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Ginger is used as a spice and vegetable in many cultures because of its pungent, distinctive aroma. The tropical ginger plant is eaten pickled in Japan, used as a spice in India and made as a drink in German-speaking countries. More and more people are opening up to the taste and integrating the rhizomes into their diet. If you want to grow a ginger plant, it's quite easy, because the plant only needs a suitable substrate and sufficient warmth.

Grow ginger yourself?

Many people wonder if it is even possible to grow Zingiber officinale in Germany. Since the plant does not tolerate temperatures below 20 °C well, planting outdoors is hardly possible. Because of this, the spice plant becomes exclusive in the pot kept so that she can be brought indoors at the first sign of cool nights. Nevertheless, ginger thrives without any problems. However, if you want a ginger plant that can be used in the kitchen, you must be careful to buy Zingiber officinale. There are over 180 types of ginger, of which only three of the following are suitable for consumption alongside Zingiber officinale:

  • Mioga (bot. Zingiber mioga)
  • Block Zinger (bot. Zingiber montanum)
  • Zingiber Zerumbet

But you don't have to worry about getting the wrong kind if you just get your rhizomes from the supermarket, health food store or greengrocer. The rhizomes offered here are exclusively Zingiber officinale. At online florists or florists, you often have a larger selection of ornamental ginger, which is not so well suited for use as a food and spice plant.

tip: The only way to grow ginger plants outdoors in Europe is in the Mediterranean. Ginger is mainly cultivated in France and sprout extremely effectively in the south of the country.

acquire rhizomes

Of the above ways to acquire ginger rhizomes, be sure to check out the health food store set. Organically grown ginger rhizomes have the great advantage that they have not been treated with substances that are harmful to your health. In addition, these rhizomes are clear stronger and have a higher chance of expelling. Although these rhizomes are a bit more expensive, even small sections can make for a large and productive plant. Since you can divide your plant every year, a healthy and productive harvest is ensured thanks to a rhizome from organic farming. When making your selection, pay particular attention to the following points:

1. Number of Eyes

Tuber plants like potatoes, like ginger, have eyes from which new shoots can sprout. If you want to plant a specimen with a lot of potential, you should definitely include rhizomes many eyes choose. As a result, it drives out more easily and can develop numerous shoots and leaves that fill up with the necessary light. The more light the plant receives, the thicker and healthier the rhizomes will be, which will positively affect your harvest.

2nd state

Be sure to check the commercially available rhizomes for rotten, moldy, or dried out spots. These will only have a negative effect on the growth of the plant and normally these rhizomes germinate only rarely or not at all. The rhizomes should feel firm, grippy, and not too wrinkled.

3. size

Be sure to note the size of the rhizomes. The more mass the selected rhizomes have, the larger the pot must be, otherwise there will quickly be a lack of space, which has a negative effect on the vitality of the ginger plant.

Plant your chosen rhizomes as early as possible after purchase. They contain numerous ingredients that dissipate over time that are important for good growth. It is best to store the ginger in the fridge, as it does not become fibrous and dry here. To do this, pack the rhizomes in an airtight sealable bag and put this in the vegetable compartment. It keeps its freshness for up to three weeks. However, the earlier you plant, the better.

tip: If you already have a mature ginger plant, you can also simply divide it and use these rhizomes for cultivation. To do this, simply dig up the plant and use a sharp, disinfected knife to cut off a part that you can then plant.

Plant ginger


After you have decided on your ginger rhizomes, you should prepare for planting. In addition to the substrate, the selection of the location and the actual treatment of the rhizomes are particularly important in the preparation. In order for these to be able to grow, they need an incentive so that they do not remain in the ground for too long before the first roots are formed and shoots sprout. the germination aid succeeds in the following way:

  • Prepare the bowl for the ginger bulbs
  • fill them with lukewarm water
  • Wash rhizomes thoroughly
  • then place in a bowl of water
  • leave overnight

More is not needed for the germination aid. Ginger plants love moisture as they thrive in moist forest soils in their original range.


Ginger does not make any great demands on the substrate for germination. As long as the selected substrate provides the rhizomes with sufficient nutrients in the pot, it is easy for them to sprout quickly and effectively. The following composition is recommended for the plants:

  • high-quality, nutrient-rich soil
  • lime free

The better the quality of the soil, the easier it is for the rhizomes to absorb the nutrients. This significantly accelerates growth and you can look forward to a vigorous specimen of ginger within a short time.

tip: If you cannot find soil with sufficient nutrients, you can simply use potting soil from the hardware store. Enrich this with a part of hummus and the ginger bulbs will feel good.


You must prepare the location well, as this is essential for the health of the plant. As described above, ginger plants tolerate temperatures below a limit of 20 °C only poorly. Although short phases up to 10 °C are tolerated and no damage follows, growth is stopped. The plant slowly dies below 10 °C. For this reason, you should always choose a place that has around 20 °C all year round. Other requirements are:

  • Light requirement: bright to semi-shady
  • no direct sun, especially at noon
  • no draft
  • protected

Ginger plants can remain on the balcony or patio over warm summer nights, but should not be exposed to any form of rain or strong winds. Particularly suitable as a location window sillsthat are not exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day. The reason: UV rays damage the plant. Sun damage can only be repaired by removing the affected areas. For this reason you should look for a place for the plant that is bright but not exposed to the sun. South-facing windows are recommended over the winter. As long as the ginger is not exposed to drafts during the cold season, light is almost irrelevant.

Cultivation: instructions

Once you have completed the preparations, you can start growing the rhizomes. Cultivation is a separate step, because only some time after this do you repot the young plants into new containers. Choose a time in spring from March to April, since this is when the original vegetation phase of ginger begins. Proceed as follows when growing:

1. Drainage

Equip the pot, which must necessarily have drainage holes, with a drainage layer. The plants like it damp, but cannot stand being in water for long periods of time. The following materials are good for the drainage layer:

  • potsherds
  • expanded clay
  • lava chippings
  • Small grain gravel

Then fill the pot three-quarters full with substrate.

2. Divide tubers

Cut very large tubers into pieces no larger than four to five centimeters. Place them with the side on which the eyes, the so-called vegetation points, are located, on the substrate and cover them with a three centimeter layer of soil.

3. Germination

Moisten, preferably with lime-free water, and let germinate at a temperature of 24 °C to a maximum of 30 °C. To speed up the process, you can put the culture vessels in a indoor greenhouse place or cover with perforated cling film. If you decide to use the foil, you will have to remove it every day for a long period of time because the tubers need fresh air. Without air circulation, mold will quickly develop.

4. Casting

If the first shoot tips appear, you have to increase the watering allowance. This is an important step in the care of the young plants, as they are particularly sensitive to drought. So pour it a little more liberally. You can simply pour away excess water.

Repotting: instructions

After about a year it is necessary to repot ginger with good care. This is where the actual planting begins, as by this point the plants would be strong enough to survive outdoors. However, it is still too cold for that in Germany.

If your ginger plant has reached a size of 60 to 100 centimeters after a year, you should repot it accordingly. Proceed as follows:

1. Remove the ginger from the old jar and remove all excess soil. Check the tuber for size. If you want to grow more ginger plants, you should divide them and germinate them as above. Sharing is also a good idea when the rhizomes have grown very large.

2. Select a larger bucket and prepare as above. However, only fill the container halfway with substrate so that the ginger has enough space.

3. Place the plant in the new tub and top up with soil to completely cover the bulb. Finally, water sufficiently and move the plants to the location described above.

tip: When the foliage of the plant turns yellow, the tuber is ready to harvest. If you want to harvest ginger, dig up the tuber without damaging the shoot roots. With a sharp knife you can separate the tender tuber branches. The remaining tuber is replanted.

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