Ginger is the perfect herb to grow indoors. It’s very low-maintenance, loves partial sunlight, and you can use parts of it at a time, leaving the rest in the soil to continue growing. Besides, it’s delicious! Really, what’s not to love about year round vegetable gardening, especially when it comes to growing ginger inside?
Photo sourced via Creative Commons from Flickr user Chrysti
A bit about ginger
Ginger takes 10 months to mature and it doesn’t tolerate frost. If you live in a place where it gets chilly in the winter, you’d be better off growing ginger in a pot indoors and bringing it outside in the summertime.
Ginger is one of those miraculous plants that grows well in partial to full shade, which makes it ideal for growing in your home, where most people don’t have full sun pouring on their windows all day long.
Little bits of the ginger root can be removed while it continues to grow. A little bit of ginger goes a long way, so these pieces can be used for cooking, brewing tea or for herbal remedies.
How to plant ginger
The best ginger to plant is purchased from a garden center or seed catalog. You’ll have much better luck if you get seed ginger that was meant to be planted. However, ginger can be hard to find from garden suppliers, especially locally.
Ginger purchased from the produce department of your local grocery store can be used to grow a plant, but with spotty results. Grocery store ginger is often sprayed with a growth inhibitor to keep it from sprouting before it’s purchased. That inhibitor also keeps it from sprouting when you stick it in a pot of soil.
Grocery store ginger also could be coated in pesticides and fungicides. The truth is, you have no idea what’s on it. I’ve heard of grocery store ginger growing just fine, and I’ve heard of it sitting in a pot forever and never budging. If you do purchase your ginger from the grocery store, be sure to soak it in water overnight to remove as much growth inhibitor as you can.
Photo sourced via Creative Commons from Flickr user Avlxyz
Whichever way you choose to go, here are some helpful tips for growing ginger inside:
The root that you choose to plant should be plump with tight skin, not shriveled and old. It should have several eye buds on it (bumps that look like potato eyes) and if they’re already a little green, all the better.
If your root has several eye buds, it can be cut and each bud can be placed in a separate pot to produce several plants.
Be sure to pick the perfect pot!
Unlike most other houseplants, ginger loves shallow, wide pots. The roots grow horizontally so be sure the pot you choose will accommodate its growth.
How to grow ginger indoors, step by step:
1. To start with, soak the ginger root overnight in warm water to get it ready for planting.
2. Fill your pot with very rich but well-draining potting soil.
3. Stick the ginger root with the eye bud pointing up in the soil and cover it with 1-2 inches of soil. Water it well.
4. Place the ginger in a spot that stays reasonably warm and doesn’t get too much bright sunlight.
5. Keep the soil moist, using a spray bottle to mist it, or water it lightly.
6. Ginger is a slow grower, after a few weeks you should see some shoots popping up out of the soil. Continue to water the plant regularly by misting it with a spray bottle and keep it warm
Photo sourced via Creative Commons from Flickr user Benson Kua
Small pieces of ginger can be harvested 3-4 months after growth begins. Pull aside some of the soil at the edges of the pot to find some rhizomes beneath the surface. Cut the needed amount off a finger at the edge of the pot and then return the soil.
Ginger can be harvested in this way endlessly, and as long as it is well cared for, it will continue to produce roots. If you need a larger harvest, you can uproot the entire plant and re-plant a few rhizomes to start the process over again.