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What is the best medium to plant anthuriums in?

Anthuriums can be either planted in pots or into the ground - either way they prefer a loose medium such as quincan possibly mixed with a bit of organic material. An orchid mix would also work quite well

What type of soil do the gingers like?

Gingers will grow in any loose soil - they are rhysome growers meaning the will shoot a new plant off the established stem. Their root system is quite shallow so even if you have rocky or hard ground you just need to mulch over and they will grow into the mulch.

How wide spread do gingers get?

Most of the bigger gingers clump up to a patch with around a metre diametre. The longer they are in the ground the bigger clump however most of our torch gingers have stayed as clumps and not spread through the garden even after 10 years. The most important thing to do when you plant is to give them room to get to their clump size therefore planting around 1.5 metres apart ensure neat clumping.

How big do the gingers get?

With torch gingers you are looking at a plant with foliage between 3 - 5 metres in height so they get quite tall. Beehives will also get foliage up to 2-3 metres. Both these have flowers that come up out of the ground separate to the foliage stems which makes them great screening plants with the large foliage with lovely colour added to your garden at a lower level. The alpinias and costus are on the whole smaller gingers - alpinias will clump beautifully as will most of the costus. Some of the costus will spread but are perfect if you have an area to fill.

I have large garden with a lot of Hot Rio Nights growing. It's flowers are mostly finished now. Is it ok just to cut all the old flowers off at the ground, or should I wait until winter is over?

It is fine to cut the stems down now - I would suggest that you then mulch over the top. This will create a bit of warmth as the mulch breaks down and you will see some new growth come through even before the warmer months. If you have an area of old stems and are feeling a little energetic, try breaking the old roots and stems up with a shovel or hoe - this will encourage the new growth to come back into where the old stems were and help maintain an attractive clump

I planted some beehive ginger plants over a year ago but they haven't flowered yet. Do they usually take a couple of years to get going or am I doing something wrong?

Gingers generally have one season a year - depending on the colour ginger will depend on when they flower. The apricots are just starting to flower at the farm then in around September it will be the coffees, October/November chocolate beehives, christmas/new year are the yellows then borneo red cones from around February onwards.
Depending on when you planted the beehives, they may be been to young to flower during last season but if you are in Cairns they should flower for you this year. If you are down further south add a month or two onto when they flower up here

I have several potted Anthuriums in my shade house that I want to transfer to a shady garden bed outside. Do they need any fertiliser or have any problems with bugs in the FNQ area?

The anthuriums are happy anywhere where they are in shade so under a tree outside sounds lovely. Our biggest problem with bugs is thrips which usually will manifest when the growing medium gets dry which allows any eggs that might be in the soil to hatch. Fertiliser wise any liquid seaweed based fertiliser such as seasol will boost the flowers along as will bloom booster. To really make the anthuriums flower, a weak fertilse more regularly really works well ie make up the solution half or even quarter strength and apply every couple of weeks. With our plants at home we usually mix up a small spray bottle and just spritz the plants every couple of weeks.

Your website seems to be all for plant sales. Can I order cut flowers on line as well? I am looking for quotes to supply flowers to several locations on a regular basis. Can you do this?

Cut flowers is our main business and we are looking at creating set boxes of cut flowers that will be available for order from the website. At present we send flowers weekly to customers in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane and we are of course happy to supply flowers to other customers whether in these capitals or anywhere else! Please email me the details of the quantities you require and how regularly and we can certainly help you out.

My Anthuriums only receive early morning sun, but I wonder if even that is TOO much as the leaves and flowers become distorted. The flowers also seem to lose their colour as they grow out. The plant appears quite healthy otherwise.

There are several things that may be causing the distortion on the leaves. Sun can adversely affect the plants but you would also usually notice some burn on the leaf as well. There are several insects that can also cause problems like this specifically Thrips which can be very annoying as the insects enter the closed bud and actually suck on it from the inside causing distortion and discolouration.
There are some systemic insecticides you can use to kill this bug but we have also had success using diatomaceous earth (looks like very small sea shells) which has a lot of silica in it. The insects brush against the fine shells and it cuts their exoskeleton causing them to die. The silica is also a trace element that plants can lack and helps the growing medium to retain water. We have also found that if the plants have a prolonged periods of lack of water the Thrips will hatch in the ground and infest from the ground up. Very annoying little insects!!
By creating healthy plants you will also help them to fight disease. If you haven't given your plants any calcium (dolomite/ gypsum) also give them a good dose of that on their growing medium.
Anthuriums we find like light but dislike direct sunlight. If it is only early morning sun they are receiving I would try making sure they don't dry out too much, giving them a dose of calcium and trying the insecticide spray first before trying to move them.