Edible Ginger Root Plant

Growing Zones in Ground: 9 - 10 / in Pots: 4 - 11

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This Edible Ginger Root Plant (Zingiber officinale) grows the popular root herb used to flavor many dishes from Asian recipes to gingerbread cookies. Edible Ginger is easy to grow either in the ground in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 10, or in pots in colder areas. Edible Ginger does best in rich well-drained soil, dappled light, and protection from constant heavy winds. Each Edible Ginger plant produces multiple rhizomes (Ginger Roots) that grow additional sprouts to form a lush cluster of 6 to 8 foot green canes with narrow, pointed, green leaves.

Grow Edible Ginger as central specimens with smaller herbs and edibles around the Ginger head, or as a long row under higher trees and along a property lines such as ditch banks or fences in spots that get some shade. Edible Ginger Plants also make great companions for Banana Plants, because the taller Bananas provide shade for the Ginger, and both plants thrive in the same soil and water conditions.

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Edible Ginger Root Care

Edible Ginger Plants like dappled shade with a few hours of direct sun each day. They also prefer rich, sandy-loam soil with ample organic matter and thorough drainage. Choose a spot that gets mostly shade with a few hours of direct sunlight at the beginning or end of the day. While Edible Gingerwill grow on the low banks of a canal or lake, a higher location with access to water but with soil that drains more completely helps the roots to develop better and makes harvesting the roots easier.

Plant Edible Ginger Plants in the ground within Zones 9 to 10 from early spring through mid-summer. Water new plants once per week or more as long as the soil drains. As soon as new shoots appear, you can begin feeding the Ginger Plants. Add composted materials such as composted manure, leaves, and grass clippings at any time. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer such as 6-6-6 once every 3 to 4 months from spring until early winter. Apply composted material directly within the Ginger clump, apply fertilizer around the plant’s perimeter, and water both in well.

Edible Ginger Root Harvesting and Uses

Harvest the Edible Ginger Roots at the end of the growing season in late fall or early winter. Dig into the ginger clump and remove as many Ginger Roots as you need. Leaving the canes intact as you dig the roots out provides a handy way to hold and pull out the removed roots. Once you have taken out the root clusters you intend to harvest, cut away the leafy stems and use them for compost or as mulch on your paths and under trees.

In order to have fresh Ginger at your fingertips, it is best to grow 2 or more Ginger Clusters, and alternate harvests between clumps each season. In this way you will grow plenty of Ginger Roots and vibrant plants as well. Ginger roots are peeled, and the fibrous, pungent root interior is used fresh in recipes, made into potent ginger tea, and pickled. Pressed Ginger Root yields a powerful juice that can be added to pineapple juice or other beverages to give them a spicy, tropical twist. Harvested Ginger Roots can be stored in airtight containers and refrigerated for a week, or frozen for up to 2 months.

Growing Zones



If you live in an area with colder winters that is outside of USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 10, you can easily grow Edible Ginger in pots, then over-winter them indoors. Choose pots that are between 3 and 7 gallons, with holes for drainage. Pot new Edible Ginger Plants using rich potting soil that drains well. A good Edible Ginger soil mix is one part top soil, one part composted cow manure, and one part dried leaves combined with 1 cup perlite per gallon of soil mix. Fill pot with soil, leaving 5 inches of space at the top of the pot. Place Ginger Plants in pot, cover roots with about 4 inches of soil, and water in well.

Harvest potted Ginger Roots at the end of summer and until early winter as needed. Repot plants after collecting roots, and add more soil to grow more roots the next season. Place potted Edible Ginger Plants where they will get a combination of sun and shade, or filtered light from a high shade canopy. Water when soil is dry to 2 inches deep, and cut out any dead or dried canes. If the Edible Ginger Plants become root bound harvest some of the roots, divide the plants, and repot.


Are all Ginger Plants edible?

The Edible Ginger Root Plant (Zingiber officinale) is the common source of Ginger Root used as an edible herb. Other Ginger species may have edible roots and parts, but not all Ginger Plants are edible.

How big do Thai Ginger Plants get?

Thai Ginger Plants get 6 feet tall, have many elongated leaves, and grow in clumps made up of continually sprouting shoots that grow to between 4 and 8 feet in diameter.

Will Thai Ginger grow outdoors in Louisiana?

Yes. Much of the southern portion of Louisiana is designated as Zone 9, and Thai Ginger is suited to grow outdoors in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 10.

Is Thai Ginger the same plant as Galangal?

Yes, Thai Ginger is also called Galangal.