Ginger is one herb or spice that I always have in my pantry. I eat it crystallized and I use the powder for teas and cooking. I also use fresh ginger for cooking. When I decided to start growing this root, I expected it to be difficult. It's not. It is rather simple.
I've been growing ginger at home for years now. You can grow it in the ground, but I have been growing it in pots, and I am going to show you how simple it is.
There are many different species. To grow the most common edible variety, Zingiber officinale, all you need is ginger root from the grocery store.
The easiest way to get started is to simply get a few fresh rhizomes. You can get some from someone who grows ginger, or you can simply buy some at the local grocery store. Make sure you select fresh, plump rhizomes. Yes, we actually use the rhizome (although we call it ginger root) but you all know what I am talking about.
Some people recommend soaking the rhizomes in water overnight. That's not a bad idea, since shop-bought ginger might have been treated with a growth retardant. However, it is not necessary to leave them in water until they grow roots. Your plant will be much happier if the roots are in the ground and can breathe right from the start, rather than having to deal with the transplanting shock and the change in conditions.
Your pieces of ginger will sprout fast enough by just sitting out on the counter top. If the ground is moist and warm, they will root very easily.
Whether you grow your ginger root in a pot or in the ground, you do need really good soil to start with. It needs to be rich enough to feed your ginger. It needs to hold enough moisture so it doesn't dry out, but it needs to be free draining so the roots don't become waterlogged.
Ginger thrives on high-quality, well-draining soil. Mixing garden soil with an equal amount of well-rotted compost should do the trick. If your soil is poor quality or heavy in clay, purchase rich potting soil instead.
Ginger is a tropical plant that does not survive frost. Start in early spring. Plant after the last spring frost, or at the start of the wet season if you live in the tropics.
If you live in a climate with a short growing season, you can grow the plant indoors.
I personally prefer to grow them in pots, and the information that I am posting today relates to growing them in pots, and since I live in Florida, I can pretty much grow it year-round.
Ginger prefers partial shade or areas with morning sun only, away from large roots. The growing location should be sheltered from wind and moist, but not swampy. If the plant has not yet germinated, soil temperatures must be warm—ideally between 71 and 77ºF.
If you are growing in good, rich soil, it shouldn't need anything extra. I grow mine in pots. I put in fresh compost mix every year and never add any extra fertilizer.
If you don't have good soil, or if you are growing in some standard bought potting mix, then you have to feed it regularly. You will also have to feed it if you are growing in an area that gets torrential summer rains (many tropical regions do). Such rains leach all the goodness from the soil.
Work in some organic slow release fertilizer at planting time. After that you can use some liquid fertilizer like seaweed extract or fish fertilizer every few weeks.
TIP: You can also plant many clumps around your place and just dig up what you need, when you need it. The plants grow outwards from the mature rhizomes. Once a clump is big enough you can harvest the mature tubers without damaging new shoots.
By the way, if you are serious about growing ginger at home then resist the urge to harvest it for a year or two.
Ginger can be consumed in many ways.
I use ginger in my immunity blend in powdered form. It is definitely a factor in helping with chronic inflammation, and it has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years.
One of my favorite ways to use it is in cooking, whether in stir-fry or in making crystallized ginger.
Ginger has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for centuries. Oil taken from the plant is used as an anti-nausea and anti-vomiting medication, with no known side effects and no interactions with other drugs or nutrients. It stimulates the digestive system and prevents irritation to the intestinal walls. In TCM, it is used to treat atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, motion sickness, colds and cough, and headaches. It is also considered a safe treatment for pregnant women with morning sickness.
© 2016 Gina Welds Hulse
Linda Strickland Kimball on April 11, 2020:
I was introduced to a Indian ginger tea by my friend, born and raised in India. I’ve been hooked every since. Covid 19 and not being able to run to the store has brought me to the reality of growing it myself.
Today I will plant my first piece of ginger.
So excited. Thanks for the tips!
Ben on December 03, 2018:
This excellent article is the best I found on the net for growing ginger.
Lots of great tips & good detail.
Thanks Gina !
Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on December 24, 2016:
Hi Geri. Thanks for visiting. I'm glad the article was helpful. Growing ginger is truly very easy, with a lot of reward.
Geri McClymont on December 23, 2016:
I have been reading a lot about the benefits of ginger lately, and I have been wanting to grow my own herbs. Your article motivates me to do it! Thanks for a very informative article.
Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on December 15, 2016:
I am glad the images helped. I am a visual learner, so I try to include as many images as possible. TIP: You could start another pot that would be growing while you are harvesting from the current one.
Barbara Casey on December 15, 2016:
Thanks for the photos. And the advice to wait longer to harvest my ginger. I have mine in a large felt pot, which makes it easy to carry into the sunroom if the weather gets too cold outside.
Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on December 14, 2016:
Hi @Happymommy2520 So glad you stopped by. You have to let me know of your ginger success when you plant.
Yes, Shauna, you should be very successful, as we are not different in climate. I'm working on sweet potatoes at the moment. That hub to come soon. :-)
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 12, 2016:
Ginger is such a flavorful and useful spice. I always have some on hand to make tea for belly problems, cold and flu, etc. I think I'll try my hand at growing my own.
I always know your gardening tips will work in my garden because we're practically next door neighbors. We share the same weather and soil conditions.
Thanks for posting this, Gina!
Amy from East Coast on December 12, 2016:
Another interesting Hub. Thank you for including the fact that it doesn't need that much space to grow. I have a habit of putting to many seeds into a pot. You have inspired my first early Spring gardening project!
Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on December 07, 2016:
Hi Nadine. Hi Nancy. I'm so glad you have been inspired. Being able to harvest your own fresh ginger is wonderful. Yes, Nancy, and it is quite simple.
Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on December 02, 2016:
My next project. I never knew that I could grow Ginger in my home. I might just try this.
Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on December 02, 2016:
Great post and you have inspired me give it another go.
Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on December 02, 2016:
Thank you for sharing. I appreciate that!