Gardener Monica: How To Plant Ginger

Ginger is a great herb which comes in handy when making concoctions to treat common colds and adding a spicy taste to foods and teas. As such, it is an excellent plant to have in your garden. Growing it is quite a simple process and what you need most is adequate water and patience in the process. Both edible and ornamental gingers exist, and they all require the following steps during growth.

The Planting Stage

Suitable conditions

The time at which you plant your ginger determines how well it does. Ginger does not grow well in cold conditions, and it is thus crucial that you start cultivation towards the middle of spring. If you live in the tropics, the best time to begin planting would be at the beginning of the wet season. Supposing you live in an area with a limited growing season, you can opt to have your ginger grow indoors where you can better control the environment. The critical factor at this stage is that the ginger is in a warm setting, free from frost. Otherwise, it will not survive.

Variety selection

There are many ginger varieties on the market, some of which are edible and some of which are not. Your choice should depend on how much work you are willing to put in and whether you intend to ingest the plant. Your local nursery should have choices that can do well in your region and you can seek advice as to what are your best options.

When choosing a ginger root, look into its physical features to gauge its ability to sprout and grow into a healthy plant. Plump roots which are free of wrinkles are your best bet at having a healthy ginger plant. You should also look at whether the herb’s eyes are visible toward the end of the fingers. If you can find green eyes, then this is better for you. However, this is not a key determinant in the choice process.

Another determinant that comes into play is whether the root is organic or not. It is always advisable to choose a ginger root that is organic as it is less likely to have chemicals that could hamper its growth. However, if you cannot find a ginger root that is organic, you can take the non-organic one and soak it in water overnight. This process aids in stimulating the plant to grow.

Root preparation

Depending on the number of ginger plants you wish to grow, you can cut the root into several pieces. Each piece should be at least one inch wide with at least one eye, failure to which will mean the parts will not germinate into plants. Ensure that the cutting tool you use is sanitized to ensure that the pieces do not get infected. Leave the pieces in a dry place where they can heal in readiness for planting, a process which should take a few days. Once a callus forms over the opening, they are ready for planting as they now have a protective surface to prevent them from getting infected. It is important to note that a piece with three eyes or more is more likely to germinate as opposed to one with fewer eyes. Ginger plants also require spaces in the range of eight inches each, and you should put this into consideration when cutting the pieces.

Soil preparation

The soil which you choose should be well-drained such that water does not sit around the roots for prolonged periods. You can achieve such a balance by using a combination of garden soil and compost manure. You can also choose to use rich potting soil in place of one with poor nutrients or one that has poor draining qualities. As is the case with most garden soils, ginger tends to do best when it is in mildly acidic environments so consider adjusting your soil’s pH levels if they are not in this range. You can achieve this pH with the use of a pH kit.

The first few stages of ginger’s growth are critical, and if you wish to have more control in the situation, you can opt to grow the root in a starting tray at first. In the plate, you can have coconut fibre or similar material which drains water at an efficient rate. You will also need to control the temperature of the chosen material, ensuring that it is in the range of seventy degrees Fahrenheit. Once the roots and leaves form, you will need to transplant the ginger into the soil, and this is a sensitive process which calls for a lot of caution.

Site selection

The best environment to grow ginger should get sunlight for a limited amount of time. The area should also not be swampy or windy as these conditions negatively affect the growth of this herb. Before ginger germinates, it requires temperatures in the ranges of seventy to seventy-seven degrees Fahrenheit and the area you choose should provide such warmth.

When growing ginger in a pot, ensure that it is at least twelve inches deep as this will provide room for the growth of roots. Also, ensure that you make adequate holes at the bottom of the tin if you are using a plastic container. If you are in the tropics, you can grow your ginger in fully shaded conditions. However, this will not work for people sowing ginger in other latitudes as it will not survive.

Planting the ginger

Make holes two inches deep and plant the ginger pieces with the buds facing up. If you are planting in rows, ensure that there are spacings at least eight inches between sections to ensure that there is no competition for nutrients. When planting in pots, have one piece per container for the best results.


Once you have covered the pieces with soil, water them lightly. Do this regularly for a few days, always making sure that you wet the earth as opposed to soaking it. Watering should continue even after germination to ensure that the growth rate is steady.

Mulch the plants to reduce the evaporation rates and be sure to add nutrients to the soil by way of manure over time. Harvesting should only take place once the plant reaches maturity. Otherwise, it will adversely affect the growth rate.

Ginger takes a considerable amount of time to sprout, and as such, you will require a great deal of patience in this process.

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