Grow: Ginger Plants!

Ginger is an amazing plant.  Whether for food (sweet, savory, and spicy!), health (for digestion or cold/flu season), or beauty – the rhizome of ginger is very versatile.

When I see fresh ginger root in the store, I tend to buy it.  Being drawn to ginger can sometimes create quite a basket full of extra roots.  A few months ago, some of this excess did something very exciting:

It sprouted!

I stared at it for a while, spoke to the little green shoots (like you do), then sat down for some research on what to do with sprouted ginger.  I settled on planting.

Growing your own ginger is a marvelous project.  If you see a little green tip forming on a toe of ginger, smile at it, find a terra-cotta pot that you love, and get started!

Preparing the pot

Rocks create space for water to form a resevoir without saturating the soil and overwhelming the plant.

Prepping the Pot

Note: In my bio-zone, ginger survives well as an indoor plant. (If you would like to learn more about what will grow well in your climate area, click on the word “bio-zone,” above.) 

  1. Houseplants need good drainage – and since you are creating their environment, you are also creating their drainage.  If your pot has drainage holes, create a layer of medium and small rocks that just covers the bottom of the pot.  If your pot is without holes it’s good to thicken that layer to about 2 inches.
  2. Using dry, fluffy, loose soil, fill the pot to a point 2-3 inches below its rim.  If you do not have new potting soil, mix a small amount of compost and/or peat moss into old potting soil to freshen and lighten it.
ready the roots

Cut the ginger into chunks with enough root to support each bit of new growth (1 in or more).

Ready the Roots!

Note: If you do not have the time to plant your sprouted ginger immediately (and its skin begins to wrinkle), make a clean cut at least an inch from the shoot and place the cut end in or above shallow water, this should keep it fresh for a while – until there is time for planting.

  1. Before planting, cut the ginger root into chunks, making a clean cut at least one inch from the new growth.
  2. Lay these chunks, with the shoots pointing upward, atop the soil.
  3. Cover the ginger with a layer of your soil, they should have at least 1/2 inch of cover.  If the shoots are long enough, don’t worry about covering them – they will be glad of the sunlight!
planted

Ginger thrives in partial shade or indirect sunlight.

Now give that ginger plant some water, and watch it grow!

When your ginger has been thriving for 4 – 7 months, it should be ready for harvest.  Simply trim the stalks, dig up the roots, cut off what you intend to use (leaving at least an inch to support the shoots), and replant!   If you would prefer that the plant bloom, make sure that it is kept damp, warm, and happy (singing to it might help!).

Happy growing!

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