How to Propagate a Ginger Plant

(Image: hand of ginger on red plate image by David Smith from

Growing ginger plants at home is an easy endeavor, especially since all you need is a trip to your local grocery market to pick up a ginger root. Ginger roots can be propagated into multiple plants, so buy one, grow seven. Depending on the amount of fingers on the ginger root hand (offshoots of the main stem), you will be able to separate and grow multiple roots from the individual finger rhizomes. After propagation, all you have to worry about is carefully cultivating the roots into proper ginger plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Sizable ginger root
  • Bowl or cup of water
  • Toothpicks
  • Garden bed or growing pot
  • Potting soil

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Choose a ginger hand (what stores usually sell as a single piece of ginger root; it looks like a thick stem with multiple offshoot branches) that has the most offshoots, known as fingers, as possible.

Cut each finger off the hand. Soak the fingers in a bowl of water overnight and allow to dry the following day. Or, if you wish to propagate the root fully before planting (works both ways), fill a glass with water and, using toothpicks, suspend the ginger so that at least 1/3 of the root (all of the fingers) are submerged. Allow the ginger to rest in the water until the rhizomes (fingers) grow at least 1 inch in length.

Plant the ginger (either soaked overnight or fully propagated in a glass) in moist, loose soil in a partially shady location. Ginger takes 10 months in the ground before it is ready to harvest, so it cannot be planted in areas that experience below-freezing temperatures. For those in zones 7 or higher, outdoor planting is recommended. Those in zones 6 and lower should plant ginger in movable potting containers to bring it inside during the winter.

Choose a partially shady location to grow the ginger outdoors. Mix compost (such as manure or rotted plant matter). For container planting, use potting soil to ensure that the nutrients found in natural garden soil are replaced. Plant each root no more than 1 inch deep.


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