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Red ginger
Red ginger
Red ginger
Red ginger
Red ginger
Red ginger
Add to My Garden
Red ginger
Alpinia purpurata
Also known as: Ginger Jungle King Pink, Pink cone ginger, Jungle queen
Red ginger (Alpinia purpurata) is a flowering perennial plant native to Malaysia. Red ginger is often cultivated as an ornamental houseplant. This plant is also called the "ostrich plume" and the "pink cone ginger." red ginger is the national flower of Samoa.
Hardiness Zones
10 to 11
Hardiness Zones
care guide

Care Guide for Red ginger

Water
Water
Give Red ginger plenty of water to make sure it thrives during the spring and summer. It can't prosper in dry soil, so keep the soil moist at all times. Water any time you notice the topsoil has become dry. However, if you notice the leaves begin to turn yellow, reduce watering.
Fertilization
Fertilization
Red ginger will bloom more beautifully if fed through its flowering months. Use a liquid fertilizer once a month and apply it alongside watering. Choose a fertilizer with plenty of nitrogen, but be careful not to use an organic fertilizer, which can stunt plant growth.
Pruning
Pruning
Trim the diseased, withered leaves once a month.
Soil
Soil
Loam, Slightly acidic, Neutral
Potting Suggestions
Potting Suggestions
Needs excellent drainage in pots.
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Red ginger
Water
Water
Every week
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
10 to 11
Planting Time
Planting Time
Spring, Summer, Fall
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Red ginger
Water
Water
Every week
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
10 to 11
Planting Time
Planting Time
Spring, Summer, Fall
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Red ginger
Water
Water
Every week
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
10 to 11
Planting Time
Planting Time
Spring, Summer, Fall
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Questions About Red ginger

Watering Watering Watering
Pruning Pruning Pruning
Sunlight Sunlight Sunlight
Temperature Temperature Temperature
Fertilizing Fertilizing Fertilizing
What is the best way to water my Red ginger?
When watering the Red ginger, you should aim to use filtered water that is at room temperature. Filtered water is better for this plant, as tap water can contain particles that are harmful to its health. The reason that the water should be at room temperature or slightly warmer is that the Red ginger comes from a warm environment, and cold water can be somewhat of a shock to its system. Also, you should avoid overhead watering for this plant, as it can cause foliage complications. Instead, simply apply your filtered room temperature water to the soil until the soil is entirely soaked. Soaking the soil can be very beneficial for this plant as it moistens the roots and helps them continue to spread through the soil and collect the nutrients they need.
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What should I do if I water my Red ginger too much or too little?
Both overwatering and underwatering will be detrimental to the health of your Red ginger, but overwatering is a far more common issue. When this species receives too much water, its stems and leaves may begin to wilt and turn from green to yellow. Overwatering over a prolonged period may also lead to diseases such as root rot, mold, and mildew, all of which can kill your plant. Underwatering is far less common for the Red ginger, as this plant has decent drought tolerance. However, underwatering remains a possibility, and when it occurs, you can expect to find that the leaves of your Red ginger have become brittle and brown.
It is crucial that you notice the signs of overwatering as soon as possible when caring for your Red ginger. Some of the diseases that arise from overwatering, such as root rot, may not be correctable if you wait too long. If you see early signs of overwatering, you should reduce your watering schedule immediately. You may also want to assess the quality of soil in which your Red ginger grows. If you find that the soil drains very poorly, you should replace it immediately with a loose, well-draining potting mix. On the other hand, if you find signs that your Red ginger is receiving too little water, all you need to do is water more regularly until those signs have subsided.
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How often should I water my Red ginger?
If your plant is in a pot. The most precise way to decide whether your Red ginger needs water is to plunge your finger into the soil. If you notice that the first two to three inches of soil have become dry, it is time to add some water.
If you grow your Red ginger outdoors in the ground, you can use a similar method to test the soil. Again, when you find that the first few inches of soil have dried out, it is time to add water. During the spring and early fall, this method will often lead you to water this plant about once every week. When extremely hot weather arrives, you may need to increase your watering frequency to about twice or more per week. With that said, mature, well-established the Red ginger can show an admirable ability to withstand drought.
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How much water does my Red ginger need?
When it comes time to water your Red ginger, you should not be shy about how much water you give. With the first two to three inches of soil dry, this plant will appreciate a long and thorough watering. Supply enough water to soak the soil entirely. The amount of water you add should be enough to cause excess water to flow through the drainage holes at the bottom of your pot. If you don’t see excess water draining from the pot, you have likely underwatered your plant. But do not let the water accumulate inside the soil, which will be very dangerous to the plant as well. Alternatively, a lack of water draining through the pot could indicate poorly draining soils, which is detrimental to the health of this plant and should be avoided. If the plant is outside, 1 inch of rain per week will be sufficient.
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How should I water my Red ginger at different growth stages?
The water needs of the Red ginger can change depending on growth stages as well. For example, when your Red ginger is in the first few years of its life, or if you have just transplanted it to a new growing location, you will need to give more water than usual. During both of those stages, your Red ginger will put a lot of energy towards sprouting new roots that will then support future growth. For those roots to perform their best, they need a bit more moisture than they would at a more mature phase. After a few seasons, your Red ginger will need much less water. Another growth stage in which this plant may need more water is during the bloom period. Flower development can make use of a significant amount of moisture, which is why you might need to give your Red ginger more water at this time.
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How should I water my Red ginger through the seasons?
The Red ginger will have its highest water needs during the hottest months of the year. During the height of summer, you may need to give this plant water more than once per week, depending on how fast the soil dries out. The opposite is true during the winter. In winter, your plant will enter a dormant phase, in which it will need far less water than usual. In fact, you may not need to water this plant at all during the winter months. However, if you do water during winter, you should not do so more than about once per month. Watering too much at this time will make it more likely that your Red ginger will contract a disease.
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What's the difference between watering my Red ginger indoors and outdoors?
It is most common to grow the Red ginger indoors for any gardener that does not live in temperate and tropical regions. Those gardeners should consider the fact that soil in a container can dry out a bit faster than ground soil. Also, the presence of drying elements such as air conditioning units can cause your Red ginger to need water on a more frequent basis as well. if you planted it outside. When that is the case, it’s likely you won’t need to water your Red ginger very much at all. If you receive rainfall on a regular basis, that may be enough to keep your plant alive. Alternatively, those who grow this plant inside will need to water it more often, as allowing rainwater to soak the soil will not be an option.
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pests

Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Red ginger based on 10 million real cases
Brown spot
Brown spot Brown spot
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Caterpillars
Caterpillars Caterpillars
Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Solutions: Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. For severe cases: Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps. For less severe cases: Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Yellow spot
Yellow spot Yellow spot
Yellow spot
Leaf spot can show up as yellow or white spots on the leaves.
Solutions: Diseases Fungicides can prevent the transmission of spores, but they may not treat the established infection. The first step is removing and disposing of all infected plant parts. Then apply recommended chemicals. For bacterial infections, apply a spray containing copper or streptomycin. For fungal infections, consult the local cooperative extension for recommendations on which fungicides will work best. Nutrient deficiency Apply a liquid fertilizer via foliar application to fix the deficiency quickly. Follow label directions regarding dosing instructions and application notes, such as not using before the rain or when temperatures are out of the recommended range. Incorrect watering Determine the water requirements for your specific plant, and follow accordingly. Some plants like consistently moist soil, and others like the soil to dry out slightly before being watered. Pests Thoroughly apply an insecticidal soap, an organic product like neem oil, or an appropriate chemical insecticide to the plant.
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Brown spot
plant poor
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Overview
Overview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
Solutions
Solutions
In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary.
Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading.
  1. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear.
  2. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread.
  3. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Prevention
Prevention
Like many other diseases, it is easier to prevent brown spot than cure it, and this is done through cultural practices.
  • Clear fall leaves from the ground before winter to minimize places where fungi and bacteria can overwinter.
  • Maintain good air movement between plants through proper plant spacing.
  • Increase air circulation through the center of plants through pruning.
  • Thoroughly clean all pruning tools after working with diseased plants.
  • Never dispose of disease plant material in a compost pile.
  • Avoid overhead watering to keep moisture off of the foliage.
  • Keep plants healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
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Caterpillars
plant poor
Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Overview
Overview
Caterpillars can cause problems for home gardeners. If not managed, these insects can defoliate a plant in just a matter of days. However, home gardeners face a challenge because these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, which are important for pollination and the general ecosystem.
There are thousands of different species of caterpillars and many will only target certain plants. If caterpillars are posing a problem, they can be removed by hand, or gardeners can use insect-proof netting to protect their valuable plants.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. During the warmer months, butterflies and moths that visit gardens will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.
When the tiny eggs hatch, the young larvae emerge and start feeding on the leaves of the plant. Depending on how many larvae have hatched, they can easily defoliate the plant in a very short period of time. Caterpillars will shed their skin as they grow, around 4 or 5 times during this feeding cycle.
Symptoms of caterpillars eating plants appear as holes in the leaves. The edges of the leaves may be eaten away as well, and flowers can be affected as well.
Some are easy to see, but others need to be searched for. This is because their bodies are often camouflaged to look like part of the plant. Gardeners need to look carefully along the stems of the plant as well as under the leaves. Also, look for tiny white, yellow, or brown eggs that can be found in groups on the underside of leaves.
Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it transforms into a pupa or chrysalis. Then, after a period of time that varies according to the species, a butterfly or moth will emerge from the pupa and the cycle begins again.
Solutions
Solutions
Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers.
For severe cases:
  1. Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  2. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  3. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
For less severe cases:
  1. Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Prevention
Prevention
Prevention may require less effort than attempts to eradicate infestations that have already begun. Here are our top steps for prevention:
  1. Monitor plants. Check plants regularly for caterpillar eggs on leaves. If they do not belong to an endangered species, they should be squished.
  2. Use insect netting. Cover plants with insect netting to prevent butterflies and moths from laying eggs on plants.
  3. Apply diatomaceous earth. Apply DE to plants early in the season and reapply after rain.
  4. Encourage plant diversity. This will attract predatory insects including parasitic wasps.
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Yellow spot
plant poor
Yellow spot
Leaf spot can show up as yellow or white spots on the leaves.
Overview
Overview
Yellow spot is a common condition that affects all types of plants -- flowering ornamentals, trees, shrubs, herbs, and vegetable plants -- worldwide. Yellow spots may appear because of dozens of potential causes and occur in various environmental and climatic conditions, but fortunately, most are easy to address. The most common causes of yellow spots include diseases, nutrient deficiency, watering problems, and pests.
In most cases, yellow spots can be treated without permanent damage to the plant. However, in some fungal disease cases, nothing can be done to treat the disease after infection, and the plant will ultimately perish from the disease.
Due to this, the most critical aspect of addressing yellow spots on plants is correctly determining the cause.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Symptoms occur on varying parts of the plant, depending upon the cause. Smaller spots tend to be indicative of younger infections or newly developing problems.
  • Small yellow spots appear on leaves
  • Spots can occur on the lower or upper leaf surfaces, or both
  • Raised, rounded, or sunken spots with fringed or smooth edges
  • Spots may grow together, causing leaves to become totally discolored
  • Stunted growth
  • Premature leaf drop
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The vast majority of yellow spot diseases are caused by fungal pathogens. However, there are some situations in which bacteria, environmental conditions, or other issues may be blamed.
Diseases are typically host-specific, so they may only affect plants within the same family. That said, just about every single species of plant is vulnerable to at least one disease that causes yellow spot. The most common problems are leaf blight, leaf septoria, powdery mildew, and downy mildew, to name a few.
All plants need specific nutrients from the soil to survive. When these nutrients become depleted or unavailable for plant uptake due to particular conditions, deficiencies occur, and yellow spots are seen.
  • Nitrogen is an integral component of chlorophyll.
  • Iron is needed in the enzymes that make chlorophyll.
Yellow spots may also appear because of incorrect watering, mainly underwatering, or infestations of sap-sucking pests such as aphids.
  • Too little water inhibits photosynthesis. Too much water pushes oxygen out of the soil and the roots cannot take in nutrients or even water from the soil.
  • Insect problems can cause yellow spots directly by damaging leaf tissue when feeding, or they may introduce pathogens.
Solutions
Solutions
Diseases
Fungicides can prevent the transmission of spores, but they may not treat the established infection. The first step is removing and disposing of all infected plant parts. Then apply recommended chemicals.
For bacterial infections, apply a spray containing copper or streptomycin.
For fungal infections, consult the local cooperative extension for recommendations on which fungicides will work best.
Nutrient deficiency
Apply a liquid fertilizer via foliar application to fix the deficiency quickly. Follow label directions regarding dosing instructions and application notes, such as not using before the rain or when temperatures are out of the recommended range.
Incorrect watering
Determine the water requirements for your specific plant, and follow accordingly. Some plants like consistently moist soil, and others like the soil to dry out slightly before being watered.
Pests
Thoroughly apply an insecticidal soap, an organic product like neem oil, or an appropriate chemical insecticide to the plant.
Prevention
Prevention
Depending on the type of plant and which specific disease is causing yellow spot, problems may be avoided by taking the following preventative steps:
  • Plant resistant varieties
  • Avoid planting susceptible varieties close together - space susceptible plants further apart from one another so it’s more difficult for the fungal spores to find new plant hosts.
  • Water wisely - water from below rather than splashing water on foliage. This can reduce the spread of both bacterial and fungal pathogens responsible for yellow spot.
  • Prune - prune as a way of getting rid of affected leaves but also to control the spread of yellow spot to new plants. Pruning can also improve air circulation to limit disease spread.
  • Rotate crops - many diseases, including downy mildew, can live in the soil over the winter and produce problems for many years. Rotate annual crops to new locations each year so that they aren’t growing anywhere in which plants in the same family were grown within the last three to four years.
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Distribution Map

Habitat

Moist humid conditions
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Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
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More Info

Plant Type
Plant Type
Herb
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Mid spring, Late spring, Summer, Early fall, Mid fall
Leaf Color
Leaf Color
Green

Name story

Red ginger
The reason for ginger being associated with red-haired people is probably because of the negative connotations of the word in the UK. As the beautiful flowers grow on the red bracts, it is commonly called red ginger.

Symbolism

Love, Money, Success

Usages

Garden Use
Red ginger is a common evergreen perennial typically grown as a houseplant or in tropical gardens. Its shockingly vibrant red bracts are the main attraction of this plant, along with its lovely foliage. Red ginger is a perfect option to add some tropical flair to an indoor space or bring some color into your home.
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Red ginger
Red ginger
Red ginger
Red ginger
Red ginger
Red ginger
Add to My Garden
Red ginger
Alpinia purpurata
Also known as: Ginger Jungle King Pink, Pink cone ginger, Jungle queen
Hardiness Zones
10 to 11
Hardiness Zones
care guide

Care Guide for Red ginger

Water
Water
Give Red ginger plenty of water to make sure it thrives during the spring and summer. It can't prosper in dry soil, so keep the soil moist at all times. Water any time you notice the topsoil has become dry. However, if you notice the leaves begin to turn yellow, reduce watering.
Fertilization
Fertilization
Red ginger will bloom more beautifully if fed through its flowering months. Use a liquid fertilizer once a month and apply it alongside watering. Choose a fertilizer with plenty of nitrogen, but be careful not to use an organic fertilizer, which can stunt plant growth.
Pruning
Pruning
Trim the diseased, withered leaves once a month.
Soil
Soil
Loam, Slightly acidic, Neutral
Potting Suggestions
Potting Suggestions
Needs excellent drainage in pots.
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Red ginger
Alpinia purpurata
Water
Water
Every week
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
10 to 11
Planting Time
Planting Time
Spring, Summer, Fall
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Questions About Red ginger

Watering Watering Watering
Pruning Pruning Pruning
Sunlight Sunlight Sunlight
Temperature Temperature Temperature
Fertilizing Fertilizing Fertilizing
What is the best way to water my Red ginger?
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What should I do if I water my Red ginger too much or too little?
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pests

Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Red ginger based on 10 million real cases
Brown spot
Brown spot  Brown spot  Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
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Caterpillars
Caterpillars  Caterpillars  Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Solutions: Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. For severe cases: Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps. For less severe cases: Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
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Yellow spot
Yellow spot  Yellow spot  Yellow spot
Leaf spot can show up as yellow or white spots on the leaves.
Solutions: Diseases Fungicides can prevent the transmission of spores, but they may not treat the established infection. The first step is removing and disposing of all infected plant parts. Then apply recommended chemicals. For bacterial infections, apply a spray containing copper or streptomycin. For fungal infections, consult the local cooperative extension for recommendations on which fungicides will work best. Nutrient deficiency Apply a liquid fertilizer via foliar application to fix the deficiency quickly. Follow label directions regarding dosing instructions and application notes, such as not using before the rain or when temperatures are out of the recommended range. Incorrect watering Determine the water requirements for your specific plant, and follow accordingly. Some plants like consistently moist soil, and others like the soil to dry out slightly before being watered. Pests Thoroughly apply an insecticidal soap, an organic product like neem oil, or an appropriate chemical insecticide to the plant.
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Brown spot
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Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Overview
Overview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
Solutions
Solutions
In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary.
Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading.
  1. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear.
  2. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread.
  3. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Prevention
Prevention
Like many other diseases, it is easier to prevent brown spot than cure it, and this is done through cultural practices.
  • Clear fall leaves from the ground before winter to minimize places where fungi and bacteria can overwinter.
  • Maintain good air movement between plants through proper plant spacing.
  • Increase air circulation through the center of plants through pruning.
  • Thoroughly clean all pruning tools after working with diseased plants.
  • Never dispose of disease plant material in a compost pile.
  • Avoid overhead watering to keep moisture off of the foliage.
  • Keep plants healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
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Caterpillars
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Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Overview
Overview
Caterpillars can cause problems for home gardeners. If not managed, these insects can defoliate a plant in just a matter of days. However, home gardeners face a challenge because these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, which are important for pollination and the general ecosystem.
There are thousands of different species of caterpillars and many will only target certain plants. If caterpillars are posing a problem, they can be removed by hand, or gardeners can use insect-proof netting to protect their valuable plants.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. During the warmer months, butterflies and moths that visit gardens will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.
When the tiny eggs hatch, the young larvae emerge and start feeding on the leaves of the plant. Depending on how many larvae have hatched, they can easily defoliate the plant in a very short period of time. Caterpillars will shed their skin as they grow, around 4 or 5 times during this feeding cycle.
Symptoms of caterpillars eating plants appear as holes in the leaves. The edges of the leaves may be eaten away as well, and flowers can be affected as well.
Some are easy to see, but others need to be searched for. This is because their bodies are often camouflaged to look like part of the plant. Gardeners need to look carefully along the stems of the plant as well as under the leaves. Also, look for tiny white, yellow, or brown eggs that can be found in groups on the underside of leaves.
Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it transforms into a pupa or chrysalis. Then, after a period of time that varies according to the species, a butterfly or moth will emerge from the pupa and the cycle begins again.
Solutions
Solutions
Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers.
For severe cases:
  1. Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  2. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  3. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
For less severe cases:
  1. Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Prevention
Prevention
Prevention may require less effort than attempts to eradicate infestations that have already begun. Here are our top steps for prevention:
  1. Monitor plants. Check plants regularly for caterpillar eggs on leaves. If they do not belong to an endangered species, they should be squished.
  2. Use insect netting. Cover plants with insect netting to prevent butterflies and moths from laying eggs on plants.
  3. Apply diatomaceous earth. Apply DE to plants early in the season and reapply after rain.
  4. Encourage plant diversity. This will attract predatory insects including parasitic wasps.
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Yellow spot
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Yellow spot
Leaf spot can show up as yellow or white spots on the leaves.
Overview
Overview
Yellow spot is a common condition that affects all types of plants -- flowering ornamentals, trees, shrubs, herbs, and vegetable plants -- worldwide. Yellow spots may appear because of dozens of potential causes and occur in various environmental and climatic conditions, but fortunately, most are easy to address. The most common causes of yellow spots include diseases, nutrient deficiency, watering problems, and pests.
In most cases, yellow spots can be treated without permanent damage to the plant. However, in some fungal disease cases, nothing can be done to treat the disease after infection, and the plant will ultimately perish from the disease.
Due to this, the most critical aspect of addressing yellow spots on plants is correctly determining the cause.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Symptoms occur on varying parts of the plant, depending upon the cause. Smaller spots tend to be indicative of younger infections or newly developing problems.
  • Small yellow spots appear on leaves
  • Spots can occur on the lower or upper leaf surfaces, or both
  • Raised, rounded, or sunken spots with fringed or smooth edges
  • Spots may grow together, causing leaves to become totally discolored
  • Stunted growth
  • Premature leaf drop
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The vast majority of yellow spot diseases are caused by fungal pathogens. However, there are some situations in which bacteria, environmental conditions, or other issues may be blamed.
Diseases are typically host-specific, so they may only affect plants within the same family. That said, just about every single species of plant is vulnerable to at least one disease that causes yellow spot. The most common problems are leaf blight, leaf septoria, powdery mildew, and downy mildew, to name a few.
All plants need specific nutrients from the soil to survive. When these nutrients become depleted or unavailable for plant uptake due to particular conditions, deficiencies occur, and yellow spots are seen.
  • Nitrogen is an integral component of chlorophyll.
  • Iron is needed in the enzymes that make chlorophyll.
Yellow spots may also appear because of incorrect watering, mainly underwatering, or infestations of sap-sucking pests such as aphids.
  • Too little water inhibits photosynthesis. Too much water pushes oxygen out of the soil and the roots cannot take in nutrients or even water from the soil.
  • Insect problems can cause yellow spots directly by damaging leaf tissue when feeding, or they may introduce pathogens.
Solutions
Solutions
Diseases
Fungicides can prevent the transmission of spores, but they may not treat the established infection. The first step is removing and disposing of all infected plant parts. Then apply recommended chemicals.
For bacterial infections, apply a spray containing copper or streptomycin.
For fungal infections, consult the local cooperative extension for recommendations on which fungicides will work best.
Nutrient deficiency
Apply a liquid fertilizer via foliar application to fix the deficiency quickly. Follow label directions regarding dosing instructions and application notes, such as not using before the rain or when temperatures are out of the recommended range.
Incorrect watering
Determine the water requirements for your specific plant, and follow accordingly. Some plants like consistently moist soil, and others like the soil to dry out slightly before being watered.
Pests
Thoroughly apply an insecticidal soap, an organic product like neem oil, or an appropriate chemical insecticide to the plant.
Prevention
Prevention
Depending on the type of plant and which specific disease is causing yellow spot, problems may be avoided by taking the following preventative steps:
  • Plant resistant varieties
  • Avoid planting susceptible varieties close together - space susceptible plants further apart from one another so it’s more difficult for the fungal spores to find new plant hosts.
  • Water wisely - water from below rather than splashing water on foliage. This can reduce the spread of both bacterial and fungal pathogens responsible for yellow spot.
  • Prune - prune as a way of getting rid of affected leaves but also to control the spread of yellow spot to new plants. Pruning can also improve air circulation to limit disease spread.
  • Rotate crops - many diseases, including downy mildew, can live in the soil over the winter and produce problems for many years. Rotate annual crops to new locations each year so that they aren’t growing anywhere in which plants in the same family were grown within the last three to four years.
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distribution

Distribution Map

Habitat

Moist humid conditions

Map

distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
plant_info

More Info

Plant Type
Plant Type
Herb
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Mid spring, Late spring, Summer, Early fall, Mid fall
Leaf Color
Leaf Color
Green

Name story

Red ginger
The reason for ginger being associated with red-haired people is probably because of the negative connotations of the word in the UK. As the beautiful flowers grow on the red bracts, it is commonly called red ginger.

Symbolism

Love, Money, Success

Usages

Garden Use
Red ginger is a common evergreen perennial typically grown as a houseplant or in tropical gardens. Its shockingly vibrant red bracts are the main attraction of this plant, along with its lovely foliage. Red ginger is a perfect option to add some tropical flair to an indoor space or bring some color into your home.
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