Alpinia leaves
Alpinia - Expert tips

How to Care for Alpinia - Expert Tips for Thriving Plants

In the 17th century, an Italian botanist, Prospero Alpinia, discovered a wonderful new family of flowering plants that he named after himself: the Alpinia family. The genus is part of the ginger family, or Zingiberaceae, and is native to Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands, as these beautiful ladies love a tropical or subtropical climate.

Most species of the genus are known by another name: shell ginger. The funny thing about Alpinia plants is that they don't really have stems. The 'stems' are, in fact, the overlapping leaf sheaths. They grow from rhizomes, and the leaves of most species are narrow and oblong. Most plants of the genus Alpinia are also aromatic due to their essential oils!

Alpinia leaves

Alpinia Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully

  1. Make sure you choose a spot with bright light. Give your Alpinia plants plenty of natural light without intensive direct sunlight.
  2. Avoid too dark corners. Lack of light can slow your plant's growth, and its beautiful leaves lose their vibrancy. More light equals happier Alpinia.
  3. Water with care. Alpinia plants are sensitive to overwatering, and their root start to rot quickly. Just water it when the top soil or whole soil ball has dried.
  4. Underwatering is nothing to be afraid of. Alpinia plants handle underwatering better than overwatering. When in doubt, remember that dry soil is better!
  5. Alpinia loves warm temperatures. Keep them away from drafty windows and doors, especially during the colder months. A sudden chill can damage the plant.
  6. Keep humidity rather higher. They appreciate that since they are tropical plants. If Alpinia leaf tips start to turn brown, it's probably due to low humidity.
  7. Feed it moderately, but don't overdo it. Alpinia plants are not heavy feeders, and too much fertiliser can damage their roots.
  8. Repot it only when it has outgrown its current pot. No rush to get your Alpinia into a bigger pot. When you see roots growing out or drainage holes, it's time to change the pot!
  9. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases. When you regularly inspect the plant, you can catch the problem early and treat it as soon as possible.
  10. Give it some space to grow and shine. Give them plenty of room to spread out because Alpinia plants can get pretty big.

Alpinia plant care tips

Light requirements

Species of the Alpinia family usually like bright indirect light. The best position for your green baby is 2 metres away from a south-facing window. This ensures you do not leave it in the sun too long, where its leaves can burn. A little morning or evening sun on leaves now and then will not hurt!

If your Alpinia isn’t growing as fast as it should, or its leaves are getting smaller and losing their bright colours, it might not be getting enough light. Don’t worry, though! Simply moving it to a spot where it can catch a bit more natural light.


With your Alpinia, the important thing is to keep a regular watering schedule. In summer, for example, give her some water two times a week to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Generally, touching the soil is the best way to tell if it's time to water. If the top layer feels dry, it's time to water. Another sign is when the leaves start to droop slightly.

Always check the soil before watering your Alpinia again. Its delicate roots can start to rot pretty quickly in waterlogged soil. During winter, you can reduce the watering frequency as the soil dries out more slowly.


Feed your Alpinia biweekly with PLNTS liquid plant fertiliser. Do this during the growing period from spring to summer, and stop when the cooler months of winter arrive. Your beloved plant will then begin its resting phase.

Temperature & humidity

As tropical houseplants, they love warm and humid environments. You'll have a happy Alpinia plant if you keep the temperature between 16-27°C and the humidity between 40-70%. Your Alpinia hates drafts, so keep it away from open windows and heating vents. If your home's air is too dry, you may want to consider raising the humidity for your houseplants.

Alpinia plant

Repotting & soil

It is generally necessary to repot Alpinia every 2-3 years. Whenever roots grow out of the draining hole, it's time to repot. Make sure you use soil that's well-draining and nutrient-rich. We recommend using PLNTS organic houseplant soil, that are all the necessary what your Alpinia needs.

Alpinia propagation

To propagate an Alpinia, the simplest and most common method is to divide it. Use the shovel to dig and find the rhizomes, which you can then split into several parts with your hands. Try to replant the part of the rhizome in good airy potting soil. You can then water your new plant right away, and the new Aplinia plant is ready. Simple as that!

Most common pests on Alpinia

If you are afraid of all sorts of pests or diseases, you can rest assured with your Alpinia. This strong lady is not really bothered by pests or diseases worth mentioning. But watch out for spider mites because these annoying little insects can creep in anywhere. If you see some little critters walking on your plants, you can consult our PLNTSdoctor page to identify and eliminate your plant pests! You can also contact us for biological pest control.

Is Alpinia poisonous for your pets or children?

Isn't the Alpinia family the best? It is an easy plant, with beautiful colours and flowers, easy to propagate, and with so many species that you can lose yourself in searching for the best one for you. But what's more, it is not poisonous to pets or children! So you can have as much Alpinia as you like, and your furry friends and children will always be safe around it.

Buy your new Alpinia online at

At we have the most wonderful Alpinia varieties. Alpinia plants will make your heart beat faster and your interior shine even more with its beautiful bright variegated colours on its leaves!

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Hi, I'm Emma, your guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your guide!