The Q&A Archives: Ginger

Question: when can we put in ginger root and harvest them for seattle weather?

Answer: Ciscoe Morris (the gardening guru in Seattle) suggests: "Try growing a piece of ginger root (Zingiber officinale) from the grocery store. Edible ginger is native to Asia and Australia and goes dormant when days get shorter and temperatures drop in fall.

Buy the rhizome in spring so it's fresh. Plant the ginger root horizontally, about 4 inches deep in a 5-gallon pot. Provide warmth by putting it under a grow light for about 12 hours a day, or put the pot next to a southern wall in full sun.

Water lightly and infrequently until the plant begins to grow, but once growth starts, water enough to keep the soil moist and fertilize regularly with a soluble houseplant fertilizer.

The canes will grow to about 15 inches tall but rarely flower in our region. By late fall, your 5-gallon pot will be filled with ginger plants and ready for harvest. Pull the plant out of the pot and slice off sections of the underground roots.

Leave a few of the rhizomes in the pot over the winter and allow them to remain dry and dormant in an unheated garage. Those sections should grow back when warmer weather returns next spring."

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