Growing Ginger: The Complete Guide From Roots To More (Cold & Warm Climate)

Growing Ginger-Feature image

Have you ever found yourself wondering how to grow your own ginger root?

Ginger root has a long list of benefits and uses, and we are going to show you exactly how to reap these benefits. We have put together a complete guide on how and why to grow ginger root.

So, the good news is, is not only is growing your own ginger root zero-waste friendly, but ginger is also easy, time-efficient and you don’t need to be a gardening guru to make it grow!

Ginger Benefits And Uses

First things first, what is ginger root and why would you want to grow your own ginger? 

Ginger root comes in many different shapes and sizes. It can be used fresh, powdered, dried, or processed into an oil or juice. From ginger biscuits and ginger ale to infused soups and salads, ginger has long been a staple in the kitchen.

The benefits of ginger extend far beyond the kitchen though. For generations, ginger root has been recognized for its health benefits. 

Before we dive in, what exactly is ginger root and what does ginger root look like? Ginger, is a member of the cardamom and turmeric family, that originates from China.

This is where its value as a spice and medicine was first recognized. The underpart of this flowering plant’s stem is known as the rhizome.

This is the part that is most commonly consumed and what we have come to know as ginger or ginger root. Ginger root consists of various natural oils, including gingerol. Gingerol is a bioactive compound with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which gives ginger root its medicinal value. 

growing ginger
Photo by sentot setyasiswanto on Unsplash

here are the top benefits of ginger root

1) Ginger root can help treat nausea and settle upset stomachs

Studies suggest that gingerol, a ginger root extract, is responsible for ginger’s efficiency in treating gastrointestinal problems. Ginger root is an effective home remedy for treating morning sickness, nausea, indigestion, and vomiting.

Ginger root can assist in treating and preventing motion sickness. It has proven to be effective in assisting with chemo-induced nausea. 

2) Ginger root is an excellent anti-inflammatory

Ginger root’s renowned anti-inflammatory properties can help to treat pain, reduce swelling, and decrease inflammation. These anti-inflammatory properties stem from its gingerol extract and are most effectively harvested from dried ginger.

Ginger root’s anti-inflammatory properties have also proven to be effective treatments for osteoarthritis and rheumatism. In addition, ginger root can also help to prevent inflammation by decreasing cell signaling activity.

This helps to slow down cell damage that leads to inflammation. 

3) Ginger root can assist in weight loss

Research has shown that when used with a balanced diet, ginger root can help with weight loss. The same extracts that give ginger root its anti-inflammatory properties may help boost your metabolism and stimulate the rate at which your body digests food, aiding in appetite control and weight loss.

how can ginger root can assist in weight loss
Image via reshot

4) Ginger root can help reduce risk of heart disease and other chronic illness

Ginger root has recently been recognized for its potential benefits in treating cardiovascular disease. In addition to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, ginger root also possesses anti-platelet qualities.

These anti-platelet qualities help to prevent blood clots, which are one of the leading causes of strokes and cardiovascular diseases.

5) Ginger root can help prevent diabetes 

Studies have shown that gingerol rich extract, taken from ginger root, can play a role in increasing your body’s uptake of glucose into muscle cells without the use of insulin, which can help in managing blood sugar levels.

6) Ginger root helps fight the winter blues and treats colds and flu 

Ginger root is an excellent home remedy for treating colds and flu. Studies show that its natural antioxidant and antimicrobial qualities are effective immune boosters and help to ward off infections.

Ginger root’s antioxidant and antimicrobial properties also help to soothe sore throats, which are usually a warning sign of infections.

Benefits of ginger root - treating colds and flus.
Photo by Dominik Martin on Unsplash

To sum it up, ginger root has many incredible health benefits. But, always check with a medical professional before using ginger to treat any serious illnesses or health problems.

How long does it take to grow ginger

With the hustle and bustle of today’s life, gardening can often fall by the wayside, especially with plants that are sensitive and require a lot of time and attention to grow.

Fortunately, ginger is not one of these plants. In fact, once you complete the basic steps, ginger root is one of the least high-maintenance plants out there, which makes it perfect for both experienced and first-time gardeners.

Sliced ginger root
Image by Joseph Mucira from Pixabay

Once you have successfully planted your ginger root, under the right conditions, you will have a fully grown ginger plant within roughly eight to ten months. As soon as your ginger plant is fully grown, it is ready for harvesting.

 

How to plant ginger roots

If you have ever found yourself wondering if you can plant ginger root from the grocery store, you are in luck! Firstly, one of the best things about growing your own ginger root is that you can use ginger purchased from the grocery store, which is hugely convenient.

As a result, it also helps to ensure that no food goes to waste, as you can use old ginger you would ordinarily throw out.

Ginger plant with leaves
Image by Veronica Bosley from Pixabay

Here are some simple steps to follow on how to grow your own ginger:

1) Start by identifying the ginger root you would like to grow. We always use store-bought ginger, but you can also purchase sprouting ginger from a gardening store. You will want to select a ginger root that has a few prominent buds, as illustrated below.

Ginger buds
Image by zuzyusa from Pixabay

2) Once you have your ginger root, you need to prepare it by soaking it in room temperature water for 3-4 hours. This step is especially important if you are using store-bought ginger root.

Store-bought ginger root is often sprayed or treated with retardant, which could hinder the growth of your new ginger root.

4) Once your ginger roots are ready to go, you need to ensure that the soil you are planting them into is rich and moist. Ginger thrives in moist soil but can drown if the soil is waterlogged, so you need to ensure that your soil is free-draining.

3) Next up, divide your ginger root into small pieces, ensuring that each piece has a bud. As soon as you have your roots cut up, they are ready to be planted.

5) Now for the planting! You can grow ginger root in either a pot or in your garden, both work well as long as your soil is top quality. Start by digging a small hole, roughly 2-5 inches deep.

Next, place your ginger root in the hole and cover with soil. When planting your ginger, be sure to plant it with the buds facing upwards. Pro-tip, be sure to keep your ginger plant out of direct sunlight.

Check out this tutorial from Epic Gardener, on growing and harvesting your own ginger outdoors.


Video from Epic Gardening

Pro-tip, if you feel your soil is not nutrient-rich enough to provide your growing ginger root with the food it needs, you can add some compost or fertilizer.

Ginger flowers and leaves

We are so familiar with the traditional ginger root that it is often difficult to imagine ginger as a plant, especially one with flowers and leaves. A little known fact about ginger root is that it actually has beautiful flowers, which also happen to be edible!

Ginger flowers
Image via https://www.instagram.com/jorgemtzee/

Once your ginger root is fully grown, its stems can reach around 2-3 feet in height. As your ginger root grows, you will notice that leaves start to develop.

These are usually dark green, glossy, and lance-shaped. These leaves can be harvested and used for cooking or medicinal purposes and are sweet tasting with a slight hint of pepper.

Sprouting ginger root
Via https://www.instagram.com/books.and.plants/

Ginger flowers appear less commonly when growing store-bought ginger root, but if treated properly in some cases your ginger plant may start to blossom within a few weeks.

If your goal is to blossom ginger flowers rather than harvest ginger root, it would be best to purchase a flowering ginger plant from a nursery.

Ginger flowers vary across each type of ginger species, but they are all usually red, pink, or orange in color. Not only are these flowers beautiful to look at, but they are also edible and make a great addition to spicy dishes.

Ginger leaves
Image via: https://www.instagram.com/thesedulousseedling/

How much space does ginger need

Whether you are planting your ginger root in your garden or in a pot, it typically requires very little space. Since ginger only grows to be about two to three feet in height, you do not need to worry too much about vertical space.

The amount of space needed for your ginger root to grow is dependent on two things. Firstly, how many pieces of ginger root you plant and secondly, how often you harvest your fresh ginger root.

Ideally, your ginger roots should be between six to eight inches apart from each other. While the underground roots can grow in close proximity to each other, spacing them out will ensure that your ginger root has enough space when its stems and leaves start growing.

In terms of harvesting, if you do not harvest your newly grown ginger root often, over time it will grow quite big and dense.

So, if you are not planning on harvesting your ginger root every year, it would be best to give your ginger plant a little bit more room to grow. However, if you are harvesting your freshly grown ginger often, very little space is required.

how much water does ginger need

Ginger root loves moist soil but over watering your new ginger plant could destroy it. It’s a delicate balance.

One of the most important things needed for ginger root to grow is nutrients. So, new ginger plants need a lot of moisture while they are growing. Over watering your ginger plant can lead to a loss of nutrients, as they are drained away with overflowing water.

For new plant owners, over watering is common, as you want to ensure your plant is being taken care of. But, in this case, watering once a week is perfect.

Ginger root in pot with stem and leaves
Image via:https://www.instagram.com/lillileesleesmaa/

The best time to harvest

So, once you have followed all the steps on how to grow your own ginger root, the best time to harvest is typically around eight to ten months after planting. This is usually around the same time your ginger root starts to lose its leaves, which is an indication that it is ready for harvest.

It is however possible to start making small cuttings from your ginger plant once it is around four months old. When doing this, it’s important to avoid ginger root that is green in color, as this will have a different taste to the normal spicy ginger.

You have harvested your first ginger root, what happens next? Once your ginger root has been harvested, you can choose to keep it for your personal use, or you can select a few ginger roots that can be re-planted.

You can then follow the same steps on how to grow your own ginger, this is a great way to grow a ton of ginger.

Freshly grown ginger
Image by Brett Hondow from Pixabay

The best climate for ginger: warm vs cold

Ginger tends to thrive in warmer climates with high humidity. Humidity is an important factor to consider if you are growing ginger indoors. Dry air tends not to work well for ginger root.

Unfortunately, growing ginger in cold, dry climates can be extremely challenging and will often result in ginger root that cannot be harvested.

Now you know how to grow your own ginger root

After following the step-by-step instructions you will successfully be able to grow your own ginger root. From aromatic spice to warding off the winter blues, ginger root has so many remarkable benefits.

Once you have harvested your first ginger root, you can start tapping into some of the many benefits of ginger.

 

References

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger#1.-Ginger-contains-gingerol,-a-substance-with-powerful-medicinal-properties

https://www.europeanreview.org/article/8750

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/

https://www.naturemedclinic.com/ginger-and-heart-health/

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/natural-therapies/ginger.html

http://www.cannagardening.com/ginger_grow_it_yourself#:~:text=The%20growing%20tips%20at%20the,plant%20will%20be%20fully%20grown.

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