The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Kent, United Kingdom Gb

I have a Hedychium tara. This is its second year. So far i have three leafy spikes but little else. Last year it did the same with no flower. Over winter it died down to level after the cold weather. Will it ever flower?



Hi John,

Lots of Hedychiums are perfectly hardy plants in British gardens but, in many gardens and for many varieties, our climate simply doesn't provide them with a long enough growing season to be able to flower. Hedychium growth is triggered by a steady rise in temperatures, but with our stop-start maritime climate re-growth is often delayed until mid summer, by which time there isn't a long enough growing season left to allow the plants to reach flowering size.

The answer is to artificially extend the growing season, either by starting the plants into growth earlier or extending their season later. If your 'Tara' is in a container it's easy to boost temps in late spring by moving to a warmer location (greenhouse, porch etc) and thus induce an early re-growth. If in the ground, then the use of a cloche or other soil-warming device can be effective.

Having said all that H. 'Tara' is an extremely hardy variety and is usually able to flower outdoors without too much problem - although that depends on where your garden is? - but it does have really quite huge flowering stems that take much energy to produce, so it's also possible that your plant simply isn't large and vigorous enough to flower as yet. If this is the case then lots of food and water during the growing season will work wonders - they really can bulk up very quickly and can take almost unlimited quantities of food!

29 Jul, 2010


Blooming heck!!!!! What a response first time out. Lots of very useful information. I have also read your profile which is very interesting. It sounds like you have very interesting life down there in Devon. What a wonderful county it is. i spent many holidays there with my parents and brother when i was a child.
What food would you recommend, and how tall would the Tara expect to grow too. I could keep it in our conservatory over winter and spring and then move it outside for the summer. Does that sound like a good plan?

29 Jul, 2010


Hi again John,

I was brought up in Devon and moved away in my early 20's but couldn't wait to return, so very pleased that we are now here!

Yes, that sounds like an excellent plan for your Tara - give it a really nice big pot and keep the compost nearly dry over winter when the plant goes dormant, but then water & feed copiously once back into growth in spring. You should gain at least an extra two months growth that way and that will definitely give a long enough season for flower stems to form.

Tara can get quite tall, to around 6 feet when it's has a quite narrow very stiffly upright form, unlike many that are more arching. Although it's assumed to be a hybrid it was actually collected from the wild, near Kathmandu, in 1972. The collector named it after his daughter - "Tara" is Nepalese for "Star".

I mulch Hedchiums that are planted out in the ground with well rotted manure, but in containers they respond very well to a general liquid fertilizer - Growmore or anything similar will do the trick.

Good luck with your plant, the flowers are quite spectacular, well worth the extra effort!

31 Jul, 2010

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?