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How to Grow and Harvest Ginger Indoors Step-by-Step

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Growing fresh ginger indoors is super easy!  Many people are so shocked when I tell them that I grow and harvest my own ginger at home.  Keep reading and I will show you step by step how to grow a ton of ginger indoors.

You will be shocked and amazed at how much ginger you can harvest at home, and all in less than a year’s time from planting to harvest! 

Not only that, I will also show you how you can preserve your fresh ginger so you can use it for months on end and not have to run out to the grocery store every time you need it!

You will have fresh ginger at your disposal, and it will be even better than what you buy at the grocery store!

Step 1:  Obtain Your Ginger to Plant

I started with grocery store ginger, but I purchased organic ginger.  Make sure it’s firm, plump, and looks fresh.  

Try and avoid any rhizomes that look shriveled and old.

Conventional ginger could be sprayed with nasty chemicals and growth inhibitors in order to keep it from sprouting and thus increase its shelf life.

I purchased some organic ginger in order to make it more viable to plant since it shouldn’t have any nasty growth inhibitor chemicals.

I also wanted some indication that it was going to grow before actually planting it.

So I placed it in a small bowl , submerged the root in water, and set it on the kitchen counter. 

If you’re not starting with organic ginger, this process will also help to remove any growth inhibitor and increase the chance of growing, but I would obtain a piece of organic ginger rhizome if at all possible to increase your chances!

Every day, I changed the water and let it go about 3-4 days.  You can see from the picture below that it is starting to sprout.  Time to plant!

Keep in mind that depending on a number of factors, you may not see any buds, but go ahead and plant your ginger anyway.

Step 2:  Planting Your Ginger

Ginger is slow to emerge, so don’t freak out if you don’t notice any new growth for several weeks.  I planted it in a shallow pot that is wider than it is tall.  

The rhizomes will grow horizontally so it needs room to grow. I used a shallow 8 inch pot to start out.  You can use a smaller pot if you’d like to start out. 

You will be transplanting it anyway.  But more on that a little bit later.

Depending on how big your ginger root is, just allow some room for it to grow horizontally.  Fill a shallow pot about half full with a good potting soil, and place the ginger on top with the little sprouting buds facing up.  

Cover it with 1-2 inches of soil or so (no more than that), water it lightly, and place it in a warm area with good light. Ginger likes plenty of sunshine, so place it in as sunny of a window as possible.  

Keep the soil moist but not wet. Hopefully in a few weeks, the shoots will start to grow!

Let’s take a look at the progress of my first ginger plant, less than 2 months after planting.  As you can see below, it started by growing one healthy stalk.

A few weeks later, this is what the stem looked like.

Growing ginger at home

After the plant has been growing a good 2-3 months or so, you can transplant it in to a larger pot. 

The first time I grew ginger, I did not do this and the plant was not able to grow to reach its full potential!  I still had a ginger harvest, which I was excited about though.

However the next year, when the weather was warm enough outside, I transplanted it into a nice 12 inch pot and I was shocked and amazed at how well the plant grew! 

Take a look at how big and full this plant got.

how to grow ginger

I harvested so much more ginger this way.  Don’t worry if the plant looks like it is still too small for that size pot.  Just do it and you will be amazed. It will quickly shoot out tons of new growth and grow to be a gorgeous plant.

Remember though to have a pot that is wider than it is deep since ginger rhizomes grow horizontaly. I would recommend at least a 12 inch pot, if not bigger, in order to get a good harvest.

Through out the summer, I made sure that my ginger was well fertilized.  As with anything edible, I always use organic fertilizers. 

I use two fertilizers for all my edibles.  One is fish emulsion.  I like this particular brand because most of the odor is gone.  Some fish emulsion fertilizers can be very stinky!  Not this one.

And the other is a seaweed fertilizer.  I like to spray seaweed extract sometimes on many of my plants as a supplement.

Or to make things simple, Neptune makes a fish and seaweed fertilizer all in one which I’ve used with fantastic results.  It makes it easy because you only have to mix one concoction!

The growth really went gangbusters once I placed the ginger plant outside, used a nice sized pot, and fertilized it all summer long.

Please remember though that these plants like full sun, however if you are transitioning from indoors to outdoors, you need to harden them off by letting them be in the shade outside for several days.  For more on this topic, read my blog post on how to harden off plants.

By the end of the season, around October for me, I harvested the whole plant.  At this point, you can either harvest the whole plant, or just take little sections at a time and let the rest continue growing! 

Then you can have a continual supply of fresh ginger! And there is nothing like fresh ginger!

I’ve never done this, but you can bring your plant back indoors when it starts to get chilly outside in the Fall and let it continue maturing and growing. At some point though, the leaves and canes will all start to yellow.

When this happens, you can then do your final harvest. If you’d like to save some rhizomes for planting the next year, store in a cool, dark area (at least 55-60F would work well) until it’s time to plant again!

I just prefer to do this at the end of the season outside to avoid a mess indoors, and I still get a good harvest. If you start early enough in the year, you will get a nice harvest!

3.  How to Harvest Ginger

The wonderful part of growing ginger is that you can plant and harvest the same year! To maximize your harvest, plan on planting your ginger in January so that you can harvest before the end of the year.

I live in Ohio, so this will give my plants the longest season possible by starting them indoors, and then moving the plants outside when it’s warm enough.

Ginger needs about 10 or 11 months for a full growing season. You can harvest before that though! It will be more tender and without the dark skin that we are used to seeing.

The ginger that you see below was started in late winter and I harvested it in October after it spent the warm months in a pot outdoors. Take a look at all the beautiful ginger rhizomes! And this was all from one piece of ginger rhizome!

how to harvest ginger

If you harvest before the ginger is mature, the rhizomes will not be brown like the ones you see at the grocery store.  The skin is much more tender and a light cream color.

Next, I simply cut off all the stems so I was left with just the rhizomes.

how to harvest ginger

Then I took them inside and gave them a good rinse with water in my kitchen sink.

how to harvest ginger

At this point, you can use a vegetable brush to exfoliate the surface of the rhizomes.  If you still see soil stuck in some crevices, just break the ginger rhizomes at that junction and continue to rinse until all the soil is washed away.

At any point during the growing season, you can always harvest just a small rhizome and leave the rest of the plant alone as well. I prefer to harvest everything in the pot and then preserve the ginger.

Now here is the million dollar trick to preserve your ginger!  Since it produced way more ginger that I could possibly use before it shrivels up on me, I received a tip from a friend. 

4. How to Preserve Ginger

After I thoroughly washed the rhizomes,  I placed them in a jar and completely submerged them in vodka.

I then sealed the jar and placed it in the refrigerator.  It should keep this way for a very long time and I just use it as needed without worrying about it spoiling on me!

I’ve kept it this way in the refrigerator for a year and a half and it was still good!

All the ginger in the photo below started out with just one organic ginger rhizome from the grocery store!  And all in less than a year’s time from planting to harvest. 

how to harvest ginger
Ginger Preserved in Vodka

And after you are done using the ginger, you are left with a ginger infused vodka that you can mix up for a cocktail!  It’s a really a win-win situation!

Ginger Tea

Besides cooking with it, one of my favorite things to do with ginger is make a tea out of it.  Especially in the winter!

I take a piece of ginger and slice several very thin pieces and boil them for about 30 minutes.  It will be pretty spicy at this point, so it you want it more mild, boil it for about 15 minutes or so.

Then I’ll strain the ginger pieces out, add the juice of 1/4 to 1/2 of a lemon, and then enough honey to taste.  It’s absolutely delicious! 

So now you know everything you need in order to grow and harvest ginger at home.  So give it a try! What are you waiting for?

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Also, check out my shop on Amazon for all your houseplant care needs:

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Marre

Sunday 6th of September 2020

My ginger looks nothing like that. The leaves on mine are much wider too. What type of ginger is this and can you grow all ginger the same way? Is there a specific alcohol content for the vodka we should use (don't drink much so not sure)?

Raffaele

Monday 7th of September 2020

You may have an ornamental ginger that people just grow for the foliage and the beautiful flowers. It doesn't sound like you have the edible kind. Mine is the kind that you eat. Like I mentioned in the article, I purchased the rhizome from a grocery store. Vodka is all the same alcohol content so it doesn't really matter which type you use.

Jillie

Monday 13th of July 2020

Love the post, you can also freeze ginger, makes it easier to grate for cooking too!

Raffaele

Wednesday 15th of July 2020

Glad you liked the post! Never thought of freezing it! I'll have to try that!

Janis

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

Does the vodka soak into the ginger at all? Alcohol is not something I want in my healthy ginger. Room in my fridge is a premium. Can the jars be kept in a cool, dark place, like in my basement? Thank you so much.

Raffaele

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

You don't really taste any vodka and it preserves the ginger very well. I would place it in the fridge for best preservation.

CARRIE

Wednesday 25th of March 2020

Super excited to try this! How often do you use the fish fertilizer and spray with the seaweed plant food? Thanks for all the great information.

Raffaele

Wednesday 25th of March 2020

You're very welcome Carrie! Just follow the instructions on the bottles and you will be good :-)

Milford

Saturday 21st of March 2020

I did it and the process was so easy.. Thanks, a follower for ever..

Raffaele

Sunday 22nd of March 2020

Hi Milford. So happy to hear! :-). I'm glad you are enjoying my blog.