There are tons of uses for ginger, and to really reap the best rewards you’ll want the freshest ginger possible. And what better way to do it than to grow your own ginger!
That’s why we decided to dive into the nitty-gritty details of growing your own ginger to put you on the right path. Not only did we highlight some outstanding growing tips, but we also tracked down the three best ginger varieties you can grow yourself at home.
So just keep reading to get your ginger garden on track. We’ll have you growing your own ginger in no time.
How to Grow Ginger
Growing ginger might be easy once you know what you’re doing, but getting there can be a bit of a struggle. That’s why we decided to break down everything you need to know about growing this wonderful plant. That way, you can get everything done right the first time, and move on with your day without worrying!
The Ideal Ginger Climate
Ginger is naturally a tropical plant, and as such, you need to ensure that your ginger plants have plenty of access to heat and humidity. Ideally, you should grow ginger in a state like Florida, that way you get a longer growing season that can accommodate your plants.
Just keep in mind that while ginger does well in high heat and humidity, you still need to be careful to prevent overwatering. Ginger is still prone to rot, and too much water that sits for too long can be devastating for your plants.
Water and Sun
When you’re caring for any plant, two factors you need to get right are the amount of water and the amount of sunlight the plants receive. And for ginger it’s no different.
Ideally, you should water your ginger plants once a week, but you need to ensure that you’re watering them deeply while doing this. So while you’re watering your plants, you’re looking for about 1 inch of water, that way the water can penetrate deep into the soil and give the plant all the nutrients it needs.
Try to water them early in the day, so the sun has plenty of time to dry out both the plants and the soil before nightfall. This will help reduce the chance of your ginger developing rot, which is a big part of keeping the ginger alive and growing.
From there, you need to ensure that your ginger plants get between two and five hours of direct sunlight. The more indirect sunlight your plants can get as well, the better. Aim for between six and ten hours of indirect sunlight depending on how much direct sunlight they get.
When to Plant Ginger
Considering that ginger can take eight to ten months to grow, the sooner you can plant your ginger the better they’ll do. And while most ginger varieties can handle temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit for very brief times, growing saplings can’t.
Moreover, you can’t let the soil freeze, as this will kill the ginger outright. With that in mind, it’s likely that you’ll need to grow your ginger in pots, that way you can get started earlier and move them indoors before the colder weather hits.
While ginger can tolerate brief spells of colder weather, it will undoubtedly hurt your overall yield and the growth rate of the ginger.
Planting Your Ginger
While you can plant your ginger straight in the garden in the warmest climates out there, for everyone else you’ll need to put your ginger in a pot. The good news is that ginger roots aren’t overly deep, so as long as your pot’s at least 12″ deep, you’re good to go.
Just use a vegetable-friendly soil, and ensure that you fertilize as needed to keep the nutrients in the soil for a successful yield.
When/How To Harvest Your Ginger
Chances are you’re growing ginger to harvest it, and as such you need to know when and how to harvest your crop! And while ginger might take a while to mature, once it gets there it’s pretty easy to tell. Wait until the leaves start yellowing and the stalks start to droop, then dig up the entire rhizome.
This is usually at the end of the season, which is about eight to ten months after you plant your ginger.
When you’re harvesting, dig down a few extra inches to grab all the roots while digging it up without damaging anything. From there, look at the overall size of the rhizome. If it’s over four inches, you can cut two to three inches off the side, and then replant everything for the next season.
Of course, if you’re not looking to replant for next year then you can simply dig it up and use it all at this point!
Tips for Growing Ginger in a Colder Climate
Just because you don’t live in a tropical climate doesn’t mean you can’t grow your own ginger; it just means that you’ll need to get creative on how you do it. Below we’ve highlighted some of the best tips out there to grow your own ginger if you live in a colder climate.
If you live in a colder climate you need to be able to move your ginger inside when a cold spell is coming. And since pots are the easiest way to transport a plant, it’s best to plant your ginger into a pot to start with.
Check the Weather and Move It Outside
Some people mistakenly think that if they live in a colder climate then they should keep their ginger in the house year-round. The truth is that as soon as the weather warms up you should take your ginger plant outside to let it absorb natural sunlight and rain.
Not only is it perfectly fine, but it’s the best option for your plant, and helps cut down on some of the expenses!
Invest in a UVA/UVB Lamp
The farther north or south you head from the equator, the less UVA and UVB light that comes from the sun during the fall and winter months. Because of this you’ll need to do more than just put your plants in the windowsill if you want them to grow.
Instead, invest in a UVA/UVB lamp to shine on your ginger. These lights are relatively inexpensive, and they’ll allow you to control the nutrients that your plant gets. Invest in the lamp and shine them on your plants, especially during the winter months!
Put On the Heat
Ginger is used to a tropical climate, and unless you’re keeping your home extremely warm, chances are you’ll want to invest in a low-wattage heat lamp to up the temperature around your ginger plants a bit. It might seem like overkill, but you’re trying to simulate tropical conditions for maximum growth, and tropical conditions have warmer climates!
While you need to ensure that the area is warm enough to dry everything out, you need to try and raise the humidity level around your ginger to replicate a tropical climate as much as possible. And the best and easiest way to do this is to mist your ginger once or twice a day.
However, ensure that you have a heat lamp on your ginger when you’re doing this, otherwise the water can sit on the plant for too long, which can lead to rot.
Propagating/Splitting Your Ginger
While some plants are a pain to propagate, with ginger, it couldn’t get any easier. Simply grow your ginger and wait for the ginger rhizome to swell and start pushing up more stalks. Once you notice a second stark pushing its way to the surface, simply remove the entire rhizome and tubular and split the rhizome.
You need to ensure that each portion of the rhizome is at least two inches in length, then you can replant each rhizome and tubular in another pot and you’re done! If you keep up with splitting and replanting your ginger, you can quickly turn your single batch into as much ginger as you’d like!
Mistakes to Avoid
Just like there are plenty of things you need to do to get your ginger to start growing, there are a few common mistakes you need to avoid to keep everything going smoothly. Below we’ve highlighted three of the most common issues you might run into.
Pulling It Too Early
By far the most common mistake first-time ginger growers make is pulling their new rhizomes too early. While many plants start to take root and grow in just a few days or a week or two, it’s not uncommon for a ginger rhizome to take a month or two to start establishing new roots.
Give it time before giving up on it, and it might just surprise you when it decides to take off and start creating new roots!
Letting It Get Too Cold
When you look up how cold ginger can get, it’s really tempting to think it can hold out over a freeze or two. While it might be able to survive a freeze, you’re not going to get the yield you want even if it does. Ginger is a tropical plant, and it’s best to keep it out of harsh temperatures as much as possible.
Ideally, you don’t want nighttime temperatures to dip below 50 degrees, and even then, daytime temperatures should hit 70 degrees. If your local conditions don’t provide this, move your plants indoors to keep them alive and healthy.
Everyone thinks that more water is better for plants, but the truth is that too much water can be just as devastating as not enough. If you overwater your plants it can lead to root rot, and once your plant has root rot, it’s pretty much a death sentence.
Stick to a consistent watering schedule where you water them once a week, and then don’t overdo it!
Our top 3 Gingers to buy this year:
If you’re looking for success in growing ginger, it all starts with getting the right plants. That’s why we decided to track down and highlight the three best ginger providers out there. With any of these ginger rhizomes and tubular, you’ll be growing your own ginger in no time.
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1. Jamaican Ginger – Best Overall
Quantity: 1 pound or 1 ounce
Variety: Zingiber officinale
If you’re looking for fresh ginger that’s both delicious and easy to grow, then it’s hard to beat what Jamaican Ginger offers. Not only is it simple to grow tubular with its easy to meet care conditions, but it’s also available for an outstanding price.
They come in either 1-ounce or a 1-pound package, which can produce tons of ginger shoots to jumpstart your garden. Just keep in mind that sprouting can be a bit inconsistent with this variety, and often you need to leave them in the ground for longer than you’d think.
It takes a while for Jamaican Ginger to fully adapt to their new conditions as well, and because of this many people give up on the rhizomes before they should.
- Outstanding value for the price
- Easy to grow tubular
- Easy to meet care conditions
- Sometimes has inconsistent sprouting
2. Mall-Kerala Edible Ginger – Runner Up
Quantity: 10 rhizomes
Variety: Zingiber officinale
While Jamaican Ginger might be our top choice, Mall-Kerala Edible Ginger is a closer runner-up. It’s another zingiber Officinale ginger root variety, and because of this, it still gives you the same outstanding yield while being easy to grow.
Moreover, the care conditions are pretty easy to meet, which makes growing them a breeze. But while the yield per rhizomes might be great, the truth of the matter is that it’s still a bit more expensive compared to our top choice.
And this price to yield ratio is what kept it from nabbing our top spot – even if it is an excellent ginger option for your garden.
- Easy to grow
- Outstanding yield
- Easy to meet care conditions
- More expensive for what you get
3. Turmeric Ginger – Best Turmeric Ginger
Quantity: 15 rhizomes
While Zingiber officinale might be the most popular ginger variety out there to grow in your home garden, it’s far from the only choice. Another outstanding option is turmeric ginger.
And this turmeric ginger is an outstanding value for what you’re getting, and it’s still an easy-to-grow option. Compared to some of the other ginger options, turmeric ginger grows large rhizomes, which means you’re getting even more ginger per plant.
However, keep in mind that turmeric ginger takes a long time to grow. So, order it early and give it plenty of time to take root. Because plenty of novice ginger growers have yanked their turmeric ginger too early and prevented it from taking root when it should.
- Great value
- Easy to grow
- Grows large rhizomes
- Takes a long time to grow
If you still have some questions about growing ginger after reading our guide then don’t worry, you’re not alone. That’s why we decided to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about growing ginger for you here.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Ginger?
It typically takes between eight to ten months to grow ginger. Because of this, it’s imperative that you plant early and that you give your plants plenty of time to take root before you write them off.
Also, keep in mind that this long growing season is why many individuals in cooler climates opt to grow ginger in pots. That way, they can get started earlier and keep growing later into the season by bringing their ginger plants indoors during the cooler months.
What Is the Best Way To Grow Ginger?
Because ginger takes a while to grow and needs warmer weather, we found that the best way to grow ginger is in a pot. Each ginger plant doesn’t need a very large pot, and if it’s in a pot, you can move it indoors and outdoors as needed to make use of the natural weather climates.
Also, keep in mind that if you purchase a pre-started ginger plant, like the ones recommended above, then you can harvest your ginger sooner. And since ginger is a perennial plant, if you don’t allow it to freeze off during the winter, you can keep it going year after year!
How Do I Know When My Ginger Is Ready To Harvest?
It takes a while for ginger to ripen, and because of this it often gets overlooked during the harvesting process. The truth is that you should harvest your ginger once the plant blossoms. This can take ten months from sprouting, and it’s always towards the end of the season.
Check the leaves because once they start to yellow and droop, it’s a great sign that you can start harvesting your ginger.
How Often Should You Water Ginger?
You should water your ginger about once a week. But while you only need to water once a week, ensure that you’re watering thoroughly while doing so. You should add about 1″ of water at a time, that way it can penetrate the soil and reach all the roots.
Also, water your ginger early in the day, so it has plenty of time to dry out before night hits. Giving the soil the opportunity to dry out in a timely manner is necessary to avoid rot.
How Do You Harvest Ginger at Home?
To harvest your ginger either dig up the entire plant or dig down enough to cut off about 2″ of the rhizomes. But keep in mind that if you’re planning on allowing the plant to recover and keep growing, we recommend keeping two to four inches of the rhizome intact on the plant.
Once the rhizome grows another two to four inches, you can cut it off again and restart the process!
Not only is ginger delicious, but it comes with so many health benefits that you really should consider adding some to your diet. And what better way to do that than by growing your own ginger?
When you put in the hard work to grow your own ginger, you’re more likely to go the extra mile to add it to your diet. And once you’ve tried your fresh ginger, you’ll never want to leave it out again!