Known primarily for its glossy foliage, the roots of the wild ginger plant are sometimes used as a substitute for domestic ginger in recipes and cooking.
Variety: European Wild Ginger, Asarum europaeum
Zones: 4 to 8
Soil Type: Moist, well-drained fertile soil
Soil pH: 6.1 to 6.5
Sunlight: Partial to full shade
Watering: Average watering
Fertilizer: Balanced gardening fertilizer
Availability: Sold as starter plants. When buying plants, look for compact, healthy growth.
When to plant: Wild ginger should only be planted after all danger of frost has passed.
Live plants: Wild ginger plants should be planted to the same depth as their original container, with a spacing of 6".
Water well to establish wild ginger plants. Once established, water when soil just becomes dry.
Fertilize in the spring with a liquid garden fertilizer.
Wild ginger blooms from mid to late spring. Small, purple-brown flowers are found under the heart-shaped leaves.
Rust: Reddish orange spots appear on the underside of leaves on infected plants. Rust infects plants through the underground rhizomes. Infected plants must be removed and thrown out. Do not compost plants infected with rust.
Slugs and Snails: Black or dark gray gastropods with or without shells. Slugs and snails eat new leaves and the edges of mature leaves. Top dress planting areas with sharp sand or rough bark mulch to ward off slugs and snails.
Wild ginger requires very little maintenance. Clean up dead foliage in the spring. Remove diseased plants, but do not compost.
Although it is possible to propagate wild ginger from seed, it is much easier to propagate this plant by division. Separate sections of the plant in the early spring and replant as required.
English ivy, a European native, is a fast growing vine that can grow to a length of 20 to 30 feet and can be shaped into topiary or espalier.
Find out how to grow coral bells and the secret to substantially extending their growing season.