Growing Dichorisandra – Blue ginger

Growing Dichorisandra blue ginger

Dichorisandra (di-kore-iss-and-ra) From the Greek dis, twice, chorizo, to part, aner, anther, referring to the 2-valved anthers (Commelinaceae). A genus of herbaceous perennial plants from tropical America, grown mainly for their ornamental foliage, though some also have showy flowers. They need warm greenhouse treatment in cooler areas.

Species cultivated D. mosaica, 2 feet, leaves green with white veins and other marks, reddish-purple on the undersides, flowers bright blue, autumn, Peru. D. pubescens, 2 feet, flowers blue; var. taeniensis, leaves striped with white, flowers blue and white, Brazil. D. thyrsiflora, 4 feet or more, leaves dark green, flowers 1 dark blue in a 6 inch long spike, summer to autumn, Brazil. D. vittata, 6-12 inches, leaves purplish-green with white stripes, Brazil.

Cultivation These plants are potted up in March in a compost consisting of loam, leafmould and peat in equal parts, plus a little silver sand. The pots should be in the warmest part of the greenhouse, where a winter temperature of 55-65°F (13-18°C) can be maintained, rising in summer to 75-85°F (24-29°C), when shading from sunlight should be provided. Water freely from spring to autumn, moderately only in winter and avoid draughts at all times. Propagation is by seeds sown in heat in spring, by division of the plants in March or by cuttings taken at almost any time, rooted in a propagating case with bottom heat.