Ginger has a hot, and strongly fragrant quality that allows it to complement many different food dishes. Often found in Asian recipes, dried as candies, and juiced for health drinks and tea, ginger is believed to help reduce pain, inflammation and combat nausea. Here is our guide to grow ginger indoors.
What is Ginger?
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering perennial which grows meter tall stems with green leaves and yellow flowers. The ginger root is a rhizome and is commonly used as a kitchen spice or as a herbal medicine. Ginger is believed to have originated in the tropical rainforests of the Indian subcontinent and it was first exported to Europe in the first century AD during the Roman spice trade.
During commercial farming, the rhizome is typically gathered when the stalks wither. They are then quickly washed and scraped to help prevent continued sprouting. Younger rhizomes are often juicier and have a milder taste than when they are more mature. Often pickled in either vinegar or sherry as a snack or cooked as an ingredient in many dishes.
Ways to Eat Ginger
Ginger Tea, the rhizomes can be steeped in boiling water, then honey and a slice of citrus is added for additional flavors. Ginger can also be made into candy. Candied ginger, or crystallized ginger, is the root cooked in sugar until it is soft. Powdered dry ginger root is typically used as a flavoring for recipes such as gingerbreads, gingersnap cookies, and ginger cakes. Ginger ale, ginger beer, and ginger wine are also very tasty and have a varying levels of gingers distinct qualities.
Ginger’s flowers are small clusters of white and pink buds that bloom into yellow flowers and is often used as landscaping plant around homes in subtropical climates.
Fresh ginger may be peeled before eating. For longer-term storage, the ginger can be placed in a plastic bag and refrigerated or frozen.
How to Grow Ginger Indoors:
- To start off you’ll need a living ginger root. You could buy them from nurseries, garden centers or seed companies. However, the easiest and most convenient way is to go to your local grocery store and pick out from the produce section.
- Once you get home, you’ll want to soak the root in warm water overnight. This will help kick-start the biological processes and prepare it for planting.
- Since ginger roots grow fairly shallow and spread horizontally, you’ll want to get a long container and fill it with rich, well-draining potting soil.
- Place the ginger root with the eye bud pointing up and cover it with 1-2 inches more of soil. Water lightly.
- Place the pot in a spot that stays warm and has good air flow.
- Be sure to keep the soil moist and being careful not to over-water as that promotes rot.
- After about 2-4 weeks, shoots should coming up through the soil. We recommend placing it under a LED grow light for healthy growth. Our article HERE, reviews the best ones on the market today.
- A few months, you can start to harvest your long awaited crop.