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How to Grow a Ginger Plant

Growing your own ginger is easy and rewarding. Once planted, the ginger needs nothing but water and patience to mature into a delicious, spicy ingredient. This guide focuses on the edible species, but most flowering ornamental ginger plants grow in similar conditions.

Part One of Two:
Planting Ginger

  1. 1
    Start in early spring. Ginger is a tropical plant that does not survive frost. Plant after the last spring frost, or at the start of the wet season if you live in the tropics.[1] If you live in a climate with a short growing season, you can grow the plant indoors.
  2. 2
    Choose your ginger plant. There are many species of ginger. To grow the most common edible variety, Zingiber officinale, all you need is ginger root from the grocery store. You can find ornamental ginger plants with vibrant flowers at a plant nursery, but these are often inedible.[2]
    • Choose ginger roots (technically rhizomes) that are plump and free of wrinkles, with visible eyes (small points) at the end of the "fingers." Eyes that have started to turn green are ideal, but not required.[3]
    • Buy organic ginger if you can. Non-organic ginger may have been treated with a growth inhibitor.[4] Some gardeners find that soaking in warm water overnight will help stimulate inhibited plants.[5]
    • This guide covers Zingiber officinale. Most Zingiber species will grow under similar conditions, but for best results follow the nursery instructions.
  3. 3
    Cut the rhizome into pieces (optional). If you'd like to grow more than one plant, cut the ginger with a sanitized knife or shears. Any piece at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide with one or more eyes can grow into a separate plant. After cutting, leave the pieces in a dry location for a few days to allow them to heal. They will form a protective callus over the cut surface, which reduces the risk of infection.[6]
    • Each piece of ginger requires 8 inches (20 cm) of space. Use larger pieces if you need to save space.
    • A piece with three or more eyes is more likely to sprout.
  4. 4
    Prepare the soil. Ginger thrives on high-quality, well-draining soil. Mixing garden soil with an equal amount of well-rotted compost should do the trick.[7] If your soil is poor quality or heavy in clay, purchase rich potting soil instead.
    • If you want to keep a closer eye on the ginger, you can begin with a starting tray full of sphagnum moss or coconut fiber.[8] These materials drain very well, preventing rot in young plants. You will need to transplant the ginger to soil once leaves and roots form, which can be traumatic for the plant. The ideal temperature for sprouting ginger is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so you may need to use a heat mat or other heat source to keep the soil a the right temperature.
    • Like most garden plants, ginger prefers mildly acidic soils. If soil in your area is alkaline, adjust it to between 6.1 and 6.5 pH using a garden store pH kit.[9]
  5. 5
    Choose a location. Ginger prefers partial shade or areas with morning sun only, away from large roots.[10] The growing location should be sheltered from wind and moist, but not swampy. If the ginger plant has not yet germinated, soil temperatures must be warm — ideally between 71 and 77ºF (22–25ºC).[11]
    • If growing the ginger in pots, choose a pot at least 12 inches (30cm) deep. A plastic pot is better than terra cotta, as long as you poke plenty of drainage holes in the base.[12]
    • Ginger can grow in full shade in the tropics, but these locations may be too cool at other latitudes. Try to plant the ginger a place that gets two to five hours of direct sunlight per day.[13]
  6. 6
    Plant the ginger. Plant each piece of ginger 2–4 inches (5–10 cm) below loose soil, with the buds pointing upward.[14] If planting in rows, keep each piece 8 inches (20 cm) apart. If planting in pots, plant one piece per large pot (14 in./35 cm diameter).[15]

Part Two of Two:
Caring for Growing Ginger

  1. 1
    Keep the soil damp. Water lightly right after planting. Check the soil daily and water just before it dries out completely. Soggy soil will quickly rot your plants, so reduce watering or improve drainage if water does not drain quickly.
  2. 2
    Watch for germination. Ginger grows slowly, especially outside of the tropics. A sprout might appear within a few days if you're lucky, but continue to water for at least a couple weeks before giving up on the plant.
    • Stick to the same watering treatment after germination.
  3. 3
    Fertilize monthly (optional). Fertilization is not required if the ginger is in rich soil, especially if you've mixed in compost. Have the soil tested first and fertilize accordingly.[16] If soil is poor or you'd like to improve yield, fertilize with a small amount of complete liquid fertilizer each month.[17]
  4. 4
    Mulch outdoor ginger (optional). Once the ginger has sprouted, mulch will keep it warm and fight weeds, which can easily out compete slow-growing ginger. A thick layer of mulch is mandatory if soil temperatures fall below 50ºF (10ºC) during the growing season.
  5. 5
    Let soil dry as the stems die back. The stems of the ginger plant will turn yellow in late summer or early fall, as temperatures drop. Reduce water as this happens, and stop watering entirely once the stems die.
    • The ginger plant might not flower the first year or two after planting, or if the growing season is short.
  6. 6
    Let the plant mature before harvesting. Ginger develops a much stronger flavor if allowed to develop in the ground. After the stems die, and at least 8 months after planting, dig up the ginger rhizome. Cutting off pieces for cooking will not kill the plant as long as you leave some eyes behind.[18]
    • Young ginger is sometimes harvested 3–4 months after planting, usually intended for pickling. Young ginger must be harvested carefully due to its thinner, easily bruised skin.
    • Use a sanitized knife to cut the plant.
  7. 7
    Prepare for cold weather. Unless you live in the tropics, bringing the ginger indoors for the winter is recommended. Store in a warm, dry location. If you leave the ginger outdoors, cover it with a thick layer of mulch as soon as the temperature drops below 50ºF (10ºC). Ginger is a perennial plant in warm climates, but will rarely survive frost.

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • What kind of fertilizer should I use for ginger plants?
    Answered by Andrew Carberry
    • The first step is to know the fertility/needs of your soil. When planting outdoors, you can mix in a slow-release organic fertilizer at initial planting, and either top-dress with compost or use a liquid fertilizer ever few weeks.
    Thanks! 45 19
  • Can I grow ordinary edible ginger purchased from vegetable shops?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes, it is possible to grow ginger this way.
    Thanks! 53 11
  • I have several ginger lilies planted that are now anywhere from 6" to 3' tall. The leaves are turning yellow on the tips and edges. They get full sun until mid-afternoon, and are watered everyday. Any suggestions?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • They prefer partial shade. They are likely getting sunburned. They also need moist, but in well-draining soil. Transplant to a location that gets some shade, and make sure you aren't over-watering. Take a small amount of soil and squeeze it in your hand. It should hold its shape when you open your hand, but break easily when poked. If it doesn't hold its shape, the soil it too dry, but if it sticks to your hand like mud, it's too wet.
    Thanks! 65 16
  • The article suggests that people should (1) soak non-organic ginger in warm water overnight to help stimulate inhibited plants, but also (2) after cutting, leave the pieces in a dry location for a few days to allow them to form a protective callus. Do we dry or soak first?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Soak them first, then cut and dry if you want to. If you do it the other way around, the protective calluses may be softened.
    Thanks! 67 20
  • It is early September in Greece, and my supermarket rhizomes have happily sprouted as if it were spring. How do I handle them during winter? Will I harvest anything next summer?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes. Grow indoors during the harsh winter months, then follow instructions above to get the best chance of success.
    Thanks! 17 3
  • Is it only grown in cold seasons?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • It is planted in summer-spring and harvested in winter. It takes 8 to 10 months to mature. In winter when the leaves starts dying, harvest ginger. It can also be grown indoors, where the plant isn't so season dependent.
    Thanks! 90 33
  • Is it very important to plant ginger under some specific types of trees to give it the required shade? Or, can it grow in an open garden with limited shade? I ask as we live in the tropics.
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • You can intermix ginger plants and okra. They help each other. Plant one ginger eye next to each okra seed/plant, on the opposite side of the sun.
    Thanks! 106 41
  • Can I grow ginger in a pot on my balcony in Rome, Italy?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes, you can, provided it is brought inside during the harsher winter months (unless your balcony is enclosed for winter). The only trick is finding organic/unsprayed ginger roots to sprout, as many commercial varieties are sprayed to prevent sprouting. Sprouting can take a while, so be patient and watch those little nubs for signs of green.
    Thanks! 72 26
  • Can you grow it from a cutting of another plant?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • You can't from stem cuttings, but the rhizomes can be broken/divided and potted as smaller plants. Be sure to cut with a clean knife, and dust the cut wounds with an organic fungicide prior to planting to prevent rot.
    Thanks! 45 15
  • Is the ginger plant suitable for desert climates like that of the Mojave in the south western US?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • For a desert climate, ginger will not tolerant the temperature. You will need to provide shade and watering according to the plant and soil.
    Thanks! 22 7
Show more answers
  • How do I grow a ginger plant in a pot?
  • Should I cut the stalks of my ginder down to the ground for winter?
  • How can I find out if ginger will grow in my area? Will it grow in sandy soil?
  • When is the best time to start preparing the land to cultivate ginger?
  • How long can I leave my ginger growing in a pot without harvesting?
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Quick Summary

To grow your own ginger plant, look for a plump ginger root that is free of wrinkles, with visible buds, or eyes. After the danger of frost has passed, plant each piece of ginger 2-4 inches deep in a mixture of potting soil and rich compost, with the eyes pointing upward, then place it in a warm, shady spot. Once the ginger has sprouted, keep the soil moist and fertilize it once a month. Let the soil dry out as the stems die back in late summer or early fall, then harvest the ginger or bring it indoors for the winter.



  • Ginger is vulnerable to some pests and disease, especially if over-watered. Your best source of advice on local pests is a nearby plant nursery or university agricultural extension.
    40 Helpful?  44
  • Zingiber officinale grows 2–3 feet (0.6–0.9 meters) tall. Some ornamental varieties grow much taller.
    0 Helpful?  0

Things You'll NeedEdit

  • Ginger rhizome
  • Shears or knife
  • Rich soil
  • Compost or fertilizer
  • Plastic pots (optional)
  • Sphagnum moss (optional)

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Expert Review By:

Professional Gardener

This version of How to Grow a Ginger Plant was reviewed by Andrew Carberry on January 13, 2017.

3 votes - 100%
Co-authors: 34
Views: 1,271,496

Reader Success Stories

  • HN

    Halaor Nardab

    Feb 3

    "At first the plant died because I watered it too much, but when I started it all over again, keeping in mind what the author said, at last it was a success!"..." more
  • SC

    Sylv Calcott

    Dec 5, 2017

    "Wanted to know how to grow ginger. Very impressed with the step to step details, will definitely give it a go. "
  • JM

    Jan Mackay

    Nov 29, 2017

    "Having the whole process made it sound quite simple, and hopefully I will successfully grow ginger for the first time. Here goes!"..." more
  • MG

    Mere Greenwoodbrown

    Apr 18, 2016

    "Exactly what I needed! I had some ginger volunteering on my kitchen counter. I got very excited and stuck the whole root in a pot of soil, which didn't work out so well. The next time, I saw two root buds and decided to try again with help. I will update if you like, but I'm only recently learning enough that my home is no longer a place where all plants go to die. The parsley, lemon balm, and mint are tough and half of the garlic and onions are still growing. Hope on, hope ever."..." more
  • SK

    Shivaraj Katagi

    Jun 13, 2016

    "Thank you for this article with pictures. It helped me to recognize the eyes. I followed this article to grow ginger at my backyard. I sowed it today, keeping the eye visible. I will update as and when I reach each stage. I will continue to visit the site. It's very helpful for beginners like me."..." more
  • OJ

    Obrien Jarvis

    Apr 4, 2016

    "I've contemplated growing ginger for some time now, and I was gathering information from any available source. Since visiting this article, I'm fully aware of what I have to do for my project to be a success. I'm planning to do it on a commercial scale."..." more
  • SD

    Shelagh Dufault

    Jan 20, 2017

    "I am a grateful cancer survivor. During my 10 month hospital stay and yearlong recovery, my modest herb garden quietly expired.Thanks for these wonderful wikiHow guides - from prepping to planting to harvest, I am happy and thriving again in my garden."..." more
  • MJ

    Mireille Jarbath

    Jul 6, 2016

    "This article is amazing. I was looking for the info on how to grow ginger and you explained it so well. I thank you. I already have some bulbs that have sprouted and I am about to put them on the soil."..." more
  • JF

    Jas Fino

    Jun 6, 2016

    "The act of transplanting the ginger plant helps me so much because at first I didn't know that one could transplant a ginger plant. Also the act of treating the seeds before planting helps me a lot."..." more
  • A


    Jun 17, 2016

    "The entire article was helpful. I threw a piece of ginger in a pot and it grew. I just wanted to know if it would continue. Now I can transfer it to a bigger pot and keep growing it."..." more
  • JB

    Jewel Bond

    May 31, 2016

    "My piece of ginger began sprouting and I began my search on how it could be planted, when, where and how. This article answered all three questions. Excited to watch it grow."..." more
  • MK

    Moaz Ullah Khan

    Oct 9, 2016

    "The cultivation of ginger was new for me. I was anxious to know about the cultivation. Your method with pictures is comprehensive and interesting. I learned a lot. "..." more
  • RF

    Rosa Fick

    Apr 27, 2016

    "It's amazing to get information so clearly. I never planted ginger and had no idea how it grew. I wondered if it grew underground. Thank you. It's well-appreciated."..." more
  • FI

    Fatima Ismail

    Nov 16, 2016

    "I planted ginger a number of times. I plant it directly in the ground but never knew when to harvest. Now I understand where I was going wrong."..." more
  • RB

    Randy randy Burwell

    Jul 30, 2016

    "Great advice, seems easy to grow, will give it a try. The thing I learned was it was a perennial plant and can be grown outdoors."..." more
  • NL

    Naomi Livin

    Dec 19, 2016

    "There was a lot of information in the answers to the comments. I was able to figure out how to grow ginger in my local climate."..." more
  • SB

    Shirley Broomhall

    Feb 2, 2017

    "I learned everything I needed to know about growing ginger. The article was concise, informative, and well researched. Thanks! "..." more
  • JB

    Janet Berend

    Jul 1, 2016

    "Quality of soil, size of pot, cutting larger ginger pieces to ready for planting, drainage, and many other things were helpful."..." more
  • SG

    Sue Grimm

    May 29, 2017

    "I needed to know about the harvesting of my plants and feel this answered all of my thoughts and questions. Thank you!"..." more
  • SM

    Stephanie McAffee

    Jul 12, 2016

    "This is an excellent instructional article. Easy to follow, very detailed, with great illustrations. Thank you."
  • KW

    Kay Williams

    Jun 13, 2016

    "I was very inspired. I will definitely be growing some ginger. Thanks, this was very informative. "
  • JM

    Jenny Maier

    May 5, 2016

    "This was the best, most specific stage-by-stage article I've seen on this subject. Thank you!"
  • Gail Brewer

    May 29, 2017

    "I am growing true English lavender from seeds and I can be so hopeful in getting it correct."
  • TK

    Thomas Kaudia

    Mar 8, 2016

    "Wonderful and easy to understand. I will start planting ginger when the rain season starts."
  • AS

    Ann Shaffer

    Aug 8, 2016

    "I enjoyed the entire article. Very helpful, and I look forward to growing my own ginger."
  • GC

    Gwendolyn Crawford

    Oct 7, 2016

    "Soaking the root before cutting and drying it was most helpful. Like with a succulent."
  • AN

    Abbas Najim

    Jun 28, 2016

    "It's a nice expansion to my information in agriculture. Thanks for the information ."
  • LB

    Lizzie Bas

    Nov 28, 2016

    "Didn't know you could grow ginger in England. Great to know for a beginner like me."
  • MK

    Marie Karla

    Jan 14, 2017

    "Easy to understand, step-by-step how to grow ginger in a cold climate. Thank you. "
  • LJ

    Liz Jackson

    Jun 26, 2016

    "Very easy to follow the step-by-step pictures and easy to read this information."
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