How to Grow Ginger from a Knob

How to Grow Ginger from a Knob

Maintaining a stock of good quality, organic ginger is expensive. Although if you're a ginger-fiend like me, you probably don't mind all that much.

However, those lovely ginger knobs we buy are - of course - roots... so presumably they can be planted to yield us an endless supply, right?!

After a bit of a hunt around and some questions asked, I put my green thumb to the test and gave it a whirl. Historically, I'm a terrible gardener, but planting a root of ginger seemed straight forward enough. There's a variety of blogs and advice out there claiming that the D.I.Y. home ginger plant is wonderfully simple - easy to grow, little to no maintenance needed, and provides a beautiful harvest once a year. 

What I didn't read (or perhaps what I didn't expect to face with my amateur skills) was the patience one requires while waiting for this plant to actually sprout. It took six months for a single baby bud to appear from the soil of my potted ginger, but my, what a good day that was! Remarkably, I noticed the new little stalk at the exact moment my patience and positivity were being tested in other areas of life. Possibly a coincidence, or possibly a power greater than I reminding me to have faith in the good things coming my way. Either way, I'm left feeling deeply connected to the symbolism of my humble ginger plant.   

In all honesty, I have no idea if this is the 100% best way to go about growing a ginger plant in your home. What I do know is that if a 'gardener' like me can make this happen, anyone can!

Regardless, the most significant tip I can give you is to use a fresh knob of ginger with several 'eyes' visible (small growth lumps/buds), like these:

This is where the ginger shoots will originate from, so you're giving yourself a decent leg-up right from the get go.

You Will Need:

  • One large knob of ginger, with several 'eyes' visible, as above
  • A planting pot with good drainage*
  • Good quality potting soil (pick one that's designed to grow plants from buds/roots - it will say so on the pack)
  • Good quality plant food 

*You can, of course, plant your ginger straight into your garden rather than a pot, but you may want to ensure the soil is of good quality, and that you've picked a spot that your ginger will really like (see below). 

Method:

  1. Divide your ginger knob into several pieces, ensuring there are a number of 'eyes' on each piece.
  2. Soak all the pieces overnight in filtered, room temperature water. This is especially important if you're using store-bought, non-organic ginger, as it will help wash away any nasty pesticides. 
  3. Fill your planting pot with soil and plant food as directed (mine suggested a little food mixed evenly through the soil).
  4. Plant your pieces of ginger, with the 'eyes' pointing upwards. Aim for around an inch of soil between the top of the ginger piece and the surface of the soil.** 
  5. Water well, and then place the pot in a warm, moist place, out of direct sunlight.
  6. Wait, wait, wait! ;-) 

**Ginger roots apparently don't mind being a little crowded with one another, but I spaced mine out like so to be on the safe side. These are my roots before covering them with a final layer of soil (around one inch):

More Tips:

  • The start of spring is the best time to plant your ginger. 
  • Keep your ginger plant somewhere warm and moist (the more humid the better), and out of direct sun. Because I planted my ginger in Autumn, I kept it inside next to a window of frosted glass, nearby the gas heater that I knew we would have running a lot of the winter (regardless, the plant didn't sprout until spring, but at least it didn't die during the cold months!).
  • Keep the soil wet, but do not over water either.

When it comes to harvest time, I'll be sure to update this post. Hopefully there'll be a beautiful bounty of fresh, plump, home-grown ginger to share :-) 

 

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