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Growing Ginger at Home

July 26th, 2010

I just LOVE ginger, gingersnaps, gingerbread, gingered beef, anything with ginger in it. I use fresh ginger, powdered ginger and crystallized ginger. Crystallized ginger finds it’s way into just about everything I bake from scones to cobblers and we love it on our oatmeal! Every time I go to the health food store I pick up a big knob of ginger root to use in cooking and in teas.

I tried last year without success to start some ginger to grow as a houseplant. This spring I decided to give it another go. If I’m going to have houseplants, they may as well be edible! I searched around on-line, read a few different articles, all with different instructions and finally settled on a plan. (I didn’t follow the instructions I tried that failed last year). This is what I did.

Pick a few rhizomes that have some buds on them. You’ll notice the greenish buds on the tips of the rhizomes, they’ll look like little starts almost. Make sure you pick plump, healthy looking roots and break them into chunks that have a few good buds each. If they’re shriveled and dry they most likely won’t start. Soak the ginger overnight in water.

Fill a large pot, at least 12″, with good potting soil and place the rhizomes on top of the soil with the buds facing down. Press the rhizomes gently into the soil and water thoroughly. Place in a warm sunny spot in the North and in a warm shady spot in the South. Ginger is a tropical plant so it likes the heat, but from what I read dislikes full sun in hot climates. Mine is in full sun here since the afternoon sun in Ohio is much different than the afternoon sun in Florida. Cover with plastic or a cloche to keep the humidity levels up.

Keep the container well watered and be patient. It can take a long time for the plants to show above the soil. As long as they don’t look dried out and withered they should be OK. It took 3 months for one of my rhizomes to start showing signs of growth above the soil. I planted these on March 16 this year. Two weeks ago, I went to water the ginger and I noticed this lovely shoot. So far only one of my rhizomes has sprouted a shoot above the soil level.

I’ve read that it takes about a year for the plant to grow roots big enough to harvest. I’ll make sure to blog about my harvest next March! I have another knob in the cupboard that has some nice buds on it, so I may plant it soon. I don’t think one pot of ginger will be enough for our ginger needs! I’m also starting a lemongrass plant, more on that soon.

Have you ever tried to grow ginger or any other tropical spices? Any luck?

34 Comments to “Growing Ginger at Home”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Growing #Ginger at Home #miscellaneus #growingginger […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention Growing Ginger as a Houseplant | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  2. pam on July 26, 2010 at 7:11 am

    It takes patience to grow ginger!

    Reply to pam's comment

  3. Dave on July 26, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Very cool. I tried ginger once (a pineapple ginger) but it never made it. I may have to give this a try this winter when I can’t do anything outdoors.

    Reply to Dave's comment

  4. Chandelle on July 26, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I would love to grow ginger. I’ve been reading lots of articles about it, hoping to get it started, but I live in Northern California and it’s chilly here much of the year. I thought about setting the pot next to our fireplace to keep it warm, but that’s a good idea about using a cloche to maintain humidity. Great post!

    Reply to Chandelle's comment

    • Susy on July 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm

      Yes, that’s why I’m growing it as a houseplant, hopefully it works.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. stefaneener on July 26, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Tried it once and got a plant, I believe, but then lost interest. It’s on my “someday again” mental list. It would have to manage outdoor temps, though, as our house is chilly half the year.

    Reply to stefaneener's comment

  6. Lisa on July 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Where did you get that little mini greenhouse? I’d love to have one of those.

    Reply to Lisa's comment

    • Susy on July 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm

      I got it many years ago at Target. It comes with a copper bottom piece as well so you can grow tiny plants in it. If you keep your eyes peeled you might be able to find one during the gardening season at stores.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. warren on July 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I am growing lemons in my office right now but never tried much else. In 2 years, I have taken 1 lemon…but it was a good one!!

    Reply to warren's comment

  8. lee on July 26, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    We use a lot of ginger, so last fall I decided to grow some and planted two large pots with three small rhizomes in each pot. I wish I knew I was supposed to plant them with the buds facing down. I planted the rhizomes vertically with the buds pointing up, deep in the soil too. For months nothing happened and I thought they had died but early this year they sprouted. Now each pot has about a dozen growths, one to two feet tall. They are in a spot where they receive full sun most of the day. Maybe I should move them to a shadier area.

    Reply to lee's comment

  9. Sustainable Eats on July 26, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    How awesome and not surprising of you Susy! I have a hardy ginger plant which thrives in our cooler, moist maritime climate. You eat the shoots which look just like your little one. It’s a perennial so I’ve placed it on the side of the house where it can spread with abandon. In the fall you also eat the flowers which are considered a delicacy in Japan.

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    • Susy on July 26, 2010 at 9:52 pm

      Hardy ginger sounds wonderful. I’ve always thought about getting some for the garden.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. MAYBELLINE on July 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Way cool.
    I love ginger.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  11. Leigh on July 27, 2010 at 7:44 am

    I tried to grow ginger once but…. no joy. I have always planned to try my hand at it again because, like you, we like ginger very much.

    Reply to Leigh's comment

  12. Jane on July 27, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Well to be honest the ginger will be ready in 9 months. I grow it. I do mine in a pot and don’t let it freeze or that is it. It also doesn’t like temps below 55. It’s hard to do in MO. But I grew it. This year I’m growing horseradish….love that stuff. That takes 18 months. They are all worth the wait.

    Reply to Jane's comment

  13. Morgan G on July 27, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration today, Susy. I absolutely love ginger in any shape or form, it’s just something that I’ve never thought to grow. I appreciate seeing that it can be done!

    Reply to Morgan G's comment

  14. Marlyn on July 27, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    We use so much ginger in our home — I really NEED to try to grow some!

    On a hunt for rhizomes now!

    Reply to Marlyn's comment

  15. Jackie on July 27, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Very cool. It seems that patience is key here. I probably would have given up after a month or so… If your plants produce roots, I might just have to try this.

    Reply to Jackie's comment

  16. nic@nipitinthebud on August 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I love ginger too and as a new gardener 6 years ago it was high on my wishlist. And then I read up on it and thought ‘all that effort just to dig it up for the root?’. I went to the Winter Gardens in Aberdeen last week and they had a ginger plant in the tropical house – it was enormous and nothing like I expected it to be. Zingiber means ‘horn shaped’ and apparently derives it’s name from the rhizomes looking like deer antler!

    Reply to nic@nipitinthebud's comment

  17. […] for step by step directions: […]

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  18. valerie gillman on March 20, 2011 at 1:07 am

    How did it turn out? Is this the same ginger that has beautiful white and incredibly exotic fragrance? I bought a plant a few years ago for an ornamental, and the rhizomes looked exactly the same as the edible ginger. Ooh what a spicy smell. It blooms so late in MI. that I couldn’t enjoy it till I got a greenhouse.To hurry the sprouting, I set it on a heat mat-the kind that fit’s 3 flats.

    Reply to valerie gillman's comment

  19. brenda on December 7, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I never even imagined growing ginger in our climate, until I learned recently that Linda Woodrow grows turmeric. I’ve been on the search for knobs of turmeric with no luck at all. But, I am primed to go with the ginger. So, it could be started at this time of year? Or is there a prime starting time?

    brenda from arkansas

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  20. Jason on April 18, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Ginger from the store sometimes has enzymes that inhibit growth. Soaking it in water for a day or two (change the water daily) can really reduce the time it takes to sprout (mine took 2-3 weeks). Its a tropical plant so make sure the soil stays moist. I’ve been growing mine from a window sill over the winter and can’t wait to put it outside once it’s warm enough (I live in Canada).

    Reply to Jason's comment

    • Susy on April 20, 2013 at 6:28 am

      I haven’t had any trouble with the organic ginger I buy, generally it’s sprouting in the cabinet before I use it up. Perhaps it is not allowed to be sprayed on organic produce?

      Reply to Susy's comment

  21. Rob on June 11, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I’m trying to grow ginger right now, but I haven’t seen roots yet. It has already been 2 days. Is this normal? I soaked it overnight, about 4 hours because I did it before I slept but stayed up late and woke up early. I had the pot ready and watered beforehand. However, it has been raining hard these 2 days. It is only today that it is getting more sun. I’m kinda worried I might be caring for a ginger that has no chance of growth.

    Reply to Rob's comment

    • Betty on March 13, 2014 at 8:57 am

      It takes a long time for ginger to grow. Bury it in the dirt in the pot and set it in a sunny window and WAIT for months to see a green shoot. You won’t see roots because they are in the dirt!

      Reply to Betty's comment

  22. Leona on August 10, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Thank you for the info. I longed to plant ginger for a while. I live in Vancouver. I plan to put the pot in my covered patio facing east. Do you think it works? What should I do during winter time, do I need to put it inside the house?

    Reply to Leona's comment

  23. Chony on August 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I planted tree rhizomes about 3 weeks ago following the instructions above and today I see a shoot about 5 inches high. Should I transplant to its own pot? The shoot is about to hit the top of my mini green house.

    Reply to Chony's comment

  24. Chony on August 23, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    The post I wrote yesterday has disappeared! I asked If I should transplant the one bud that has sprouted and is about 5 inches toll as it now hits the greenhouse cover I have on the pot.

    Reply to Chony's comment

  25. Chony on August 28, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    I guess no one knows what I should do with the sprout that is now about 8 inches long. Should I transplant the bud to another pot so the other buds can also sprout?

    Reply to Chony's comment

    • Susy on August 29, 2014 at 8:29 am

      I guess it depend son the size of the pot you have it in. I’d probably leave it if it is in a good sized pot, if it’s too small transplant.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  26. Chony on August 29, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Thanks Susie. The pot is good size. 11 inch diameter, but I have three other buds in it that have not yet sprouted and I had to remove the green house cover as the sprout is now over a foot toll.

    Reply to Chony's comment

  27. Chony on August 30, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Sorry about the wandering finger. The above should have read “over a foot tall”

    Reply to Chony's comment

  28. SRuth on January 6, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    u say put with bud facing down, but the picture, to me, shows the bud UP. Am I mistaken?

    Reply to SRuth's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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