How to Grow Ginger Root Indoors – An Endless Supply of Super Spice

by | Mar 13, 2018 | Guides, Herb Directory, Herbs F-J, HowTo's | 11 comments

Ginger is a herb that by look alone intimidates some and makes them believe it is complicated to grow. It is not at all. You can grow ginger root indoors and enjoy an endless supply of this super spice with ease.

This herb garden addition is low in demands and high in return! Ginger root is super easy to grow and harvest. It is not only shade tolerant but low light loving! It adapts to almost any area of your home. Making it versatile.

The root of the ginger plant, the rhizome, is the familiar form you likely buy at the grocery store. This is the commonly used part of this herb.

Fresh grown looks completely different. Lighter in color with hints of a pink hue. It’s lovely.

The fresher the taste the richer the ginger is in its beneficial compounds. Reap the most rewards for your health with fresh!

The plant itself is beautiful and edible as well. Ginger plants do not pack the pungency of flavor and spice that is carried in the root. Thereby making it rarely used in cooking or for medicinal purposes. The green foliage and tall growth add to the décor and aesthetics of your space as it grows.

Ginger is not just for cooking!

Rich in nourishing and beneficial natural compounds ginger is a must-have in a medicinal herbal garden. With so many natural healing abilities and dietary benefits, ginger has gained immense popularity in holistic medicine.

You can read an article recently posted on site 10 Awesome Ginger Root Health Benefits.

Getting to the Bare Root- Picking Your Ginger Rhizome

Ginger is not started from a seed or a plant cutting. Ginger needs to be grown directly from other pieces of the rhizome or root.

Sourcing a ready to plant rhizome from a local garden center or nursery locally in many areas is difficult. I know in my area I have yet to find any available. Thereby making local sourcing difficult.

There are many online sources that sell ready to be planted roots. Make sure to read reviews though. I have had some bad luck there as well. However, there are plenty of reliable sources. They will provide you with great rhizomes for starting your ginger garden.

ginger rhizome illustration bud

Another option to explore but with a strong caution is your local grocery store. Many produce departments treat their produce. They will often use hormones to prevent sprouting. They may even spray or treat the produce to keep it fresher longer and look nicer.

Buy organic if purchasing anywhere but especially from a grocery. ASK. Talk to a person in the produce department. Ask them if the product has been treated. I find that a trustworthy store is not afraid to tell you their practices when it comes to their fresh produce.

What should the Rhizome look like?

  • Look for a piece with several clearly defined nodes. These are where growth buds will protrude from the root body. The more nodes that more plants you have a chance to sprout.
  • The piece should be at least 4 to 5 inches long. This shows some maturity to the root section.
  • Examine for any unhealthy signs of mold, fungus or weakness. Ginger should be firm to the touch.

 

The Soil is SO Important for Growing Root Harvests

Perhaps the only picky thing when it comes to growing ginger root indoors is choosing the right soil. Ginger likes high-quality soil that drains well and is rich in organic matter.

Think about these important points!

  • The rhizome of the plant is what is being harvested. It grows in the soil. The better the soil = better root growth.
  • Root rot will ruin your harvest. Your soil needs to drain well so stagnate standing water cannot cause this type of issue.

If your current potting mix does not have powerful draining capabilities, consider adding some amendments. Additional peat moss or coconut fiber added into the mix will improve drainage. Peat moss can tend to raise soil alkalinity. Ginger prefers soil to stay between 6.1 – 6.5 pH.

Ginger is also a heavy feeder. The soil should provide the root and plant with plenty of nourishment. Starting with a soil that is rich in organic matter gives a boost to the growth of your young plants. Resulting in less need for long-term feeding schedules.

It is important to regenerate and fertilize the ginger plant once a month. Especially if you are using a lesser potting soil mix.  I highly recommend only using organic on a soil harvested plant. I find worm compost to be the best fertilizer for ginger and most other plants. A light sprinkle on the top of the soil will continuously feed and result in fantastic growth.

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Get the ultimate blend of the Earth and Sea and start your plants off right! Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil is a premium blend earthworm casting, bat guano, hummus, kelp, fish and crab meal.

With the right soil, everyone has a green thumb!

Easy Steps to Grow Ginger Root Indoors

1- Pick a pot or container that will allow plenty of room for the roots to grow. Choose a wide flat pot is best. I like to use window box style or wide round style. These types of containers allow for multiple rhizomes to be started in the same pot with plenty of growth room. Width is more important than depth when it comes to Ginger.

2- Cut large rhizomes into several pieces preserving whole nodes or buds. Use a sanitized knife so not to pass any germs or disease into the root.

3- Soak the pieces in warm water overnight. Remove them in the morning and allow them to dry a few hours before planting.

4- Place your rich potting soil in your container to ¾ full and mist the soil so that it is overall moist. Not soaking. (misting not needed if using a self-watering container)

5- Place the rhizome pieces with the bud ends facing up on the top of the soil. Add additional soil to just cover the base of the rhizomes. You can leave the bud tips sticking out or lightly cover them. Mist the top of the soil for moistness.

You can read a full review of the Self-watering Container featured in this video: Algreen Self Watering Planter Review

Important Tips!

6- Ginger likes moisture. Creating a greenhouse effect to preserve humidity will aid getting germination started. If possible cover with a lid or plastic wrap until sprouting begins.

7- Do not allow ginger to dry out. Mist and water to keep soil evenly moist.

8- For an added increase in germination time add a seed germination heat mat beneath the pot. If not available place in a warm area out of direct sun.

9- Ginger does not like direct sunlight shining on it all day. Morning sun is OK. This plant prefers partial shade and lower light conditions. A warm indirect lighted area of your home will make the perfect place.

10- Ginger sprouts can be unpredictable. You can usually expect to see sprouts forming in 1 to 2 weeks. I have had some take 6 weeks before they began to emerge. Patience and time and sprouts will begin to form.

How and When to Harvest Your Ginger Root

Full maturity of a ginger plant to harvest can take 8 to 10 months. The wonderful thing about ginger root harvesting is you can be a little impatient without causing any harm to the plant itself.

Ginger roots can be harvested as soon as 3 to 4 months of age in small portions without harming growth. Yummy baby ginger roots are delicious as well! They make a special delicacy that is milder and has a hint of sweet. I love it in salad dressings or shaved raw on salads.

 

To partially harvest a growing ginger plant:

  1. Carefully move back some of the soil starting closer the edge of the container until you find a root.
  2. Move the soil slightly out of the way up to the length of the root you want to cut.
  3. Using a sterile knife. Giving some support to the growing plant base with one hand. Use the other hand and slice through the portion of the root you want to remove.
  4. Cover the remaining root back up with the soil

On younger plants try not to take too many harvests while they are still actively growing. Give them at least 4 weeks between root harvests. I always grow many plants, so I have options.

Harvesting an entire Ginger plant

  1. A couple days prior to harvest withhold water from your ginger plant.
  2. Could get messy. Lay out some newspaper or plastic in prep.
  3. Grasping the plant at the base close to the soil gently pulling it up. Rocking it back and forth should help to loosen it completely and lift root and all from the pot. You may need to dig gently with your hands. Tools could damage roots.
  4. Keeping the plants over the pot try to get off as much loose soil as you can.
  5. Cut off the green shoots down to the edge of the root. Remove the root hair masses.
  6. Rinse the roots clean. Do not scrub. You want the skin to remain intact.

You can now choose to re-pot some of the harvested ginger. No need to soak or wait. Using fresh soil you can immediately re-pot some of these fresh pieces for future growth.

Ginger Storage & Keeping

ginger sliced - how to store ginger1) Refrigerate fresh whole ginger in a seal-able plastic bag. For cut ends first dry first with a paper towel or wrap in a paper towel before resealing. Stays 4 to 6 weeks.

2) Freeze in the same method. Last 3 to 6 months.

3) Dry ginger. Peel the ginger. Make thin slices. The thinner the better, and the faster they will dry. I use a dehydrator, but you can use the sun. The low setting in the dehydrator for 2 hours or fewer. You can also place in the sun for 4 to 5 days to dry. After the ginger is completely dry and cool store it whole or ground into powder. Lasts 6 months to a year

 

 

 

An Awesome Addition to Your Garden

You too can grow Ginger root indoors! It is so easy and very rewarding. You can achieve an endless supply of ginger as well. Even if you have never grown anything else you will find that the Ginger plant is not intimidating at all.

It is one of my must-have herbs in my medicinal garden. I am also a huge fan of it in my culinary dishes as well. Learning to grow it has enabled me to always have fresh delicious ginger on hand.

I love the look of a fresh ginger root as well. A lush pretty root with touches of pink. A completely different look from the brown dried portions you find at the market.

red arrow down rightNeed more help getting started? Have some experience growing ginger yourself? I want to know and so do the other readers.

Drop a comment below and let’s start a conversation!

Happy Gardening!

Christina insideherbgardens.com

FoxFarm FX14053 12-Quart Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil

I always highly recommend this soil for indoor growing containers. They do not sponsor me, I just love it! You can check it out by clicking the button.

11 Comments

  1. Joseph Towsley

    Great information. I’ve not had any experience with ginger root until recently. I’ve started drinking ginger root tea for my acid reflux. I bet in the long run it would be cheaper to grow my own ginger root.

    Reply
    • Christina

      Hi Joseph,
      Like most herbs growing your own will save a bunch over buying it. Fresh is always best too. Ginger in the store can get quite expensive. Best price locally here I have seen it is around $6.99lb for fresh. Dried starts around $6.00 an ounce! Ouch! Supplements of genuine quality containing all the benefits start around $19 – $20 for a 30 day supply.
      Most people can be intimidated by the thought of gardening. Ginger makes it pretty easy for anyone. They are not very demanding as far as plants go. The right soil and remember to water. That is basically all it takes to get A LOT of ginger. Planting a 3 to 5-inch rhizome with several node buds can start 4 to 5 plant starts. An inch root could produce 10 x that in 10 months multiply that by 5 plantings! You harvest and use some and re-plant pieces again. You will have en endless supply for your initial investment of $6.99!
      So long run- YES much cheaper!
      I see you’re treating your acid reflux with ginger. How is that working for you? I recently wrote an article on the Health Benefits of Ginger Root. I would love to hear your experience there. I also use ginger to self-treat as well. You can view the article here if you have missed it.
      Let me know if I can help with anything else.
      Christina

      Reply
  2. Fred

    Thanks Christina for this good information on growing Ginger root. I always grow a garden every year and love to do that. I am very interested in growing Herbs and would like to find out the best ones to grow. Ginger seems like one of them I’m going to try. I’ve got a big garden area, but I’m worried about the moles eating them up like they do my potatoes. Would it be better to grow in a raised garden?

    Reply
    • Christina

      Hi Fred,
      I am glad I made you excited about growing ginger. I have to ask your grow zone first. Ginger is ideal for zone 8 or higher. It may stay hardy in 7 and up. It can take 8 to 10 months to mature to full harvest. If you are in a different zone than those listed you may need to start ginger indoors and transplant if you want it in your outdoor garden.
      The second part is Ginger prefers low light and shade. Which is often different than our main garden areas. Will not flourish well or even fail in sunny spots in your garden. If you have a nice shaded spot that only receives light for the early part of the day it will do very well.
      I have mole and vole problems. I prefer raised beds for most everything. I also find they are easier to maintain and refresh every year. In addition, I have some physical limitations that raised beds to make it easier for me to garden with. That being said, gardening is all about what works for you! I am surprised that moles eat your potatoes. I am guessing it may be mice or something else. I have found they do disturb plants but they are grub and bug eaters. I do not like them near my garden when it is planted they make a mess. They can uproot everything. They will even get in raised beds if they are able. My potatoes have been devastated by mice before. Mice will use the mole tunnels. I actually grow them in buckets now. I find them easier to harvest and less likely to get damage.
      I use sonic mole repellers around my garden areas when they are planted. It does not work 100% but it cuts down damage from their tunneling. When not in garden season I take them out. Moles eat grubs and beetle larva. I let them feast and they aerate the soil.
      By the way, I have never had a mouse or other furry pest chew on ginger. Including deer. I have a lot of them around here. They tend to stay clear of it.
      If I can answer any other questions or help in any way, please let me know!
      Christina

      Reply
  3. John

    Christina,
    By growing your own Ginger for personal use, you will make sure of the chemicals that are included in its growth. Having a pure product will make insure that you will get the most benefits from it. I like growing my own stuff, not had any luck with Ginger in the past. With your steps maybe I can have another go at it.
    John

    Reply
    • Christina

      Hi John,
      That is absolutely right! When you grow your own you know exactly what is in it and how it was grown.
      I hope that my tips can help you succeed in Ginger this time. Remember the tips about your soil. I have found when I first started growing ginger my soil was my issues with failures. It is a shade and low light lover. The soil in those areas outdoors, like wooded areas, tend to be richer and darker. More organic. They also have a more consistent moisture level as they are not drained away by the sun. I prefer soil like the Fox farm ocean forest for root crops like ginger. I wrote a review here. Something like this or similar is an ideal medium for growing Ginger.
      Let me know if you run into any troubles on your way.
      Christina

      Reply
  4. Dr.Doug

    I am a grower and had wild ginger plant itself under one of my trees. Its been a mystery to me as to why it picked that spot until I read your article. I wanted to transplant some of the wild root but now I’ll be careful to choose the same shady damp conditions. Do you know if we can eat wild ginger or should we just use it to flavour foods? I love the look of the plant with its large leaves.

    Reply
    • Christina

      Hi Dr. Doug,
      I get the wild ginger growing here too. I love to transplant it in shade areas around trees, it makes a lovely hardy perennial ground cover. Now, For The MOST part are considered edible. In High doses or extremes, it can be toxic because of the aristolochic acid levels it contains. It also does not carry all the same nutritional compounds as “Zingiber officinale” just as flowering ginger plants sold for decorative landscape purposes. It can also have very nauseating effects and induce vomiting in some people. Native Americans used the plant as a contraceptive as it was said to induce menstruation. They also used as a head and chest cold remedy. I personally do not eat it. I find that it lends so little “true” ginger flavor and value alternatively. I like the way it looks!
      Not sure your grow zone. I am in zone 7. I often start a round of ginger indoors and move some outdoors in the spring. It can in some cases survive my winter but I do not risk it do it the ease of regrowth. If you are living in a warmer zone you may be able to grow ginger outdoors all year as well.
      An additional root growing herb that may interest you is turmeric. As you mentioned the look of the plant with the large leaves. I love turmeric for its looks and more. Such a beauty and a benefit. I wrote an article here How to Grow Turmeric Root , very similar to growing ginger.
      I look forward to hearing from you again!
      Christina

      Reply
  5. Cynthia

    I would love to grow ginger. Since I have found your site, I may try this.I would love to show my family and friends that I have grown my own ginger! That would be awesome. I also know that fresh ginger is great in cooking and great for health.

    Reply
    • Christina

      Hi Cynthia,
      We all have to admit as gardeners we love to show off our plants! So yes, grow it and show it off! People show off prize roses and flowers all the time. Why not a powerhouse herb like ginger. It does flower too.
      Ginger is great for your health. taste great and does the body good. Ginger Root Health Benefits That link will take you to an article where I explore all the great potential of Ginger.
      Happy Growing! I look forward to hearing about your success!
      Christina

      Reply
  6. Pernilla

    Hello Christina,

    How great to learn that it is possible to grow ginger inside – I really didn’t know that. I have never thought of the idea to grow ginger by myself. Thanks to your thorough instructions I think I might try it out. I have already bookmarked this post!

    Ginger is such a healthy plant and I like to put a slice of ginger in my tea. It gives the tea such a refreshing taste.

    You do provide with such awesome tips and advice on your site!

    Pernilla

    Reply

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