Flowers & Herbs / Garden of Eatin'

Ginger and Galangal Update

Ginger rhizomes and stems

Last fall, I rooted a few rhizomes of store-bought ginger and galangal and planted the rhizomes in my garden. They were only watered once a month, didn’t do much over winter, and were nearly forgotten about. But as the weather warmed up, I started seeing green shoots emerge from the soil, eventually becoming two little plants.

Curious, I decided to dig up all four rhizomes and see how the unsprouted ones were doing.

Sadly, both of the galangal rhizomes had rotted in the ground.

Rotted galangal rhizomes

But my two ginger rhizomes were going on strong, producing lots of roots and nubs and healthy stems.

Ginger rhizome

Ginger rhizome

Ginger rhizome

I added compost to the soil, replanted the rhizomes, and mulched with straw. The spot I’m growing them in (under my banana trees) has the perfect amount of dappled sunlight — ginger does not like full sun. It also needs plenty of moisture while the rhizome is actively growing (ginger is, after all, from the tropics).

As I’ve learned from this past season, ginger can be left in the ground and neglected (in mild winter climates) until warm weather spurs plant growth again. Once the heat sets in, I water once a week and let the ginger do its own thing.

A few weeks after replanting, the stems had unfurled into more new leaves, and the larger plant even had a new shoot sprouting.

Ginger plant

Ginger plant

New ginger shoot

Hopefully, by the time winter comes around again, I’ll have my first ginger harvest!

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »