There are a few spices that grow well in containers right at home, and ginger happens to be one of them. Popular in tasty Asian dishes and in many favorite baked treats, ginger adds zingy flavor to culinary delights of all sorts. And, ginger is super easy to grow in a container. In fact, it’s so easy to grow; you may not be able to stop yourself from running out today to get this simple gardening project started. You can have fresh ginger available to add to your own recipes in no time flat.
Ginger has been a useful plant since before historical records even began. It’s believed to originate in India. It’s been a popular spice on the worldwide scale, second only to pepper, throughout time.
The ginger plant’s adaptability has allowed the most humble of folks all the way to the fancy rulers to enjoy it throughout history. For example, Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) is credited with enjoying the appearance of gingerbread men popular still today at Christmastime. Ginger’s rich history goes right along with its impressionable flavor, and millions continue to enjoy its flavor and its medicinal properties today.
How to Plant Ginger: Container Selection and Sprouting
The healthiest ginger plants are grown from reputable nurseries or from quality online gardening sources. But a ginger root can also be purchased from your local grocery store. Grocery store ginger roots may be coated with a growth inhibitor, which prevent it from sprouting in the grocery store. Grocery ginger root may also be treated with fungicides and/or pesticides. So, to clean your ginger, soak your new ginger root for 24 hours before slicing it up to plant.
Choose a wide, flat container to plant. Ginger’s roots grow horizontally, so width is more important than depth. Containers that are small enough to easily be moved inside and out are the perfect choice for ginger. Fill your container with a rich potting soil that will drain well.
Slice your ginger knob, into thin pieces. Select pieces of the knob that have “eyes” on them. Eyes are indentations in the surface of the root, where sprout will begin. Place the piece of ginger with the eyes facing up into the soil, and cover with about and inch and a half of soil.
How to Care for Ginger Plant
Water your ginger well in the early stages of planting. Continue to water or spray your plant’s soil often to keep the soil moist but not soggy. And be patient. Ginger can take several weeks to sprout.
Ginger is a good plant to enjoy indoors in colder climates. While it will enjoy the outdoors during warm months, any frost will kill a ginger plant. Choose a location with indirect light for your ginger.
After about eight months, your ginger plant will be mature. At that point, you can separate the rhizomes by pulling off a section of the plant including a piece of the rhizome. Transplanting is as easy as setting that rhizome into a new container of soil. Ginger is an easy root to share with a friend.
How to Harvest Ginger
Although the ginger plant may take many months to mature, you can harvest ginger when the plant is three or four months old. When you push away the soil from around the rhizome, you’ll notice that ginger rhizomes look knobby. You will also see roots reaching outward and downward from the rhizome. The rhizome is the edible portion of ginger. The roots can be cleaned off as you clean the rhizome to eat.
To enjoy a bit of ginger, simply uncover a piece of rhizome, and trim off one of the finger-like extensions. You can harvest ginger in this manner anytime you wish. However, you may find that you love it so much that you’ll need more than one rhizome planted at a time. You can alternate snipping from your plants if you grow more than one.
Before you eat ginger, you should rinse it and peel the skin off with a potato peeler. Then, enjoy your ginger freshly sliced or grated. Or, dry your ginger by slicing it paper thin and setting it on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in an oven or outside in a dry, sunny location. Ginger may take several hours or several days to dry. When it’s completely dried, it can safely be stored in plastic bags. You can also grate your dried ginger with a coffee grinder. Grated ginger is a delicious result of an easy gardening project!
Want to learn more about growing ginger?
Check out these helpful resources:
Growing Edible Ginger
Ginger — Zingiber officinale Roscoe University of Florida IFAS Extension
Creative Commons Flickr photo courtesy of Benson Kua
I was hoping that when I watched the video it would be more informative and it wasn’t. It would have been helpful to show what the EYE of ginger looks like and for you to actually plant and show depth etc. Thanks
Definitely on showing the eye!
The eye would be very similar to the eye of a potato. It is an indented spot on the ginger that will allow roots to grow from it.
Basically what they mean by rhizome is the fleshy part beneath the soil with roots growing from it. It looks like the section the woman shows in the video.
Thank you Pat. You were very helpful.
I agree. Could have,actually planted it and shown how
louie engelbrecht says
I thought that the explanation was more than adequate,and easy to understand.Thank you so much for making it available.
Shelley Hayes says
I agree with Mercedeh. For those of us new to gardening, terms like Rizone are unfamiliar and instructions that may seem obvious to a seasoned gardener are not clear. I would appreciate more visual instruction to go along with the written. The video was not very helpful for me.
Bob Katz says
I wish there would be sketches or pictures of the parts mentioned.
liz seaton says
I was also left wanting more , how long does it take to sprout, how long will it take to grow so I can harvest, What time of the year is it best to plant.
clay crumb says
Sprouts begin almost immediately but grow to the surface in 2-3 weeks if moist- not wet. plant inside anytime, if you plan to put outdoors plant after last frost (usually about the same time as spuds). In frost free environment they may become an invasive weed , but that usually is not a problem if you thin by harvesting every 4 to 6 months. Refresh your spot with bone meal, blood meal, and a good organic compost annually. The pre-soak is important but do not be surprised if it does not grow because some shippers sterilize the store bought rizomes.
An eye is the same thing in a potato, indentations on the skin where possibly you see growth happening .
was not impress with this video I would have like to see and have more information on how to grow ginger especially as a new student to growing my own Have to look elsewhere for more footage
Thanks alot, how give it a try.
Marge Hidisyan says
Do u plant turmeric the same way?
I really would like to grow my own ginger as I love , love , looooove that spice. Unfortunately for me that video was not informative enough for me personally. Maybe I might need a collective guide for Dummies on how to grow my own ginger. Disappointed wannabe ginger grower. 🙁
Hey thanks for sharing, it’s truely inspired me to give it a go. Anyone with any brains would go to youtube if they needed more pictures/instuctions so let me help you guys out! All you have to do now is click on the link below.
Grow Ginger says
Thanks! I would like to say that ginger can grow in containers. I have tried it, actually, it will be more productive in bigger size of pots.
Naomi Kerii says
I want to know how to plant ginger
Any tips on how to cut ginger flowers for flower arrangement?
I tried but it soon died and the blooms did not come out.