How to Grow Ginger Like an Expert

Updated on July 21, 2020
Jana Louise Smit profile image

Jana likes to grow stuff, exercise, snack, and explore creative projects as a means to relax and grow.

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Who Wants to Grow Ginger?

Ginger is grown by those who use it as a cooking spice or as a remedy. These gardeners appreciate the fresh burn that only homegrown, raw ginger can provide. But this native from China is more versatile than that. It can be used as a powder, dried strips, juice and even oil.

What Is Ginger Used For?

Ginger is used to add a wonderful zing to meals. The spice is commonly used in curries, soups, marinades, stir-fries, sauces, and drinks. The herbal side of ginger also has plenty to offer. Besides being a mainstay during flu season, the root might treat inflammation, nausea, period pain, muscle aches, high blood sugar, and possibly even prevent cancer.

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Can I Grow Ginger at Home?

Yes, you can grow ginger at home. There’s no need to buy anything “special” online or from the local plant nursery. That root in the supermarket’s produce section is all that you need.

Can I Grow Ginger From Cuttings?

Yes, you can grow ginger from cuttings. However, the cuttings are not the kind that comes with stems and leaves. Taking cuttings from ginger is more a case of hacking the root into several pieces. These chunks germinate readily, meaning that you should get seedlings on your first try.

  1. Start your project in spring when the danger of frost is over.

  2. Alternatively, you can grow your ginger indoors.

  3. Choose a healthy-looking ginger root free of wrinkles.

  4. If you spot ginger with green bumps at the end of its branches, grab it! This root is already starting to grow into a plant.

  5. Buy organic to ensure the ginger wasn’t treated with a growth inhibitor.

  6. Gather well-draining soil, a knife, and pots.

  7. Make sure that the knife is clean and very sharp.

  8. Calculate how many pots or garden space you need. Each ginger piece roughly needs 30 cm (11 in) of both space and depth to grow properly.

  9. Cut your root into several pieces. Aim for 2.5 cm (1 in) chunks that have “eyes,” the tiny knobs at the end of some branches. As mentioned above, if you spot green eyes, the ginger root wants to grow.

  10. Leave the pieces alone for a few days until the raw edges are dry.

  11. Plant the pieces roughly 5cm (2 in) deep. The eyes should point upwards.

  12. Place in a warm location and water lightly when dry.

  13. The first sprouts could appear within days but sometimes they take a couple of weeks.

  14. They are ready for harvesting after seven or eight months.

Can I Grow Ginger From Seed?

Yes, you can grow ginger from seed. The world of baby ginger is a curious one. Cultivated from seed, it’s a niche crop and profitable to those who can live with the short shelf-life of baby ginger. Indeed, there is a market for these delightfully pink roots. Consumers who love the taste but hate the tough hide of mature ginger can benefit from the zesty, soft-skinned baby ginger. However, the growing process is time-consuming and requires a lot of financial investment and land. Ginger seed, unfortunately, cannot be grown at home in a few pots.

How to Take Care of Your Ginger Plant

Taking care of your ginger plant is easy. The only things required are nutrition, water, and sunlight. If the soil is rich then you don’t need to worry about adding nutrition. If you prefer to play it safe, give your ginger a monthly feed of organic fertilizer. One of the best options is fish emulsion for plants.

Ginger likes water only when the soil is turning dry. Avoid overwatering at all costs. Soggy sand invites root rot, so make sure that your spice has well-draining soil as well. As far as sunlight is concerned, if your plant receives roughly six hours’ worth each day, then it should grow up healthy and strong.

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Managing Ginger-Loving Pests

Ginger can experience problems with insects, nematodes, fungi, and bacteria. You’ll know that something’s wrong when the leaves turn yellow. This signals that any of the above (bar the insects) could be responsible. You can prevent most negative situations by providing your ginger with well-draining soil and starting your plants with disease-free roots. Nematodes, specifically, can be completely avoided with high-quality potting soil and not by using garden earth.

The insect that is most attracted to ginger is the Chinese rose beetle. Their presence is hard to miss because these beetles ravish the leaves. Prevention, in this case, is also simple. They hate bright light, so make sure your ginger plants spend enough time in the sun.

Precautions When Using Ginger

Ginger is generally safe. However, ingesting large quantities could be risky. Please look for an alternative ingredient or remedy should any of the following apply to you.

  • Ginger is a popular remedy for morning sickness. But there are concerns that the spice affects the child’s health or causes stillbirths.

  • Not safe for patients with gallstones.

  • Not safe for patients preparing for surgery.

  • If used with other herbs, it might interfere with normal blood clotting.

  • Do not use with aspirin or other drugs that slow down blood clotting.

  • Diabetes.

  • Breastfeeding.

  • Bleeding disorders.

  • Heart conditions.

  • High blood pressure.

A Quick Summary

Ginger is a firm favourite among cooks and those who need a pick-me-up during flu season. The spice is easy to grow from root pieces but cultivating ginger seeds is a complicated and cost-heavy project. Either way, ginger is happy with the bare essentials, including sunlight, good soil, and light watering. While ginger is safe in small doses, care must be taken if you’re diabetic, have a heart condition or a blood disorder.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Jana Louise Smit

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    • Jana Louise Smit profile imageAUTHOR

      Jana Louise Smit 

      2 weeks ago from South Africa

      Hi Linda, glad you enjoyed it. This is a great project for anyone who wants an easy-growing plant that delivers great taste at the end of everything lol.

    • Jana Louise Smit profile imageAUTHOR

      Jana Louise Smit 

      2 weeks ago from South Africa

      Hi Abby. Yes, the best is you can just grab a root at the local market. Homegrown ginger truly has a deeper flavour and I'm sure you'll love growing your own if you try it. :)

    • Jana Louise Smit profile imageAUTHOR

      Jana Louise Smit 

      2 weeks ago from South Africa

      Hi Lorna. It's quite easy, my dad grows his own ginger and he succeeds most of the time. :)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the taste of ginger. I've never tried growing it myself, but I'm tempted to after reading your article. Thanks for sharing the instructions.

    • Abby Slutsky profile image

      Abby Slutsky 

      2 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

      I may try this. I have a lot of recipes that use ginger, and it is always on hand in my house. Thanks for the tips. It would have never crossed my mind to grow it.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      2 weeks ago

      I do use ginger in cooking and love the warmth it gives to the dishes; however, I have never thought about growing it myself. Reading your article has encouraged me to try Jana.

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