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All Seasons Nursery & Landscaping

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perennial

Dwarf Cardamom

Alpinia nutans

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Dwarf Cardamom (Alpinia nutans) at All Seasons Nursery

Dwarf Cardamom foliage

Dwarf Cardamom foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  3 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  7

Other Names:  False Cardamon, Shell Flower, Cardamom Ginger

Description:

Beautiful glossy green leaves have a distinctive cardamom fragrance; shell-like, creamy white flowers bloom prolifically in spring; keep moist but not wet in a rich soil; becomes more hardy once established; great for containers or along borders

Ornamental Features

Dwarf Cardamom features showy spikes of lightly-scented white flowers rising above the foliage in mid spring. Its attractive fragrant narrow leaves emerge light green in spring, turning dark green in color the rest of the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Dwarf Cardamom is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with a shapely form and gracefully arching foliage. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Dwarf Cardamom is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Dwarf Cardamom will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Dwarf Cardamom is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Edging  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features

Disclaimer - This Plant Finder tool is an online resource representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact the store directly for current availability. It does not include our entire selection of plants, so be sure to visit our store to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.