Zengiber spectabile is a perennial herbaceous plant, which can be defined as a true ginger species. The branch of the plant can reach heights from 2 to 3.5 meters, but in optimal conditions it reaches up to 4.5 meters. The green shoots are slightly flattened, swollen at the base and their lower section without leaves is about one meter long. The leaves, arranged in two rows, sit in the lower part very distant, densely crowded towards the upper part of the branch.
The species is found in tropical East Asia, particularly in Malaysia and Thailand. It grows in the evergreen tropical rainforest, but also in the secondary forest and at the edge of the forest.
This plant is mainly grown in the West as an ornamental plant, although it has been used for years in Southeast Asia as a medicinal herb. It grows in rich, well-drained soil, with water retention in filtered sunlight and high humidity. It can be planted directly inside a heated greenhouse or in an indoor container
Propagation can take place by seed or by division of well-established plants at the beginning of spring, or by separating and replanting sections of rhizome 15-20 cm long in spring or early summer. They do not tolerate frost and cold.
Plants require medium to filtered sunlight and plenty of space in the garden or in a large container; however, direct sunlight can burn the leaves. The soil must be kept constantly moist. Basically, the ideal cure of the Zengiber spectabile will have to be a sort of imitation of what it would naturally receive in its area of origin: indirect light and high levels of humidity. Plants will flower in most areas from July to November.
Diseases and treatment in short
Plants of Zengiber spectabile can be afflicted by the most common parasites such as: ants, aphids and cochineals. An insecticide spray will help fight these pests easily. However, if we want to avoid using chemicals, we can take advantage of some plants that repel these insects in a completely natural way, such as fake kidney nettle, geranium, garlic, aster, marigold, chrysanthemum and mint, which are known to ward off ants and other garden pests. Plant these plants around the speculable Zengiber to offer them greater protection.
Otherwise, as long as the environmental conditions that this plant prefers are respected, it is often grown in greenhouses; in this case, the parasite to which it is exposed is the red spider mite of the greenhouse, which can be problematic. However, generally these insects are not carriers of diseases in this species.
Academic research has recently discovered that the plant Zengiber spectabile has antimicrobial properties mainly due to the significant concentration of the enzyme synthase zerumbone, which can be very effective in the treatment of colon cancer.