How to Plant & Grow Cooking Ginger


Cooking ginger (zingiber officinale roscoe) is a perennial tropical plant that's grown and harvested for its rhizomes, which are used to flavor a wide variety of cuisine. True ginger has 2- to 3-foot-tall stalks and narrow leaves. Ginger plants have plump, heavily fragrant rhizomes and bloom in dense spikes of yellowish-green flowers with purple petal tips. You can grow your own ginger plant indoors from green ginger roots purchased at your local grocery store or health food market.

Step 1

Purchase a ginger root that's fresh and has some shoot buds beginning to grow on it. Snap off the "finger" pieces from the ginger root "hand," and then cut off at least 2 inches of the bud on the finger.

Step 2

Plant ginger roots in late winter or early spring. Fill an 8-inch-diameter planter pot with a loam-based compost mix. Bury the ginger root finger into the compost with the bud pointing upwards and about 1 inch below the soil surface.

Step 3

Place the pot in partial to full shade, away from direct sun. Keep the potting compost warm at around 80 degrees.

Step 4

Water the ginger plant daily to once every three days to keep the potting compost moist at all times. Reduce watering in autumn, allowing the potting compost to dry out so that you induce the ginger plant to grow rhizomes.

Step 5

Feed the ginger plant once every two or three weeks with an all-purpose potted plant fertilizer. Begin feeding the ginger plant after it starts growing and follow the dosage instructions on the label.

Step 6

Harvest the ginger root by gently lifting up the rhizomes from the soil. The normal harvest time is about six to nine months after planting the ginger root, usually in fall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't attempt to grow ginger outdoors if you live in a climate that doesn't experience nine months of temperatures warmer than 82 degrees F. For all non-tropical climates, you'll need to grow the ginger plants indoors.

Things You'll Need

  • Green ginger root
  • Knife
  • Planter pot, 8-inch diameter
  • Loam-based compost mix
  • All-purpose potted plant fertilizer
  • Water spray bottle


  • Plant Cultures: Ginger -- Grow It

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Ginger -- Zingiber officinale Roscoe
Keywords: grow ginger root, plant cooking ginger, Zingiber officinale Roscoe

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.