Aromatic, pungent and spicy, ginger is perfect in baked goods, candies, Asian dishes and also a very healthy medicinal herb. Ginger has many evidence-based health benefits. It has a broad-spectrum of antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties, to name just several of its more than 40 pharmacological actions.
Did you know that you can actually grow ginger indoors? Being a tropical plant it does not tolerate frost, so unless you live in a warm, humid climate, it’s best to grow ginger in a pot indoors. Ginger grows well in partial to full shade, which makes it ideal for growing in your home. Ginger is a no-fuss plant plus it is very pretty with its bamboo-like green shoots and leaves.
Grow ginger in your home and you will always have fresh, tender and fiberless ginger root on hand.
Make sure that the ginger root you choose is organic and is plump with tight skin. Your best bet is the roots with several eye buds on it (like little horns or potato eyes) and if they’re already slightly green, even better. Ginger you can find in the grocery store is often sprayed with chemicals like growth inhibitor, pesticides and fungicides. In order to get rid of these chemicals soak the ginger root overnight in warm water but for a minimum of 2-3 hours. After this your ginger root is ready for planting.
Cut the root (rhizome) into smaller pieces, each should have a growth bud on them and plant them all. Make sure to use really good soil, a good potting mix. It must be rich enough to feed your ginger it must be free draining but it has to hold moisture. Choose a shallow and wide pot or a larger container, depending on how many roots you are planting. Fill the container nearly full with soil and plant the ginger an inch or two beneath the soil. Make sure that the eye buds are facing up!
Keep the pot in a warm place and keep the soil moist. Make sure it doesn’t get too much bright sunlight. When it comes to growing ginger plants are quite slow. Every root you have planted will eventually grow a few leaves, in the one spot. After a couple of weeks you will see the shoots popping up out of the soil. Continue to water them regularly, you can use a spray bottle to mist it.
Ginger grown indoors will eventually reach a height of 2 feet in a container and may reach a height of 2 to 3 feet in the garden. The great thing about growing ginger that it doesn’t take up much room at all and it does look pretty as a houseplant in your home.
Ginger needs a lot of moisture, especially while actively growing. Never let the soil dry out but also make sure not to overwater it, because the water can drain away the nutrients. The other thing this plant loves is humidity. With regular spraying and misting you can keep the air moist enough. Dry air can cause problems with spider mites. Use some natural liquid fertilizer such as seaweed extract or fish fertiliser every few weeks.
The best part of the whole process has finally arrived. You can already start stealing little bits of your plant once it is about four months old, but the longer you can keep the plant growing the larger your harvest will be. Pull aside some of the soil at the edges of the pot to find some roots beneath the surface and cut off the needed amount. Ginger can be harvested endlessly and as long as it is well cared for, it will continue to produce roots.
If you need a larger harvest, you can tip out the the entire plant. Break up the roots and select a few nice ones with good growing buds for replanting and then you can start the whole process over again.
If you would like to have more pots of ginger plants or would like to share it with friends, the plant can be simply divided. Pull aside the soul at the edge, and cut off one root that has leaves. Plant it in a separate smaller container. Also if you notice new ‘buds’ forming at the top of the roots separate them and plant it for even more ginger!
Did you know that the ginger leaves and shoots are edible as well? They are not as commonly used as the roots, but they milder ginger flavor is worth trying. Once you have your own ginger plant, you can use the green parts as a flavorful garnish just like chives or spring onions.
First of all because it’s fun and simple. Second, because there is a significant difference between homegrown young ginger and the ginger you find at the supermarket. The old ginger (bottom left corner on the photo) is often dried out, woody and very spicy. Young ginger is far superior, finer in texture, less fibrous, quite tender, it has more sweetness and a brighter herbal flavor. Plus the your own ginger will be certainly free of chemicals.