|Me with the costus rhizome as a fashion statement|
This has proven very easy to grow, I am surprised it is not more common in cultivation, at the time I got it I could find no other sources for it other than the expert plant grower I got it from in California. It goes dormant in fall and I store the pots dry and relatively warm in the house, I havent yet stuck them in the garage where it is about 50 F during the winter. They arent much warmer, maybe 60s in the room I keep them in. Each piece of rhizome that breaks off will generate a new plant, and the questing rhizomes often come out of unexpected places like drainage holes in pots. They also circle around the pot edge trying to escape. So this is a plant to grow in as large a pot as you can, and even then it should be divided up periodically so you dont get too many rosettes crowding each other in the pot. It goes outside in semishade for the summer, it does get some hours of sun but too much may scald the leaves in very hot weather. Too much shade would likely cut down on flower production, but I have found it easy to please. It growth cycle coincides well with our eastern US climate, and it is no bother to keep during its dormant period. It wont come up too early, rather it waits until conditions are warm enough before it really starts to grow. I doubt it has much in the way of frost hardiness, if it has some it would be a great plant to grow outside in parts of Florida perhaps. By now I have about 4 pots of it growing and gave away a small prop to a friend recently. They will need dividing again next year after they complete another growth cycle, 3 of the pots are blooming now and I expect the fourth to most likely flower later on. So far I have been unable to set seed on it but I will have to try again. ginger flowers have columns like orchids do so their pollination is slightly more complicated than with some other flowers.