Cardamom is a 5- to 10-foot-tall forest-dwelling plant that can be grown as an outdoor perennial only in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11. South Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, this live plant is for you! The clumping plant, with rigid and erect stems featuring leaves that are up to 2 feet long, regrows each year from large underground rhizomes. Native to the mountainous forests of southwest India, this spice became a staple ingredient in that country’s cuisine, with its use dating back at least 4,000 years. Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians were fond of this spice. During their roamings, Vikings discovered the spice and brought it back to Scandinavia, where it became a popular ingredient in mulled wine, pastries, and bread. Today, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are the biggest importers of this spice. Guatemala is the largest commercial producer, followed by India and Sri Lanka.
The unique taste of cardamom is often described as being very aromatic with a resinous fragrance with some mint-like flavor.
Expect flowers after about three years; the rhizomes may live for 10-15 years.
From winter to midsummer, feed your plant fish emulsion every couple of weeks.
• Loves water, thrives in the wood chip mulch garden.
• Not too much sun.
• Not too chilly.
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