How to Care for a Ginger Plant


Ginger comes in both culinary and ornamental varieties. Culinary varieties include common ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric. Ornamental varieties are grown for their interesting foliage and fragrant, beautiful flowers. Many gingers can be grown in USDA zones of 7 and higher. Both culinary and ornamental gingers are considered fairly easy to grow.

Step 1

Plant ginger in partial to full shade. Choose a location where soil has a high organic content and good drainage. The preferred pH for ginger is between 5.5 and 6.5. If needed, amend the soil before planting to achieve a pH in this range. Make sure the rhizome is fully covered with soil when you plant it. Hill around the plant periodically to keep it covered.

Step 2

Water a ginger plant frequently during active growth, in spring and summer, in the absence of rain. In the fall, as the leaves die down, discontinue watering, then begin watering again in the spring to encourage leaf emergence.

Step 3

Fertilize a ginger plant once a month during active growth. Use a standard mix such as 15-15-15, applying according to label directions.

Step 4

Harvest the roots of culinary ginger in the fall after the leaves have died back. Dry roots in the shade before storing.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't water ginger frequently in the winter months, as that could cause root and rhizome rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Trowel
  • 15-15-15 fertilizer


  • University of Hawaii Farmer's Bookshelf: Ginger
  • University of Washington: Zingiber officinale
  • University of Florida Nassau County Extension: Herbs and Flowers

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida: Growing and Using Edible Gingers
Keywords: care for ginger, ginger plant care, grow ginger

About this Author

Ann Wolters, who has been a freelance writer, consultant, and writing coach for the past year and a half, has had her writing published in "The Saint Paul Almanac," and in magazines such as "Inventing Tomorrow" and "Frontiers." She earned a master’s degree in English as a second language from the University of Minnesota and taught English as a foreign language for nearly seven years.