Hothouse Hedychiums

These hedychium need to be kept in a greenhouse all summer and it’s not because they are not hardy. In fact some, like H. maximum for example, can be left outside in a pot (if you’re short of space) and then be brought in from April. The thing about a lot of hedychium, and where some growers have gone wrong, is to try to re-create the partly shaded forest edge that is their natural habitat. They come from a lot further south where the sunlight is far stronger and there is no real dormant season. As a result they need full sun here and even that is not enough for some, and of course,life being like that, it would have to be the very best ones that need this. American books tend to suggest a much earlier flowering than we experience here. This is because equivalent climate zones (which are based principally on minimum temperatures) are considerably further south and hence have much more stronger sunshine. The conclusion would be to give up on these tropical ones, but we have found, as has Andrew Gaunt (no relation to John, son of Edward III and uncle of Richard II) who runs the National Collection at Chichester Gingers, that if they are baked in a greenhouse from April until August then they flower profusely through August/September. In colder areas this works with all of the previous group. S now some mouth watering shots of beautifully scented flowers. also note that these ones flower for longer, in many cases a single inflorescence carries on opening for up to 4 weeks).

Hedychium maximum. If i was asked the old question, ‘If you only had room for one hedychium which would you choose?’ The answer would clearly be, ‘I’d get a bigger greenhouse’. If pushed on the matter, however, it would have to be this one with a huge club of an inflorescence, beautifully scented, a lovely colour and each open for 4 weeks. We put a stool next to it in the greenhouse so visitors can have a close encounter.

Hedychium Tai Monarch-To be confirmed! The Tai hybrids (formerly known as Dees hybrids, were bred by American breeder Doyle Smittle and are popular in the States. Tom Wood also bred a number of interesting ones. All are high impact divas and naturally we have collected as many as we can. All are distinctly labelled in our collection but unfortunately the photos i took last year are not. I will put them up and correct as they start to flower this year
Hedychium ‘Tai Sunlight’
Hedychium ‘Tai Gold Crown’
Hedychium’Tai ???
Hedychium ‘Tai Monarch’
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