Ginger Growing Guide

Zingiber officinale


Crop Rotation Group



Deep, enriched, sandy loam for outdoor planting. Good quality potting soil enriched with compost can be used in containers.


Ginger prefers part-day shade when grown outdoors in warmer areas. In cooler climates, grow ginger in containers placed in sun. Move to partial shade during summer heat waves.

Frost tolerant

Many types of ginger are winter hardy to -6C (20F), but none can tolerate frozen soil. In most areas, this tropical plant is best grown as a summer container plant.


Fertiliser is seldom needed when ginger is grown as a perennial in tropical or semi-tropical climates. When ginger is grown in pots, fresh soil is gradually added as more stems emerge and the plants grow taller. Nutrients from the fresh soil help feed the plants, but container-grown plants also need regular feeding with a balanced organic fertiliser through the first half of summer, while they are growing rapidly and producing new leaves.


Single Plants: 45cm (1' 5") each way (minimum)
Rows: 45cm (1' 5") with 45cm (1' 5") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Start with a purchased plant in spring, or force a fresh root to sprout by planting it in seed starting mix and keeping it in a warm place where temperatures range between 21 and 27C (70 to 80F) for 4 to 6 weeks. When sprouts appear, gently transplant the root to a 3-gallon (11 liter) pot, covering the top of the root with only 5cm (2 in) of soil. Add additional soil as the stems grow taller, and water as needed to keep the soil lightly moist. Ginger is most often grown in double rows, spaced 30cm (12 in) apart, with open working space between the double rows.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Ginger thrives on warmth. Where summer nights are cool, ginger produces best when grown in a greenhouse or high tunnel.


Ginger stops growing new leaves in late summer when nights become longer. Wait as long as you can to harvest the roots, but before freezing temperatures. Shake off loose soil and then rinse roots with a strong spray of water. Store “baby ginger” in the freezer, and take out small pieces as you need them in the kitchen.


Use only perfect, blemish-free roots when forcing ginger to bud in spring, because ginger roots can carry root-rot diseases that can spread to the garden.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Ginger