How to plant ginger

Zingiber officinale

Ginger is a perennial herb that reaches up to 1.5 m in height. Its rhizomes are widely used for medicinal purposes and as a spice, especially in the cuisine of Asian countries. Rhizomes are used fresh, dried, powdered, candied or preserved, in sweet and savory dishes. Its tea is popular as a drink in China, Korea and some other countries. It is also used in alcoholic beverages such as Brazilian hot wine and ginger beers, and in the Middle East it is popular as a spice in milk or coffee. Ginger is also often grown in tropical gardens as an ornamental plant.


Ginger is a plant from subtropical and tropical climates and can be grown in the temperature range from 17 ° C to 35 ° C. The plant prefers high relative humidity. In slightly colder climates, ginger can be grown in the warm months of the year, needing protection in the months when there are lower temperatures.


Grow in partial shade or in direct sunlight.


The soil must be well drained, light, fertile and rich in organic matter. The ideal soil pH is between 5.5 and 7, but the plant tolerates a pH between 4.3 and 7.5.


While the plant is growing, irrigate frequently so that the soil is always kept moist, but never soaked. When the leaves start to turn yellow, reduce the frequency of irrigation. If the harvest is not done, when the plant is dormant, suspend the irrigation entirely, returning to irrigate when the sprouts appear.


Planting is done with 3 to 5 cm long pieces of rhizomes (called buds). The buds or pieces of rhizome, with one or two buds each, are planted in the final planting site up to 5 cm deep, or in beds and pots, and then transplanted after a month, when the seedlings are approximately 3 cm in length. height.

The spacing between the plants can be 70 to 90 cm between the planting lines and 30 to 50 cm between the plants, but many use other spacing. Decreasing the spacing between the plants increases production, but makes harvesting difficult, which usually ends up damaging the rhizomes. On the other hand, in mechanized crops the spacing is usually greater, and planting is done with double lines in the spacing of 1.3 mx 50 cm x 20 or 30 cm.

Ginger can also be grown in large pots. In cold winter regions, planting in pots is ideal in domestic plantations, leaving the pot indoors during the cold months of the year.


Carefully remove invading plants that are competing for nutrients and resources, so as not to damage ginger rhizomes.

Rhizomes should not be exposed, and it is necessary to pile soil on them if it is found that this is beginning to occur. Piling soil together with the plants can also help keep the stems of the leaves upright, preventing them from tipping over.


Ginger harvesting can occur 7 to 12 months after planting, when the stems and leaves start to turn yellow. Plants can be plucked carefully by hand or the soil can be turned over, for example, with forks, to expose the rhizomes, which are then washed and allowed to dry for a day or two.

In domestic plantations, it is not necessary to harvest the entire plant. A part of the soil can be excavated around the plant, in order to expose a piece of the rhizome. This is harvested, leaving the rest of the plant intact to continue its growth. In this way the plant can live for several years, without the need for replanting. In commercial plantations, ginger is grown annually.

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