Two of my favorite herbs in Asian cooking are ginger and galangal. The rhizomes are cheap and easy to find in a market, but as with lemongrass, I loved how easy it seemed to propagate them for the garden. The process was simple. Buy fresh rhizomes. Stick in potting soil. Place in south-facing window. Keep soil moist. Within a few weeks, new buds will sprout like magic, and into the ground the rhizomes go.
The first four steps were simple, but every day… then every week… I waited, and waited… and waited. I would dig up the ginger and galangal to check for new growth, heave a sigh of impatience and slight frustration, then re-dig them.
But finally — FINALLY — after eight very long weeks, both rhizomes have rooted!
I find this galangal rhizome especially cute — see its happy face?
They’re going into the garden tomorrow. And after that… I better have more patience, as I’ve read it takes a year before you can harvest ginger and galangal at their fullest flavor. Siiiiighhhh.
BridgetJuly 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm
Thanks! I’m in Maryland, zone 7, so I think I’m going to need to either keep it as a container plant or dig it up and overwinter it in a protected area. I’m really looking forward to giving it a try growing it AND cooking with it!
Linda LyJuly 12, 2012 at 3:31 am
Ginger actually seems easier as a container plant, because you can just tip it out when you’re ready to harvest (rather than having to dig it out). And for you, easier to move around in the winter, too!
BridgetJuly 10, 2012 at 5:44 am
I’m so happy to find this, as well as the lemongrass post! I love cooking Thai food, and would love to have both of these growing at home. How deep would you recommend planting the rhizomes? I also just wanted to say how much I love your blog, thanks for the info and inspiration!
Linda LyJuly 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm
I planted my rhizomes about an inch or two deep.
And thanks! Good luck with your lemongrass and ginger plantings! My lemongrass shrubs are now over 3 feet wide and tall, and produce the most fragrant stalks. Cooking with them is heavenly. 🙂