How to grow ginger indoors

Ginger is a plant from the zingiberaceae family, whose underground stem is a horizontal rhizome prized for its aroma and spicy flavour. Furthermore, ginger is a food with many beneficial health properties and can help with certain ailments and conditions. The tuber can also be used to season our recipes and add a special something. In this oneHOWTO article, we will explain how you can grow ginger at home easily and quickly, with a step-by-step guide and some photos. Make sure you follow the instructions so you know how to plant Ginger root in a pot and take advantage of everything this plant has to offer.

The first thing you need to do to plant ginger in a pot is to make sure you find a good ginger root. You can buy one in any grocery stores where you usually buy your vegetables. It should look like the photo that appears alongside this step.

If you boy ginger in a non-organic grocery store or supermarket, you will have to put the root in water for 8 hours minimum and let it dry completely in the sunlight.

How to grow ginger indoors

To plant the ginger in a pot and ensure that it grows healthily, you will need to cut the tougher outer layer and leave it exposed within the soil. Make sure you leave a small (or large) piece of root when you cut the piece of ginger.

The parts that make the best roots to grow are those that are less wrinkly and small dots, also known as eyes. The more eyes it has the easier it will be for the plant to grow.

How to grow ginger indoors

Now it’s time to prepare the plant pot, which should be at least twelve inches deep in order for the ginger root to grow correctly. The best soil to add to the pot is a 50/50 mix of ordinary gardening soil and fertilizer, which you can also make at home. The best time to plant ginger is during early to mid spring, as it cannot survive in cold climates and thus will not undergo frost. However, you can also have it indoors to prevent this.

Plant the ginger root will the cut side facing the ground, and bury about 3 cm into the soil. Next, cover the ginger root with the quality soil mixture and let the ginger poke out a little. It is important that the soil is rich and that the ginger is planted in a cool place with limited ventilation, as it will not withstand the wind and needs to be in an ideal environment of 16 to 25 degrees Celsius.

How to grow ginger indoors

You can plant ginger indoors at any time of year. Ginger is a fast-growing plant and you will see it start to look like the photo in about two weeks if you keep your ginger moist by watering it every time the soil on the surface is drying out.

If you live in a tropical region, you should put the plant pot in the shade, as temperatures in these areas may affect the ginger’s growth.

How to grow ginger indoors

This is how our ginger plant looked after a few weeks. The trick to ensure your ginger grows well is to give it plenty of light and water it often in small quantities.

How to grow ginger indoors

Ginger plants grow well in moist, fertile soil in warm areas during the winter. Another interesting method is to plant the ginger in flowerpots and leave them in milder places during the summer and indoors at night.

When summer is ending and temperatures start to fall, you will notice some leaves will start to turn yellow. When you notice this happening, it is advisable to gradually stop watering the plant, as the time to harvest your ginger root is coming closer.

You can harvest the ginger when the roots are near the surface, which should happen around four to eight months after planting the ginger roots or when all of the leaves and branches have turned yellow. There are often small leaves on the surface which you can cut wisely and be used in cooking too.

To cut properly, get a knife and make sure you do not bruise the ginger root.

The rest of the plant can be kept during the colder months and will survive throughout the following season provided it is in a warm place, as ginger is perennial.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Plant Ginger Root in a Pot, we recommend you visit our Gardening & plants category.

November 23, 2014 By Meredith Skyer & filed under Gardening Blog.

Ginger is the perfect herb to grow indoors. It’s very low-maintenance, loves partial sunlight, and you can use parts of it at a time, leaving the rest in the soil to continue growing. Besides, it’s delicious! Really, what’s not to love about year round vegetable gardening, especially when it comes to growing ginger inside?

How to grow ginger indoors

Photo sourced via Creative Commons from Flickr user Chrysti

A bit about ginger

Ginger takes 10 months to mature and it doesn’t tolerate frost. If you live in a place where it gets chilly in the winter, you’d be better off growing ginger in a pot indoors and bringing it outside in the summertime.

Ginger is one of those miraculous plants that grows well in partial to full shade, which makes it ideal for growing in your home, where most people don’t have full sun pouring on their windows all day long.

Little bits of the ginger root can be removed while it continues to grow. A little bit of ginger goes a long way, so these pieces can be used for cooking, brewing tea or for herbal remedies.

How to plant ginger

The best ginger to plant is purchased from a garden center or seed catalog. You’ll have much better luck if you get seed ginger that was meant to be planted. However, ginger can be hard to find from garden suppliers, especially locally.

Ginger purchased from the produce department of your local grocery store can be used to grow a plant, but with spotty results. Grocery store ginger is often sprayed with a growth inhibitor to keep it from sprouting before it’s purchased. That inhibitor also keeps it from sprouting when you stick it in a pot of soil.

Grocery store ginger also could be coated in pesticides and fungicides. The truth is, you have no idea what’s on it. I’ve heard of grocery store ginger growing just fine, and I’ve heard of it sitting in a pot forever and never budging. If you do purchase your ginger from the grocery store, be sure to soak it in water overnight to remove as much growth inhibitor as you can.

How to grow ginger indoors

Photo sourced via Creative Commons from Flickr user Avlxyz

Whichever way you choose to go, here are some helpful tips for growing ginger inside:

The root that you choose to plant should be plump with tight skin, not shriveled and old. It should have several eye buds on it (bumps that look like potato eyes) and if they’re already a little green, all the better.

If your root has several eye buds, it can be cut and each bud can be placed in a separate pot to produce several plants.

Be sure to pick the perfect pot!

Unlike most other houseplants, ginger loves shallow, wide pots. The roots grow horizontally so be sure the pot you choose will accommodate its growth.

How to grow ginger indoors, step by step:

1. To start with, soak the ginger root overnight in warm water to get it ready for planting.

2. Fill your pot with very rich but well-draining potting soil.

3. Stick the ginger root with the eye bud pointing up in the soil and cover it with 1-2 inches of soil. Water it well.

4. Place the ginger in a spot that stays reasonably warm and doesn’t get too much bright sunlight.

5. Keep the soil moist, using a spray bottle to mist it, or water it lightly.

6. Ginger is a slow grower, after a few weeks you should see some shoots popping up out of the soil. Continue to water the plant regularly by misting it with a spray bottle and keep it warm

How to grow ginger indoors

Photo sourced via Creative Commons from Flickr user Benson Kua

Harvesting ginger:

Small pieces of ginger can be harvested 3-4 months after growth begins. Pull aside some of the soil at the edges of the pot to find some rhizomes beneath the surface. Cut the needed amount off a finger at the edge of the pot and then return the soil.

Ginger can be harvested in this way endlessly, and as long as it is well cared for, it will continue to produce roots. If you need a larger harvest, you can uproot the entire plant and re-plant a few rhizomes to start the process over again.

Have you ever tried growing ginger inside? Do you have any tips to share?

I put a ginger root, bought from the grocery store, which had several greenish eyes on it, and simply set it on my window sill above the kitchen sink. One eye began sprouting and produced a slim stem that is now growing a leaf. Occasionally I sprinkle a little water over this bare root and it is growing larger slowly. It’s still small, about 3 inches, and still on the window sill, but I’ll put it in a small pot soon with some light potting soil.

I love ginger and it is so good with its anti-inflammatory properties. Pity it takes so long to grow. It costs $55 kilo at the local supermarket in Western Australia where I live. 😒 Ridiculously expensive. I think a lot of it is exported – the Chinese probably pay $10 kilo for our ginger!

That was funny! More than likely true if not less…

in my country it cost $5 a killo so im thinking now should i plant it or just buy it. And btw its from Brazil or China in my country. Don’t know why its do expensive in your plases

I went to the Buderim ginger factory the other day and did the tour. They supply the majority of Australia apparently and yes, a lot of it is exported to other countries.

Variegated ginger, also known as ginger lily or shell ginger, is a lush-growing perennial with striking green and white foliage and shell-shaped flowers. As a vigorous grower, variegated ginger requires yearly pruning to maintain a manageable size and prevent the plant from looking scraggly and leggy. Variegated ginger prefers partial shade and warm temperatures. As an outdoor plant, it must be grown in warm climates with no winter freezing. Variegated ginger can be grown as an indoor plant or container plant in any climate.

Use sharp, clean pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant or spreading disease. Clean shears after pruning and before storing.

  • Variegated ginger, also known as ginger lily or shell ginger, is a lush-growing perennial with striking green and white foliage and shell-shaped flowers.
  • As a vigorous grower, variegated ginger requires yearly pruning to maintain a manageable size and prevent the plant from looking scraggly and leggy.

Trim off any dying or dead leaves that have yellowed or browned. Cut the leaves off where they emerge from the stems or the base of the plant.

Cut off new shoots and leaves to maintain the desired size and shape of the plant. Cut off cleanly where the new stems emerge from the old growth.

Trim last year’s stems (the old growth) only as needed. Variegated ginger only blooms from old growth, so avoid pruning off more than necessary.

Cut off the flower stalks at the base of the plant where they emerge after blooming to encourage further blooming.

  • Trim off any dying or dead leaves that have yellowed or browned.
  • Cut off new shoots and leaves to maintain the desired size and shape of the plant.

Trim Variegated Ginger?

Variegated ginger grows best in partial shade, though it can take full sun, and requires rich, moist soil. It is not drought-tolerant and requires frequent watering, especially when planted in full sun. Fertilizing your variegated shell ginger every month with a balanced fertilizer diluted to one-half strength in warm weather keeps it productive and blooming. Read the instructions on the package because rates vary among brands. Variegated ginger grows back from the roots when killed by cold down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit in USDA zone 8b. Aside from blooming only on old growth, variegated ginger is also monocarpic, meaning each cane only blooms once before dying. You can prune canes off at the base to make digging and separating the rhizomes easier, or transplant clumps of roots with young canes in place to ensure new blooms in the same season.

  • Variegated ginger grows best in partial shade, though it can take full sun, and requires rich, moist soil.

Divide the roots of potted, variegated ginger every two years so the plant will not outgrow its container.

Give the plant plenty of space around it when planting, as it will grow large quickly. Providing plenty of space will limit the amount of pruning that’s necessary.

Variegated ginger cannot survive freezes, and prefers temperatures above 55 degrees F year around.

How to grow ginger indoors

Ginger root is such a delightful culinary ingredient, adding spiciness to savory and sweet recipes. It’s also a medicinal remedy for indigestion and upset stomach. If you grow your own, in an indoor container, you’ll never run out again.

Can You Grow Ginger Indoors?

Ginger as a houseplant is not typical, but it is very much possible. Outdoors, the ginger plant is not terribly hardy. If you live north of zone 9, frost and freezes could compromise any ginger plants in your garden. But, if you want to grow and enjoy your own ginger root, you can grow it indoors in a container with very little effort.

How to Grow Ginger Indoors

To start ginger houseplant growing, all you need is a root, and you can find those at your local grocery store. The same roots you buy to cook with can be used to start your houseplant. Pick a root that is smooth and not shriveled and that has nodes; these are where the sprouts will emerge. A few one- or two-inch (2 to 5 cm.) chunks are all you need, but go organic or they may not sprout.

To get the sprouting process started, soak your root pieces in warm water overnight. Press each piece a few inches (7.5-15 cm.) into rich, organic soil that you filled a pot with, but make sure the pot drains well. Cover the root chunks only lightly with soil.

Indoor Ginger Care

Once you have the roots in a pot, you only need to wait and watch as they sprout, while keeping it moist and warm. Use a spritzer to keep the air humid around the pot and water regularly so the soil doesn’t dry out. You also don’t want the soil to be soaking; just keep it moist. Choose a warm spot, around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius).

If your weather is warm, you can move the pot outside. Avoid freezing temperatures, though. You can expect your ginger plant to grow to two to four feet (.5 to 1 m.) in height. As soon as your plant is growing and green, you can start to harvest the root. Just pull the greens and the root will come out with them.

Indoor ginger care is something anyone can do, and when you grow your own ginger plant, you can expect to always have a tasty supply of this delicious seasoning.

Even apartment dwellers can plant this container crop.

How to grow ginger indoors

Cuttings from the lush, bamboo-like foliage lend fresh flavor to tea or soup stock, and simply rustling the leaves as you pass by releases a heavenly scent. While most American grocers sell only cured ginger — harvested from steamy parts of the globe like China, India, and Nepal — a growing number of specialty growers throughout the Northeast (I’m one of them) harvest baby rhizomes in late autumn.

Here’s how you can grow your own ginger outside of the tropics, too:

Find a Root

Buy a piece of ginger the size of your thumb with several bumpy nodules at the tips — these are the buds. Opt for plump chunks, not those withering in their own skin. Skin on the delicate buds should be thinner and lighter colored; forego pieces with darkened buds.

Like potatoes, conventional ginger is irradiated and treated to stop it from sprouting at the supermarket. That means it won’t sprout in your home, either. Choose organic.

Encourage Sprouting

How to grow ginger indoors

This is the hardest part. Ginger takes its time getting started. To speed it along, create a terrarium using a takeout container with a clear lid. Choose one just a few inches larger than your seed and punch drainage holes in the bottom.

Put an inch or two of potting soil below the seed and sprinkle just a half inch above. Water well. Replace the lid, but don’t seal it. Maintain the soil at 70 degrees and moist to the touch, watering only when the soil dries. A sprout will emerge in six to eight weeks.

Plant in a Large Container

Ginger is a heavy feeder and an even heavier drinker that needs a lot of room to grow. Given the space, a chunk the size of your thumb will easily grow to fill a 2-gallon pot over the course of about six months. Choose a pretty container with good drainage holes and a deep saucer.

Use well-draining, fertile soil with plenty of coir. Gently place your pre-sprouted rhizome on top of 4 inches of soil and bury all but the sprout tip. Place it in a warm, sunny window or in a sunny, sheltered spot outdoors where temperatures range 60 to 90 degrees.

Hill the Soil

How to grow ginger indoors

Like Irish potatoes, ginger rhizomes will burst through the soil and turn green in the sun. Commercial growers boost yields by watering regularly and hilling the rhizomes once a month. To achieve the same result at home, water weekly with organic plant food and once a month sprinkle several inches of rich compost into your pot, protecting the rhizome itself from solar exposure.


Hold the greens at their base, where they emerge from the soil and lift the entire rhizome. (This is a good project to do outdoors over an old newspaper or drop cloth.) Snap off a chunk of the rhizome, then place the rest of the plant back in its pot, sprinkle on more potting soil or compost, water heavily, and treat it gently for a few days. Like any fragile transplant, protect it from glaring sunlight and wild temperature swings for a few days while it recovers.


How to grow ginger indoors

Baby ginger has a mild flavor and unlike its cured counterpart, it’s juicy with more snap and less string. Best of all, the skin is so thin and pretty, there’s no need to peel. Sauté it with veggies, steep slices in hot water with lemon and honey for a soothing tea,or toss chunks in the juicer with apples, carrots, or kale. Feeling adventuresome? Create an infusion with your favorite libation, steep in simple syrup, or candy it by simmering in sugar syrup.

How to grow ginger indoors

Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet. It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.

Ever wonder how to grow ginger indoors? Yep, ginger can easily be grown inside and harvested year-round!

How to Grow Ginger Indoors

Ginger is a heavy feeder and an even heavier drinker that needs a lot of room to grow. Given the space, a chunk the size of your thumb will easily grow to fill a 2-gallon pot over the course of about six months. Choose a pretty container with good drainage holes and a deep saucer.

  1. Start with a living ginger root. These are available from nurseries, garden centers or seed companies. If you have a friend with a ginger plant, a root cutting from that may work as well. Choose a root that is firm, plump and has tight skin with several eye buds on it. Roots can be cut and sectioned at the buds and planted so that each will grow into an individual plant.
  2. Soak the ginger root in warm water overnight to prepare for planting.
  3. Fill a shallow, wide plant pot (ginger roots grow horizontally) with rich, well-draining potting soil.
  4. Place the ginger root with the eye bud pointing up and cover it with 1-2 inches more of soil. Water lightly.
  5. Place the pot in a spot that stays warm and doesn’t get a lot of bright light.
  6. Keep the soil moist, being careful not to over-water.
  7. Ginger is slow to grow. Be patient. After 2-3 weeks, you should see some shoots coming up.
  8. A few months after growth begins, small pieces of ginger can be harvested. Move the soil at the edges of the pot to find some ginger rhizomes (the term for an underground, continuously growing stem) beneath the surface. Cut the desired amount off a rhizome toward the edge of the pot and then replace the soil to allow it to continue to grow.

How to grow ginger indoors

How to grow ginger indoorsHow to grow ginger indoors

If you follow these steps for how to grow ginger indoors, your supply can be grown and harvested endlessly.

How to grow ginger indoors

Cold and flu season is coming up and, if you find yourself under the weather, a steaming hot cup of fresh ginger tea might be just the thing to make you feel better. If you love ginger, try growing your own!

Ginger is reputed to have anti-viral properties, is good for settling an upset stomach, and improves circulation. Fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) definitely has more zing than the pre-ground spice from the store.

We bought some fresh ginger root from the grocery store and broke it up into several pieces. (Actually it is a rhizome, not a root!) Each piece had at least one eye—a bump or bud from which the plant will grow.

How to grow ginger indoors

Our buds actually had some green showing so I took that as a good sign. If your rhizomes look dry and puckery you can soak them overnight in lukewarm water before planting but ours was plump and looked ready to grow.

How to grow ginger indoors

Sometimes ginger has been treated not to sprout so it might be worth buying an organically grown rhizome.

We used a shallow, wide plastic pot to give the pieces room and planted them in a compost-based potting soil, eyes up, barely covering the rhizomes. We put the pot in a warm location out of direct sunlight and watered just often enough to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. Since our buds were green and ready to grow, they sent out new shoots in about a week but it can take up to 3-4 weeks for greenery to show so don’t give up.

The stalks can get tall, about 2-4 feet if happy and may even flower, but that is rare. Common ginger flowers are not as showy as ornamental ginger.

In hot southern climes, it likes filtered sun and protection from the wind.

How to grow ginger indoors

I put the plant outside in half day sun for the summer and brought it back inside when the temps started to fall below 50 degrees. Native to the tropics, it grows best when the soil is in the 70’s.

You can actually begin harvesting small amounts of ginger from your plants after about 4 months by cutting off pieces of the root from the outside edges of the pot. Cover the cut end with soil and leave the main portion of the plant to continue growing. For the best flavor, let your plants grow until they naturally begin to die down. Then you can dig up the whole thing, take the pieces you want to use, and replant a few to begin growth all over again. Some people store the rhizomes they want to replant until spring but I like to keep the whole thing going over the winter. The plants do have a natural dormant period when temps go below 50 but even though some stalks of mine have died down other new green ones have sprung up. This is the easiest houseplant I own and it gives me an edible root to enjoy!

How to grow ginger indoors

Just steep a few slices of fresh ginger in hot water. Add lemon and honey if you want.

Whether it’s through ginger ale, ginger snaps, ginger chews or ginger beer, you’ve likely tasted the zing of ginger before. The root, native to China, is a super versatile edible plant that flavors everything from savory dinner dishes to sweet desserts.

The rhizome, or root of the plant, is you think of when you think of ginger; it’s closely related to turmeric. There are something like 1,300 types of ginger out there, grown in tropical regions all over the world. Ginger can be used fresh, dried, candied, powdered, or juiced. It has been widely utilized medicinally for all kinds of ailments—it’s a wonderful anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory agent.

On top of all that: Ginger is a remarkably easy plant to grow! Yes, it’s a breeze to grow outdoors, but it’s a fun and educational experience to also grow it indoors in a container, too. Even though ginger can be slow to sprout, follow these simple steps and you’ll be harvesting your own ginger from your kitchen garden before you know it. 

How to choose ginger

Whether you snag a chunk from a friend or you buy it from the grocery store, you’ll need a smallish piece of ginger that’s at least the size of your thumb. Make sure it has nodes, or protrusions; this is where the root will sprout out of later on. Your ginger also needs to be nice and plump; shriveled or old pieces will not sprout. 

Before you plant, scrub the piece of root with hot water and a mild soap. This is particularly important if you purchased the ginger from a grocery store and it is not organic. Like other root veggies, ginger pieces are sprayed with a substance that prevents them from rooting on the shelves of the store. If it is not scrubbed off, the rhizome will not root for you.   

How to sprout ginger

For this step, you’re going to create a controlled growing space for your ginger. You will need a sealable container, such as a recycled takeout container. 

Fill your container halfway with potting mix. Next, nestle the ginger down into the soil and then cover it with a thin layer of the mix. Water the soil so that it is damp all the way through, but not soggy. Ginger that sits in wet, soggy potting mix will rot, not sprout.

Put the lid on the container, but do not seal it. Place it somewhere warm and in indirect light. Check the soil every week or so, watering it when it looks dry. 

You should see sprouts within six to eight weeks. It’s a bit of a wait, but the payoff is worth it!

How to plant ginger

Once your little nugget of ginger has sprouts of its own, it will be time to repot. Once sprouted, ginger grows rapidly and will need a larger sized container. Drainage is a must. If your ginger rhizomes sit in water, they will surely rot and you’ll be back to square one. 

Fill your new, large pot with potting mix. Bury your sprouted ginger in the top four inches of the soil, with the sprouts exposed. Water thoroughly.

You’ll want to put the container in a sunny window and give it lots of water. Over time you will notice the rhizome, what looks like the root of the plant, will break the surface of the soil. Keep tabs and make sure to cover it up with new soil as you notice it! Rhizomes that remain exposed will turn green and tough. 

How to harvest ginger

Even though ginger can grow at a rapid pace in the perfect conditions, it’s likely that your ginger won’t be ready for harvest until six to eight months after repotting. Just keep waiting, and use that time to attend to your other plants. Your ginger needs that time to populate its container.

If you want to harvest smaller pieces for everyday use, dig around gently with your fingers and uncover a rhizome. Use a sharp knife or pair of scissors to cut off what you need, and then cover the rhizome back up with dirt. If you need a lot of ginger, simply pull the root up by the stalk and cut it off.

The most important thing to remember is to not over-harvest. You will need to leave at least part of the ginger rhizome attached to the stalk in order for it to continue growing. If you treat your rhizomes correctly, you can grow ginger this way until the end of time.