How to Grow Your Own Ginger

Ginger is a spice well-known for its amazing health benefits and unique, spicy flavor. But did you know ginger is actually very simple to grow yourself? The ginger plant (Zingiber officinale) is native to tropical rainforests of Southern Asia and is related to turmeric, cardamom and galangal.

Despite this fact, you don’t have to live in the tropics to grow ginger. It can be grown in colder climates as well. With some basic care, you can have your own abundant crop of this versatile spice.

Where to Start

It’s easiest to buy a fresh ginger root from your local market or store. Organically grown roots are best, but any root in good condition will grow fine.

Don’t try any ornamental varieties of ginger, these are not edible. Make sure you get a regular root that’s meant for eating.

Look for a firm, intact root that has a few growth buds or “eyes” on the tips. Larger roots can be cut into smaller pieces with a clean knife if needed. Each piece should have at least three “eyes” on it.

Cultivation

Ginger takes eight to ten months from planting until harvest. In the tropics, it can be planted outside at the beginning of the wet season and left until it’s mature.

In areas with a shorter growing season, you have a couple different options. You can plant your roots in a container for the entire time. Or you can start them in a container during winter and plant them outside in spring.

Being a tropical plant, ginger can’t handle any frost. If you want to start your ginger indoors, work backwards from the date you typically have your first frost.

For example, if you usually get a frost on Sept 1, plant your ginger roots inside around December or January. Then plant them in the garden after the frost risk has passed, and harvest them in August before your next freeze.

Ginger will develop the best flavor when grown in the ground, compared to grown in a commercial potting mix. This can make it worth the extra effort to start them inside and move them into the ground later.

But if you only have the space for a container of ginger, make sure you choose a rich, well-draining potting mix with lots of organic matter. You can also use garden soil mixed with well-aged compost in a 1:1 ratio, but avoid this if your soil has a lot of clay. It will retain too much water.

How to grow your own ginger: tips for planting, harvesting and eating.

Plant your ginger roots about 2 inches (5 centimeters) deep, with the growing tips straight up. Over time, your ginger roots may work themselves to the top of the soil. This is normal and exposed roots are fine. If you’re growing in a container, make sure your pot is at least 12 inches (30 centimeters) deep and wide.

Think of a tropical climate when taking care of your ginger. It likes partial shade, warmth, high humidity, a protected location and moist soil. Try to keep your ginger out of direct sun and wind. Also make sure it doesn’t get too overwatered or soggy, which can promote rot. Misting ginger plants grown indoors can help keep up the humidity.

Fertilizing your ginger regularly will help boost the soil’s nutrition. You can mulch your ginger heavily with compost if you’re growing it outside. This is especially important in areas that tend to have torrential rain, which leaches nutrients out of the soil. For containers, you can add some extra compost periodically or use a commercial fertilizer meant for vegetables.

Harvesting Your Ginger

Ginger foliage will naturally die down at the end of a growing season. You can harvest it any time after this.

Whether your ginger is in the ground or a container, you can dig up the whole plant for harvest. Simply cut off the old shoots, wash off the roots and they’re ready to use.

If you live in the tropics, you can dig up your ginger once a year and replant it at the same time. Ginger will start its new growth in early spring, so harvesting and replanting is best done at the end of winter just before the shoots start.

If growing in containers, you can also replant some of your ginger right after harvest to grow on for another year.

Harvested ginger should last in your fridge for about two months. You can freeze or dehydrate your ginger for longer storage.

Fresh sliced ginger root on white wooden background

What to Do with Your Ginger

Looking for ways to use your crop? Try some of these tasty recipes.

Related
7 Easy Ways to Heal with Ginger
Lemon-Ginger Foot Scrub to Warm Your Toes
11 Reasons Ginger is One of the Healthiest Spices

115 comments

Telica R
Telica Rabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing

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Stephanie s
Stephanie sabout a month ago

Thank you

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Stephanie s
Stephanie sabout a month ago

Thank you

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Stephanie s
Stephanie sabout a month ago

Thank you

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Melania P
Melania Padilla3 months ago

Wonderful, sharing as well!

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Maureen G
Maureen G3 months ago

A really comprehensive article. Makes one want to give ginger growing a go.

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Jim V
Jim Ven4 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S4 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Sonia M
Sonia M4 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven5 months ago

thanks

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