Jennifer, an Editor at Happy DIY Home, shared with Healthy Lombard that a useful ingredient, ginger is commonly used in both Asian and Indian cuisine. Once mature, the root is easily used either fresh, powdered, or juiced into a smoothie. These knobbly rhizomes may not look the most attractive, but they are full of health benefits, including the ability to relieve digestive issues and boost the immune system. Additionally, these plants produce pleasingly ornamental blooms and are surprisingly easy to grow.
Growing ginger is best done in warmer climates. These are tropical plants that won’t survive a frost. In cooler climates, the roots can be grown undercover in a greenhouse or as a houseplant.
Full of flavor and with a range of health benefits, it is no wonder that growing ginger at home is becoming increasingly common. If you want to add a kick to your herb garden, this is the ideal choice. This is your complete guide to growing ginger.
How to Choose your Plant
Selecting a ginger plant is simplicity itself. Just pick up a healthy-looking root from your grocery store. Organic rhizomes are best.
If you want a wider range of choices, you can also find suitable rhizomes in garden stores and nurseries. Zingiber Officinal is the most commonly grown variety.
Culinary varieties, while not primarily grown for their ornamental interest, produce insignificant green flowers. If you are growing for ornamental interest and not for culinary purposes, there are a number of varieties to choose from. Hedychium, or ginger lily, and Curcuma are two of the most attractive ornamental varieties. However, many of the ornamental varieties are not edible and can only be used for decoration.
Zingiber officinale, or common ginger, is hardy in USDA Zones 9 to 12. This variety requires 8 to 10 months of active growth to mature. Some varieties are hardy in zones down to 7.
Selecting a Healthy Rhizome
Select a rhizome that is plump and has a good number of small eyes. Eyes or buds are small, rounded points that form on the rhizome. Ideally, the eyes should be beginning to turn green. The root should be about 5 inches long and have a few fingers.
If you want to grow more than one plant, you can divide the rhizome into pieces. Use a sharp, sterilized knife to cut the rhizome into pieces that are rough 1 to 1.5 inches wide.
A whetstone is a good investment if you need to sharpen your garden tools. Each section should have at least one bud or eye.
After dividing the rhizome, allow the pieces to dry in a safe position for a few days. During this drying period, a callus forms over the cut surface area. This is a sign that the rhizome is healing. Allowing calluses to form before planting helps to prevent infections. Once the callus has formed, you can plant your rhizome.