Red Button Ginger

Costus woodsonii

Almanac Planting Co Red Button Ginger (Costus woodsonii) with green foliage and a bright red, young flower


Uses: Houseplant, patio plant, or outdoor plant (in approved tropical zones)

Benefits: Easy to care for. Year round interest. Produces candy apple red spiky cones, with vibrant yellow-orange flowers. Deep green, evergreen foliage. 

USDA Hardiness Zones: 9 - 11 

Sun: Bright indirect, partial sun, and partial shade. Avoid strong, full sun. 

Life Cycle: Perennial

Mature Height: 3' - 6'

Mature¬†Width:¬†ÔĽŅ2' - 3'


Something exotic doesn't have to be hard to take care of. 

The Costus woodsonii plant is a great addition to your plant portfolio. Perfect for patios, indoor living spaces, and outdoor gardens (in suitable tropical environments). It's light versatile and extremely low maintenance. This ornamental ginger produces eye-catching vibrant yellowish-orange, waxy blooms and red torpedo-shaped inflorescences that accentuate its lush evergreen leaves. 

Native to Central America. 

Flowering ginger plant. 

Produces year-round, visual interest. 


Red Button Ginger Care

How to Water a Red Button Ginger

We suggest watering an indoor¬†ÔĽŅÔĽŅRed Button Ginger¬†every¬†4-7 days between spring and fall‚ÄĒattempting to keep the soil moist but not wet.

Like most other plants, it's sensitive to overwatering.

The plant will not drink as much during periods of slow growth such as winter, during which it's suggested to shift the frequency of watering to a weekly to bi-weekly schedule. During this schedule it's important to attempt to allow the upper 1/3 of soil in the pot to dry between watering. 

Like many other plants, too much watering will result in the yellowing of stems and leaves, eventually followed by root rot should the wet conditions persist. 

Although this plant is considered to be drought resistant, too little water will result in the browning of branches and leaves, followed by eventual death if kept dry.

How Much Humidity Do Red Button Ginger Plants Like?

Costus woodsonii prefers moderate to high humidity (above 50% RH) and does well with daily misting.

Humidifiers and pebble beds may be used to supplement humidity around the plant. 

How Much Sun Do Red Button Ginger Plants Like?

Avoid placing Costus woodsonii in areas that receive extended periods of strong, direct sunlight.

The best lighting is provided by bright indirect light as direct light could cause leaf burn. 

Flowering Ginger Plants do great with some shade, but too little sun will cause growth issues. 

What is the Ideal Temperature for a Red Button Ginger Plant?

Costus woodsonii¬†prefer warmer temperatures and will likely die in extended periods of 50¬įF¬†weather.

It's best to keep this plant in temperatures above 55¬įF¬†to ensure its beauty and the integrity of its growth; however the optimal temperature range of this tropical plant is between 65¬įF¬†and 85¬įF.

As such, this plant thrives outdoors year round in USDA zones 9-11, and will likely not survive living outdoors over winter in USDA zone 8 or cooler.

What is the Best Soil for a Red Button Ginger?

Flowering Ginger Plants prefer well draining, loamy soils that still hold a degree of moisture. Our potting soil is a great growing medium for this plant.

How Do I Fertilize a Red Button Ginger?

Costus woodsonii should be fertilized on a monthly basis between early spring and mid-fall.

Winter fertilizations may be required on a less frequent basis if the plant is in an environment where the temperature and the amount of light that it's exposed to don't promote fast growth.

We suggest using¬†our slow release fertilizer, a balanced liquid fertilizer, or fish emulsion‚ÄĒbeing careful not to overfertilize.¬†

Trimming and Maintaining a Red Button Ginger Plant

It's often not necessary to trim Costus woodsonii unless there is unsightly damage or if the plant has spindly growth.  

Trimming is best done in the spring or fall, and should be accomplished with the use of a clean, sanitized, and sharp trimming scissors. We suggest lightly fertilizing after any extensive pruning. 

Biannual pruning will encourage bushier growth, while not trimming the plant will encourage leggier growth. 

Like most other plants, it's advised that any dead or dying leaves and stems be removed from the plant to keep it as healthy and clean as possible. 

Deadhead (remove) spent flowers as required. 

How to Repot a Red Button Ginger Plant

Costus woodsonii does not do well rootbound so it's suggested that you repot your plant if its roots begin to crowd its pot.

You can repot your plant by placing the entire root ball into a larger pot then softly breaking up its root structure around the edges of its root ball prior to surrounding it with a lightly packed, medium porosity potting mix. It's advised to only slightly increase the pot size when repotting.

How to Propagate Red Button Ginger Plants

The propagation of flowering ginger plants is best accomplished through the use of division. Since the roots of these plants are rhizomes, you can simply and easily propagate it as it grows larger. 


What Size are the Red Button Ginger Plants for Sale Online?

The Costus woodsonii that we sell online will ship in a greenhouse grade grow pot. Each plant will be appropriately sized for its pot. Please contact us with any specific questions.

How Big do Red Button Ginger Plants Grow?

The size of Costus woodsonii at maturity is typically between 4' and 6' high and 2' to 3' wide. 

Additional Information

Common Names of Costus woodsonii

  • Red Button Ginger

  • Indian Head Ginger

  • Red Cane

  • Scarlet Spiral¬†Flag

  • Panamanian Candle Ginger

Toxicity and Risks of Red Button Ginger Plants

We were not able to find too much information regarding the toxicity of Costus woodsonii. As such, we suggest assuming that parts of it may be toxic.

Use caution when growing around pets and children. Handle with care. 

Almanac Planting Co Red Button Ginger (Costus woodsonii) growing together in a large bunch.

*This plant is a part of our Archived Plant Collection. Although no longer for sale on our online store, we keep pages like this on our site for the informational benefit of others. Please contact us if you're interested in purchasing large quantities of this plant, as we may be able to specially source and deliver plants for you.