How to Grow Ginger Root

How to Grow Ginger Root Техника

Growing ginger root may seem like an intimidating task, but with the right knowledge and a bit of patience, anyone can do it! Ginger has a myriad of health benefits and is used in a variety of dishes and drinks across the globe. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to successfully grow ginger root in your own garden.

  1. Quick Facts
  2. Understanding Ginger Root
  3. What is Ginger Root?
  4. Health Benefits of Ginger Root
  5. Different Varieties of Ginger
  6. Preparing to Grow Ginger Root
  7. Choosing the Right Ginger Rhizome
  8. Selecting the Ideal Location
  9. Preparing the Soil
  10. Planting Ginger Root
  11. When to Plant Ginger Root
  12. How to Plant Ginger Rhizomes
  13. Proper Spacing and Depth
  14. Caring for Your Ginger Plants
  15. Watering and Fertilizing
  16. Pest and Disease Management
  17. Pruning and Maintenance
  18. Conclusion
  19. Ginger Root FAQS
  20. Can you plant ginger root from the grocery store?
  21. How do you grow ginger root at home?
  22. How long does it take to grow ginger root?
  23. Can I grow ginger from a piece of ginger?
  24. Why is ginger hard to grow?
  25. Is ginger difficult to grow?
  26. Can you Grow Grocery Store Bought Ginger?
  27. Info on How to Grow Store Bought Ginger
  28. More on How to Plant Store Bought Ginger
  29. Things You Should Know
  30. About This Article
  31. Reader Success Stories
  32. Growing and Caring for Ginger Root
  33. Site selection
  34. Planting
  35. Soil
  36. Planting
  37. Spacing Ginger
  38. Watering
  39. Humidity
  40. Mulching
  41. Fertilizing
  42. Pest and Diseases Affecting Ginger
  43. Harvesting Ginger
  44. Can Ginger Grow Outside?
  45. Ginger Cold Hardiness and Site Requirements
  46. Literature & Lore
  47. Things You’ll Need
  48. About This Article
  49. Ginger Benefits And Uses
  50. here are the top benefits of ginger root
  51. 1) Ginger root can help treat nausea and settle upset stomachs
  52. 2) Ginger root is an excellent anti-inflammatory
  53. 3) Ginger root can assist in weight loss
  54. 4) Ginger root can help reduce risk of heart disease and other chronic illness
  55. 5) Ginger root can help prevent diabetes 
  56. 6) Ginger root helps fight the winter blues and treats colds and flu 
  57. How long does it take to grow ginger
  58. How to plant ginger roots
  59. Here are some simple steps to follow on how to grow your own ginger:
  60. Ginger flowers and leaves
  61. How much space does ginger need
  62. How much water does ginger need
  63. The best time to harvest
  64. The best climate for ginger
  65. Now you know how to grow your own ginger root
  66. Frequently Asked Questions
  67. What are the benefits of Ginger?
  68. How long does it take to grow Ginger?
  69. How to grow Ginger I bought at the store?
  70. References
  71. How to Prep Fresh Ginger
  72. How to Peel Ginger
  73. Do You Peel Ginger Root Before Using It?
  74. How to Cut Ginger
  75. How to Eat Ginger Raw
  76. How to Cook With Ginger
  77. Foods and Drinks With Ginger Only
  78. Foods With Ginger and Other Ingredients
  79. Recipes With Ginger
  80. How to Substitute Ginger
  81. Where To Buy Ginger
  82. Is Ginger Seasonal?
  83. How to Pick Fresh Ginger
  84. How to Store Ginger
  85. How to Freeze Ginger
  86. Fun Things To Do With Ginger
  87. FAQ About Ginger
  88. Is Ginger Root Safe to Eat Raw?

Quick Facts

Understanding Ginger Root

What is Ginger Root?

Ginger root is a flowering plant that is native to Southeast Asia. It has a spicy and pungent taste and is often used in cooking and herbal medicine. Ginger is a versatile ingredient and is used to add flavor to curries, stir-fries, and baked goods, as well as being used in teas and juices.

Legend has it that ginger was first discovered by the ancient Chinese, who used it for its medicinal properties. Over time, ginger became a popular spice in many cultures and was used to treat a variety of ailments, including nausea, indigestion, and arthritis.

Today, ginger is widely available in supermarkets and health food stores. It can be purchased fresh, dried, or in powdered form.

Health Benefits of Ginger Root

Ginger root has a range of health benefits, including helping to reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and relieve nausea. It contains a compound called gingerol, which is responsible for many of these health benefits. Gingerol has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to reduce inflammation in the body and protect against cell damage.

In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger has been shown to be effective in reducing muscle pain and soreness. This makes it a popular remedy for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Ginger has also been found to be effective in reducing menstrual pain and may help to lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.

Different Varieties of Ginger

There are several different varieties of ginger, each with its own unique flavor and aroma. Some of the most common types of ginger include Jamaican ginger, Chinese ginger, and Indian ginger. When growing ginger root, it’s important to choose a variety that is suited to your climate and growing conditions.

Jamaican ginger, also known as “white ginger,” is a popular variety that is known for its strong and spicy flavor. Chinese ginger, on the other hand, is milder in flavor and is often used in traditional Chinese medicine. Indian ginger, also known as “black ginger,” has a slightly sweet and floral flavor and is often used in Indian cuisine.

Regardless of the variety, ginger is a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes and remedies.

Ginger Root
Ginger Root

Preparing to Grow Ginger Root

Ginger root is a versatile and delicious ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Growing your own ginger is not only a fun and rewarding experience, but it also ensures that you have a fresh supply of ginger on hand whenever you need it. Here are some tips on how to prepare for growing ginger root.

Choosing the Right Ginger Rhizome

The first step in growing ginger root is selecting the right ginger rhizome. Ginger rhizomes are the brown, knobby roots that are used to grow ginger plants. When selecting a ginger rhizome, look for one that is firm, plump, and has several eye buds. These buds are what will sprout and grow into your ginger plant. If you’re having trouble finding ginger rhizomes locally, you can also purchase them online from reputable nurseries or garden centers.

It’s important to note that not all ginger rhizomes are created equal. Some varieties of ginger are better suited for growing in certain climates or soil types. For example, some varieties of ginger are more tolerant of colder temperatures, while others do better in warmer, more tropical climates. Do some research to find out which ginger varieties are best suited for your particular growing conditions.

Selecting the Ideal Location

Ginger plants prefer warm, humid environments and do well in partially shaded areas. Choose a spot in your garden that receives a few hours of direct sunlight each day, but is shaded for the rest of the time. If you live in a cooler climate, consider growing your ginger in a greenhouse or indoors near a sunny window.

It’s also important to consider the soil conditions in your chosen location. Ginger plants prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, consider amending it with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility and drainage.

Preparing the Soil

Before planting your ginger rhizomes, it’s important to prepare the soil properly. Dig a hole that is about 12-14 inches deep and mix in some compost or well-rotted manure to improve the soil’s fertility. You can also add a slow-release fertilizer to provide your ginger plants with the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.

Make sure that the soil is moist but not waterlogged before planting your ginger rhizomes. Plant the rhizomes about 2-3 inches deep with the eye buds facing up. Cover the rhizomes with soil and water thoroughly.

With a little bit of care and attention, your ginger plants should start to sprout within a few weeks. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and provide your plants with plenty of light and warmth. Before you know it, you’ll have a fresh supply of delicious ginger root to use in your cooking!

Planting Ginger Root

Ginger is a popular spice that is used in many different cuisines around the world. While it can be easily found in grocery stores, growing your own ginger can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some tips on how to plant ginger root:

When to Plant Ginger Root

Ginger can be planted in both the spring and fall, but the best time to plant ginger root is in the spring when the soil has warmed up. This is because ginger thrives in warm and humid conditions. Planting in the fall can result in slower growth and smaller yields.

It’s important to note that ginger is a tropical plant and won’t survive in cold temperatures. If you live in a colder climate, you can still grow ginger indoors in a pot.

How to Plant Ginger Rhizomes

Before planting your ginger rhizome, soak it in water overnight to help stimulate growth. Choose a spot in your garden that receives partial to full shade and has well-draining soil. Avoid areas that receive direct sunlight as this can cause the soil to dry out too quickly.

Prepare the soil by adding compost or aged manure to help improve its nutrient content. Dig a hole that is about 2-3 inches deep and 2-3 inches wide.

To plant your ginger rhizome, place it in the prepared hole with the bud facing up. Cover the rhizome with about 1-2 inches of soil and water lightly. As the plant grows, you can gradually add more soil around the stem to encourage more root growth.

Proper Spacing and Depth

When planting ginger root, it’s important to space each rhizome 6-8 inches apart to allow for proper growth. Plant each rhizome at a depth of about 1-2 inches below the surface of the soil. This will help protect the rhizome from direct sunlight and keep the soil moist.

As the ginger plant grows, it will produce long, thin leaves that can reach up to 3 feet in height. These leaves can be harvested and used in cooking just like the ginger root.

With proper care and attention, your ginger plant can produce a bountiful harvest of fresh ginger that you can enjoy in your favorite dishes.

Ginger Root
Ginger Root

Caring for Your Ginger Plants

Ginger plants are a beautiful addition to any garden, with their lush green foliage and fragrant, spicy roots. If you’re looking to grow ginger in your backyard, it’s important to know how to care for your plants to ensure they thrive and produce a plentiful harvest.

Watering and Fertilizing

One of the most important aspects of caring for your ginger plants is ensuring they receive consistent moisture. Ginger plants require regular watering, but it’s important not to overwater them, as this can lead to root rot. Aim to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and avoid letting the soil dry out completely between waterings.

Pest and Disease Management

Like any plant, ginger is susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases that can damage or kill your plants if left untreated. Common pests that can affect ginger plants include spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs, while diseases such as root rot and fungal infections can also be a problem.

To prevent and manage pest and disease issues, it’s important to keep a close eye on your plants and take action at the first sign of trouble. Remove any affected leaves or stems immediately, and treat your plants with a mild insecticide or fungicide as needed. Regularly inspecting your plants for signs of damage or disease can help you catch problems early, before they have a chance to spread.

Pruning and Maintenance

As your ginger plants grow, they may become unruly or start to produce yellowing leaves or dead stems. To keep your plants healthy and looking their best, regular pruning and maintenance is important.

Start by removing any dead or damaged foliage, as well as any stems that are growing in an unwanted direction. You can also trim back any unruly growth to keep your plants under control. Regular maintenance will help to keep your plants healthy and productive, and can also help to prevent pest and disease issues from taking hold.

Ginger Root
Ginger Root


Ginger Root FAQS

Can you plant ginger root from the grocery store?

Yes, you can plant ginger root from the grocery store, but make sure to choose a fresh, plump, and firm piece with several eye buds. It’s important to note that organic ginger is a better option, as it is less likely to be treated with growth inhibitors.

How do you grow ginger root at home?

  • Choose a fresh, firm ginger rhizome with eye buds.
  • Soak the rhizome in water overnight.
  • Prepare a planting location with partial shade and well-draining, nutrient-rich soil.
  • Plant the rhizome 2-3 inches deep with eye buds facing up.
  • Space rhizomes 6-8 inches apart.
  • Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
  • Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases, and treat as needed.
  • Prune and maintain the plants as they grow.

How long does it take to grow ginger root?

Ginger root typically takes about 8-10 months to mature. The plant will produce green leaves within a few weeks of planting, but the ginger root itself will take longer to grow.

Can I grow ginger from a piece of ginger?

Why is ginger hard to grow?

Ginger can be considered hard to grow for some people because it requires specific conditions, such as warm, humid environments and well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. Additionally, ginger is susceptible to pests and diseases, which can make it challenging for inexperienced gardeners to maintain healthy plants.

Is ginger difficult to grow?

While ginger can be considered difficult to grow for some, with the proper care, attention, and growing conditions, it is possible to successfully grow ginger at home. Understanding the plant’s requirements and diligently monitoring for pests and diseases can help increase your chances of a bountiful harvest.

Ginger has a lengthy history and was bought and sold as a luxury item over 5,000 years ago; so costly during the 14th century the price was equivalent to a live sheep! Today most grocery stores carry fresh ginger for a sliver of that cost, and many cooks avail themselves of the aromatic spice. Given that fresh ginger is part of a plant, perhaps you have wondered, “Can I plant grocery store ginger?” 

Can you Grow Grocery Store Bought Ginger?

The answer to “can I plant grocery store ginger?” is a resounding yes. In fact, you can grow store bought ginger quite easily by adhering to a few simple tips. Interested in learning how to grow grocery store ginger? Read on to learn how to plant and grow store bought ginger. 

Info on How to Grow Store Bought Ginger

If you’re wondering how to plant store bought ginger, you must first select the best-looking rhizome. Look for ginger that’s firm and plump, not shriveled or moldy. Select ginger root that has nodes. Some companies cut the nodes off. Don’t buy these. Ideally, choose organically grown ginger that has not been treated with a growth inhibitor. If you can’t get organic, soak the rhizome in water for a day to remove any chemicals.

Once you get the ginger home, simply place it on the counter for a couple of weeks, or in some other area that’s warm with a good amount of humidity. You are looking for the nodes or eyes of the rhizome to begin to sprout. Don’t panic if the ginger root begins to shrivel a bit but don’t be tempted to water it. 

Once the nodes have sprouted you can grow grocery store ginger in a few ways. If it’s summer or you live in a warm, humid region, ginger can be planted outside directly in the garden or in a pot. 

If it’s winter, you can grow store bought ginger indoors as a houseplant. Ginger root can be planted either in sphagnum moss or coconut fiber. With the top of the root visible and the green sprouting nodes pointing up, wait until the first leaves have formed, then repot it. You can also grow store bought ginger directly in a container of potting soil. If you’re using moss, keep the moss moist by spritzing it with water. 

More on How to Plant Store Bought Ginger

If you want to start the ginger in potting soil, cut the sprouting rhizome into pieces with each piece containing at least one growing node. Allow the cut pieces to heal for a few hours prior to planting. 

When you’re ready to plant store bought ginger, select a container with sufficient room for growth and with drainage holes. Plant the rhizome pieces close to the surface either horizontally or vertically. Be sure the sides of the rhizome are covered with potting soil but don’t cover the entire piece of ginger with soil. 

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Thereafter, care of your ginger is simple as long as you provide a warm, humid area, sufficient moisture, and drainage. In no time you will have not only a lovely house plant but also a thrifty source of fresh ginger to enliven all your dishes. 

Grow ginger indoors and outdoors, all year round

Growing ginger is easy and rewarding. The only thing between you and near-infinite, fresh ginger to eat whenever you like is simply a pot of soil and a root from your local grocer. Not to mention how good the leafy, tropical shoots tend to look in your home. Just pick up a ginger root from your nearest grocery store, and we’ll show you how to plant, grow, harvest, and propagate that root so that you’ll never have to buy store-bought ginger again.

Things You Should Know

  • Cut a store-bought ginger root into 1–1.5 in (2.5–3.8 cm) pieces, with 1 or 2 knobby buds on each piece.
  • Plant the pieces in a 12 in (30 cm) clay pot with nutrient-rich potting mix, and keep the soil moist but not too wet.
  • Keep the ginger plants at about 68 °F (20 °C) in direct sunlight, and apply liquid fertilizer once every few weeks.
  • Harvest your ginger when it’s 8-10 months old, digging up the entire plant, trimming off the shoots, and saving some root chunks for replanting.
  1. Image titled Grow a Ginger Plant Step 1

    • In addition, soak store-bought ginger rhizomes in water overnight to rinse off any anti-growth chemicals the grocer may have added.
    • Cutting your ginger root into pieces allows for more opportunity to plant and grow a successful ginger plant.
    • This guide covers Zingiber officinale. Most Zingiber species will grow under similar conditions, but for best results follow the nursery instructions.
  2. Image titled Grow a Ginger Plant Step 2

    • Alternatively, plant the chunks in a larger pot or in outdoor soil about 6–8 in (15–20 cm) apart.
    • 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.[5]
    • If you’re planting outside in a seasonal climate, plant your ginger in mid-spring, since 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.[6]
  3. Image titled Grow a Ginger Plant Step 3

  1. Image titled Grow a Ginger Plant Step 4

    • In addition to regular watering, spray the aboveground portion of the plant about once a day with a spray bottle to keep it misted and hydrated in dryer climates.
  2. Image titled Grow a Ginger Plant Step 5

  3. Image titled Grow a Ginger Plant Step 6

    • Once the weather turns again, simply transplant the ginger shoots to their old pots using the same methods as before, and bring the pots inside.
    • Test the soil with a pH kit and ensure it’s at a pH of about 5.5-6.5. If it’s not, add pH-adjusting fertilizer accordingly.
    • When you see new shoots form or the rhizome peek out from the soil, add about 1 in (2.5 cm) of soil to the base of the plant.
  1. Image titled Grow a Ginger Plant Step 7

    • A mature ginger plant will reach about 2–3 ft (0.61–0.91 m) in height.
  2. Image titled Grow a Ginger Plant Step 8

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Add New Question

  • What kind of fertilizer should I use for ginger plants?

    Andrew Carberry, MPH

    Andrew Carberry is a Food Systems Expert and the Senior Program Associate at the Wallace Centere at Winrock International in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has worked in food systems since 2008 and has experience working on farm-to-school projects, food safety programs, and working with local and state coalitions in Arkansas. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and holds a Masters degree in public health and nutrition from the University of Tennessee.

    Andrew Carberry, MPH

    Food Systems Expert

    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.

  • 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?

    Community Answer

    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.

  • Can I grow ordinary edible ginger purchased from vegetable shops?

    Community Answer

    Yes, it is possible to grow ginger this way.

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  • Treat your ginger with a mild insecticide (according to packaging instructions) in order to keep pests like aphids or ants away.

  • Stay on the lookout for prematurely yellowed or withered leaves, which are a sign of bacterial wilt or fusarium yellowing. Both are infectious plant diseases, and the best remedy is simply to unearth your ginger, dispose of it, and plant a new rhizome.

About This Article

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. For tips on preparing the soil for your ginger plant, read on!

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Reader Success Stories

  • Mere Greenwoodbrown

    Apr 18, 2016

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Do you enjoy the fresh scent of gingerbread baking in the oven? Ginger is a root spice common throughout the world, used in many culinary and medicinal preparations. Ginger contains “gingerols,” potent polyphenol antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the body.

If you’re dealing with a sore throat, sucking on a ginger lozenge can help to relieve the discomfort and fast-track healing time. China and India have a rich history with the herb, with its use extending back for centuries.

Gardeners should note that while ginger has the formal title of a root spice, it’s actually a root vegetable. The spice is popular throughout the world, whether you’re using it to clear your palate between bites on sushi or mixing it up in a tonic to help reduce congestion.

Ginger comes in several varieties, with pink, yellow, orange, or white flesh. The rhizomes of the ginger plant have a rough texture with a knotted appearance. Since ginger prefers tropical climates, you won’t find it growing in the United States.

Typically, commercially grown ginger comes from tropical climates around West Africa, Indonesia, China, and India. However, there are plenty of home gardeners growing ginger throughout the US. When planting in the garden, ginger develops annual properties, requiring planting and harvesting in the same year.

In warmer climates like the southwest states, Florida and Hawaii have environments suitable for growing ginger throughout the year. This post covers everything you need to know about growing and caring for ginger in your veggie garden this year.

Ginger plant
Ginger plant

Growing and Caring for Ginger Root

Growing ginger isn’t especially difficult, provided you have the right climate conditions for the plant. Here are some tips for making the most out of your ginger crop.

Site selection

Choosing the right planting site is crucial for growth, ensuring you get a bountiful harvest. Ginger enjoys growing in warm climates with lots of humidity.

Your planting site should allow for two to five hours of direct sunlight during the day, with the morning sun being the ideal option for growing ginger. It’s also important to choose a site that has protection from the wind.


When planting ginger, you have the option of growing from seed, transplants, and rhizomes. If you know someone growing ginger, they can give you a few rhizomes to start the propagation process. Take the rhizomes from the plant when it creates new shoots in the early spring.

You also have the option of growing ginger from the rootstock you purchase at the supermarket. Choose a piece of ginger root with plenty of rhizomes. Look for those roots with growth buds, otherwise known as “eyes.” These eyes look like small horns on the end of the root.

When planting rhizomes, we recommend soaking them in distilled water overnight to activate the growth phase. Some stores and producers treat ginger with a growth retardant. Soaking the root removes this chemical, allowing you to grow the root.


When planting out your ginger into the garden or containers, you need to ensure that you prepare the flowerbeds to receive the ginger. Loosen the soil to a depth of around afoot. This strategy allows the roots to penetrate the soil. Ginger struggles to grow in compacted or clay soils, as the rhizomes have a hard time pushing through the soil.

Your soil should be loose, rich in nutrients, and loamy to provide optimal airflow to the plant’s root. If you’re starting in lean soils, you’ll need to add liquid fertilizer every other week to give the ginger the nutrition it needs to thrive.

The soil also needs to drain well, preventing the ground from waterlogging. Waterlogged soils cause the onset of root rot in your ginger, killing the plant. If your garden already has fertile soil, you can grow ginger without any amendments.

Planting on the side of a hill is a great way to improve drainage in the soil, helping it run away downhill to prevent waterlogging of the ground.


When planting your ginger, we recommend you put it out in the garden in the late winter or early spring. Dig a hole around 6-inches deep and make your necessary soil amendments if required. Break up the ginger root into smaller pieces using your hands. Each piece should have several “eyes” on the root to inspire new growth.

You can also plant the entire root, burying it around two to four inches deep, depending on its size. Make sure you plant your ginger with the growing tip facing towards the surface of the soil.

Spacing Ginger

Ginger grows underground, and the roots don’t get massive. Therefore, it’s suitable to grow ginger in close quarters to each other. Typically, the rhizomes you plant only develop a few leaves, and they all grow out of the same spot on the root.

As the plant grows, the leaves become dense, and they start to clump. The rhizomes in the ground don’t mind growing into each other. As a result, you only need to space your ginger a few inches apart for the best results at harvest time.

The ginger root only grows to lengths of around three feet in height above the soil line. Therefore, choosing a 14-inch pot for container growing is the ideal size for your ginger.

Ginger plant
Ginger plant


The ginger root comes from tropical climates where it rains 200 days a year or more. As a result, gardeners need to emulate these natural growing conditions. You’ll need to ensure that you keep the soil moist during the growing season, as dry roots turn woody and lose flavor.

You should ensure that the soil never dries out entirely, or you risk losing your crop. However, it’s important to keep your watering consistent. Never overwater the plant as this leads to the formation of root rot and the death of your ginger.


Since the ginger root hails from tropical climates, it requires high humidity in the air. If you live in a dry region, you’ll need to mist your ginger regularly or grow it in a greenhouse where you can maintain humidity levels.

Dry air can stunt the plant’s growth, and it also attracts pests and diseases to your plants. Growing ginger in pots indoors helps gardeners control the climate conditions around the plant. If you’re growing in pots, fill a water tray with gravel and sit the pot on top of the stones.

Fill the water tray, but don’t let the water level touch the bottom of the pot. During the day, the water evaporates around the container, increasing the humidity in the air.


Gardeners can retain moisture in the soil by mulching around the plant in the early spring after planting. Mulch is organic material like old leaves and compost from your garden. Spread the mulch around the base of the plant, giving good coverage for the soil.

The mulch helps to keep the moisture in the soil, limiting the effects of evaporation. The mulch also acts as a natural fertilizer, releasing nutrients into the ground every time you water the ginger.

Mulching also prevents weeds from getting the light they need to germinate, preventing them from crowding out the growing site, competing with your ginger for nutrients in the soil.


As mentioned, if gardeners plant ginger in fertile soil, it shouldn’t need any fertilizing during the growing season. However, growing in lean soils requires you to amend it with compost and other organic material before planting.

We recommend adding liquid fertilizer to the plant every other week during the growing season for gardeners growing in lean soils.

Gardeners will need to fertilize their ginger if they live in a region of the US experiencing heavy seasonal rains. The rain washes the nutrients from the soil, requiring the gardener to feed the plant.

Seaweed (kelp) extract and fish emulsion are good choices for feeding your ginger.

Pest and Diseases Affecting Ginger

  • Aphids
  • Ants
  • Cutworms
  • Mealybugs
  • Spider mite
  • Slugs and snails

Gardeners can get rid of these pests by applying a diluted solution of neem oil to the plants. The bugs hate the taste of the neem, and they’ll leave the plants alone.

Some of the diseases affecting ginger root include fusarium fungus, bacterial wilting, and nematodes. Overwatering the ginger also leads to the development of root rot in the ginger.

How to Grow Ginger Root

Ant & Cutworm repellent

Harvesting Ginger

After harvesting your ginger, store it in the fruit and veggie drawer in your kitchen or a root cellar. Ginger can last for years in the right storage conditions.

By: , Landscape Designer

outdoor ginger

Can Ginger Grow Outside?

Common ginger (Zingiber officinale) is hardy in zones 9 to 12, but a few other varieties of ginger are hardy down to zone 7. While common ginger needs about eight to ten months of active growth to reach maturity, the roots can be harvested at any time.

Since the cool, damp winters of zones 7 and 8 can rot ginger rhizomes, plants are usually harvested in these locations in the fall. In zones 9 to 12, ginger plants can be harvested all throughout the year.

Ginger plants have striking foliage and make lovely accent plants in the garden, but harvesting requires the whole plant to be dug up.

Ginger Cold Hardiness and Site Requirements

Ginger plants grow best in warm, humid locations. They prefer part shade with two to five hours of dappled sunlight each day. They cannot tolerate locations with strong winds or poorly draining soil. In poorly draining soil, ginger roots may develop stunted or distorted roots, or they may just rot.

The best soil for ginger in the garden is rich, loose, loamy soil. Plants should be mulched after planting to retain soil moisture. During dry periods, ginger plants should not be allowed to dry out and will benefit from a regular, light misting.

Ginger rhizomes can be cut up and planted, much like potatoes. Each section that is cut off to be planted should have at least one eye. If you plan to plant ginger root sections from a grocery store, you should soak the rhizomes for 24 hours before planting.

Ginger plants in the garden will benefit from spring feeding with a fertilizer that contains plenty of . Slow-release fertilizers can also be used.

Ginger is the root (actually the rhizome) of a plant that grows in tropical countries. The plant is a perennial related to Turmeric. There are different varieties of ginger: some are very mild, some are very hot.

Above ground, the plant grows a green stalk up to 3 feet tall (1 metre.) The plant has narrow, long leaves up to 1 foot long (30 cm), and blooms with white or yellow flowers.

A whole root of ginger, with several pieces attached together is called “the hand.” The little pieces that make it up are called “the fingers.”

Ginger root harvested in mid-spring will be tender. The next best harvest is in July. Ginger harvested in early fall tends to be more woody.

The root can be used fresh, sliced, chopped or grated, or it can be dried and ground. Whether dried or fresh, the root will have a sweet but hot flavour. When fresh, however, the root will have citrus notes as well that are missing in the dried. In Western cooking, ginger is mostly used dried and ground. Pickled ginger is used a lot in Japanese cooking.

India is now largest producer of dried, ground ginger.

When buying fresh ginger, choose pieces with tight skin and no wrinkles.

Very young Ginger roots don’t need peeling because the skin will be so tender. The roots that reach Western supermarkets, however, tend to be mature ones with tough skin, and do need peeling. If you are just using a piece of Ginger to flavour heated oil, but then are going to discard it, you don’t need to peel first.

You can peel with a paring knife or a vegetable peeler. Remove just the skin. Don’t go any deeper than that, because a lot of the flavour is just below the skin. Peel only as much as you plan to use at that time, because the skin helps to keep the rest fresh. Some people suggest peeling ginger instead with a teaspoon from the drawer that has a sharpish edge: you just scrape the skin off, minimizing waste.

Some sources suggest cutting or grating Ginger across the grain to minimize the stringiness. This tip may be better reserved for those who have the time to stand at a window with a magnifying glass trying to determine which way the grain is going in the first place.

Some sources suggest soaking Ginger in cold water for about ten minutes, then squeezing it dry, to reduce its bite. You could also just use less Ginger when you don’t want to pronounced a flavour.

Frozen pieces of Ginger grate easily.

Fresh grated Ginger goes well with squash, carrots.

For fresh Ginger, galangal (not that that’s likely going to be any easier to get). For powdered Ginger, another dried spice such as nutmeg or mace.

Storing chopped ginger in oil creates a botulism risk. See Nutrition section of the entry on Garlic.

1 oz sliced Ginger = 25g = ¼ cup

1 tablespoon of fresh, grated = ¼ teaspoon of ground
1 tablespoon of fresh, minced = = ¼ cup crystallized Ginger, minced and rinsed = ½ teaspoon, ground

To store fresh, wrap unpeeled in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to a month.

If you only use Ginger occasionally, you’re best to freeze it. You can freeze it whole, sliced or grated. When freezing whole, peel before freezing to save you the hassle of doing it when you go to use it. When freezing sliced or grated, spread out first on a plate, then bag when frozen. Freeze up to 6 months.

You can also store it in a sealed jar, peeled, sliced and covered with sherry, in the refrigerator for up to a year.

Native to Asia.

Ginger was used by the Chinese in the 6th century BC; it arrived in the Mediterranean via Arab traders in the 1st century. During the Roman Empire, only the wealthy could afford it as it was brought from China. After the fall of the Empire, only the fabulously wealthy could afford it.

It was very popular again towards the end of the Middle Ages, with those who could afford it, and for use in flavouring beer.

The Spanish brought it to the Caribbean in the 1500’s.

In the 1800s, preserved or crystallized Ginger began to appear. Up until then, Ginger had just been available dried or powdered.

Literature & Lore

“I have a gammon of bacon and two razors of ginger, to be delivered as far as Charing-cross.” — Second Carrier. Henry IV, part . Act II, Scene 1. Shakespeare.

The English word Ginger comes from the Indian word, “Inji”, meaning horn-shaped.

In Indian cooking, “Inji” refers to the root; “sukku” refers to Ginger that has been dried or ground.

Ginger is a pungent herb that can add a striking flavor to a variety of dishes. It is also believed to have many health benefits, such as boosting the metabolism and reducing inflammation, so it helps to have a fresh supply on hand whenever you need it. The good news is that you can easily grow ginger indoors and create a self-sustaining plant that can be harvested indefinitely. The key is starting with a healthy root and using the right soil and pot to plant it in.

  1. Image titled Grow Ginger Indoors Step 8

    • The ideal temperature for the area where you keep the ginger plant is 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 32 degrees Celsius). Make sure that temperature is maintained even overnight.
  2. Image titled Grow Ginger Indoors Step 9

    • If you prefer, you can lightly water the soil with a watering can twice a week instead of misting it daily.
    • Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Once you water it, make sure that the soil dries out about 1–2 in (2.5–5.1 cm) down in a small pot or 2–3 in (51–76 mm) in a larger pot before you water it again.[11]
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    • You can purchase compost from your local garden supply center or home improvement store.
    • Look for compost that’s identified as multipurpose or potting compost. Those are typically the best options for potted plants.
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    • If the plant’s leaves become yellow, it’s usually a sign that you’re overwatering it or the soil isn’t draining properly. Cut back on how often you water the plant and check the pot’s drainage holes to ensure that they’re not blocked.
    • If the leaves begin to look dry or scorched, it usually indicates that the plant is receiving too much direct sunlight. Move the plant to an area where it doesn’t receive direct sunlight and prune away the affected leaves.
    • If the leaves develop brown tips, it’s usually a sign that you’re applying too much compost or fertilizer. Only apply compost once a month.
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    • You can usually tell that the ginger is ready to harvest when the stems above the soil are approximately 3- to 5-inches (8- to 13-cm) tall.
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    • Continue misting the soil with water daily and adding compost to the pot monthly to keep the plant growing.

Add New Question

  • How do I take care of an ornamental ginger plant?

    Harmony Corelitz

    Harmony Corelitz is a Plant Specialist and the Ecommerce Manager at Crimson Horticultural Rarities, Inc, a boutiue offering rare plants, flower arragements, and handmade goods. Harmony grew up helping her parents run their family business in plant maintenance and interior plantscaping. Harmony specializes in indoor plant care and interior plant design. Prior to her workwith Crimson Horticultural Rarities, she started her pop-up plant and vintage home goods shop called Younger Child and helped her former employer, Plants and Friends, grow and expand to two locations. She holds a BA from the University of San Francisco.

    Harmony Corelitz

    How to Grow Ginger Root

    Support wikiHow by
    unlocking this expert answer.

    Ornamental ginger likes high humidity, a lot of filtered, bright sun, and a pot with good drainage. Also, you want to keep the soil moist but not soggy—a soggy soil will cause yellowing of the leaves. My suggestion is to let the soil dry out about 1-2 inches down in between waterings if it’s a smaller pot, and 2-3 inches down if it’s a pot 8 inches or more in diameter.

  • What kind of pests should I look out for? I’m growing in the UK in a single pot.

    Community Answer

    I’d say look out for caterpillars (they eat your leaves), and maybe ants.

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  • If you plant your ginger this way, you can grow and harvest it indefinitely.

  • Ginger is high in nutrients like copper, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and vitamin B6, so it’s a healthy herb to add to your favorite recipes.

  • Ginger is also thought to help alleviate stomach upset, so you may want to chew on a little if you’re feeling nauseous.

Things You’ll Need

  • Living ginger root
  • Wide, shallow pot
  • Well-draining soil
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Compost
  • Knife

About This Article

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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

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

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:

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:

The best time to 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.

Freshly grown ginger
Image by Brett Hondow from Pixabay

The best climate for ginger

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of Ginger?

How long does it take to grow Ginger?

How to grow Ginger I bought at the store?


Ginger adds warm spiciness to any dish. It is delicious in sweet foods (cookies, pumpkin pie) and savory foods (stir fry, meat braises) and even beverages (ginger ale, masala chai). Learn how you can start using ginger in your cooking today.

Various forms of fresh ginger from the grocery store (beware of buying dried and moldy ginger — find buying tips below)

Ginger is an aromatic and spice that is widely used in cuisines from all over the world, especially in Asian cooking. Ginger root is the main part of the ginger plant that you will use in cooking and should be part of your everyday pantry. Learn about the different ways to cut up ginger, how many foods contain ginger from sweet to savory to sour, and how to store it.

A close-up view of a slice of unpeeled ginger.

What we call ginger is the root of the ginger plant. Google a photo of the ginger plant to see its long, narrow leaves and beautiful purple flowers with pale yellow flecks. Ginger root is the most common part of the flowering plant that is used for flavoring food in Asian cuisine. As ginger was one of the first spices exported during the spice trade, it plays a role in European cuisine as early as during ancient Greek and Roman times.

Ginger comes in multiple forms:

  • Fresh
  • Dried
  • Pickled
  • Candied (crystalline ginger)
  • Powdered
  • Redheads (you can blame Alex for that joke)
Alex’s creation of Ms. Ginger

How to Prep Fresh Ginger

Fresh ginger root has a paper-thin skin that protects the moist, pulpy golden flesh inside.

By its nature of being the root of the plant, the ginger root grows in the soil. Even though ginger at the grocery store usually looks clean and free of dirt, I always rinse ginger with water to clean off any dirt and dust.

How to Peel Ginger

  1. You can peel ginger with a spoon by scraping the skin off using the edge of the spoon.
  2. You can peel ginger with a vegetable peeler.

TIP: I found peeling ginger with a vegetable peeler significantly faster and easier than peeling with a spoon. It is much easier to peel fresh ginger. I wouldn’t recommend peeling frozen ginger as it’s a frustrating process.

Do You Peel Ginger Root Before Using It?

There are many factors to consider. As a busy home cook, I do not peel ginger, which is why I wash it well before chopping it up. Restaurants peel ginger. Young ginger has tender skin, which doesn’t need peeling. Mature ginger can have rougher skin that gives you an undesirable texture in your foods. Some people claim that you may want to peel ginger because ginger skin imparts a trace of bitterness to your foods. I haven’t found this bitterness to be true or maybe the other flavors cover it up.

It is easier to peel ginger with a vegetable peeler than with a spoon.

When cooking ginger in stir fries, stews, braises, and baking, I typically don’t bother peeling it. I’ve never gotten sick or had a problem with bitterness because I left ginger skin on.

However, there are occasions when you might peel ginger, such as when brewing ginger tea, slicing finely to steam with fish, and making candied ginger.

This seems to be a controversial topic. I don’t peel ginger, fresh or frozen. You can peel if you find the skin to be bitter or leave a rough texture in your food. As with all cooking advice, it depends on the dish and how you’re cooking (or not cooking, if eating raw).

How to Cut Ginger

Similar to garlic and onions, ginger is stronger the more finely you chop it.

TIP: The finer the ginger the easier it burns. If you are stir frying minced or grated ginger in hot oil, you need to move quickly. Slicing is more forgiving and slower to burn.

From the least to the most pungent cut style:

  • Cubed: Large chunks of ginger chopped into cubes are great for braising and making candied ginger
  • Sliced: Useful for stir frying seafood like crabs or stir frying vegetables. Sliced ginger can also be boiled to make ginger tea and masala chai
  • Julienned: Peeled and julienned ginger is often used for stir frying and topping on raw fish, like flounder, before steaming
  • Minced: Minced ginger is added to desserts, smoothies, sauces, and curry as well as part of fillings such as in pork and shrimp wontons
  • Grated: Ideal for desserts like pumpkin pie, cookies, and lightly flavoring salad dressings or tea.

TIP: I enjoy the background flavor of ginger but hate eating ginger directly. I always chop ginger into big slices so that it is easy to identify and remove from cooked food. Cooking with thick slices of ginger has saved me from accidentally biting into a chunk of ginger many times.

How to Eat Ginger Raw

Raw ginger can have a spicy, peppery flavor that overpowers your tastebuds. It is a strong and pungent spice with a distinct flavor.

Few people eat sliced ginger raw. Typically, raw ginger will be added in tiny amounts to flavor desserts and drinks, such as tea and smoothies.

Pickled ginger is a favorite in Japanese cuisine where it is pickled with vinegar and eaten as a palate cleanser when enjoyed alongside sushi.

How to Cook With Ginger

Cooked ginger is much milder than raw ginger. My friend Paul once told me that he couldn’t taste ginger directly in Chinese stir fries. Yet, he always felt like his stir fries lacked a certain oomph. When he finally realized what he omitted and began adding ginger, it made all the difference, even if it’s a bit of a background flavor.

TIP: Chinese cuisine adds ginger to remove the “fishy” flavor from fresh-water fish that tends to taste “like mud” (Alex’s words, not mine). Chinese people add ginger to braising meats to remove strong beef and lamb flavors. So if you’ve found certain seafood and meat too strong in flavor, try adding sliced ginger and green onions when cooking to neutralize undesirable gaminess from meat and fish.

There are so many ways to cook ginger depending on whether you’re cooking ginger alone or adding it to savory dishes, sweet desserts, or beverages. Let’s dive in to see all the ways you can use ginger.

Foods and Drinks With Ginger Only

  • Candied ginger (fresh ginger cooked in simple syrup)
  • Ginger beer and ginger ale (fresh ginger)
  • Ginger tea (fresh sliced ginger)
  • Ginger and coke (an age-old Chinese remedy for curing the common cold ?)
Ginger and lemon tea made from boiling ginger, lemon juice, lemon peels, and orange peels. Enjoy with honey to offset the bitterness from the citrus peels.

Foods With Ginger and Other Ingredients

There are many ways to cook with both fresh ginger and powdered ginger in meat and dessert dishes. Sliced fresh ginger does well with slow cooking, braising, and stir frying. Powdered ginger or finely grated fresh ginger does well in baked goods.

Here are examples of foods that use ginger to give you inspiration on how to explore ginger or use up remaining ginger in your kitchen.

Recipes With Ginger

Stir-Fry Garlic and Ginger Green Beans with Chili Sauce

This green beans stir fry is easy and delicious. Add the chili sauce for a touch of spice or skip it to keep it mild. This stir fry dish reheats well in the microwave.

Get the Recipe

Homemade Sugar-Free Masala Chai (Tea)

A sugar-free chai for people who love drinking spicy chai but don’t want the sugar-laden mixes from the store. Tweak the spice ratios to create a chai that’s tailored to your tastebuds.

Get the Recipe

Thai Coconut Curry

This easy & customizable Thai coconut curry with tofu and vegetables can be adapted to whatever tofu, meat, seafood, and veggies are in your fridge. Make double to enjoy leftovers the next day.

Get the Recipe

How to Substitute Ginger

Ginger is part of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). It is related to turmeric, cardamon, and galangal, which makes any of those roots and spices excellent substitutes for ginger.

If you are out of powered ginger for desserts, you can grate fresh ginger root to substitute. I like to substitute 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger for 1/2 of powdered ginger. But your measurements may vary depending on how old your ginger is.

If you’re out of fresh and powdered ginger, use cinnamon or cloves or another warm spice in your desserts.

I would avoid substituting powdered ginger for stir frying and steaming fish because stir frying ginger powder will cause the ginger powder to burn in the hot oil.

If you’re out of ginger for a stir fry, you can substitute with garlic and/or green onion. It won’t taste the same but those aromatics will add flavor to your oil and add depth to your veggies.

Cooking with fish, you can replace the ginger with garlic and leek instead of ginger to add flavor and cover the fishy smell.

Where To Buy Ginger

You can find fresh ginger at any grocery store in the produce refrigerated section, usually next to other herbs, mushrooms, and bagged salad. If you see a massive piece of ginger root, it is acceptable to break off a smaller nub to buy only as much as you need. It is better to buy less ginger and purchase it more frequently than to buy ginger in bulk because it dries out quickly and is often wasted.

The exception is Trader Joe’s which normally sells ginger next to the onion and garlic in red netted bags. You won’t be able to break off a piece so pick the plumpest ginger that doesn’t look dried out.

I prefer to buy ginger that is stored in the refrigerated produce section where I can pry off a nub of ginger rather than get a bag of ginger.

You should be able to find powdered ginger in the spice aisle. Try to buy the freshest powdered ginger possible as it can lose its aroma over time.

Candied ginger is usually in the baking section next to the dried cranberries and nuts.

Is Ginger Seasonal?

Ginger is in season in the fall. But it is usually available all year-round at the grocery store thanks to global exports.

How to Pick Fresh Ginger

Choose fresh ginger root with bright golden yellow skin that has a smooth and satiny texture. The ginger should not look dry or shriveled. The ginger should not have moldy nubs.

Observe the knobby skin on the ginger to see if it has moldy spots. It can be hard to stop because ginger has so many nooks and crannies. Pick up a slab of root and look from different angles. Pick a plump root that looks moist inside (you can tell from where someone broke off a nub) with smooth skin.

Both pieces of ginger came from the same red netted bag from Trader Joe’s. Notice how fresh and plump the ginger on the right is. Compare that to how old and shriveled the ginger on the left is. The ginger on the left even has moldy spots. Opt for ginger that you can inspect and break off a nub to purchase what you need to avoid buying old ginger as I did. If you must buy bagged ginger, inspect carefully to make sure you don’t end up with a dud.

How to Store Ginger

I store ginger whole in the fridge. I like to keep it on the fridge door shelves next to the butter compartment. I’ve also seen ginger stored in the non-refrigerated produce section in the grocery store. I would guess that ginger is best stored in the fridge if you don’t use it quickly but it would be OK stored in your pantry if you know you go through ginger quickly.

You can slice ginger on the weekends along with onions and garlic to prepare for cooking during the week. Store sliced ginger in a glass container. It will last a week.

How to Freeze Ginger

If your ginger looks like it is getting dry or about to go bad, you can slice ginger and freeze it in plastic baggies. You can also grate the ginger and put it in ice trays to freeze. Add a bit of oil to the grated ginger to keep it fresh. Then take the ginger frozen like an ice cube and store it in a plastic container or a Ziploc bag and use it like fresh ginger.

It is easier to grate frozen ginger than fresh ginger. The grated pieces fall from the grater with ease.

You can also store ginger whole in the freezer and grate it for use. Peeling frozen is challenging. If you care about having peeled ginger and you want to grate frozen ginger, you need to peel the ginger before freezing.

WARNING: Don’t stir fry with frozen ginger. The hot oil will spatter everywhere when you put frozen ginger into the wok. Use fresh ginger to stir fry. If you insist on using frozen ginger, defrost it first and make sure to remove excess water.

Fun Things To Do With Ginger

FAQ About Ginger

Is Ginger Root Safe to Eat Raw?

Yes, but it might be spicy. In the case of eating raw ginger, you may want to peel it to get rid of the tough skin. Check out tips on how to peel ginger.

Ginger plant (Zingiber officinale) may seem like a mysterious herb to grow. The knobby ginger root is found in grocery stores, but very rarely do you find it in your local nursery. So can you grow ginger at home? The answer is yes; you can. Not only is growing ginger plants possible, it is easy as well. Let’s take a look at how to grow ginger root in your garden.

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