Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

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Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Torch Ginger Flower Seeds Germination



I have a Torch Ginger Plant (Etlingera elatior) which we call 'bunga kantan' in Malaysia. Though it takes up a lot of my garden space, I have never regretted growing this native plant for I love its beautiful blooms. Once started, it never seems to stop blooming. This is the plant that has won me many new friends from far and near. It is the 'ice-breaker' and attention grabber in my garden.

This is my 9th blog post about the plant. My article about "The versatile bunga kantan plant" appeared in the New Straits Times on March 27th, 2010. The link is here.

Torch Ginger has many other common names, e.g. Ginger Flower, Ginger Lily, Torch Lily, Wild Ginger, Stone Rose, Combrang, Bunga Siantan, Philippine Wax Flower, Xiang Bao Jiaing, Indonesian Tall Ginger, Boca de Dragón, Rose de Porcelaine and Porcelain Rose.

"Torch Ginger Flower Seeds Germination”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on May 20th, 2011.



In Malaysia, we propagate bunga kantan from rhizomes. It grows very fast because it loves our tropical sunshine and heavy rainfall. Flowers start to appear after about 9 months. It takes much longer if grown from seed.


In the picture above, the little flowers are red while the pink waxy ones are bracts. When in bloom, a sugary liquid oozes out from the inflorescences and they attract ants, bees and butterflies. I read from the web that the flower is pollinated by hummingbirds and spider hunters.


This video from the USA is of a hummingbird feasting on the nectar of the ginger flower.
It has a long, narrow beak that can penetrate deep into the flowers.


This video is taken at the Asa Wright Nature Center, Trinidad, West Indies.
It shows a Green Hermit pollinating the ginger flower.

It is difficult to find a hummingbird here in the city. My flowers have never successfully formed seeds, hence I have never seen any real bunga kantan seeds.  


Well, not until SY sent me these photographs taken at in Bukit Tinggi, Pahang. The whole flower head is filled with bunga kantan seeds. The seeds change colour from green to dark brown when ripe.


K, has a bunga kantan plant in Malaysia. I was really excited to see from her post here that her bunga kantan plant has set seed. Oh, how I envy her!

K who hails from the USA is now living in Malaysia and her blog is about her adventures in setting home here. I like to pop in at her blog occassionally to see how she is doing. Do visit her if you have time.

 

These seeds are from K. Thanks to her, this is the first time in my life I get to touch and feel real bunga kantan seeds.

To germinate the seeds, we need to soak them in water for more than 8 hours. It is expected to germinate in about 30 days, based on information obtained from the internet.

Has anyone successfully germinated the torch ginger flower seeds?
Please share your valuable experience with me.
I have blog readers from overseas asking me to send them bunga kantan seeds but this can't be done because
a) I don't have the seeds
b) Prohibition by their own countries' import laws
c) bunga kantan won't survive long outside a greenhouse in temperate countries


My bunga kantan plant is about 15 ft. (4.5 m) tall now.
It is about 7 years old now, almost as old as my garden.
It needs a large space to grow. I don't think you can grow it in a flower pot.
Leaves stalks and flower stalks grow out from an underground stem.
The roots are not invasive. 
They do not penetrate deep into the ground, but branch out near to the surface.


We use the raw ginger flower buds for garnishing sour and spicy dishes like asam laksa, tom yam and asam fish. The harvested buds can be stored frozen in the fridge. After thawing, it can still be used in cooking but not suitable for garnishing since the fragrance is much reduced.  The blooms are good as cut flowers too.



Good Luck to all participants and have a nice weekend!

This post has been updated on 1 Jun 2011:

I have accidentally prised opened the 'seed' and found that it actually contains many seeds inside, about 40-50 seeds. Hence the earlier photo is actually the fruit pod.


I have planted some of the seeds on soil and hopefully the seeds will germinate in about 30 days time.

July 2011

Updated on 30th July 2011
I have some good news. The torch ginger seeds sent by K to me has sprouted! I had almost given up on them because it took more than a month for this to happen. I took this picture on 10 July 2011. I thought my experiment had failed and I almost replaced the pot with other plants. This is thanks to Anne who wrote to me and whose comment I have added to this post. She had given me some very useful information. Now, we know we can also grow torch ginger plants from seeds sent by mail but the seeds have a short expiry date.

Aug 2011

Update on 12th Oct 2011

My torch ginger plants are now 33 cm tall. Actually there are 3 of them, not 2 as I had initially thought. My next question - should I plant them on the ground or experiment with a flower pot?

Oct 2011 - 33 cm

Updated on 20th July 2012.
I have since planted my BK on a large flower pot. It is now about 4ft tall.
Updated on 3rd April 2014
My BK in a flower pot has still not flowered yet! The maximum height reached is only 4ft tall.

112 comments:

  1. Really beautiful flowers. Good luck on your germination. Well worth the time and effort.
    Cher

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  2. The flower is a magician by itself.

    It appears differently at different times.

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  3. Love the lovely pink flowers, its taste and fragrance in asam laksa and kerabu. Nice decoration as cut flowers too!

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  4. AB, They are really gorgeous. Your plant is amazingly tall. I have been growing them for several months and have yet to see any blooms. I hope I am growing the right plant. When I saw the flowers on your blog and also on Keats' previously, I know I must grow bunga kantan. I wouldn't know how to use it in dishes but admiring the flowers would be terrific for me.

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  5. Fascinating post, Autumn Belle. Gingers grow here and most winter over, but the growing season is too short for most to bloom except for Hedychium coronarium and one of the Curcumas. I use gingers the way gardeners in the northern US use hostas as foliage plants.

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  6. Fantastic post Autumn Belle! I eagerly wait with you to see if anyone out there has any more info on growing the bunga kantan from seeds.

    Best,
    K

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  7. from my garden to yours:

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

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  8. Those seeds and flowers will generate lots of stews in the future. I have seen lots of flowers here but also havent seen them with seeds. I love them but i dont like to plant them in our property, maybe because i'm afraid they might get so thick just like the Heliconia and Strelitzia.

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  9. What a beauty! I have always wanted to possess one of these torch gingers, which are quite rare here.

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  10. It is more known as wild ginger here. How I wish they can grow well here but not. Because its other family like ginger and galangal can barely grow tall here or produce many rhizome before winter.Yours are magnificent.

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  11. What a beautiful, amazing, and useful plant! It is also very interesting. Your photo is stunning...good luck!

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  12. Oh my what a stunning flower. You have done your homework on this one. Wish I could grow that beautiful plant here.

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  13. What a beautiful bloom! And a great picture to enter in the contest. Good luck!

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  14. The Hummingbird could be a left winger going around the ginger flower anticlockwise and the Green Hermit is right winger going the other way muahaha. Awesome nice and lovely flowers. Great info on bunga kantan..tQ.

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  15. Wonderful flower and wonderful photo.

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  16. What beautiful pictures! I've never seen a ginger torch flower. They're fascinating--beautiful and edible!

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  17. Your ginger is amazing! Love your blooms! Thanks for sharing, Paula in Idaho
    http://bucketideasforgardening.blogspot.com/

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  18. They really have beautiful flowers! You're really creative enough to decorate in vase! Looks so awesome!

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  19. Hi AB, Congratulations! Your caption has been selected and is posted with a link to your site today.

    Come over for some laughs. :)

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  20. The ginger torch... so pretty, this flower...

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  21. I envy you Autumn Belle. Our Red Torch gingers have not gifted us with a single flower at all. I'm beginning to suspect they are not Red Torch.

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  22. Bunga kantan as cut flowers? That is something very special... and 15ft!! First time i see this tall!

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  23. That looks like a beneficial plant. Beautiful and useful! I liked those videos you shared. Hummingbirds are one of my favorite birds.

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  24. Very beautiful and unusual!

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  25. The following is a comment from Anne:

    Hi Autumn Belle,
    Happy to found your blog.
    Seed capsules sent to you from K, most capsules were dired and with a few fresh looking capsule.
    From my experience, it should be germinated while the capsules already matured but fresh. If the seeds are viable, they should germinate after 2 weeks.
    Hope this can help you and K.
    Best wishes.

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  26. we have this in our hot house, Every now and then, I go to fgeel my roots.

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  27. Hi Autumn Belle,

    Have they sprouted yet? Seeing Anne's comment above instead of waiting for my seeds to dry out, I cut open a semi fresh pod yesterday and found the seeds like yours in the photo only fresher. I separated them out a bit and sprinkled them in the pot then covered with dirt. Now I wait. If this doesn't work I'll try fresh pod seeds as I have some still in the pink stage and more bunga kantan flowers blooming.

    Hope you are well!
    Best,
    K

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  28. Hi K, I soaked mine overnight before putting them in soil. After waiting for 3 weeks, nothing has happened! I think I have done it wrongly. I selected the seeds from the dried up (brown) pods and kept the fresh (pink) pods. By the time I received Anne's comment, my pink pods had changed to brown :(

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  29. K, I really envy you because the humming bird/sunbird visited you to pollinate those seeds. I think this is really a good omen/fengshui/sign. I have seen sunbirds on my citrus lime trees but they never stop over my bunga kantan. The flowers never set seeds. I've been advised to hand pollinate those flowers and one of these days, I'm gonna try this ;-)

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  30. Hi Autumn Belle,

    Don't worry, we can wait another month or two and if nothing, I will pick you some fresh seed pods and send them to you!

    Yes, I'm very lucky to have that bird around the plant. I hope he keeps coming to visit!!!

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  31. K, I haven't given up yet! I tried many times and waited more than a month for my acerola cherries and finally 2 cherry seedlings has sprouted. Now, I'll just keep my fingers crossed on the bunga kantan.

    If possible, do take a photo/video of the hummingbird/sunbird. In Malaysia, we rarely get to see such birds polinating our bunga kantan. It'll be a treat if you can post it in your blog.

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  32. This post gave me all the answers I need to the questions I had in your current post. Thanks very much! Sadly don't think I have the space to grow bunga kantan :(

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  33. A Malaysian living in San Diego craving the beauty, flavor and aroma of the Bunga Kantan, the one herb missing from my garden. All these years never found seeds, then I find a source in the US, K's blog, she directs me to you, all in the same week! I was from Klang too!!! Received my seeds today, soak and planted them. Wish me luck. Wonderful blog and pictures.

    PS Also planted Siam Rose Torch Ginger - do you have the plant or heard of it?

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  34. My dear petite nyonya, maybe you don't need to grow bunga kantan because we can easily find the flower buds at the wet markets, even Jaya Jusco, hehe.

    Mom on Blog, welcome to My Nice Garden. Glad to know that you have found me via K and me, you. GOOD LUCK with your seed germination!

    Regarding the Siam Rose Torch Ginger, I got Etlingera elatior which is our bunga kantan when I googled the name. Perhaps you can give me the scientific name of the Siam Rose torch ginger as common names tend to overlap between cultures and they are confusing.

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  35. I planted the Siam Rose Torch ginger because of it beauty not for eating. Its scientific name is Etingera Corneri and it is native to Malaysia although I have never seen it. Here are 2 link to view what it looks like -http://www.ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=4974 and http://www.thetropicalflowerstore.com/product/R-SiamRoseTorchGingerRhizome

    Incidentally, which is the preferred Bunga Kantan - the pink or the red? I have another source for rhizomes if the seeds fail but I lose starting plants from seeds, leaves or stems.

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  36. Mom on Blog,

    Thank you very much for the links and the scientific name. I had to google the images and wow, the flowers look like roses! I'd definitely be on the lookout for this unique ginger plant.

    Regarding the bunga kantan, it is common to find the pink flower type at the markets. The red flower and white flower ones are lovely too.

    As for bunga kantan propagation, plants grown from rhizome flower earlier than those from seeds.

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  37. Based on information published in Garden Asia magazine Vol.5, there are 4 types of torch gingers which is native to Peninsular Malaysia: a) Etlingera elatior (bunga kantan),
    b) E. corneri (Rose ginger)
    c) E. hemisphaerica (Tulip ginger)
    d) E. maingayi (Malay Rose ginger)

    The link is as follows:
    http://www.gardenasiamag.com/garden/content/blogcategory/35/79/

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  38. Autumn Belle - I am keeping my fingers crossed. After about a month, I think I see 2 minuscule seedlings. Weather has been in the high 90F and sometimes over 100F the past week- maybe the push the seeds needed. Cannot be sure it is the Bunga Kantan - could be a weed seedling! But keeping my fingers crossed.

    The Rose Ginger has not sprouted :(

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  39. Mom on Blog,

    Thanks for informing me about your good news. I hope the bunga kantan seedlings are germinating well, so GOOD LUCK and best wishes over to you! If you are here, I'll give you a 5 and a 10.

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  40. I am heading back to Malaysia next weekend! Yummy Malaysian food, fauna and flora. Have you come across the Drumstick plant yet?

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  41. I came back from Malaysia and saw the 2 tiny seedlings turn out to be clover seedlings!! I sent away for a Torch Ginger Rhizome and was about to let you know the sad news. I went away for a day then this morning- lo and behold I see 2 new seedlings! This time I think it is the bunga kantan for sure - it looks like cekur - a rolled up/cerut like shoot.

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  42. Mom on Blog, thank you very much for letting me know about your bunga kantan (BK) progress and I appreciate it very much :)

    I hope you had a great time while you were back in Malaysia. No, I have not found a drumstick plant yet :(

    I hope this time your wish comes true with baby BK. It sounds like it though based on what you have just described. I too had some false babies before the real one appeared. Luckily I didn't throw away the soil in the pot because of K's comment here not to give up. It does take ages for germination to occur. GOOD LUCK my dear friend!

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  43. Thanks for the interesting blog entry. My Torch Ginger has two of those I actually though the big bulbs were the actuall seed but now I see that they are actually seed pods. I suppode I will need to wait for them to dry up before I can plant them? I have left them on the plant and been waiting for them to dry. One has already been there for a few months and does not look anywhere close to drying up.

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  44. What is this with everyone getting 2 seedlings only? It is like 2 per family, please. Lol! I planted like 60 seeds and I get 2 seedlings. But I am grateful :).

    The weather is crazy lately as it goes into fall. Yesterday I was working till dusk in the garden and forgot to brin g in the BK seedlings and Rhizome. Temperature dropped real low overnight!!! Babies are inside the house now. Next 2 days it is supposed to get to 90-100F!!

    It is persimmon time in my garden http://kumquat-sugarnpixels.blogspot.com/2011/10/it-is-paper-bag-tree-time-again.html#more. You will also find my recent adventures with the hummingbird on the blog.

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  45. Vincent, Welcome to My Nice Garden blog! It looks like your ginger plant has successfuly form fruit pods. You must use the pods fresh, NOT dried up. Break open the fruit pods to harvest the seeds for germination. Please refer to Anne's comment (typed in my me) above.

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  46. Mom on Blog, I think I have used up 3 fruit pods in the experiment. 2 pods failed. Only the seeds of 1 pod germinated. It seems I got 2 out of 150 (3 x 50), so your success rate is better!

    San Diego is USDA Planting Zone 10. I hope your BK seeds and rhizomes make it to maturity. Nell Jean is growing ginger plants, I think in Southwest Georgia, Zone 8B but I'm not sure if it is BK.

    As I am aware, BK is a rainforest plant, hence have heat and full sun in order to bloom. They can't survive the cold and frost of e.g. New York unless in a greenhouse. I have never seen a BK in a pot yet.

    As at today, my BK babies are doing ok in a pot, but I am cracking my head what to do with it - plant on ground (no more space) or pot (most likely will not flower).

    Do keep me updated with your BK adventures. I'd be delighted to know the progress. Cheers!

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  47. Announcing birth of BK #3!! Another baby BK poke its shoots out from the dirt. The difficulty now is keeping them alive thru the crazy ups and downs of the fall weather.

    Nell Jean is lucky with Georgia's hot and humid climate. There is so many micro climate in San Diego and the West Coast USA that the USDA map is just a guide. Elevation is a big factor and distance from the coast. Nell gets lots of rain, we get 11" ANNUALLY in San Diego!!

    I have Kunyit / Turmeric that die back in winter and come up in spring. Green and Black Cardamon that remains green all year round but have never fruited. I always believe (hope) that plants are more adaptable than we think- just got to try. I was growing Brussel Sprouts in the front yard of my terrace house in Klang in the 80s before fresh Brussel Sprouts were seen in Malaysian markets (frozen Bird's Eye does not count!).

    Will keep you posted on BK. Cheers!

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  48. Mom on Blog, Cheers for the new addition to the BK family. At first it was a couple, now they are 3 musketeers! What a coincidence, my 2 became 3 too :)

    You have nurtured your ginger babies well. Haha, I was smiling at your comment about forgetting to bring your babies inside when it was getting cold outside. It happens to me too. Sometimes, I put my bonsai or blooming orchid out for some sunshine and forgot to bring them in. When it suddenly rained heavily in the middle of the night, I had to go out to bring them in. My DH said I was crazy but I had to do it otherwise I won't be able to go back to sleep.

    BK don't behave like tumeric. The most difficult time will be winter. The rhizomes may be stronger but the seedlings from seeds are really delicate. I have really enjoyed this conversing and updates, hence GOOD LUCK 'cos I wanna be the 'godmother' of your BK babies!

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  49. Remember the night I left my little BK out? They never fully recovered from that chill. I already lost one of the little BK seedling- the last one to come up. The other 2 older ones are struggling and are in intensive care.
    The Rhizomes is all but dead - the chill froze the water within the rhizome and started a rot. I tried cutting off the rot, it would do well for a day or 2 then.....It had not establish roots when it was chilled :(
    Your pictures of the `teenage' BK is bittersweet. I will tend to the invalid BK seedlings and keep you posted

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  50. Mom on Blog, I am so sorry to hear about the youngest BK. Hope the other 2 can make it. The most worrisome is that the weather is now turning from autumn to winter in your place. This is the time when many plants start to go dormant to conserve energy to survive.

    I wonder if putting it indoors with thermal heating and artificial lighting (or near window with daily sun) will help. I've been told BK loves our equatorial heat and rainfall but can't stand the cold and frost.

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  51. They were already inside the house but I took them out for hot sunny days. Alas, while wanting to treat them to sunshine spa, I forgot to bring them in that one day....Already bought and set up daylight lamp in the intensive care. It is not cold in the house in San Diego- I am wearing shorts, don't think thermal heating is necessary. They are indeed slowing down because BK#2, still has not unfurl its leaves. BK#1 (ha,ha) was peck at by a bird while sunning but is still alive. I am NOT GIVING UP.

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  52. Yes! That's the way to go - never give up. I will be thinking, hoping and praying for the survival of BK1 and BK2! Both of them have our Malaysian genes, i.e. cannot stand cold/chill, haha! Maybe the peck of the bird is like a 'kiss of life'.

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  53. BK2 is in a happier place now :(

    BK1, maybe fortified by the "kiss of life" is hanging in there. It is not growing like it did before the `chill.' I now have added a moisture meter to the pot to ensure that I am not overwater the seedling. I will hang in there as long BK1 does.

    At least I know I can sprout BK from seed. Will try again when weather is warmer ( if I can wait that long!)

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  54. Mom on Blog, I'm so sorry to hear about BK2.

    I will send you some strong healing heat vibes from the Equator for the survival of BK1. Eventhough we are bracing for storms and floods in Malaysia, I hope to send you as much sunshine as I can. Here are some words of inspiration from Thomas A. Edison:

    a) Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up - I experienced this myself with my BK seedlings.

    b) I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
    Thomas A. Edison

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  55. Mom on Blog, is everything OK? I doesn't look good based on your comment here!

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  56. BK1 joined its siblings :(

    It was the strongest and held out the longest but.......San Diego is undergoing very dry conditions/ low humidity. We are on fire alert. I guess it `suck' out the humidity that BK1 needed, although the soil was moist per moisture meter.

    Thank you for all the encouragement. I will take what I learn and do better the next time. You will be `godmother' to my BKs one day!

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  57. Mom on Blog, I was thinking about you, BK1 and the 2nd last comment throughout the day. Thankfully, I have received your reply. I look forward to your next 'experiment', perhaps next Spring? Of all the plants in my garden, BK is the Queen of my heart. I certainly look forward to become the godmother to send my blessings.

    If you can get rhizomes from a friend, that's the fasters and easiest way.

    I do not know of anyone growing BK in USA but I hope one day I will see this happening.

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  58. Hey there I have gotten some Torch Ginger seeds and I would like to try to germinate and grow indoors, bad idea?

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    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Do you have any more seeds of Torch Ginger?

      marksawyer14@hotmail.com

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    2. I'm sorry I don't have any more seeds.

      Delete
  59. Crash, which planting zone? In Malaysia we grow torch ginger in the outdoors, usually on the ground. I'm experimenting with some in a big flower pot but they are growing quite slowly. They need a lot of sunlight and water.

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  60. I too am interested in growing these in San Diego, I found your blog. I did some online searching and Lola like there's a place called Aloha Tropicals who are apatently in Oceanside, CA that look like they have the edible torch Ginger (alohatropicals.com)

    Caz

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  61. Caz, welcome to MNG blog! Good luck with your adventure in growing the torch ginger and I look forward to hear good news from you soon.

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  62. I stumbled upon your blog when I tried to google on bunga kantan. I am Malaysian living in Houston, TX. I did try to order some seeds on ebay once from Puerto Rico but it didn't grow. I don't know why. I really love Bunga Kantan. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Floriamaier, if you wish to grow BK from seeds, the seed pod (Capsule) should be matured but fresh - please refer to info from Anne which I posted in a comment 1 June 2011. Those that I have grown successfully are sent from K by express mail i.e. when the capsule is still fresh and has not dried up yet, perhaps it is about 1 week old.

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  63. I remember these beautiful flowers when I was a young girl living and growing up in Angola (there they were called "rosa de porcelana").
    I live now in Australia, and I would love to plant these exotic flowers in my garden in Sydney.
    Anyone has seeds or rhizomes available that can be posted to Sydney?

    Kind regards,
    Marga Sawyer
    (msasawyer@gmail.com)

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    Replies
    1. Marga, Welcome to MNG! Thank you very for writing you experience with the flowers here. As I know, only K (link provided in my post) has the seeds. I'm not sure if she has it now. Moreover, getting seeds into Australia is subjected to the country's import regulations and customs declaration procedures. I too would be interested to know of any seller who can export or sell the seeds/rhizomes?

      Delete
    2. Hello msa,

      I know that it is planted in Queensland easily because it's quite tropical there! Nurseries on your side are sure to have them! you don't need to import them! Here's a good link http://www.nurseriesonline.com.au/PAGES/Torch-Ginger.html

      I on the other hand am from Perth and searched far and wide for it and found it at a closing nursery in Perth! what i got was labelled "Porcelain Torch" (hopefully the right one!!) but the nursery never had it flowering and didn't know much about the plant so i figured i might try to make it flower! I bought 2 plants on March and now the plants are 3 feet tall with lots of stems!

      I am now surviving on my mouth dropping discovery of frozen bunga kantan that's sold for 1.50 Aussie dollars at the oriental store here!

      Max (Desperate Malaysian student living in Perth)

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    3. Maxwin, thank you very much for the info! The name sounds like it. You can tear a leaf or try to smell the stems to test if it smells like Bunga Kantan. The only worry about your plant is the frost which it can't stand. You need to keep it indoors or in a greenhouse to tide over winter.

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    4. Belle,

      You're very welcome!

      I have actually done that and it does smell right! However I am just unsure until i see the flowers (that's just me)! It doesn't frost in Perth where I live but we do get storms which can easily kill them. I am always keeping track of the weather tho!

      There are some old branches that didn't do well when it was still at the nursery and the new leaves are getting quite small as they come out from the old stem. Therefore, i decided to cut them off as I realized that new stems that came out from the soil after I bought the plant grew to look much much healthier!

      For the fact that I am growing them in pots, I think it would be wise to keep only good stems as I don't have space for weak growth which would weaken my chances of flowering it! I am optimistic in getting it to flower in the pot as i read a success story:
      http://omarkamariah.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/takdir-atau-kebetulan.html

      We'll see and perhaps I should post some pictures soon :) will get back to you!

      Delete
  64. Maxwin, TQVM for the link. The BK I planted in a flower pot is growing very very slowly. The size of the leaves and height are only a fraction of those grown on the ground. I'd very much like to know about your progress and learn from your experience. You can post the pictures on my facebook - enter via my blog sidebar.

    Mom on Blog is also trying to grow BK in San Diego. I wonder how's hers doing now.

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  65. Can the rhizome be purchased in the wet markets?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not seen the rhizomes being sold at wet markets yet. You can ask the bunga kantan seller to get some for you. I have seen bunga kantan plants for sale at the Garden Bazaar at Floria 2012.

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    2. Hi Belle, really beautiful flowers you have there! i read that the plants can grow max 3m, but yours exceeding it! bet you feed them well. I just started planting white flowers ginger and initially don't even know the names as the seller can't even tell. Now I'm hooked to explore more about other species esp different flowers ginger.
      I live in Klang too, only having a very small patch of soiled ground, but am now getting ambitious ;P, i wish i can visit your garden and learn more of your gardening skill... connie

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    3. Conniexan, Welcome to MNG and nice to know you! White ginger - Do you mean the common ginger we use in cooking or the Hawaiian white ginger plant Hedychium coronarium? You can also grow galangal ginger for foliage. Others in the ginger family are the kunyit (tumeric), costuses, alpinias, heliconias. They are very exotic and cool. You can improve the soil in your ground by digging to loosen the soil and adding humus, compost, black soil, vermiculite soil. If it is too much job, you can grow plants in containers.

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  66. Hi sorry been away, I just got back from Krabi n guess what, I saw the torch ginger like yours blooming in a garden. best of all, it bear fruits, and so many of them! I took some of the dried seeds and put it in small pot with soil. btw, do I need to water it daily? should the soil get wet always, should i put it under sun or away. I didn't soak it prior..hope it's ok. I will try to email the pic I have got.. the flowers look slight different

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Conniexan, the seeds should be sowed fresh or soonest possible as it cannot keep long. If successful, the seeds will most likely germinate in about 2 weeks. Break open the pods to release the seeds before you sow. The seeds from the dried pods did not germinate in my case. The soil should be kept moist but well-drained. Water when the soil becomes dry on the surface. You can post the pictures to my Facebook Page too.

      By the way, it is much easier to grow Bunga Kantan (BK) from rhizomes. It is faster and the plant is much bigger. My BK grown from seeds is growing very slowly and like a dwarf in size and height.

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  67. AB, love these flowers! Recently, I bought a rhizome, and have tucked it inside soil. Hoping that the rhizome will survive and grow to a beautiful plant. :D

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  68. Thanks for this posting! I'm trying to grow this in Canada. Hopefully next season. I brought the fruit and flower for cooking Indonesian foods. The fruit is called asam cekala or asam patikala while the flower is known as kecombrang.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Mine is growing very well with lush leaves almost 9 feet since Aug 2011 but not a sign of the flower? what to do ah?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, it may take as long as 2 years for BK grown on the ground to flower. If your BK is well established and mature enough, you may get lucky as the BK may flower anytime now.

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  70. need help..where can i find the seeds in malaysia?any ideas guys..my mother want it so badly :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muhd Zaini, if you are gardening in Malaysia, it is better to grow bunga kantan from rhizomes.

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  71. Hi i have been trying to find rhizomes or plant seedlings from nurseries in pj but with no success. Where can we get the rhizomes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Zoe, they don't sell the rhizomes or young plants at local nurseries. You can ask the bunga kantan seller at the wet market to get it for you or get from a friend/neighbour who is growing this plant. Or, you can join My Nice Garden Chat facebook group for gardening and ask if anyone can spare a rhizome for you. The link is here:
      http://www.facebook.com/groups/mynicegardenchat/

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    2. Thanks will try to ask around. Just started my home garden and now working on edible landscaping. Thanks for your blog!

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  72. What a wonderful flower! Thanks for sharing it. We used it very often on making Malay dishes. My mum plants it too but honestly I never seen any one of it has that flaming torch flowers. Btw, I like your blog soooo much!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Hi,
    Why is my bunga Kantan plant not flowering? I have planted it for 2 years

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should be flowering anytime now if it is planted on the ground. Water it well. Your plant should be sending out leaf stalks at least about 10 - 15 ft tall by now.

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  74. Hi does any knows where can I buy Bunga Kantan in Sydney? I would like to cook asam pedas for my sister but I don't seem to be able to find bunga kantan there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can try those Asian grocery or supplies stores. Otherwise try asking the restaurants that serve those dishes to get a lead of where to buy it.

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  75. I have tried the Asian grocery at Chatswood but they don't have any. Well I think my other option is but it here in Malaysia, then shred,dry it, deep freeze it and take it with me to Sydney.

    Thanks for your info.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Hi Autumn Belle,

    Thank you so much for your lovely blog, very inspiring for first time gardener like me. I am trying to grow nasi ulam herbs for my mum on her small garden patch here in JB, and would like to try BK, but I am not sure where to find good rhizomes around the neighborhood (just moved back here). Am actually visiting my brother in KL in a few days, could you or any of your avid readers point out where I could find rhizomes there please? thank you and have a great week all.

    breathe and smile,
    Will

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi, Will. Thank you very much for your encouraging words! You can try visiting the wet markets and night markets and ask the vendors who sell local herbs and BK in JB or KL. Usually the Malay vendors will have this along with pandan and lemongrass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Autumn Belle! Found a lovely uncle Basri who plants BK on his small plot of land, and got some rhizomes from a friend's durian plantation in Balik Pulau :)).. fingers crossed they grow well!

      Have a great week,
      Will

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    2. Hi, Will, so glad you found your BK! Good Luck! Do update me of any good news :)

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  78. I am Bertin from Haiti. I have successfully germinated seeds of Elingera Elatior as well. I have 18 small baby plants growing. Thank you for this blog, because it's after readig it that I found the seeds. I have soaked them in water for three days. I have practiclaly given up on them after thirty days then 35 days later they started to come out, and they looked like corn coming out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bertin, Wow, that's great to know! I'm so glad your seeds germinated and you waited long enough. If you had given up on the 30th day, you won't get the results now. Phew!

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  79. Your plant might not flower if you keep it in the pot. it looks like they need a lot of space!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bertin, you are right! Actually, in Malaysia, we grow them on the ground and they will surely flower. I am experimenting with BK in a flower pot as I have never seen BK flowering in a pot. I guess they just won't, hehe.

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  80. Hi Autumn Belle, just found you. I would like to get one of those. I live in Virgina, I have a big self watering pot. I love to eat the flower, but I am not sure which kind it is. The red one or the pink one? Where can I buy it or better yet get it for free? Do you live in Malaysia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous from Virginia. You need to grow the torch ginger on the ground. It won't flower on a flower pot. Yes, I live in Malaysia and we eat the torch ginger flower buds of the pink coloured one.

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  81. Beautiful flowers, like to grow it in my garden. Can any one spare one plant? I live in KL, my email, ptsgi@hotmail.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jimmy, you can visit the coming Putrajaya Floria 2014 from 14-22 June and try looking at the Garden Bazaar and Horticultural Market.

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  82. Thanks. Attended the last one will be going to this one too.

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  83. hello, I stumbled upon your website while googlng the bunga kentang flower. it grows wild in my garden and yes, the flowers are indeed beautiful. it never fails to fascinate visitors.

    I am from Singapore and may send u an email with pictures. lovely to know there are people who share the same passion for this flower as I do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simply Sedap, thanks for your comment! If you have photos, do post them in facebook and just send me the link. As the photo files are large, they may exceed my email storage quota and may not reach me.

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  84. i love your blogs as i am still new with gardening......i love to cook and love the smell and look of bunga kantan,do you known where i can get the seed to plant it???I live in melaka,hopefully you can help.thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is easier to grow bunga kantan from rhizomes (underground stems). You can get from a friend or buy from the nursery.

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