planting store bought ginger

asv420(z4/5 WI)March 8, 2004

I've looked at several posts, and have not found a clear answer to my question... which is: how to plant store bought ginger. My never-ending quest to turn my house into an indoor forest has led me to try store bought ginger. I noticed one place that said something about the direction the roots are pointing, but little else.

*Is it important to plant the roots with the tips pointing up or down?

*Should I break up the root into several smaller pieces each with some buds, or should I plant it as one big piece?

*How deep?

*Should some of the root be sticking above soil?

*How much water?

*How much light?


*Make up of soil?

*Anything else?


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asv420(z4/5 WI)

My first post should be regarding GROCERY store bought ginger, not other ones from garden centers. Although, I'm not sure if garden centers would sell other gingers around here being that ginger appears to be a (sub)tropic plant and not suited for zone 4/5. But, I want to try my luck with it as an indoor plant and see what I get.

I did notice this thread:
which helped a little bit... at least with the planting 1/2" deep, and flat, which I'm assuming means with buds pointing to the side?


    Bookmark   March 8, 2004 at 10:36PM
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TimChapman(Z8 Louisiana)

Read this article and let me know if anything is missing. Will add some photos etc. to it next revision. I wouldn't break up the rhizomes til you have a growing plant.

Tim Chapman

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Edible Ginger

    Bookmark   March 8, 2004 at 11:26PM
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vossner(z9 houston)

timchapman that was an excellent article on edible ginger. Now I know what to do.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2004 at 10:17PM
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asv420(z4/5 WI)

I planted two ginger roots and they are growing! They're about 5 inches tall, one of them is starting to unfurl a leaf, I think.

I planted them about an inch deep in a pot with Fafard's growing mix. I watered them, and kept them covered with plastic most of the time until I noticed a sprout poking through the soil. It took about a month for them to sprout, if I remember right. Now, they are in front of the window, getting lots of light nearly all day. I will see how they do indoors for a bit and decide whether or not to put them outside. Being that I would have to dig them up in the winter, I'm not sure about planting them outside quite yet. I'll just wait and see how my little "experiment" comes along.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2004 at 1:03AM
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That's a great article, Tim. One question - is that water soluble fertilizer you suggested? How often does it need to be fertilized? Would Osmocote do?


    Bookmark   April 26, 2004 at 7:33PM
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nychic(7 NYC)

How did your ginger turn out? In case you still need to know, here's how I plant grocery store ginger:

Lay ginger flat (lengthwise) on top of soil. Nuzzle into soil about 1", leaving ginger exposed on top (kinds of looks like a spaceship that has landed). Water.

That's it! Ginger should sprout within a few days. Very beautiful and hardy. Rub leaves between fingers, then smell fingers for great ginger smell!

Also to plant from grocery store: Ebos, lycees, sweet potato.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 4:23PM
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I've tried several times to plant store bought ginger with no luck, your question and the great response has inspired me to try again. Also a pineapple is another nice thing for a pretty indoor or outside (in a container) plant from the grocery.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2005 at 6:24PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

What does an edible ginger plant look like?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 12:52AM
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GardenKiwi(Z5 Michigan)

Hey there Andy - how is the ginger doing? I found some great plump "crawdad" looking gingers today - lots of eyes on them. Glad you posted as I was wondering what to do. I am wondering when you planted yours and how they are doing. I thought I would start mine in pots about now and then transfer into the garden when the danger of frost is over (after May 15th) - I did a search on google images for edible ginger and found some interesting pics. Looks like store ginger will be grown for the foliage - it should go well with the colocasias and bananas that I have ready to go!
Happy gardening!
Kiwi in Kalamazoo

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 7:08PM
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GardenKiwi(Z5 Michigan)

Thanks for the link Tim - good clear information there for those of us experimenting. Now - to find recipes of things to do with the ginger - I buy candied baby ginger that is imported from Australia - 'tis delicious and hot hot hot!!!


    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 7:17PM
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sinner_gurl(LA z9& HUMID!)

I loved the article about edible ginger. So I planted grocery store ginger about 3 weeks ago. It is a nice big root that is firm and has several eyes. I put it outside in sun, in a plastic pot with well draining soil buried about an inch deep. It still hasn't came up. I checked the root and it still looks the same as when I bought it. Do you think that it is dormant or that it was sprayed with some type of anti- sprout stuff? If so how long will it take for it to break dormancy or 'overcome' the anti-sprout spray? This is my first ginger ( although I grow and propagate other tropicals). Any help would be very much appreciated!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 11:47AM
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dorisd(6 NY)

It's great to see so many folks as confused as I am! First, one of my books suggested leaving the ginger in a paper bag for a week to encourage the sprouting then planting. Another suggested soaking the ginger overnight before planting. I used the paper bag method & got nice sprouts although I planted a couple pieces that had not yet sprouted. I would really like to know Tim's opinion on the paper bag & the soaking.

Also, Tim (great article, by the way), do I have to dig up the whole plant to harvest? Can I just take chunks? I've planted the Ginger in a 16" x 16" wooden container with a plastic liner. I'm guessing that since I live in zone 6 I will have to bring it in for the winter. If not, when you say "cover" what does that entail? Maybe mulch on top with the box wrapped.

Thanks for your help. And Good Luck everyone, thanks for the company!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 12:55PM
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sinner_gurl(LA z9& HUMID!)

Okay I'm gonna experiment with the paper bag method. I put a ginger rhizome in a bag. We will see what happens hehe.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 10:50AM
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TimChapman(Z8 Louisiana)

Dormant gingers respond to heat more than anything. They don't sprout as fast as one wants, its just the way they are. They aren't sprayed with any chemicals to prevent sprouting. As for the bag method, I store dormant rhizomes in paper bags sometimes, so it definitely doesn't give them a jumpstart. In a pot, in a warm area, they will sprout fine. It will take awhile if the rhizome was in complete dormancy. If you got it out of the refrigerated produce section, chances are its going to take longer. sometimes you can luck out and find one sprouting. regardless, once established in the ground they'll establish their normal season like the rest of the gingers in your area. remember it may have come from the southern hemisphere and be really out of whack. it would still sprout though.

you can chop a piece off as needed. some people have preferences and want the dormant dry stuff. in zone 6 you will need to lift them and store inside. you want them dry, but not completely in the open air, just enough to get some kind of air flow/ exchange.

also, soaking doesn't help speed up the process. It is hard to do if you have kids/animals or other creatures in the way, but if put a bag of rhizomes on the floor in front of the refridgerator where the hot air blows out, they sprout pretty easily... again, not the most convienent thing but i've done some like this in late winter to get a head start on them.

Tim Chapman

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 2:57AM
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sinner_gurl(LA z9& HUMID!)

Thanks for the post. After re-reading all 3 of your articles on your web site, I figured it was just going to take a little longer to get sprouts, and as you said it was probably a heat thing. So on 6-2 I brought the pot in and put it on a heat mat where I am currently starting passiflora and banana seeds. Today I actually have ginger sprouts (yeah!!). BTW the one in the paper bag still looks the same. I guess I will pot that one up and stick it on the heat mat as well. Thanks for the tips.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 6:18PM
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I always had trouble sprouting ginger and then I tried this method and it worked well. It also works with other cuttings that are hard to start. Take a gallon storage bag and fill about 1/3 with germinating mix. Cover the rhysome with the mix. Then close the bag almost all the way (zipper ones work best) and blow into it until it looks like a balloon. Leave it that way until the ginger sprouts. If the bag loses air, you can blow into it again. When it starts to sprout it will use the carbon dioxide.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 8:00PM
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Tim.....When I clicked on your above link to read I could not view anything. Would love to read it as I'm trying to start some ginger myself and not having much luck!! Is it possible to send it to me in e-mail?


    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 2:12PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

someone asked that question a while ago. Here is the link to that thread where I think it may be accessed.

Here is a link that might be useful: ginger thread article

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 1:23PM
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sultry jasmine night....THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I really appreciate your help. Guess I need to be a little more patient. Last year I grew a purple moonflower vine from seed which is an annual in my neck of the woods. When I went to dig it up at the end of the growing season I found a tuber and decided to replant it to see what would happen. Just when I thought nothing would happen...I found two little green shoots. It took almost two months but well worth waiting for.

Thanks again for taking the time to refer me to the articles.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 2:13PM
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i just kept a piece of store bought ginger partially in water
and it sprouted a ton
then i put tht in soil and now i have a ginger plant over 1 foot tall
but now i don't know how to harvest it
can i just rip the plant out, remove the rhizomes and then put it back into the soil?
or do i have to wait for the ginger plant to become dormant?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 3:11PM
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