out this operation in early spring, when the plant begins active growth. The soil can be taken universal or prepared by yourself from equal parts of peat, humus, sand and sheet land. The pot needs a shallow, but wide, as the roots intensively grow in breadth. Good drainage is required.
Alpinia is easily propagated by dividing the rhizome, which can be done during a plant transplant. Slices should be sprinkled with charcoal and plant individual pieces with several growth points in a light breathable soil. Place in a warm place, not lower than + 23 ° C and maintain high humidity around the plant.
Alpinia is also propagated by seed, but this process is longer and laborious. It should be borne in mind that only freshly harvested seeds have good germination ability.
Alpinia rarely suffers from pests and diseases. The most common nuisance - the appearance of brown tips on the leaves - is due to dry air or insufficient watering.