Ginger Plant Guide: How To Grow, Harvest, Care for Ginger Root Indoor/Out

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | April 1, 2024

Woman enjoying a Gingerale as parts of the ginger plant fly into the cup after learning how to identify ginger, how to grow types of ginger plants, how to plant and care for ginger, and when to harvest ginger root.

The Ginger plant is a perennial root that offers many uses, but one of the best things about it is that it doesn’t really need a lot of space and is a pretty easy plant to grow, making it perfect for indoor gardens (or outdoors).

It doesn’t matter if this is your first time planting anything or not, growing Ginger will make you love gardening altogether.

Meals will no longer be plain and simple when you have the spicy Ginger growing right in your home. It tends to add a zing to your meals and drinks that you can’t get enough of, and the health benefits that it packs only put the icing on the cake. Do you like your Ginger in its rawest, truest form, or do you prefer drying and grinding before using it?

This complete guide explains all about ginger plant types that you can grow at home, and explains the best planting methods and harvesting techniques so that you can enjoy your home garden to the fullest.

Ginger Plant

(Zingiber officinale)

Ginger plant in circle frame on green background.
  • Family: Zingiberaceae
  • Genus: Zingiber
  • Leaf: Long and narrow, growing in pairs along the stems
  • Seed: Black in color inside red fruits with three seed pods
  • Blossoms: Purple and yellow in color, only appear under perfect conditions
  • Native Habitat: Southeast Asia
  • Height: 4 feet
  • Type: Perennial
  • Native Growing Zone: USDA Zones 8 to 12

Image Credit: Dalgial35

About the Ginger Root (Zingiber Officinale)

The common Ginger, scientifically referred to as the Zingiber Officinale comes from the Zingiberacea family of plants, which technically means that it is related to other herbs like cardamom or turmeric.6 It is a massive hit in various parts of the world, widely known as the key ingredient in plenty of dishes and beverages. You can dice, blend, shred, or even use it in powdered form.

The rhizome or stem that grows underground is the part that is usually used even though the leaves are also edible.

The rich aroma is what draws people to it, especially considering that you can use it in a variety of ways, as a spice, or even as medicine. Did you know that Ginger is actually a tropical plant? Its native region is in equatorial Asia. Also, it is able to grow to as tall as 4 feet while the rhizome can be as massive as 2 feet wide.

When you bite into raw Ginger, the taste that you perceive comes from a compound called Gingerol, but then, after drying or cooking, the aroma completely changes to the zesty zingerone, which makes the Ginger quite a versatile plant.

What Is the Origin of Ginger Plant?

Ginger is a pretty interesting plant based on its origin and exactly how it spread and became famous in various parts of the world.

It all started in Southeast Asia, its native habitat. It is the Austronesians that are thought to be the very first to domesticate it where it gained fame as one of the first spice exports from Asia to Europe, all thanks to the spice trade, and of course, the Romans and Greeks loved it.

The natives were also responsible for carrying the Ginger Plant over to other parts of the world including the Middle East, India, and Madagascar.11

Soon enough, it was widely growing in India and was actually one of the main exported spice items along with the likes of cloves. The people found many other uses for Ginger apart from spicing up their food and drinks.

Graphic that shows how to identify ginger plant through its flowers, leaf, and root.

Evidence points to the fact that it was also widely grown for medical reasons. It makes sense because according to research, Ginger can be used to treat nausea, inflammation, and digestive problems.

There are also instances where the plant had religious significance in ancient times. The natives actually used it during their healing rituals and when asking for protection from divine powers.

Ginger Plant Facts You Should Know

As you already know, the Ginger Plant is quite an interesting one to grow. Here are some fun facts that you probably didn’t know about it.

  • The term ‘Ginger’ is derived from a Sanskrit name ‘srnggaveram’ that roughly translates to ‘horn root.’
  • Although you will often hear the term ‘Ginger root’, Ginger is botanically not an actual root. It is in fact a rhizome, which means that it is an underground stem and you can tell because the part grows horizontally and produces tiny roots and shoots.
  • It is common for people to confuse the common Ginger and the wild Ginger but the two are not one and the same. They are entirely different when it comes to their structure, scientific names, and usage.
  • The main reason why Ginger seeds are not very common like in other plants is simply because the flowers are sterile in most cases. Therefore, it is not common for them to form fruits or seeds, for that matter, so the Ginger Plant’s main propagation method is through its rhizomes.
  • Ginger is lauded for its medicinal properties all over the world. It will come in handy to help ease vomiting that is caused by motion sickness, illnesses, and pregnancy. It also has some anti-inflammation properties meaning that you can use it to relieve muscle pain.
  • India is currently the world’s leading Ginger producer. In 2022, the total production of the herb totaled to about 4.3 million tonnes and India accounted for 43% of that.4

What Does a Ginger Plant Look Like? (How To Identify Ginger Plant)

The Ginger Plant is a definite must-have in kitchen gardens. You can’t miss the incredible scent and flavor and how it spices up your meals.

But, the part that is mostly used in the plant tends to grow below the ground and if you are interested in it, you have got to know how to use the leaves and other parts above ground. This will tell you the exact location where it grows.

Ginger Leaves

Did you know that the leaves of the Ginger are edible? They are also scented, and some people are able to tell them apart when they emit the Ginger smell after rubbing. You can easily detect them at a glance, though, because of how slim and elegant they usually look. They can grow to as much as 6-12 inches and practically emerge from sheaths that enclose the stems. They also grow in alternating patterns and in two rows that grow vertically.

Ginger Flower

Some people have never seen the flowers of the Ginger and that is common with such a plant. It is other relatives like the yellow Ginger that are specifically grown for their ornamental value due to their showy types of flowers but the common Ginger is different because you are more interested in the roots, right?12

But still, flowers grow on the Ginger, looking like cone spikes and measuring 2-3 inches long and an inch wide and you immediately notice just how the green bracts with yellow edges overlap with each other.

Ginger Seeds

The seeds of the Ginger are also pretty rare. It explains why planting seeds is not really that common, but there are still chances of bumping into them after the plant flowers.

In the reproductive sense, the flowers lead to the formation of red fruits, and inside each, there lie 3 pods that shelter small black seeds, and you will see them when the pods dry up.

Types of Ginger: Ginger Family Members (Picture of Ginger Plant)

There are many varieties of ginger plant that you can grow, the following are some of the most popular.

1. Common Ginger

Of course, starting off the list is the Ginger that virtually everybody knows about. This is one of the top choices for planting because of how it adds a zing to your food and how easy it is to grow indoors and outdoors. It is also hailed for its medicinal uses and it is no wonder it is very popular even in grocery stores.

Photo of a common ginger plant.

(Image: Mk201027)

Photo of a white butterfly ginger plant's flower.

(Image: Mokkie28)

2. Butterfly Ginger

True to its name, the flower of this Ginger looks exactly like the wings of a butterfly. It is incredible how it grows some of the most stunning types of white flowers that you have ever seen, although there are also other shades like yellow and orange. It only goes to show why it is one of the top choices for use as houseplants because you will keep staring at the vibrant flowers. The root being edible and spicy is only a bonus so you would be getting the best of both worlds if you plant this.

3. White Ginger

Another flowering type of Ginger that you should consider planting is the Indian variety called white Ginger lily. Some say that it closely resembles a jasmine, and who wouldn’t want that? You will find it growing in various parts of the world and for different reasons. For instance, in China, it is mainly planted for its medicinal value, but in places like Hawaii, it is purely for ornamental properties.5 The Chinese know it as an aphrodisiac, hence primarily used for treating stomach pains and digestive issues.

Close up photo of the white ginger plant or lily.

(Image: Srichakra Pranav29)

Photo of several flowers of beehive ginger plant.

(Image: Craig Franklin30)

4. Beehive Ginger

Looking at this Ginger, you will immediately understand why it is called that.13 It is pretty interesting how the heads of the blossoms of this plant grow in the shape of tiny bee hives. These heads tend to grow rather long, sometimes measuring 12 inches, and take a yellow, orange, white, or red color. Although this Ginger is not exactly the best when it comes to cooking, it definitely makes up for it with its medicinal properties.

How To Propagate Ginger: How To Plant Ginger

With a constant supply, you’ll never run out.

Ginger is an incredible plant that comes in handy for so many uses and that is why you would want to know how to best plant it; here is how.

Growing a Ginger Plant From a Seed

First and foremost, planting Ginger from a seed is rare. Gardeners will tell you that they would rather use a rhizome for propagation instead, but if you are more interested in seed planting, know that it is also possible, just not the most preferred way to go. For one, looking for seeds in a nursery can be daunting, but you can find them being sold online, at affordable rates.

So, how do you go about planting Ginger seeds then? You are going to leave them in the open on day one then soak them all through the night, or for at least 8 hours in warm water and when it cools down, take the container to your fridge, giving the seeds time to settle down to the bottom. One trick that you can use to test the viability of the seeds is that you should only plant those that sink and discard the floating ones.

Because you will be dealing with very tiny seeds, you would rather plant them in containers to keep a closer eye on them. You will need a pot with drainage holes and fill it with a potting mix. When you water regularly and provide perfect conditions, you should see germination in the next 4 or 6 weeks. You will have to give them some time and immediately you spot 2 or 3 true leaves, that should be your cue to transplant or at least move them to larger containers.

Growing a Ginger Plant From a Cutting

While you can be successful with planting Ginger seeds, there is no propagation method that is as convenient as directly using a Ginger rhizome. Your plant will take a very short time to grow and you won’t have to worry about the delicate nature of handling seeds and seedlings. This is the most common way to go and should be the go-to for you if you are a beginner.

If you want to grow your own Ginger, it all starts with picking the right rhizome. The good news is that you can even use store-bought ones, although those from nurseries and seed companies are preferred because chances are high that the Ginger will be organic. It is this rhizome that you will take cuttings from for planting, and you will be fascinated by how simple the entire process is.

First, chop the Ginger into 1-inch-long pieces, and while at it, try to make sure that each cutting has 2 eyes.

On the other hand, while planting Ginger, you should be preparing your growing tray, making sure that the potting soil is wet and fertile, and maybe slightly acidic.14 In the process, plant your cuttings 2-4 inches into the soil, then pick a planting spot that has partial shade; lastly, cover up the planter to help preserve the level of moisture.13 The more you water and look after your cuttings, the faster they grow, and they will be ready for transplanting in no time.

Growing a Ginger Plant From a Seedling

Again, it is not that common to grow Ginger from a seedling. Using rhizome cuttings is the best way to go, although it doesn’t mean that you cannot start from a seedling.

So, that technically means that the Ginger will have to start from seed first, where you will have to wait for germination to take place before you can have your seedlings.

From there, you will have to transplant the seedlings from the tiny pots that the seeds were growing in and plant them in large containers, which will be the Ginger’s final home.

Note that seedlings could also come from rhizome cuttings, which technically means that you will end up having to start from either of the two methods above.

Growing Ginger in a Pot

What makes Ginger even simpler to plant is the fact that you don’t even need a massive garden for planting; you can grow it in a pot. In fact, that is the perfect place because you get more control when it comes to carrying it indoors and outdoors. But there are some tips that you have to have if you are planning to grow Ginger in a planter; first of all, choose the perfect container.

While you may be tempted to go for a deeper container, you have to remember that the Ginger is not a root but a rhizome. This literally means that there is more emphasis on horizontal growth, not vertical, not how you would plant a carrot. Therefore, you have to pick a wider container, not necessarily a deep one.

When that is done, the next step is picking the right Ginger variety. It all starts with determining exactly what you want from your plant: is it for ornamental reasons, or use in your kitchen? If the former, you may have to go for types like the butterfly and red Ginger.

The next step is to pick the perfect potting mix; make sure that it is rich in organic matter and drains well because the last thing you want is waterlogged soil that harbors diseases. Now, onto the last stage, the planting of the Ginger in the container. When burying the rhizome, check that the eyes are facing up because those are the points where the shoots are going to grow from, so you will be giving your Ginger an easier time to grow.

How To Grow Ginger at Home: Growing Ginger Outdoors Vs Indoors

There is one pressing concern that first-timers battle with when deciding to grow their Ginger, or any other plant for that matter: should it be indoors or outdoors? On one hand, you can’t wait to start gardening in the open space and make full use of the garden that you have in your home but on the other, you are also thinking about whether your plant is going to be safe. Overwintering and other factors have to come into play and that would affect your plant.15

In short, how do you know whether to plant indoors or outdoors? For starters, you need to understand that the care and maintenance of your Ginger will not change.

You will still have to prepare your rhizome for planting in the same way, regardless, and you have to make sure that its needs are still met. Also, there is the same risk of pests despite where your plants are growing and that is why you will still have to take very good care of your plants no matter what.

Graphic that shows the ginger plant growth rate on 1 to 2 weeks, 3 weeks to 1 month, 3 to 7 months, and 8 months and beyond.

Now, the differences. You see, with indoor planting, you will be sure that your Ginger is safe from the harsh elements. You won’t have to worry about frost or the conditions being too cold for your plant. If your Ginger needs anything, you can always provide it from the comfort of an indoor space, a grow light, heating mat, and a well-lit window will come in handy in this case. But as you can tell, indoor planting can be pretty demanding and that is one of the upsides of planting Ginger outside.

There will be more room for the Ginger to grow and thrive. Sunlight levels will be unmatched and you won’t have to really struggle with shifting your plant all through the day to find the perfect well-lit spot.

However, being outside means that your Ginger will be at the mercy of the elements and you will have to find ways to keep your plants safe, maybe by shading or covering. Therefore, the decision is entirely yours, what works best for you.

The Best Growing Conditions for Ginger Plant

Nothing makes gardening easier than when the growing conditions are just right. You will have fun planting knowing that your Ginger is comfortable and happy and it will definitely reward you for your service.

So, what are the best conditions for planting Ginger that will guarantee maximum yields? It starts with answering the following questions.

What Is the Best Type of Soil for Growing a Ginger Plant?

The Ginger is very particular when it comes to the type of soil and it is pretty easy to see if it is happy or not. For the best results, it is best for the soil to be slightly acidic, with a pH of 6-6.5.7

It is also without question that the soil must also have perfect drainage, as the Ginger doesn’t really do well when the ground stays waterlogged for a long time.

In addition to that, if you are very particular about having your Ginger Plant grow fast and being highly productive, you are going to want to pay close attention to the quality of the soil. This is why amending with organic matter goes a really long way, whether you are planting indoors in a container or in an open garden.

What Are the Watering Needs for Ginger Plants?

Again, too much TLC in watering your plant could have some devastating effects. Overwatering a plant that grows from under the ground is lethal and could mean the onset of deadly diseases like root rot.

This is why experts will advise that you only water about an inch in a single week, no more, and while at it, make sure that it is deep and regular but careful that the soil doesn’t completely dry out.16

You should also be very careful not to water during the plant’s dormant stages or when there are no leaves growing. And what about the dry season?

In such cases, you may have to increase the frequency of the watering and you can also add a layer of mulch to at least help retain the level of moisture in the soil.

How Much Sunlight Does Ginger Plant Need Each Day?

Like any other root plant, Ginger is going to need some sunlight in order to grow strong and healthy. It depends on how you have grown your Ginger, is it indoors or outdoors? If in a container indoors, then you will have to place it under a bright light, direct or indirect will do.

On the other hand, if yours is outside, you will make sure that it is in a partially shaded spot, the key is to check that it is able to receive some sun in the morning or shaded sun all through the day.

Regulating the intensity of sunlight will go a long way because while more access could mean a better harvest, you also don’t want your Ginger Plant to get scorched.

What Is the Perfect Temperature Level for Growing the Ginger?

You know by now that Ginger is a tropical plant that loves it when it is warm and humid and will suffer immensely if the weather gets too cold. That is what you should strive to provide at all times as you try and replicate its natural habitat.

Therefore, it is easy to see why the Ginger Plant enjoys growing outdoors when the temperatures range at around 60 degrees and sometimes up to 85 degrees. As for your outdoor plants, you may have to bring them inside when the temperatures start dropping past the 55-degree mark.

Planting Tips for Ginger Plant

Obviously, you want to make your gardening journey a simple and fun one, and that is why you would want to have some expert skills. Here are some planting tips that will come in handy when you are on your way to becoming an expert Ginger gardener.

Where Is Ginger Root Grown?

You will be able to grow a Ginger Plant all through the year and actually have it as a houseplant. But on the other hand, it can also live outdoors just as long as the weather is warm enough. For the best results, you may want to consider planting it in a partly shaded spot, away from sunlight that is too bright and scorching.

Many gardeners also opt to have it growing as a container plant; at least that way, they will be able to bring it inside when it starts to get too cold.

When To Plant Ginger Plant for the Best Yield

The perfect timing when planting a Ginger has a lot to do with the levels of temperature. When you are considering making yours a full indoor plant, there are no restrictions on when to plant. You can do it at any time, all through the year, because the temperatures indoors are way easier to monitor and regulate, and you will be certain that there will be no danger of frost.

The problem comes in when you want to grow the Ginger outdoors; here is where you will have to consider the timing.

If you want to be sure about favorable conditions, the best time to plant your Ginger outdoors is in spring, when the danger of frost has long passed, and the temperatures are more conducive, say like, 60 degrees and above.17 You wouldn’t want your plant to suffer under punishing weather, and if you are not sure about the conditions, you would rather have the plant growing in a container so as to make it easier to take it indoors if need be.

If the conditions are perfect, your Ginger should mature in 8-10 months, although you can harvest whenever the rhizomes have started forming.10

How Far Apart To Plant Ginger Plant

Many plants find it hard to survive when they are crammed together. If you don’t know how to space your plants, you will end up with mature plants that are competing for resources, not just in the soil but also above the ground, like sunlight access. When it comes to Ginger, it is advisable to leave some 6-8 inches of space between plantings.

This is supposed to leave room for the rhizomes below to extend and grow horizontally, and in addition to that, the shoots above will not grow too close to each other and will flourish because there will be enough resources for every single one of them.

Care and Maintenance of the Ginger Plant

One exceptional feature when it comes to planting a Ginger Plant is the fact that it is generally easy to care for.

You don’t really have to dedicate hours of your time daily for it to grow healthy. As a matter of fact, as you have already realized, too much of that TLC can actually be of harm.

Graphic that shows ginger plant care and maintenance through watering, pruning, checking humidity level, and adding fertilizer.

Since you may be new to this, here are some care and maintenance tips that will come in handy.

  • Watering: Of course, the Ginger needs water to survive, but it is not supposed to be too much. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that the soil should now be left to dry out completely. So, how do you know that it is time to water your plant? One trick is to check if the inch at the top of the soil is dry; that will be your cue, letting you know that it is time for deep watering until the soil starts drying out again.
  • Checking Humidity Levels: The Ginger Plant is pretty particular about its growing conditions. Being a tropical plant basically means that it would prefer growing where the level of humidity is a bit high, and the temperatures are generally warmer. If not, it will definitely show as the tips of the leaves will start discoloring; that is why running a humidifier in the space will help or regularly misting them when outdoors.
  • Adding Fertilizer To The Soil: If you are looking for the fastest rate of growth and the most effortless planting, you may want to consider amending the soil where your Ginger grows. In fact, the plant is well-known for being such a heavy feeder, and that is why you may have to add in a slow-release fertilizer even before planting and after that, use the same twice or thrice in the summer.
  • Pruning: Is this one of your biggest fears as a gardener? That you will end up with a plant that requires too much pruning? Are you worried that you may be too busy or forgetful? There is absolutely no need to worry when it comes to the Ginger Plant because it doesn’t really need that much in matters of pruning. All you may have to do is chop off dead or old stems to give the plant more energy to focus on other healthier parts.18

Picking the Right Ginger Rhizomes for Planting

One of the very first questions that you would ask when planting Ginger from its rhizome is how to pick the right one for planting. Are there any rules to follow? Can you just go ahead and plant any that you find? How do you make sure that the rhizome grows? Of course, these are very important questions that you have to ask even before planting, and here is how you will be able to pick the perfect Ginger rhizome for planting.

The very first step before planting your Ginger is obviously to first look for what you are going to plant. The best part is that you can always find a rhizome from stores and farmers’ markets and use those particular ones for planting. There are also versions from nurseries and seed companies, but the trick is to make sure that you end up with an organic kind of Ginger because it will be way easier to plant.

You can even buy one straight from a farmer in your region if possible, but no matter what you do, treat this as the most important decision when planting the Ginger. When you go to the store, trying to pick one rhizome for planting, here is what you do; just make sure that you only go for the best-looking one. This basically means choosing one that is thick, well-hydrated, and healthier looking and completely avoiding those ones that look wrinkled tired, or moldy.2

Many people also forget to check for rhizomes with nodes on them because where else are the shoots going to come from? You may also keep the Ginger until you see the nodes/ eyes popping out. At this point, it will be way easier to take cuttings for planting, making sure that each piece has an eye or two where the shoot will sprout from.

How Long It Takes To Grow Ginger Plant: Ginger Plant Growth Rate

Just like any other plant, the growth rate of the Ginger depends on how you started it out. If you start with seeds, you will have to wait a little longer before the rhizome starts forming and growing enough to be ready for harvesting. Well, that goes ahead to explain why gardeners would rather start planting from the rhizome cuttings straight away, letting the shoots emerge directly from the nodes. The prevailing conditions also matter because Ginger is known for slipping into the dormant stage during winter and when the conditions are too unbearable.

However, all in all, Ginger takes about 8-10 months to grow fully, to the point where you can say that it is mature enough to be dug up from the ground. But still, it is interesting because you don’t really have to wait the entire time, some people even dig up baby Gingers. As long as your rhizome is well formed, it is ready.

Some experts are quick to point out the fact that the longer you wait before you harvest your Ginger Plant, the stronger the scent and smell become.

Ginger Plant Growing Zone/ Growing Zones For Ginger Plant (Where To Grow Ginger for the Best Yield)

Why are planting zones important? You may ask. Well, the reason why the USDA hardiness zones are vital pieces of information that you will always find when looking up any plant or tree to grow is because it is the guideline that all farmers follow when choosing what to plant.19 The US is divided into hardiness zones, and some plants just cannot survive the outdoors in particular conditions.

So, if you are looking forward to having a Ginger Plantation or growing some in your garden outside, you should know whether you live within its specific planting zone. If not, you will be restricted to planting indoors because the climatic conditions will be too harsh, making the Ginger Plant suffer a lot in the process. For the happiest and most comfortable Ginger, you should be living in a region that lies within the USDA hardiness zones 8-12.

So that literally means that zones 7 and below are a little too cold for the plant, and zones 13 and above are too hot. Ginger is a tropical herb, and that is why it prefers it when it is hot and humid outside. But if you really want to plant one, you could go for greenhouse farming or indoor planting, where you can easily maintain the plant’s preferred temperatures.

When To Harvest Ginger and How To Harvest Ginger (Tips For Harvesting Ginger)

Ginger is a perfect addition to meals and even helps promote the low carbon footprint of vegan diet. It cuts across the board, serving as a medicinal herb and an aromatic spice. With virtually all the tips that you could possibly need about planting one at your fingertips, there is one more thing: how do you go about harvesting it now that you want to use it?

You will notice that harvesting is not even that hard; the only problem may be how to know that your Ginger is ready to be harvested.

Graphic that shows the correct time to harvest ginger which are when the leaves start changing, yellowing, or dying, and the flowers are showing up.

So, how will you know? There are some telltale signs that you are supposed to look out for before you can harvest your Ginger.

  • The Leaves Start Changing, Yellowing, Or Dying

If you are sure that your Ginger has been in the ground for a while and you start seeing the leaves turning either yellow or withering, you don’t have to panic. It is not necessarily an indicator of a disease or means that your Ginger is in trouble. An overall change in the appearance of the leaves of all your Ginger Plants basically means that the plant is nearing maturity or that the season is coming to an end.9

  • The Flowers Start Showing Up

There is one more way that you will be able to tell that your plant is ready: when the flowers appear. Blossoming is quite rare, though, and it may not happen in your Ginger, but when it does, that could be a sure sign that the plant is already mature. This usually only happens when your plant is growing in the most perfect conditions and has been in the ground for a while. That should also be a clear indication that the Ginger is now packed with Gingerols.

Now that the hardest part is done, and you are able to tell when you should be harvesting your Ginger, the easy part is now actually harvesting. All is said and done, and you have seen your plant all through the stages; you can now get your reward. Here is how you can harvest and get your Ginger ready for use.20

  1. You are actually going to pull out the entire plant, from the stalks all the way to the rhizomes underneath the soil. To make it easier, you could loosen the soil around the base a little bit, and that should make it easier to lift everything up.
  2. The next step is to chop off the top parts of the plant, leaving only the rhizome. At this point, it should be covered in dirt, so you will have to wash it all off and reveal your plump, healthy Ginger.
  3. Ginger that you have just dug up will most likely have smooth skin, not like the store-bought ones, and that means that you have to use or store it immediately because it may not last that long. While you can keep it in a cool, dry place for a few days, you can also peel and chop or blend it, then store it in your freezer, and that should last way longer.

Companion Plants For Growing Ginger Plant

Are you looking for a way to make the most of your garden space? Then, you can go ahead and try companion planting with your Ginger.

This is an excellent strategy because you will be able to find plants that have a symbiotic relationship with Ginger or at least those that will be of benefit and not try to harm your plant. The only problem is how to find the most beneficial companion plants.

Graphic that shows the companion plants for ginger plant such as garlic, chili pepper, peas or beans, lemon grass, and nasturtiums.

The following are some of the most common options.

  • Peas or Beans

This is the number one companion plant that will never disappoint; it has one superpower, its ability to introduce nitrogen into the soil, which your Ginger will absolutely love and benefit from. Besides, it is an excellent source of protein that you can grow for subsistence use.

  • Chili Pepper

If you are a huge fan of spices, then you should give the chili pepper a chance.21 There are so many types to go for, from the jalapeno to the habanero, and it helps that they make the most excellent companion plants for Ginger, being that they mutually benefit each other. The peppers grow taller, offering shade for your Ginger, while Ginger is a natural repellant of pests that attack the chili.

  • Lemon Grass

If you love drinking spiced beverages, you would love to grow lemon grass alongside your Ginger, not only because you would be able to use them together but since the two have a perfect symbiotic relationship.22 The lemongrass will grow tall to shelter the Ginger from heat, while the Ginger will be a pest repellant, all thanks to its strong scent.

  • Garlic

Ginger and garlic go hand in hand when making certain food recipes, and it would be great to plant them both for personal use. What’s more, is that pests absolutely hate the smell of garlic and would stay away from your Ginger in the process.

  • Nasturtiums

Now a companion plant that has to make this list, although it is different from all the others, is the stunning nasturtium, a go-to flowering plant.23 Not only is it going to spruce up your home and serve as a landscaping plant, but it also has the advantage of attracting and trapping pests like aphids and hoverflies, distracting them from your Ginger Plant.

Common Pests of the Ginger Plant

All Ginger gardeners hate pests and how they attack and ruin their precious plants. You should know the most common ones and learn how to identify them so that you can protect your plant from them. Otherwise, these pests attack and alter how your Ginger looks and tastes and could even render it inedible.

  • Chinese Rose Beetle

You can identify this lethal bug by its reddish-brown body.24 What makes it more deadly is the fact that it is actually a nocturnal creature, which means that it attacks at night and disappears during the day. You will only wake up to shredded leaves with only the veins and outlines intact. With that, your leaves will not photosynthesize, and that leaves the plant generally weak and on the verge of death.

  • Ginger Maggots

You will spot the Ginger maggots with their small whitish bodies and black heads feasting on the delicious leaves of the Ginger. These pests are practically the number one cause of rhizome spoiling during storage. When they attack, they leave behind massive holes in the leaves and can also eat their way through the rhizome.

  • Thrips

Another pest that just can’t get enough of rhizomes and other tubers is the thrip. They love living in warm and humid conditions, which is basically where Ginger grows and that is why you need to keep a closer eye on them. The females will also lay eggs in the leaves, and the nymphs and adults will enjoy feasting in the parts of the plant.1 As a result, the leaves discolor, and their shape changes.

  • Slugs

One pest that will devour large chunks of the leaves of your Ginger is this mollusk called the snail. It is larger than worms and has such a heavy impact when it finds its way to your plants. Since they hate heat, they will find a way to hide in the soil cracks and show up at night to keep feeding on your Ginger. You can detect their presence because they tend to leave behind white, slimy trails.

  • Aphids

The aphids have to be on this list. Every gardener knows these insects and will do anything to stop them from reaching the plants. They attack in hundreds and show up as tiny dots on your Ginger. What they do is suck the sap off the leaves of the plant, leaving them discolored and preventing them from growing any further, and that means devastating and irreversible effects on your plant.

Natural Pest Control For Ginger Plant

Now that you are fully aware of what to expect when it comes to pest attacks on your Ginger Plant, your next and very important question is, how do you stop them? Is there a way that you can get rid of them in the most natural and less invasive way, such that you don’t harm the plant or the environment while at it? Yes, there are simple yet effective natural remedies to help deal with pests. It all starts with prevention measures, and there are so many methods.

First, you have to make sure that you only use an organic, disease and pest-free rhizome before planting. Hygiene also matters a lot because pests like maggots are attracted to filth and will definitely find their way to your plant. Weeding around your plant also goes a long way to eliminate the hiding spots of some of these pests. Prevention may work to keep the pests off, but what happens when they do attack?

The method of control largely depends on the particular pest in question. For instance, if it is a snail or slug attack, the perfect timing is at night when they come out, and you can simply pick them off the plant while disposing of them. On the other hand, if it is an aphid attack or any other tiny insect, one way to go is to spray your Ginger Plants daily with a high-pressure hose to get them off.25

What if you are battling with pests like Chinese Rose Beetles that come out at night? You can opt to light up the garden to prevent them from showing up. Alternatively, one more natural method that seems to work for pests is the introduction of their predators. For instance, ladybugs and spiders can hunt aphids for you, while robber fly and pirate bugs will fend off thrips.

Common Diseases of the Ginger Root Plant

Ginger is not as prone to diseases as other plants, and that is a plus for you as a gardener. But still, that doesn’t mean that it is completely immune; there are still chances of your Ginger root contracting diseases, some of which have no cure. This is why it is very important to know the most common ones and their symptoms.

  • Bacterial Wilt

This is a dangerous disease that is caused by bacteria that target the Ginger Plant’s vascular tissues and keep reproducing, growing in numbers to the point where the plant gets too weak. If attacked, your Ginger will fail to take up food or water, and obviously, that means that it will be on the verge of dying. You will notice your plant wilting and showing signs of water deprivation regardless of how much you water it.8

  • Soft Rot

One disease that any Ginger gardener has to watch out for is rotting because it renders the rhizome unusable. It is even worse because it is entirely soil-borne, which basically means that it is not easy to detect at the early stages only when the leaves start discoloring, drooping, wilting, and parts start dying. Being a fungal disease makes it even harder to deal with because it is a pain to cure, and it spreads fast to other plants.

  • Leaf Spot

This is one common problem that farmers are always trying to get rid of. What starts out as a mark that looks water-soaked becomes a white spot that is enclosed by dark edges and even a yellowish ring. You will also spot massive lesions all over the leaves the more the disease keeps progressing. Being soil-borne makes it deadly because it can transfer to other plants through water splashes.

  • Fusarium Yellows

This is another fungus that takes a while to advance, but the minute you detect it, it could already be the end of your plant. It does not really spread as fast as other diseases, and it is only later on that your plant will start to wither and slowly die. It will announce its presence through yellow shoots all over your plant, and when you pull out the rhizome, you will notice an extensive case of rotting.

How To Stop Ginger Plant Disease and Ginger Plant Disease Prevention

Hopefully, you won’t realize it too late that most Ginger Plant diseases cannot possibly be cured, and the best that you can do is prevent them.26 Fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases are tasking, if not impossible, to treat, even with fungicides, because, in most cases, the harm has already been done and the effects irreversible. So, the best that you can do when dealing with diseases, is to prevent them from spreading.

For starters, if you want to reduce the chances of diseases spreading to your Ginger Plant, you will have to make sure that you avoid rotating them with plants like tomatoes and eggplants that are infamous for sometimes harboring pathogens. Planting your Ginger in the same spot could cause the said germs to spread over and cause diseases. Again, hygiene really matters because these pathogens thrive in filth.

When it comes to stopping their spread, the first thing that you do is to identify the particular disease that you are dealing with. If it starts by affecting the leaves, you will have to chop off the particular parts, and in the case that an entire plant is infected, the last resort would be to uproot all of it. These severed parts should then be wrapped up in a plastic bag and burnt. Disposing of them immediately diminishes the chances of them spreading because there are cases where a whole Ginger Plantation is wiped out by just one disease.

A Ginger plant is a great way to begin growing home vegetables, and once you see how easy it is, you’ll want to add other potted plants or even raised garden beds outdoors.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ginger Plant

Is Ginger a Vegetable?

Botanically, Ginger is actually a vegetable. It is technically the root part of the plant that is edible and even though it doesn’t really have the same nutritional benefits as other common vegetables, being used to cook and how it grows makes it more of a vegetable than anything else.

What Is the Difference Between Common Ginger and Wild Ginger Plant? 

The wild Ginger can easily pass off as common Ginger, and it is all thanks to how it also grows a rhizome underground, which has almost a similar taste and aroma as the Ginger that you know of. However, the two are worlds apart, even botanically. The wild Ginger is scientifically called the Asarum canadense while the common Ginger is called the Zingiber officinale, so that goes to show that the two are not even closely related but are two distinct plants that often share the same rhizome features.

How Long Does Ginger Sprouting Take?

Ginger can take its sweet time when sprouting or even before it is ready to mature, especially when starting from a seed. When trying to grow it, you would want to first make it sprout indoors, at least before you are able to transplant it outside. Your rhizome could take anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks before you start seeing sprouts emerging from the soil, and that will be your go-ahead to start officially planting it. However, the road to maturity can be pretty long because you may have to wait 8 to 10 months.

What Is the Most Used Part of a Ginger Plant?

Even as far as the very first instances of the domestication of Ginger, the rhizome or the root part of the Ginger is the single most commonly used part. Even though the leaves also have the same Ginger aroma and taste, the root is way more potent and is literally the only part that people make use of, chopping, crushing, or blending for use as a spice in foods or drinks.

Is Ginger Farming Worth It?

If you are thinking of planting Ginger for your family’s use in your own kitchen garden or yard, then you should go ahead and try it out. There is nothing as rewarding as planting something that you can actually use in your own home; it saves you a lot of time and money. On the other hand, you may also want to plant the Ginger commercially. It may involve a huge investment, but trust that it pays off in the end, handsomely, in fact, because the market for Ginger is pretty huge.


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