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).
- Divide your ginger knob into several pieces, ensuring there are a number of 'eyes' on each piece.
- 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.
- Fill your planting pot with soil and plant food as directed (mine suggested a little food mixed evenly through the soil).
- 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.**
- Water well, and then place the pot in a warm, moist place, out of direct sunlight.
- 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):
- 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 :-)