Ginger is an amazing ingredient able to drastically improve every dish. Originally from Southeast Asia, this plant has grown in popularity in the last few years thanks to its versatility. This spice is great in your morning tea to help you get rid of that annoying cold, in curries and soups to add some extra spiciness (just like Cilantro), and also in your desserts!
Given the popularity of ginger, it’s not too surprising that so many people are now trying to grow this plant at home. But is this doable or will it take you ages to get your first harvest? This is exactly what we are going to discuss in this article. Keep reading to find out how long it takes to grow ginger and how to create your own endless supply.
How long does it take to grow ginger?
Ok, let’s address the elephant in the room. Unlike Tomatoes or Pumpkins, ginger unfortunately takes quite some time to grow. If you start your plant from a typical ginger root, it will take from eight to nine months for it to reach full maturity. This means that if you plant your ginger in spring, it will be ready in winter.
Ok, this is undeniably a lot. But we have good news for you. In fact, you won’t have to wait all this time to harvest your precious ginger. You can start collecting your roots after four to five months after planting. Moreover, you don’t have to kill the whole plant to add some home-grown ginger to your recipes. You can, in fact, keep harvesting this spice throughout its growing process. Simply take a small piece of ginger and leave the rest of the root to grow. Of course, don’t overdo it, as you may damage your plant.
But let’s explore the full life cycle of this spice. Once put in soil, ginger will usually take from two to three weeks to start sprouting. Your plant will then keep growing and eventually begin flowering. Ideally, you want to wait for the flowering plant to dry before harvesting your ginger. This should take about two months.
As we said earlier, you can harvest your ginger after four to five months, but waiting till your plant reaches its full maturity, roughly after eight to ten months, will give your roots a stronger taste. Unfortunately, if you live in a cold place your plant will die during the winter, so you should collect all the ginger you have managed to produce throughout the year before the arrival of the cold season.
Ok, but how can you start your ginger journey?
Choosing the right root
Once you choose your variety, you will need to buy your rhizomes. Rhizomes, commonly called roots, are modified underground stems and consist of the part of ginger we usually eat. You can easily find common ginger rhizomes at your grocery store, but there are a few things to keep in mind when buying these.
First, you should pay attention to the so-called ‘eyes’. These are the parts of the root from where new leaves will sprout. In general, the more eyes the better.
These will help your plant grow faster and bigger. You should also try your best to purchase organic ginger as regular one is often treated with chemicals preventing the rhizomes from sprouting.
When and where to plant
You can plant your ginger in the early spring starting the process inside your house and leaving your pots in a place with indirect light. Once your plants have sprouted you can move them outside, provided the weather is warm. Remember, this plant doesn’t like temperatures below 13 ℃. Place your container in a place receiving morning sun but shady during the afternoon.
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How to grow ginger in pots
When planting your ginger you should remember that its rhizomes will grow in width rather than in depth. This means that you should opt for a wide vase rather than a deep one.
- Put your ginger root horizontally and cover it with a few cm of soil. To give you an idea, a thumb-sized rhizome can grow up to 90 cm so make sure you have enough space in your house.
- Plant your ginger roots roughly 30 cm apart from each other for optimal growth. Remember, ginger is a tropical plant and likes loose, rich, and well-drained soil. You will see the first sprouts emerging from your roots’ eyes within two to three weeks.
- Ginger should be deeply watered once a week. Ideally, you want to keep the potting soil moist but not too soggy.
How to grow ginger in water
Another good option is to start growing your ginger in water. The positive of this process is that your plant will need less space and maintenance work as well as no pesticides and herbicides. However, if you want a good harvest, eventually you will have to move your ginger into the soil.
- All you will need to start is a plastic bottle, a cutter, some sticks, and your rhizome. As we said earlier, ginger grows horizontally, which means that you cannot place your root vertically inside your bottle. Instead, cut a wide opening in the side of your bottle and add water to it.
- You can now insert a few sticks in your ginger root and place it in your bottle opening so that these can prevent your root from sinking.
- Make sure part of your ginger root touches the water and wait for it to sprout. Of course, don’t forget to change the water from time to time.
Common ginger problems
Ginger is relatively easy to grow, however, you may still face a few issues. If your plants start to get brown or yellowish leaves it is a sign that you need to water them more often.
On the other hand, if your ginger seems to be rotting out, simply water it less frequently.
Lastly, if you see a flower starting to grow… don’t worry! This won’t damage the plant at all. Actually, most ginger flowers are edible so, bon appetite!
Frequently Asked Questions
How to grow ginger in cold climates?
Ginger plants die when temperatures drop below 13 ℃. So, if you live in a cold area, you can simply keep your plant indoors.
Can you grow ginger from the store?
Of course! But try to buy organic ginger if you can as standard roots are often treated with chemicals that prevent them from sprouting.
How long does ginger root last?
You can store your ginger in the fridge for up to a month.
Can dogs eat ginger root?
Yes, ginger is completely safe for dogs.
Can you freeze ginger root?
Yes, you can keep your ginger roots in your freezer for up to six months.