Growing Ginger Indoors in the Winter

By into the rustic - 10:31 AM

Getting Your Ginger

I love planting ginger indoors in the winter. Its serves multiple purposes, first ginger makes an excellent natural tea, you can also make your own lozenges, which helps prevent getting bad colds and flu's. The second and to me more important benefit- it soothes my itching green thumb. 
We all get it, it's winter, it's gray, miserable and cold out. You are clutching your seed catalogs and maybe starting some seedlings indoors, but you still have to wait. With ginger root, you can see results within a week and a plant that makes your home brighten up into a more cheerful place!

The best place to find ginger is right in your local grocery store. If you are REALLY lucky, you may see some ginger pieces that have already started to grow buds. So look carefully and you may save yourself a step! Some people have said it's impossible to get them to bud from the grocery store, but I have ALWAYS gotten my ginger from this location, never had any issues getting them to sprout!

Budding Your Ginger Root

If by chance you were not able to find ginger roots with buds already on them, fret not, it's the easiest thing to accomplish- It's virtually idiot proof!

Take your ginger root and place them in a windowsill in indirect light and just wait. That's it. Within a week or two you will see soft white and then greenish buds shoot from the ends of the plant. You don't need to wait for more than a couple, once they have started the rest will come. You can now get ready to plant your Ginger!

Planting Your Ginger 

Get a shallow plant bowl with good drainage that is wide- maybe only 6 inches or so in depth and depending o the number of ginger pieces you are planting, at least 3 times in width. Ginger roots spread out and grow horizontally, so a deep container is not necessary. The roots rhizomes shoot through the soil producing green stalks about 3 feet in height with only a few leaves per stalk. Your main concern is the root as that is what you will be consuming. 

Ginger loves high humidity, rich soil, and good drainage. It's an easy house plant to start in the winter, and if you want to, you can regrow it outside once the weather warms up.

For your soil, mix half sandy loamy soil with some well rotted compost. The sandy loam ensures that the roots do not become water logged, and the compost is what feeds the ginger plant, as ginger is a HEAVY feeder. Think about it, this is a tropical plant. What does the tropics have? Lush canopies of greenery that fall down and decompose on the ground. Lots of humidity, moisture, heavy rotting of dead plant life into the soil, this is what this plant is used to, so this is what you need to mimic!

Put the roots barely under only an inch or two of your prepared soil, with the buds pointing up and somewhat exposed to light. Lightly mist with water. I at first cover with a sheet of plastic to trap in warmth and humidity until green shoots start to emerge, then I remove the cover.

Harvest Time

 Check your potted plant after 6 months or so. You can see by the number of stalks how much your ginger has spread out since you first planted it.

Cut the stalks and put in your compost pile. Carefully dig up the ginger root and shake off the dirt from them. You may find that you have large pieces of ginger. Rinse with cold water the dirt from the roots and allow to air dry in your house on some newspaper. Once dried, cut with a clean knife into separate pieces. 

It's up to you what you want to do with your roots at this point. You can choose to start the replanting process, or you can use your roots for cooking or for medicinal purposes. 

What I do is a combination, I save maybe one or two small pieces for new plants, and I use up the rest. When your roots are cut into sections, you have to let these pieces dry out first before storing or replanting. 

What I like to do is freeze my ginger root. I peel the skin off with a sharp blade, then get a fine grater and grate it into piles and store in freezer bags in my freezer to use in soups like Carrot Ginger soup or various Asian dishes.

Check out my blog later as I show you how to make your own ginger lozenges!

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  1. I am looking to expand my indoor garden this year, and growing ginger sounds like a good addition. It seems like an easy plant to take care of. I will have to get my hands on some ginger and give it a try.

    Sarah -

  2. I've found that peeling my ginger with a spoon is quick, and I don't waste the bits that might be sliced off with a knife. The spoon can also get into fiddly nooks and crannies without taking out too much.

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