How to Grow Ginger Root Indoors – An Endless Supply of Super Spice
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.
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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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.
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:
- Carefully move back some of the soil starting closer the edge of the container until you find a root.
- Move the soil slightly out of the way up to the length of the root you want to cut.
- 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.
- 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
- A couple days prior to harvest withhold water from your ginger plant.
- Could get messy. Lay out some newspaper or plastic in prep.
- 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.
- Keeping the plants over the pot try to get off as much loose soil as you can.
- Cut off the green shoots down to the edge of the root. Remove the root hair masses.
- 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
1) 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.
Need 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!
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