From Root to Spice: Here’s How to Grow Ginger At Home


By Charmaine Peters, Farm Director at Arden

With its versatile and bold flavor, ginger is a beloved spice used in various global cuisines. Packed with numerous health benefits, it makes for a perfect addition to a variety of dishes and drinks, from stir-fries and soups to teas and marinades.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, cultivating ginger is a breeze, thanks to its resilience and year-round growth. Whether you start from scratch or replant a cutting from the grocery store, this beloved spice thrives in warm climates and grows year-round, so you can enjoy it no matter the season.

The best way to start your ginger-growing journey is to understand how the plant works. Unlike what most people think, ginger is not actually a root. Ginger is grown from rhizomes, which are fleshy stems that spread underground and have several growing points. The rhizomes are planted underground and sprout up like bamboo while the ginger grows below. In colder climates, ginger should be planted in the early spring, but because of the warm climate in Florida, gardeners can feel great knowing that their ginger can grow from January to December.  

To start the process, you will need to make a trip to your local grocery store or farmers market and pick up some ginger. When purchasing the rhizomes, look for ginger that is light in color with thin skin and several nodules or “fingers”. Cut the ginger into 2–3-inch pieces and allow the cut ends to dry and heal over with thin skin. It should take anywhere between 24-48 hours for the ginger to dry.

Now it’s time to prepare your garden for planting. You’ll want to plant the roots in a spot that gets enough shade and a garden or pot with damp, rich, and well-drained soil. Keep the pH of your soil on the acidic side for ginger. Combine your soil with nutrient-rich compost to make sure your ginger rhizomes grow successfully. This environment emulates the tropical climate that ginger loves.

Plant two inches deep with the rhizomes with the nodules facing towards the top of the soil and space each section around eight inches apart in your garden bed. Once you plant, don’t forget to water the plant properly, keeping the topsoil moist. After about one week, you’ll start to see leaves sprouting.

After eight to ten months, you’ll notice the ginger stems will start to die back and it will finally be ready to harvest! Dig up the shoots and you’ll find your fresh, homegrown ginger. The longer you wait to harvest your ginger, the stronger it will taste, so time it wisely based on your preferences. Scrub your roots under water to wash as much dirt off as possible, dry it with a towel, and you’re ready to go!

Now, with your very own ginger, you can start cooking, pickling, and drinking this incredible spice all year long. You can also save some pieces to replant for the next year, so you’ll always be able to enjoy the wonderful tastes and aromas fresh ginger can bring.