Introduction: Grow Ginger As a Houseplant

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If you are going to grow houseplants, why not choose plants that are both beautiful and useful? Ginger is one of these plants.  Looking a bit like bamboo, and with striking flowers (if you can get it to bloom) Ginger makes a beautiful addition to your house, and you can always have fresh ginger root on hand. 

I always liked the idea of growing strange and exotic plants.  There is something about seeing the plant where these wonderful flavors come from.  Who among us has seen a live cinnamon tree, or gathered nutmeg from the source?  Yet ginger is a wonderful flavor and can be grown in our homes.  So why not give it a shot.  Ginger is naturally and understory plant, so it is used to not having direct sunlight.  This makes it an ideal houseplant. 

You will need

-Whole Ginger Root (if you are worried about chemicals, try finding some at a health or natural foods store)
- A container for your plant (Ginger rambles so fairly shallow and wide is a good idea)
-Well draining potting soil or a mix of potting soil and sand
-East or South facing windows

That is really it.  With these few things you can make your own homegrown ginger, and have a beautiful potted plant while you are at it. 

Step 1: Rinse and Soak Your Ginger

Most Ginger in the store will have some kind of growth inhibitor on it.  Not all of these are unnatural, but they do allow ginger to be shipped and sored without growing.  So the first thing that you need to do with to get rid of this growth inhibitor.  You do this by soaking your ginger root in lukewarm water.  I soaked mine for about 2 hours.  Some of the skin came off, but overall the ginger looked the same as it did before.   

(this is just a small piece of my overall root used for illustration)

Step 2: Prepare Your Container

If you want to go the cheapskate way (like I did) you will find a useable container around the house.  Mine is simply the lid to a container of bread that I bought.  It does not have drainage holes, so I put a few holes in the bottom.  And then filled it will my prewetted potting soil. 

I always prewet my soil by putting a cup or two of water in the bag, shaking it, and letting it sit for an hour.  This keeps you from having a problem with the water beading up on top or running straight through without wetting anything.  My potting soil has lots of perlite, so it is fairly light, but if you want you can mix sand in with yours to make it easier to use, and help the ginger grow better. 

Step 3: Plant Your Ginger

Ginger naturally grows near the surface so I planted it barely under the surface of my potting soil.  I made sure to keep it in contact with good wet soil, but the top is a little bit dry.   You can see that i broke my main root into several pieces.  I had a fairly large root to begin with and I wanted to try and grow more than one plant.  We will see whether that was a wise choice.   

Step 4: Wait and Enjoy

Now you simply have to give it time and a little attention, and you will have your very own ginger plant to use and to enjoy. 

Mine is still in the sprouting stage, but if you would like to  see someone's success and full grown plants, check out the blog that inspired this instructable.

Her Ginger looks great and as a true inspiration for growing my own, and teaching you how to grow yours. 

I will be adding more photos and steps as my Ginger matures and is harvested. 

Step 5: Results

After months of waiting and watering, the ginger has started to grow and has taken off like a rocket.  Keep the soil very moist, and warm, and your ginger should start growing too.

You can see the pink in the growing stems, and one of them is so tall so fast that it is out of frame.  I will have to move these to a bigger pot soon to give them room to grow.