Packed with flavor and a signature aroma, ginger is one of the world’s most recognizable spices. Its origins stem from Southeast Asia and, over time, its use spread throughout the world. Aside from its pungent taste, ginger imparts many health benefits, which makes it a great candidate to have on-hand in your kitchen.
The best news? Ginger is extremely easy to grow indoors and doesn’t require a lot of space or tending to flourish. Learn about the many ways ginger can benefit your health before discovering just how easy it is to grow at home.
The Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger’s strong flavor and aroma may have attracted ancient farmers to ginger, but it was the herb’s positive impact on common health concerns that encouraged its cultivation and migration across Asia. A few of the most well-known benefits include:
- Decreased nausea and vomiting
- Reduced inflammation
- Eased gastrointestinal symptoms
- Improved immune system response
An indirect health benefit of ginger is caused by its pungency. Because it imbues your dish with strong, pleasant flavor and smell, you rarely need to add other seasonings that may otherwise boost food’s caloric and salt content.
The Easiest Way to Grow Ginger Indoors
Whether you have acres of land or live in a tiny apartment, you can easily grow ginger indoors year-round. The part of ginger typically eaten, also called a rhizome, grows under the soil and roots shoot out from the bottom of the rhizome.
Unlike some other spices, fruit and vegetables, you cannot start growing ginger from the rhizome you purchase in the store as it is no longer living. Begin with a living ginger root either purchased from a nursery or obtained from a root clipping of a thriving ginger plant.
What You Will Need
- Wide, shallow pot with holes for drainage
- A live ginger plant or root clipping
- Nutrient-rich soil and, optionally, fertilizer
- Warm, humid area of your space that receives filtered sunlight
How to Grow Ginger
Once you have your starter plant, soak the ginger in warm water for about 12 hours to prepare it for planting. Then, follow these steps:
- Add your soil to the pot with enough room to add 1-2 inches of soil over the ginger. Choose a rich soil that drains well as ginger plants dislike becoming too moist or waterlogged.
- Place the ginger in the pot with the eye bud pointing upwards. Be careful not to pack the soil too tightly during this process.
- Water the ginger lightly and place it in a warm spot that receives indirect sunlight.
- Is using a larger pot for multiple plants, give each ginger root 8 inches of space between each other. Keep in mind that the roots of the ginger plant grow horizontally, so be sure not to overcrowd your pot.
- Expect shoots in about 3 weeks, but because ginger is slow-growing, it won’t be ready for harvest until 8-10 months once the leaves die down.
Enjoy Years of Ginger at Home
Once you begin growing ginger and creating more plants from root clippings, you can effectively harvest ginger all year. Use fresh ginger in teas, marinades, dressings and in curries or meat dishes. You can even chew on a raw piece of ginger to stave off nausea.