To successfully grow tropicals, they should to be grown in conditions like that of their natural habitat. Below we have listed several basic tips that have worked for us over the years. These tips aim to replicate the natural habitat of tropicals and to increase your growing success rate. If you have questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use well draining soils that are rich in organic matter. Add cinder or perlite to your soil mixture to improve drainage. Plant your rhizomes deep enough so that they do not fall over and make sure to cover any roots. About four inches deep, depending on the size of the rhizome, should do the trick.
Rhizomes can be planted directly in the ground or potted. If you choose to pot your rhizomes, wait until the pots are full of roots before transplanting. An advantage to potting is that you can move your plants indoors when it gets cold.
POTTING VS GROUND
Sunlight preferences differ among varieties. If you are not sure of a plants preference it is best to choose an area with partial shade/filtered light.
These plants need lots of water. They are naturally found near rivers, streams, and tropical wet forests. If you notice leaves curling, more watering is needed. When using a well-draining soil as recommended above then the plants will not be over-watered. Plants will absorb the water they need and all the excess will drain out.
Remove any nearby weeds before applying fertilizer. The best fertilizer to use depends on the plants maturity. An all-around fertilizer such as 16-16-16 or 15-15-15 help to establish maturating plant. When a plant is of a healthy size, switch to a fertilizer high in phosphorus such as 10-20-20 to promote blooms. If you prefer the organic approach, then chicken manure pellets work well. We recommend applying a handful or fertilizer once a month per small clump/plant.
Strong winds can cause stems to rub against an inflorescence resulting in bruises and scratches. Winds can also divide leaves and reduce plant mortality due to wind-chilling. If you are planting outdoors in a windy area, use surrounding trees and structures as wind breakers.
Rhizome stems will dry out within the first few weeks. Soon after the immature shoot will develop into a new stem and begin generating leaves. First bloom takes an average of six months - depending on the plant variety, growing conditions, and fertilization regime. If your rhizome is slow to show signs of growth do not dig it up to look at the roots. Instead pinch the base of the rhizome (where the soil meets the stem). If the base feels solid, then the rhizome is still viable. If the base is papery and hallow then it is likely that the rhizome rooted or dried up.