How To Grow & Care For Ginger: Planting, Harvesting and Caring

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a beautiful scented plant. It is known as Adrak, keong; khing,gung, halia, jahe, luya, shooga, etc. It is a powerful medicinal plant.

Learn how to grow ginger root in pots at home and its care regarding watering, soil, fertilization and harvesting. It is the best herb to grow indoors in partial to full shade, a situation suited for homes where full sun is not available all day long.

I have been growing ginger in a container for many years now. The ginger plant does not need any special attention except regular watering. You plant it now and forget until you wish to harvest fresh ginger, when the plants grow to about 2-3 feet high.

How To Grow Ginger At Home


Ginger is a tropical plant, grows in warm weather, but can be grown anywhere, outdoors or even indoors in cooler or too hotter climates.

Growing ginger root is not difficult provided you follow some basic steps as discussed below.

Planting Ginger Roots in Containers or Garden Beds?

Gingers do not need much space. In the ground, plant them about 6-8 inch apart. However, the rhizomes underground can tolerate a bit crowding. If growing in garden beds, plant on ridges, about 30 cm apart and with 15 cm between plants.

The ginger roots grow horizontally and not deep so choose a shallow, wide pot. In a 12 inch pot, you can plant 3 rhizomes. In a rectangular Styrofoam fruit box, I plant 10-12 rhizomes.

Planting Time

The best planting time is late winter or early spring when the soil temperature and ambient temperature is  between 20°C and 30°C.

Position: Where to Plant?

  1. The ginger plant does not like direct sun, strong winds and frost. Select a sheltered place where no direct sun light goes, filtered sunlight is OK. The morning sun will be alright, but not the strong afternoon sun that will burn the leaves.
  2. If you have no shade area in your garden, then you can wrap a cloth around the leaves to protect them from direct sun, that will also help keeping the humidity in.
  3. During chilly winter, you can move the pot indoors and bring back outside in the summer.

Soil

Ginger likes rich, free draining soil (preparing garden soil). Mix some river sand, compost and cow manure into the garden soil. The compost (making compost at home) and cow manure supply nutrition and retain moisture and river sand makes the soil free draining.

Ginger Rhizomes with Growth Buds
Ginger Rhizomes with Growth Buds

How To Plant Ginger

  1. Select ginger rhizomes with tight skin, with well developed "eyes" or growth buds.
  2. You can cut the ginger rhizomes in little pieces with at least one growing bud. Plant your ginger root 8-10 cm deep, with the growing buds facing up.
  3. If the ground is moist and warm they will root very easily.
  4. Water lightly at first, then more heavily when shoots appear.

Watering Ginger Plant

  1. Ginger plants love moisture for growing, so the soil should never dry out. Mulching your ginger plats will help contain humidity in the soil . I use sugarcane mulch to contain the moisture, which also keeps down the weeds.
  2. If air is dry and hot, then spray water regularly.
  3. As the weather starts cooling down, reduce the water, even let the ground dry out. This encourages the ginger to form rhizomes.
  4. Keep the soil dry in winter when they are dormant.
Ginger Growing in a Container
Ginger Growing in a Container

Fertilizing Ginger Plants

  1. If you are growing ginger in good, rich soil it should not need anything extra. However, it will benefit from the addition of a complete fertilizer prior to planting. 
  2. A side dressing of fertilizer may be made every third week during the growing season. Apply fertilizer 25 cm away from the plant to prevent damage. 
  3. I give liquid fertilizer like seaweed extract or fish fertilizer every third week. 

Ginger Diseases, Pests and Problems

  1. Dry air can cause problems with spider mites.
  2. Water logged soil can cause bacteria resulting in bacterial soft rot and bacterial wilt.  
  3. The bacterial rot causes yellowing of whole leaves or their tips or even drooping of leaves.
  4. The bacterial wilt makes infected leaves roll and curl, yellow leaves, even the plant may die in severe infection. 
  5. Well drained bacteria free soil can avoid these problems.
  6. There are many Companion plants for garlic to effectively repel the harmful insects while retaining beneficial ones.

General Care For Ginger Plants

Any exposed rhizomes should be covered with soil. As ginger grow horizontally, the soil can be raised around the growing stems to force a more vertical growth habit.

Harvesting Ginger

Read below the details on how to harvest ginger.
Freshly Harvested Ginger
Freshly Harvested Ginger
Homegrown Ginger Root From a Pot
Homegrown Ginger Root From a Pot
  1. The best time to harvest ginger is any time after the leaves have died down, approximately 25 weeks from planting. Reduce water at this stage to encourage rhizome growth.

  2. When the ginger plant is about four months old, I usually cut out a small piece of root by carefully removing the soil from the side of the growing clump. 

  3. You can dig up the whole plant when the leaves dry up.

  4. Break up the rhizomes and leave aside or in the soil a few ones with good growing buds for replanting, and eat the rest ones. 

  5. Do not water the replanted rhizomes until they sprout in the next season.

Ginger Flowers

When does ginger flower?
  1. A ginger plant flowers after 2-3 years of planting. 
  2. The flowers of culinary ginger are green and insignificant anyway.
  3. The ornament ginger which are evergreen in the tropics, produces spectacular flowers.
    Ginger Flower
    Ginger Flower

3comments

hii whenever i plant aginger in soil,it rotten ups...what i've to do
Reply

Place the "eye" on the ginger rot facing upwards. Keep the soil damp, over-watering will rot the root.
Reply


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