Gardening is a great way to grow your own food. Things like zucchinis and tomatoes are commonplace in many gardens, but it’s surprisingly easy to grow a wide range of herbs and vegetables.
Ginger, for example, might seem intimidating because it originates from warm, humid climates. But with a little know-how, anyone can grow ginger even if they live in a cold climate. You can even grow it exclusively in a pot!
All ginger needs to thrive is the right amount of sunlight, careful watering, and good soil.
It can be grown in the ground and then transplanted into a pot once the weather gets colder. It actually requires less sunlight than many other plants which makes bringing it inside a breeze.
Use this guide to find out the best way to grow ginger in any sort of climate or garden.
How To Grow Ginger The Easy Way
While ginger grows best in warm, humid climates, you can still grow it in cold climates.
Follow these steps to have a flourishing ginger plant, indoors or out.
What You’ll Need
- Ginger root
- 12-inch-deep pot or planter (optional)
- Potting soil with 6-6.5 pH balance
- Compost mulch
- Gardening gloves
1. Plant At The Right Time
Ginger is a tropical plant by nature, so it prefers warmer temperatures.
The best time to plant is in early spring, but only after the last frost.
2. Use A Planter For Colder Areas
Ginger takes about eight to ten months to grow. If you’re planting in early spring, that means your plant will mature between late fall and winter.
Do you live in an area that drops below 50°F (10°C) during this time? If so, you should grow your ginger in a pot or planter. That way you can bring it inside when it gets too cold.
3. Mix Your Soil
Ginger likes soil that is slightly acidic, so look for potting soil that has a pH of 6 to 6.5.
Make sure it’s well-draining soil and mix it in equal parts with compost mulch for best results.
4. Buy And Cut Ginger Root
Unlike many other plants you might grow in your garden, ginger doesn’t require seeds. Instead, you can simply buy a knob of ginger root from your local grocery store.
If you can’t find any fresh ginger root at the regular supermarket, try a specialty Asian food mart instead.
Don’t worry if the ginger is sprouting. In fact, that’s a good thing! Planting sprouting ginger will just speed the process along.
Once you have your ginger root, cut off a piece about two to four inches. Make sure it has a visible “eye,” or tiny node” on it somewhere. If you want to grow multiple ginger plants, cut as many as you need.
Let the ginger dry out for a day until a callus forms on the cut surface.
5. Plant Your Ginger
Dig a hole in your garden bed or planter about two to four inches deep. If you’re planting multiple cuttings into the ground, they should be about eight inches apart from each other.
You should also choose a slightly shadier area; ginger only needs between two and five hours of sun each day.
If you’re using planters, only plant one cutting per container. In short, don’t crowd your ginger!
If any of your ginger pieces already have sprouts, plant them so the buds are facing up. Then, cover the pieces back over with soil.
6. Immediately Water Your Ginger
As soon as you’ve planted your ginger pieces, give them a quick watering. You want the soil to be moist but not saturated with water.
You’ll continue to water your ginger plant whenever the soil is almost, but not quite, dried out.
You should start seeing sprouts in your soil in two to three weeks!
7. Place Your Ginger In A Shady Area
Ginger doesn’t require a ton of sunlight, despite its tropical origins. In reality, it does best in partial shade with only between two and five hours of sunlight each day.
If you’re growing your ginger in a planter, place it somewhere that’s not too sunny. You can also move it around throughout the day for ideal sunlight exposure.
8. Stop Watering When The Stems Die
After a few months of light watering and sun, you should have some nice tall ginger stems.
Between late summer and fall, the stems on your ginger plant will begin to die. At this point, you no longer need to water your ginger plant at all!
9. Harvest Your Ginger
Between eight and ten months after you plant, your ginger should be ready to harvest. You’ll know it’s almost time to harvest when the stems begin to turn yellow.
After you stop watering the plant, wait until the soil has dried completely. Then, trim the top of the plant stems two to three weeks before you want to dig up the roots.
Dig up the root from the soil and cut away the stems. And there you have it – fresh ginger root to enjoy! Don’t forget to scrub your ginger root under running water to get rid of as much dirt as you can.
Extra Tips To Care For Your Ginger Plant
The above steps are the easiest and most basic way to grow your ginger.
But here are some other helpful tips to ensure you grow the best ginger you can.
Since ginger is a tropical plant, it likes its environment warm and humid. If you’re in a colder area, growing your ginger in a pot you can take indoors is a good start.
But to really make your ginger feel at home, consider controlling the humidity around it as well. You can spray the leaves regularly with water in addition to watering its soil.
You can also place its container on a tray filled with pebbles and water.
Don’t let the water off the tray soak into your ginger’s soil, however. Too much moisture can cause the roots to rot.
You want just enough to keep a little more moisture in the air around the pot. When the water level gets low, simply fill the tray again.
Finally, you can also keep the ginger planter in a room with a humidifier. Let the machine do the work for you, and you’ll have a happy ginger plant.
When you’re planting ginger outdoors in the ground, you have to be careful not to give it too much sunlight. If you plan on bringing your ginger indoors during the cooler months, though, too little sunlight becomes a concern.
Try to place your ginger plant near a window facing south. This will give it sunlight throughout most of the day.
If it gets too sunny, simply relocate the ginger away from the window until the next day.
Ginger is very particular about its water needs. Overwatering can lead to rot, and no one wants that.
In addition to being careful about your watering schedule, start off on the right foot with the right soil.
You should use a soft and fertile soil for your garden, like one with hard clay, and mix it with compost mulch.
If you’re growing your ginger in a container, use really high-quality potting soil and a well-draining container. You can even add some pumice or gravel to the mix for extra drainage.
Fertilizer is a good idea for most plants, as it enriches their soil and helps strengthen their growth. Ginger in particular benefits from fertilizer.
If you want to give your ginger plant a boost, mix in some fertilizer with the potting soil and compost mulch. Then, once the ginger sprouts, add a water-soluble fertilizer on a weekly basis.
Overwintering And Storing
Ginger goes dormant during winter and the drier months of the year. You have two options for keeping your ginger plant going during these times.
The first is overwintering it indoors in a container – even if you grew it in your garden.
Just transplant it into a pot and bring it inside after the harvest. Place it in a sunny window and be sure to keep the soil moist.
If it still goes dormant and the foliage dies, don’t worry! Just stop watering it and store the container in a cool and dark spot until the end of winter.
The other option is to dig up the remaining root and cure it for a couple of days on some newspaper. Then, wrap them up in the newspaper and seal them in a paper bag until you’re ready to replant.
Growing ginger may sound like a difficult task if you’re not in the right environment. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. No matter where you live, it’s possible to grow ginger with ease.
The most important things to remember for easily growing gingers are warmth and water. Ginger grows best in warm climates and needs a few hours of sunlight a day. Put it in a pot and bring it inside when the temperature drops below 50°F.
When it comes to water, don’t oversaturate the soil. Just keep your ginger plant’s soil moist until it’s ready to harvest. You can also spray the leaves to keep the humidity up.
Pay attention to your ginger plant and it’ll grow strong, whether it’s in the ground or in a container.