Cut flowers

The cut flower and foliage industry is a small industry in the Northern Territory (NT).

It generally consists of tropical flowers and foliage in the Top End and Australian wildflowers and temperate exotics in Central Australia.

Listed below are links to Agnotes, growing notes and other advice about growing cut flowers in the NT.

Grower advice

Curcuma - hidden or surprise ginger

Curcumas or turmeric are perennial flowering plants grown for cut flowers and as nursery plants.

They have a dormant period during the dry season and flower throughout the wet season.

Read more information about curcumas.
Read about new curcuma cut flower varieties PDF (199.7 KB).

Ornamental gingers

Ornamental gingers range from the beehive shaped zingibers, which flower close to the ground, to the torch gingers - Etlingeras - and the red and pink alpinias.

Read more information about Darzing varieties PDF (358.2 KB).


Heliconias are a popular cut flower. The group broadly consists of numerous smaller psittacorum cultivars - such as Golden Torch and Petra, larger claw varieties and the large pendulous varieties.

Read more information about heliconias:

Heliconia varieties

Read information about the following heliconia varieties:


The drier regions of Central Australia are suitable for growing Australian wildflowers such as kangaroo paws, gypsophila and Geraldton wax.

Read more about growing these varieties in Central Australia:

View the Flower Seed Sowing Calendar for Central Australia PDF (110.3 KB).

Pest and disease management

Refer to the information listed below to find out about pests and diseases which affect flower varieties in the NT.

Insect pests

Visit the Northern Territory insects database to identify an insect pest and the damage it can cause.

Read more about heliconia diseases PDF (63.9 KB).
Read more about orchid diseases in the NT PDF (46.3 KB).

General information

For more information about the types of cut flower varieties suitable for the NT read availability and storage conditions - nursery and cut flowers PDF (124.5 KB).

Research results

Search the online publications library to find the results of research regarding individual plant types.

The Darwin Collection of alpinia gingers

The Darwin Collection is a popular series of alpinia purpurata gingers bred from plants imported and evaluated by the horticulture division of the Northern Territory Government in the late 1980s.

The series consists of Darwin Dawn, Darwin Desire, Darwin Dolly, Darwin Lady and Darwin Sunset.

The NT floral emblem for the Centenary of Federation, the 'Federation Lady' also resulted from the earlier alpinia breeding program and is now in high demand throughout Australia.

Improving torch ginger - Etlingera

Torch gingers - the genus Etlingera - belong to the large Zingiberaceace family. There is a large variety of different colours, forms and sizes.

Torch ginger has a short vase life as a cut flower. Most varieties only last for six to seven days.

Seedlings from an intensive hybridising program to improve vase-life are being assessed and screened for their vase-life performance.

Advanced selections will then be evaluated by the Cut-flower Growers Group for suitability as commercial varieties.

Industry association

For information about the cut flower industry visit the websites of the Cut flower Growers Group, The Australian Flower Council or NT Farmers.

Last updated: 02 August 2017

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