Elettaria–commonly called cardamon–is a handsome leafy shrub with linear to lance-shaped bright green leaves. When grown in tropical regions, Ellettaria bears violet-veined white flowers which give way to aromatic seed capsules. The seed capsules are used as a spice called cardamon.
In temperature regions and indoors, Elettaria makes an attractive foliage plant. In frost-free regions, it can be grown outdoors in a shady bed or border. Indoors, Ellettaria grows well in bright light but can adapt to limited light.
Elettaria is a genus of four species of evergreen rhizomatous perennials. Elettaria is native to tropical rainforests in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Sumatra.
Get to Know Elettaria
- Plant type: Perennial
- Growing zones and range: Zone 11
- Hardiness: Tender, hardy to Zone 11
- Temperature: It needs a cool temperature and medium humidity.
- Height and width: 3 to10 feet (1-3m) tall and wide grown outdoors
- Foliage: Erect shoots of linear to lance-shaped leaves
- Flowers: Large-bracted spikes of 3-lipped, 3-petaled flowers followed by spherical capsules
- Bloom time: Summer
- Uses: Fruit is used as a spice; attractive shrub and houseplant
- Common name: Cardamon.
- Botanical name: Elettaria
- Family name: Zingiberaceae
- Origin: Inida, Sir Lanka, Malaysia, Sumatra
Where to Plant Elettaria
- Light outdoors: Grow in full sun with some midday shade.
- Light indoors: Cardamon thrives in bright light and can adapt to limited light.
- Soil outdoors: Grow Elettaria in fertile, humus-rich soil.
- Soil indoors: Use a soil-based potting mix.
When to Plant Elettaria
- Set Elettaria outdoors in spring and autumn,
Planting and Spacing Elettaria
- Space Elettaria 10 feet (3m) apart.
How to Water and Feed Elettaria
- Water: Allow the soil to dry to the touch between thorough watering.
- Feeding: Apply a balanced fertilizer monthly in spring and summer.
- Elettaria needs tropical conditions to flower and fruit. It is a handsome leafy plant grown in temperate regions.
- Trim away lower leaves as they wilt and dry.
- Use an all-purpose potting mix to repot Elettaria.
Growing Elettaria as a Houseplant
- Elettaria thrives in bright light and can adapt to limited light.
- Elettaria needs a cool temperature and medium humidity.
- The soil should dry between thorough waterings.
- Fertilize Eletarria monthly in spring and summer.
Elettaria Pests and Diseases
- Elletaria is susceptible to attack by mealybugs and spider mites.
- Elettaria can be propagated by division in spring.
- Sow seed in warm soil as soon as ripe.
Elettaria Varieties to Grow
- Elettaria cardamomum, also known as Amomum cardamomum, cardamon. Perennial grows to 3 to 10 feet tall and wide: has bright green leaves that grow to 15 inches long and 3 inches wide; violet-veined white flowers are followed by aromatic, pale green capsules.