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Growing Ginger from root bought at supermarket?


By David

Fife, Scotland Sco

Has anyone grown ginger from a piece of root bought at the supermarket or corner shop? I have been reading up on this and, as usual, there are variations in the instructions/advice, but I would really like to have a go.

On plant Zingiber officinale



Hi David.

I am trying to grow some Ginger from a root bought from the Supermarket.
The root had started to sprout green shoots from a single area, so I thought I might give it a go. I did some reading on the internet and there were several different options, but I decided to try and get it to root by suspending it in water until the root was about 2 cm long.
I have taken a small ramakin dish and stuck cocktail sticks into the ginger opposite each other and suspended it over some cold water so the root is about half way under the water, if there are any holes/cracks in the ginger then that is probably the area that should be in the water. Now I think patience is a virtue with this method as I started mine in about November and I have managed to get a small little white root starting to appear which is only about 3 mm long, so I'm guessing this is along process!! I have changed the water and cleaned green algae off the dish regularly and even washed the slimey build up off the root and this seems to have helped. When it is 2cm long I will plant it and keep it indoors until the warmer weather or pop it in my conservatory. I grow Hedychiums (Ginger lillies) but I've always fancied growing a Zingiber and harvesting my own roots. Hope this helps Andrea

21 Jan, 2008


hello! i know nothing about growing ginger i must admit, but just picking up on something Andrea has said about changing the water whilst trying to get it to root, you may find that it will root faster if you top it up rather than changing the water. i remeber reeding somewhere that when rooting geranium cuttings, - which i do quite a lot, you should not change the water but top it up as once the roots do start to sprout they release a rooting hormone which helps it root quicker - completely different plant i know, but if you think about it the principle is the same. and since reading this i have tried it and found it far more successful, and a hell of a lot quicker, and also once the plant has fully rooted and ready for potting up i have pored the left over water onto other cuttings that i have put direct into soil and they have also rooted far quicker. just a thought!

21 Jan, 2008


and another thing try using rain water, this may also help.

21 Jan, 2008


What a great tip, i'll try that and I won't be drawing my pension by the time I get to make my own ginger pickle!!!!!! Out to the water butt first thing I think

21 Jan, 2008


Many thanx for the tips, ladies! I might buy several roots and try the various methods. I was looking at hedychiums on e-bay last week, Andrea, because they are sometimes called the Garland Flower. Some of them are stunning to look at, aren't they? Majeeka, you make a very good point there about topping up the water rather than changing it. If you grow hyacinth or crocus bulbs in a bulb vase with water, I suppose, when you think of it, you top up the water rather than change it, don't you? Well. I'm off to buy more ginger roots, now!

22 Jan, 2008


Hi again! Well, I got the ginger roots and, when I got home, went out to collect some rainwater. However, my butt was frozen (LOL) so am back indoors in the warmth. Will let you know how I get on.

22 Jan, 2008


good luck both of you, would be interesting to see the results of your little experiments!

23 Jan, 2008


Isn't it awful when your 'butt' is frozen!!

23 Jan, 2008


Dreadful! But it has thawed now, so I'll try again today.

23 Jan, 2008


You will have to excuse my sense of humour, best of luck with the ginger, mine is still doing fine, slow but fine. I was told to wait until the root is about 2cm long before planting it in soil.

23 Jan, 2008


I picked up pices of ginger which had already sprouted at a small local shop. i then planted these in some well drained conpost and kept them on the window sill over the winter. there are now two shoots of 12 inces long. I will keep this indoors and plant out after the frost.

14 Jan, 2009


My root was to long trying to grow a long root that it went mouldy so I cheated and bout 2 plants from a market stall

14 Jan, 2009


Aw, Andrea, I never thought of that! None of my experiments worked at all. Will try again in Spring, though.
Well done, Pawl! There is hope for me, thanks.

14 Jan, 2009


I think that wine must have been stronger than I thought last night judging by my spelling and grammar!

15 Jan, 2009


Don't worry, Andrea, I understood it perfectly! :-)

17 Jan, 2009


Hi, I have got a small piece of ginger to shoot by placing it on some moist peat in a pot, which was inside a polythene bag to keep in the moisture. It took about 4 weeks to produce a green shoot about 1cm long. I don't know about the roots because I don't want to disturb it. I hope to pot it on and grow it in my conservatory for the flowers. I'm hoping they'll smell nice - like the ginger lilly products by Moulton Brown! I think to harvest ginger root takes a lot of ginger plants from what i have read.

10 Apr, 2009


Hi, Katrina!

Well done! Never would have thought of sealing it in a poly bag! Will definitely set up something similar this weekend, and give it a go. I hope that you do get flowers. Let us know if you do, and what the scent, if any, is like! :-)

10 Apr, 2009


David asked; Has anyone grown ginger from a piece of root bought at the supermarket or corner shop? I have been reading up on this and, as usual, there are variations in the instructions/advice, but I would really like to have a go.

Well David, here's my tale.
A piece of shrivelled ginger was about to be discarded so I planted it in Jan this year into a 9" pot. The pot stands on a metal shelf with a coldframe parafin heater on the next shelf down.
A parafin heater elsewhwere in the bubblewrap insulated greenhouse (6ft x 8ft) keeps the overnight temperature above 68 degrees F.
Daytime temp. ranges from 85-105 degrees F. depending if I remember to turn off the big heater before I go to work.
At the last count (14/05/09) there was 23 stems 1 foot tall with another one coming up!
I've kept the compost wet by overwatering it nearly every day with warm water. I've only fed it once so far with diluted feed made from nettles.
ps. I know absolutly nothing about growing ginger but it seems to work for me ;-)

18 May, 2009


Wow, Stj! I t really does seem as if you've found a brilliant method of propagating ginger. Very well done, indeed!. Nothing's happening within my poly bag yet, and am wondering about temp. fluctuations. I'll not give up, however. :-)

18 May, 2009


I watched that 'How to grow your own drugs' program and they suggested just putting a piece of ginger in a deep pot on a sunny windowsill. So i picked a piece from my local market that had some knobbly bits and popped it in about 2 inches deep and i now have a ginger plant. It was easy peasy. Its about a metre tall now - i think i planted it a month or so ago. Not sure how long before i get any root ginger i can use, but its only one stem and the leaves look a bit bamboo like. I hope this helps as it sounds like you guys were trying all kinds of magic methods. ;o)

6 Jul, 2009


Angel, you really live up to your username! Definitely seems to be the way to go! I recently saw the book of the title you mention - didn't realise that it had been on TV - Many Thanks, will investigate this within the next few days! :-)

6 Jul, 2009


i have a big piece i just stuck in a big pot in the garden with my garlic and water it some times and it has a shoot about 1 cm round and high. might try it on a window sill now were having heavy frost.

18 Oct, 2009


Best of Luck, Kat!

Still not having much success here :-(

21 Oct, 2009


The ginger root you buy at the supermarket is often sprayed with a growth retardant so to start it off I am told it helps to soak it overnight, or at least for a couple of hours before planting in soft damp soil an inch or more down. I have planted some small pieces in a planter and left it in front of window in the afternoon sun. Going to get some Hedychiums (Garland Flower) from somewhere as that is the flower I want to grow.

24 Mar, 2011


Hi David,

Have you been successful with your ginger now? I have once tried it, it grew a bit, but the root hadn't grown very big, so I stopped that trial ...

Hilda (too busy with the grandchildren, alas, no time for GoY, but I do miss it a bit)

5 Jun, 2011

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