Friday, September 25, 2015


My homestead farm has quite a goodly amount of trees, thus plenty of shaded spots. Most veggies won't grow in shade. I've found that kale and green beans will tolerate some shade, but they aren't real productive as compared to those growing in the sun. The one veggie that does ok in light shade or short sunlight hours is the sweet potato. But even then, some varieties tolerate the shade better than others. Tuber size is far better in full sun, but quality and flavor is just fine in the shade plants. And the sweet potato greens are more tender from the shade plants.  But sweet potatoes still require some amount of sun, not total shade.

Now, I didn't notice this before (most likely because my brain wasn't on "think" mode at the time) but the various gingers do ok in shade. Light or bright shade. And I've got plenty of that. 

What's ginger good for? First of all, I've never tried growing edible ginger. I'm told there are lots of disease problems with growing it. But I do like the flowering types. Their scent is marvelous! 

Above, white ginger. My favorite. 

Yellow ginger. Smells great too. 

Kahili ginger, wonderfully scented. Also known as Himalayan ginger. 

I also have shell ginger but it's not in bloom right now. 

My ginger serves several purposes. 
...It fills in those shady spots with a nice plant. Green, foliage different than the surrounding ferns. 
...Wonderfully scented cut flowers for the house. 
...Colorful flowers that make me smile. 
...My rabbits love to eat the flowers. It gives them some diversity in their diet and something different in their day. 
...The donkeys will eat a bit of it, I guess for a change of pace from their usual pasture pickings. 

The Kahili ginger is a bit controversial here. That's because it can oroduce viable seeds, thus spread. So this ginger variety needs to be watched and controlled. I don't let mine go to seed because I use all the flowers, either for the house or for the rabbits. 


  1. Ach! The (almost) heartbreaking beauty of tropical flowers. Thanks for sharing! When Marty and I were there we went around to various botanical preserves and kept pointing and remarking "House plant! house plant!" But the "houseplants" grow SO much better in their natural environment provoking the other comment "Honey, I think I shrunk the adults" when standing next to some particularly gargantuan plant. We used to have ginger in the Bay Area but I didn't like the look of it. In your pictures it looks absolutely lovely.

  2. The white (butterfly) ginger is also edible. Delicious out of hand or in salads, tea, etc!. Enjoy! I ate it while I was in Maui every chance I got.