Gardening Blog - Lush Online Plants Nursery australia

Welcome! We hope you will enjoy our articles about plants, garden care, tropical plants & more. Select a category on the left, or scroll down to start reading! If you are looking for growing information for a specific variety please use the 'search' function below. We'd love to hear your feedback or experience; leave us a comment!

How to grow Heliconia

Did you know - That heliconias are related to bananas?  

Sourced from the shady lush forests of Central and South America, there are now over 200 recognised species of Heliconia and many more cultivars.  Spectacular tropical plants, they vary considerably in their habit and flowers.  Some grow upright, others hang like a pendant. The majority of Heliconia flaunt bold and extravagant shades of reds and yellows, with luscious green foliage. They grow from an underground system of roots known as ‘rhizomes’. These rhizomes can be used to grow more Heliconia, providing they are well looked after. The size a Heliconia will grow depends on the species and ranges from around 60cm - 5 metres!

How should I look after my Heliconia? 

Heliconias as a species grow in a wide variety of habitats worldwide including cool altitudes to warm humid tropical forest.  Looking after them is pretty straightforward. They love humid and warm climates – the heat does wonders for their growth!   They prefer temperatures over 20 degrees, although there are some varieties that will perform well in cooler areas, as far down the coast as Sydney.  Feed and water them regularly, but do not let them get waterlogged, as this puts their roots at risk of damage.

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The Joy of Native Ginger, Alpinia caerulea Red Back.

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The Red Backed Ginger of Australia

Below the rainforest canopies, along the borders of NSW and QLD lives a native species that is a proven survivor and also a natural beauty. It is the Alpinia caerulea, better known as Red Backed Ginger, Native Ginger or Ginger ‘Red Back’. The colours are truly remarkable, the contrast of the leaves fade from back to front, greens to maroon with the typical ginger type frond. Gardeners appreciate the Native Ginger ‘Red Back’ for the simplistic tropical-elegance within a versatile clumping but non-invasive rhizome. This ginger is a native Australian and many gardeners also take pride in growing garden plants with natural heritage.

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A Complete Guide to Growing Heliconia in Australia

Heliconia are a large family of plants which are closely related to Bananas and Cannas. They are native to the Americas, but are now found widely cultivated in gardens the world over. They are an easily recognised plant, with their distinctive leaf and flower formation, and are very popular as cut flowers for their longevity and striking appearance. (Photo on the left is Heliconia rostrata)

Interestingly, the flowers for which this plant is so prized are not actually flowers at all, but colourful bracts which protect the tiny true flower from the weather conditions. The colour of the flowers will vary depending on what type of Heliconia you go for; they range from orange to yellow to reds through to pinks and purples. In their natural habitat, Heliconia are mainly pollinated by hummingbirds, and in some cases bats-but don’t worry if you don’t have any of these! Bees, butterflies and other pollinators do the job just as well.

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Growing Gingers for Australia

The Zingiberaceae family is a large one, containing many types of Ginger, both ornamental and edible, and is also closely related to many other well known species such as Curcumen and Turmeric.

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Hello Heliconia! Heliconia psittacorum Pearl


This beautiful plant, a member of the Heliconia family, is a very easy to grow and rewarding plant to have in your garden. Heliconia are native to the rainforests of the Amazon, and as such they like a tropical, humid environment-but you can still grow them in your own garden as long as they are kept warm and moist.

About Heliconia Psittacorum Pearl

Given the right conditions, Heliconia is a very strong and fast growing plant that can easily reach a metre or two in height. This means that you may want to give them a spot in your garden that is big enough for them to spread-they won’t take over completely but will like a lot of room to spread their roots.

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Dancing Ladies Ginger - Glorious Globba winitii

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Alas, poor Globba! What an unfortunate name for such a pretty plant-luckily its alias is Dancing Ladies, which sounds much nicer and suits it much better. This gorgeous plant is another member of the extensive Ginger family, and as such it grows from knobbly rhizomes and has lance shaped leaves which are slightly hairy to the touch.

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Costus Asplundii - A Splendid Spiral Ginger

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Costus Asplundii is a part of the large Ginger family, and it belongs to the type known as Spiral Gingers. This name is due to the helter skelter pattern of the leaf growth, which often grows in a spiral out from the bamboo like stems.

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Edible Galangal Ginger for cooking (Greater Galangal, Thai Ginger, Alpinia Galanga)

Also known as Greater Galangal or Thai Ginger, Alpinia Galanga is a relative of the Ginger family and shares its roots (no pun intended) with the Zingiberaceae family, which includes Ginger and Turmeric among others.

Native to Java and widely cultivated in parts of China and Asia, Alpinia Galanga is a tender perennial that grows well in warm places and will not only be useful in cooking but is also an attractive plant to grow.

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Keys To The Garden Of Your Dreams! Boesenbergia Rotunda-Chinese Keys

Chinese Keys is just one of the common names for this relative of the Ginger family. (It is also known as Lesser Galangal, Chinese Ginger, Finger Root and Sweet Thai Ginger, just in case you wanted to know). Boesenbergia Rotunda is similar to the Ginger (Zingiber Officionale) root and is similarly used in cooking and as a flavouring, though it is not as strong tasting as Ginger itself.

Boesenbergia Rotunda is native to South East Asia, where its roots have been used for centuries as an addition to cooking and culinary dishes, as well as a treatment for a range of health problems, mainly in the digestion area. Dysentry and diarrhoea, along with other stomach upsets, can be treated with Chinese Keys. The leaves can also be used as an addition to cooking; they have a milder taste but will still bring a hint of Ginger to your kitchen.

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Ox Blood Ginger-Costus Erythrophyllus Rubra

Costus Erythrophyllus Rubra

This enormous name belongs to a rather diminutive plant-this member of the Costus family grows up to 1-2 feet when fully mature. Also known as “Ox Blood Costus” because of its striking red foliage, the attractive Costus will be a welcome addition to any garden, hothouse or windowsill.

The Costus family is related to the Ginger family; in fact it has only relatively recently been classified as a sub species in its own right. As a group, Costus are known as “Spiral Gingers” because their leaves tend to grow in an outwards spiral away from the main stem. Native to subtropical environments, all members of the Costus family like to be kept warm and moist.

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