What’s one superfood that is so “in” right now? Ginger! But really, it has been a popular health remedy, detoxer, and flavorful addition to many recipes for thousands of years. This isn’t surprising, given that ginger is known to treat nausea and indigestion, help relieve joint pain, and may boost weight loss, among countless other benefits.
And you know what? You can easily grow an endless supply of ginger yourself right in your living room! Follow these easy steps and you’ll be basking in the lovely ginger aroma that permeates your home for years to come.
Step 1: Soak The Ginger Root
You can purchase a piece of ginger root from any grocery store, in the produce section. Of course, I recommend going the organic route, and selecting a large, healthy root that is 4-6 inches long, with plenty of “arms” extending from it. These are also called rhizomes.
If you do buy your ginger from the grocery store, it is important to soak the ginger in water for 24 hours, as most ginger sold in stores is coated in a (harmless) growth inhibitor to delay sprouting while in your refrigerator.
Step 2: Assess for Sprouting Buds
Look at the root for growth buds (small areas of green leaves pushing through). If you don’t see any growth buds, which is common, simply leave the root on a windowsill with plenty of sunshine for a few days until you start to see some growth buds sprouting.
Step 3: Choose a Container
Because ginger grows outward horizontally, I always select wider pots to grow my ginger in. It does not matter the material of the container, but you should make sure the container is more wide than it is deep, and will allow for adequate water drainage and soil aeration.
Step 4: Plant the Ginger Root
Fill up your pot with good potting soil, almost to the top of the pot. Select pieces of the ginger root that has the “eyes” (growth buds) present, making sure these pieces are at least 1 inch in size. Burry these pieces with the eyes facing upward with about 1 inch of soil.
Step 5: Grow That Ginger!
Ginger likes to grow in indirect sunlight, so choose a spot inside your home where it can grow happily, without too much light. Water the ginger regularly to ensure the soil is moist but never drenched or dry. Leaves will start to grow upwards out of the soil in about 1 week.
Step 6: Harvest
There are 2 options for harvesting the root.
- If you have multiple plants growing at different stages, you can simply dig up the whole root and leave the rest to continue growing. This will, however, halt the process on the root you just pulled up. You can always re-cut the ginger and re-plant it, but it will need to get re-planted and reestablish itself in the pot.
- If you want to save the root and only harvest part of it, feel all the way down the shoot (above ground) into the soil to see where the stalk meets the rhizome. Measure at least 2 inches away from the junction point between the stalk and the rhizome, cut away the rest of the root, and pull it up, leaving the 2 inches of rhizome/stalk in the ground to continue to grow. If you do this, be sure to give the ginger root at least 1-2 weeks to recover before harvesting it again.
Step 7: Propagate
Ginger loves to spread, and will eventually outgrow its container. At this point, you can simply cut away pieces of the root with at least one eye/nodule and re-plant in a new container. This is a great gift for friends, neighbors, or even to keep your own personal stash going!
Now, what can you do with all of that ginger?? The real question is, what can’t you do with it?
One of my favorite things to do with ginger is to use it, with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, to make a detox tea. Ginger is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, and lemons have antioxidants, which also help reduce inflammation. When I grate some ginger and add that, plus the juice of one lemon to a cup of hot water and drink it every day, I notice that my fingers are not as swollen, my joints are less achy, and my energy levels are higher overall.
It really does work!
I also love to cook with ginger. It adds an extraordinary flavor, unique spiciness, and overall rounds out any recipe. You can get some recipe ideas here.
If the flavor of ginger isn’t your thing, you can make homemade essential oils, anti-frizz hair spray, relieve menstrual cramps, migraines, and joint pain, or even make it into a face mask to even out your skin tone! The possibilities are endless, so really, go get yourself some ginger and get to growing!