Advice on planting hedychium tuber

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Q: I have a Hedychium tuber which I am thinking of planting in a container, how deep do I plant it and does it need to be kept damp. I live in the northwest of England.

The genus Hedychium is in the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) and plants produce fragrant, asymmetrical flowers (rare in the plant world) and large, lance-shaped leaves of various lengths depending on the species (or hybrid). They are often found in woodland settings in the wild; this can be replicated by providing a sheltered site (no wind), part shade, a humus-rich, well-drained potting mix, and a balanced organic fertilizer. Normally one would set the rhizome several inches beneath the surface of the soil. The concern with a container, of course, is greater exposure of the roots to cold winter air. You might wish to set the rhizome a bit deeper and provide as large a pot as possible to provide further insulation between the roots and the cold air. If winter temperatures are expected to drop quickly, consider taking the pot into a covered area or wrapping it with burlap and an outer layer of heavy plastic to cut the wind. Once temperatures warm again, even if it’s just above freezing, remove the plastic so the plant can breathe.