Healthy Herbs-Growing Ginger

By on July 23, 2011

Submitted by Rhonda Daniels –

Ginger, known as Zingiber officinale or official ginger is a very easy herb to grow. Even better? You can probably find a start at the grocery store!

This is not the tropical ginger with flashy blooms that you see in Hawaiian photos, but rather the ginger root you use in gingerbread!

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If you can find an organic piece of ginger root with some eye buds forming (sort of

Ginger Root Eyes

Ginger Root-See the green eye buds?

like the eyes on a potato) you will have a ginger plant sooner rather than later.

 

Although it is easy to grow in a container or in the garden, Ginger has a few requirements for growing well.

It likes warmth.
It likes partial shade.
It likes moist, rich soil.

If you can provide these things, you can grow your own ginger root!

 

Here’s the ginger growing 4-1-1: If you can get them, an organic rhizome is probably better because non organic roots may be treated with a growth inhibitor, and you may want to eat your root at some point!

If you can’t find anything else, grab the non organic anyway and give it a try. Organic or not, I have never had one NOT grow! If you have a large root with several eye growth buds, you can break the root into several pieces, each with an eye bud and plant them all!

ginger root buds

Ginger Root with growth buds facing upwards

Dig your spot in the garden, or use a good potting mix and fill your container nearly full. Plant the ginger just an inch or two beneath the soil, making sure the eye buds are pointing upward!

Cover the root and water. A 12″ pot can probably handle two roots, larger containers can handle another one or two.

Make sure you keep the rhizomes moist, out of bright direct sun and wind. Compared to other herbs, Ginger plants are ‘slow pokes’ when it comes to growing.

They will eventually reach a height of 2 feet or more in a container and may hit a height of 2 to 3 feet in the garden.

ginger growing in pot

Ginger Growing Nicely

You can harvest your rhizomes at any time after the plant has grown for several months, but the longer you can keep the plant growing the larger your harvest will be. You may notice the rhizome has some roots.

You can just cut them off and use the ginger root, or save a piece (with a growth bud) for re-planting!

Since I live where it’s cold in the winter I usually start mine in the greenhouse early in Spring. Once night temperatures are above 60*F I set them out and let them grow all summer.

Roots are harvested when the leaves start to die back in the fall- but before a frost. Frost kills the plant and can harm the roots. If your ginger has been growing awhile you might find the roots have gotten quite a bit larger by the time you harvest!

 

 

ginger foliage and root

Ginger Foliage and Root

If you don’t want to harvest just yet-

Rhonda Daniels

About Rhonda Daniels

Rhonda Daniels is a retired herb nursery grower and organic Master Gardener. She and her husband along with four out of six of their kids live on a small farm and raise goats, poultry, horses and Angora rabbits. They have the usual farm dogs and cats and in addition to the herbs, they grow all kinds of other great stuff. They also grow herbs and plants for classes, workshops and friends, and grow herbs indoors and out for use in the kitchen and still-room. They use their herbs for teas, cooking, medicine making and crafting… which includes using herbs in handmade goat milk soaps! You can find them at their website at: http://www.growingherbsforbeginners.com/.

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Healthy Herbs-Growing Ginger