perennialfan275

Does anyone grow ginger?

After getting a smoothie with ginger awhile ago, I've decided I REALLY like the taste of it. This actually isn't the first time I've had ginger, but I haven't had raw ginger in a LONG time. Anyways, I know it's not hardy here, but can I plant it in the ground/pot and just store it in the house over the winter? I know this is probably an easy plant to grow, but I've killed stuff in the past that was supposedly "easy", so I want to get as much advice as possible before attempting this.

Comments (38)

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
    last year
    last modified: last year

    We cook a lot of Asian food and I use fresh grated ginger on my salad just about every day so we use more than I grow. We mostly only use fresh ginger. The dry powdered ginger kinda smells like soap to me. Luckily, we have a local farmer's market that sells ginger, turmeric/curcuma longa, and sometimes some other interesting ginger roots.

    One time I got Torch ginger (Etlingera elatior) there. It was in with the regular ginger(Zingiber officinale) roots. At the time, I didn't know what it was but thought it looked cool, so planted it. It was doing well for a while until something dug it up and ate it "/ Next time, I'm putting it in a pot.


    This thread probably would have had more responses from people who grow ginger in cooler climates if it was actually cross posted in the 'Ginger Forum' lol.

  • dbarron
    last year

    Yes, I've used ginger on a variety of players, some I found I liked, but i don't use it much. I usually just use it on Asian dishes, which since my sauces usually already contain it, means just stir fries. Since I'm single, I don't do that (large amt of food usually) very often. I can see using it more, while I like the flavor (happy to eat candied ginger), I just don't. I use powdered more than I use fresh ginger.

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  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    last year

    I don't make ginger tea or ginger cookies. And for cookies I'd use dried or preserved ginger. I don't make or drink smoothies. I don't make ice cream. If I did I'd use preserved ginger, not fresh. And I don't eat much ice cream anyway although if I do ginger is actually my favourite flavour. In fact I rarely make sweet dishes.

    But I do use ginger in many savoury meals. It goes with chicken, duck, goose, turkey, pork and fish. It goes well in fruit salads and compotes, especially with pears. It works well with onions, spring onions, leeks, peppers, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and tomatoes. I put it in the tin when making roasts. I add chopped ginger to braises. Its a key player in stir fries. I treat it more as a minority vegetable than a spice. Sorry I can't provide recipes since I don't use them but Google will turn up hundreds, I'm sure.

    I wouldn't waste fresh ginger root on drying and grinding. Bought ground ginger is fine for that and much cheaper. Fresh ginger flavour is citrusy and refreshing, totally different from dried. It has an affinity with citrus fruit, star anise and other S E Asian spices.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    last year

    Google it . You peel some ginger and smash a bunch ( 2" or more) of ginger slices or slice the ginger thinly and simmer it in 2 cups of water. Use more ginger in more water, simmer 10-20 minutes. Add honey and lime. Great if you are sick with a cold or stomach ailment.

  • perennialfan275
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Honestly I don't imagine I will use it much at all. I'll probably use it in smoothies. Maybe I'll try that tea if wantonamara is kind enough to share the recipe ;-). I might try making some ginger beer if I can find a good recipe for it. And I'll probably grind it up and store it (we do use it in baking sometimes). Will probably share some with family and friends if we have extra (which we probably will).

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    last year

    I go through a lot of ginger in ginger tea.

  • dbarron
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I know that...we were trying to inquire what you actually do with all that ginger.

    Floral, we're not going to make fun of you if you say you eat ginger ice cream, after having ginger root smoothies, and ginger cookies. It's ok :)

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    last year

    Ginger isn't only for curries....

  • perennialfan275
    last year

    Floral you're probably right. In winter I probably won't have enough, but in the growing season I should have plenty if grown outside yes? Also I'm curious when I dig it up and bring it indoors is it better to try to keep growing it or just store the tubers somewhere and wait for spring?

  • dbarron
    last year

    Yeah, I'm curious if they eat curry 5 nights a week too :0

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last year

    4-5 inches of ginger root a week is a LOT of ginger!!! I would agree that growing as a houseplant is probably not a practical issue for that sort of consumption. OTOH, for someone like me that may use fresh ginger only occasionally - fresh, raw ginger is a very strong flavor profile - growing a pot or two indoors would work quite well. But then I just buy a plug of root at the grocers and it's all good!! I guess it depends on what one's interpretation of what a "reasonable" amount may be :-)

    floral, I am curious as to what you may use that much fresh ginger on.........care to reveal??

  • dbarron
    last year

    I think it depends on your use of ginger, I tend to use fresh ginger about every *3* months. I could easily keep myself in stock with two pots.

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    last year

    OP lives in Illinois, z5, so the fact that culinary ginger can be grown in Florida isn't really relevant. I stand by my contention that if you use ginger at a reasonable rate you just couldn't practically grow enough for your needs inZ5 indoors in pots. It would be interesting to try mainly as a curiosity. As a crop for someone who uses ginger at the rate of 4 or 5 inches of root a week, as I do, I believe it's pretty much a non starter. And the OP definitely asked about culinary ginger, not any ginger.

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
    last year

    I have turmeric that survives perfectly fine here. Goes dormant in winter and comes back every spring. I get lots of rhizomes. They edge tge whole front of our veggie garden. They also make pretty flowers that the bees enjoy. I am subtropical in zone 9a NE FL. I know people in zone 8 who grow turmeric in the ground and it comes back in the spring. Many sites rate it to zone 8 and up. I think that's pretty accurate.

    If you have winter rain AND cold many tuber/rhizome type sub tropical and/or tropical plants will resent it and may rot.

  • summersrhythm_z6a
    last year

    Just want to mention BJ’s has boxed organic gingers.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last year

    "Turmeric is native to tropical southwestern India where temperatures typically range from 65 to 85 degrees F. in moist humid conditions. Turmeric typically begins growth at the beginning of the monsoon season and thrives in monsoon conditions, but becomes dormant when the monsoon ends and drier soils prevail. A large percentage of the world’s commercial crop is produced in India."

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Curcuma longa aka turmeric is not tropical. Neither is Zingiber officinale...just saying..not trying to argue, just providing information.

    The OP asked about gingers that could be stored in a pot or grown in the ground. Both edible gingers you mentioned technically can be. They might not be worth it for strictly edible purposes but I and other have done it, so it can be. Others read this thread on 'searches' for information so its worth mentioning or why bother having a 'search' feature.

    ~Sjn

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last year

    But but not all gingers are edible!! Or worth eating if they are! Ginger root, Zingiber officinale, and turmeric, Curcuma longa - the two most common edible forms - are both tropical plants and need a very mild winter climate to survive in the ground, typically zone 9 or above (although the turmeric is slight more cold tolerant). That is why they are often grown as houseplants in colder climates.

    There are lots of hardy gingers one can grow almost anywhere but they are not intended to be consumed :-) That is the question the OP posed.....growing edible ginger root!

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Many gingers are hardy to 7b especially globbas, some curcumas, some hedychiums, etc. So they aren't stictly for FL and Calif. If you look around the Ginger Forum you will see there are plenty of cold climate people growing gingers.

    http://www.perennialsolutions.org/hardy-gingers-for-the-food-forest-understory

    I'm in North East FL where it can/does freeze but I don't have any house plants. I have those deep southern porches so the light quality by the windows still isn't great. I have some potted gingers that are smaller growers that I let dry out in their pots and stack them dormant in a frost free shed for the winter. We have armadillos and other critters that like to dig up my bulbs/rhizomes and mutilate them but that's a different can of worms :D

    I'm a zone pusher, growing zone 10-11 plants in my zone 9a. When I was in a zone 3, I still grew sub/tropicals.

    I also grew them in the dry desert where everyone told me bananas and gingers etc wouldn't grow and sure wouldn't flower because they needed more humidity. One has to look up where plants are originally from and give them the conditions that best mimic their requirements. If one is able or willing to do that they it will probably be successful.

  • Campanula UK Z8
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Ah, I don't do houseplants either. I have some ideas why my houseplants all die miserable deaths (and they are the lucky ones) or, more likely, linger on for years in states of extreme tattiness and misery...but my natural negligence can't be the only reason. However, I do grow one species of indoor plant...and I concur, Perennialfan - using growlights, adjusting for temperature, ventilation, humidity, the problems of continual management, is not easy at all. Of course, any nit can keep a dracaena alive (even me) but really, there are a whole set of issues with houseplants which I have no wish to fight... a seasonal break and loads of (easy outdoor) plants to grow so I leave all the house stuff to my talented D-i-L.

    Don't do ginger (or cannas, aroids, bromeliads and stuff like that either - looks a bit silly in my gardens, but my eldest is keen on the whole big-leaf, hardy 'tropical' thing.

  • perennialfan275
    last year
    last modified: last year

    If you need to use grow lights to keep the plant happy, then it's hard to grow. And in the states I mentioned they actually are easier to grow because the odds of the temperature getting low enough where it would be deadly to the plant are much lower. It's also easier to keep the humidity at a level where the plants will be happy. Anyways, I don't want to deal with grow lights so I prefer to grow plants that aren't "high maintenance" if you know what I mean.

    Anyways, you're probably right Gardengal. I'm probably stressing a little too much over this, but my stress comes from numerous failures with houseplants in the past. But I'm gonna try to grow this and hopefully I'll have some success.


    Merry Christmas to all of you and thank you for all your advice.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last year


    Sorry but I am not buying the argument that houseplants are harder to grow in colder climates. After all, they do not sell them with hardiness zones or labels as to an appropriate state to grow them in!! What can be grown in California or Florida indoors should be the same plants that can be grown as houseplants in Michigan or Ilinois. Or North Dakota!! Gingers do need good humidity but then so do a great many other houseplants and that can be accommodated for.

    Also I live extremely far north......more northerly than just about anywhere else in the continental US and in a very gray winter climate. Plus, I live in a lower level unit with minimal windows so not an overly bright location anywhere here indoors!! Yet I am able to grow just about any houseplant you can name.....I just supplement necessary light in winter with grow lights. It's a matter of understanding the subject plant's growing conditions and then providing them, just as you would outdoors or with any other type of houseplant you have had success with.

    Finally, purchased ginger roots are cheap so it is not like you are investing a lot of money in this attempt. Give it a try.....it really is a whole lot easier than you are making it out to be!!

  • stillanntn6b
    last year

    Anyone have experience with Galangal?


    In New Orleans, not-edible gingers died back severely when we had hard freezes (even in the French Quarter where ours was protected by tall, heat retaining brick walls.) It took two years for ours to come back. In Algiers Point, across the river, a huge patch in a more open location (that bloomed the same as ours) also came back in year two. Whatever that variety was made canes six feet tall and had the strangest looking yellow flowers with orange spots.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    last year

    Ginger can be shade plants so that makes some aspects of "Housness" easier but they do like humidity. I can not speak to that long winter. It has been almost 50 years since I have dealt with a New England winter.

  • perennialfan275
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Gardengal if I hadn't killed so many plants over the years I'd believe you, but unfortunately I have. As wantonamara says the cold really does make a difference. It's a lot harder to keep a houseplant happy here then in most parts of the country. And the fact that my house doesn't get very good natural light doesn't help either. There are SO many plants I want to try, but I've learned the hard way too many times that it's not as easy as it looks. There are many times that I've considered just giving up altogether on houseplants. There's a reason why people in Florida and California say houseplants are "easy". I don't want to read an article from someone in those states telling me how "easy" these plants are to grow. If someone from the midwest or Illinois tells me it's easy, then I'll believe it. Anyways I'm sorry if this sounds like a rant. I'm not angry. I just don't want to kill anything else.

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I grow tons of ginger varieties including Zingiber officinale and turmeric (curcuma longa). You can grow them in pots but to really harvest them for use, you would need a lot of pots lol.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    last year
    last modified: last year

    The colder it is the dryer the heater makes the inside conditions. A house in Hawaii is much different from a house in New England. It has natural humity. Mold can grow on the walls at times up in the valleys on the windward side. My house in Texas has much more light in it naturally than a house in the north where the sun is lower and the skies are way darker and rainier.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last year

    Hmmmmm.......I'd have to think that growing a houseplant just about anywhere would be the same. Indoor conditions are indoor conditions pretty much anywhere :-) That's why folks haul entire truckloads of houseplants along with them when they move cross country.

    Edible ginger root, Zingiber officinale, is only rated to zone 9 - zone 8 in a pinch - so will be relegated as a houseplant in most areas of the country except in summer. Same with tumeric.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    last year

    Many gingers are hardy to z 7b. They do like a nice rich moist soil. People grow them around me if they have well watered lawns.

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    last year

    A four or five inch piece lasts us no more than a week. I doubt I could grow that quantity.

  • perennialfan275
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Gardengal you're right it does look like an easy houseplant after reading some articles, but you and I both know that growing a houseplant in Hawaii is very different than growing a houseplant in Illinois. I can read an article from someone in Hawaii who claims all houseplants are easy, but that means nothing to me. And often times I don't even know where the person who wrote the article lives so it means even less. When I come on gardenweb I can see EXACTLY where people are gardening and if I see someone in Illinois, the midwest, or zone 5 is having success with this I know I can expect the same if I grow it correctly. Also I didn't know that grocery store ginger wasn't good to start with. Guess I'll have to go to an Asian market or something...

  • dbarron
    last year

    Yes, I've grown it in the past (don't anymore), and it does produce fairly abundantly if well grown.

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA
    last year
    last modified: last year

    In temperate climates you grow culinary ginger in ground like cannas, very easy and vigorous grower. Then in fall, harvest all the ginger, store in a cool, dark place, and use as needed. Planting rhizomes outside again in spring when all frost is past. Easy to grow, moderate light, but not heavy shade.

    Best to start with untreated rhizomes or actively growing plants...order online from dependable source. Grocery store ginger usually is treated with growth inhibitors and are not dependable starting stock, may not grow, just sit there in the ground and rot.

    If you can leave cannas in ground year round with no winter kill where you live, grow your ginger the same way, and harvest pieces of rhizome as needed.

    If you have to take in your ginger for the winter, after your rhizomes are planted out in spring, and they get some new growth on them, you can harvest pieces of rhizomes, here and there during the summer as you want, but leave enough to keep growing until fall for a good harvest. Most folks find that a little ginger goes a long way.

    Moses

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    last year

    Sadly there's no way I could grow enough ginger in a few pots to supply the amount we get through.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last year

    It IS pretty easy to grow indoors and if you search online, you will find various websites and even YouTube videos offering instructions on how to do so. Warm situation, bright light, a good sized, flattish pot and decent, moist soil.

    Just an FYI, but ginger root purchased at the grocery store is often treated with hormones or irradiated to prevent sprouting. These may or may not grow if planted. If you can find fresh, organic rhizomes you may have better luck. Any Oriental grocers in your area? I'd look there first :-)

  • lkayetwvz5
    last year

    I used to watch Martha Stewart's TV series and she discussed having fresh ginger all year around. All I remember was she said to buy ginger root in the produce section and just bury it in a loose planting medium in a pot in a bright window. When you wanted fresh ginger just unbury it, cut off a piece and rebury. What I don't remember was how deep, how much light or how much water. I was always going to try it and I guess I should have while I knew what I was supposed to do!

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Try a search here. Lots of people have posted in the past about growing ginger from fresh rhizomes bought at a shop. https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/query/Growing-ginger/nqrw