Potted Ginger Plant Yields an Unexpected Surprise

April 24, 2012

Last fall I wrote an article detailing my first attempts at growing baby ginger in the home garden. It was a big surprise to see how well the crop did in spite of the fact that I didn’t faithfully follow all of the cultural instructions as outlined by East Branch Ginger.

Well I was in for another surprise from a few potted ginger plants that were raised outdoors in containers during the summer and moved indoors for the winter. They seemed to do fine for a while and then suddenly went into a rapid decline. I’ll admit that I don’t do well with house plants and seldom offer them the amount of attention that they require.

Learned Something New about Potted Ginger’s Life Cycle

So I wasn’t shocked that the potted ginger plants didn’t make it out alive through the winter months indoors. What did surprise me was when I walked past the containers last week and noticed something strange… yep, there was new growth and spiky shoots coming up to proclaim that the plants hadn’t died after all… they merely went dormant.

That was the last thing that I would have expected, especially considering that the soil was all dry, cracked, and crusted over because the containers hadn’t received a drop of water for months, and ginger plants had to be unhappy with the humidity and light levels within the house.

I’ve witnessed similar miracles, like a Bay tree that recovered after all the leaves dried and went completely brown, but revived months later when it was moved outside to the patio. But the rebirth of the potted ginger was an even bigger surprise that I would have never expected to happen.

Adding to All the Great Reasons that I Love Ginger

I can chalk up another one to the list of things that I love about growing ginger: it’s easy to grow, extremely productive, tasty, nutritious, and it’s smart enough to shut down and then recover when conditions warrant! I’ll have to check with Susan over at East Branch Ginger to see if this is normal behavior or just a lucky occurrence in my case.

The first thing that I did to welcome the plants back was to give them a good soaking of water. Next up, I’m preparing a special plant cocktail of THRIVE and Poo Peas to give a boost and help them along. Later I’ll have to decide whether to keep these plants inside; where they’ll likely be subjected to more abuse, or to move them outdoors once the weather warms up.

I’m sure their odds will be better and they will be happier if they make the move outside, but either way I’ll keep you posted on how these miraculous ginger plants continue to perform!

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  • It’s always awesome when a plant is unexpectedly alive rather than unexpectedly dead!

    And ginger is an awesome one. It will do better outside–indoors is fine, but I find mine always seems to have spider mites, and I hate those little buggers.

  • You have inspired me to grow ginger. After reading your post – and then doing some web research, I decided it can’t be that hard, and I LOVE ginger. I have several long roots of it that I got from our CSA, and I went down to look at them on the kitchen table, and lo and behold, they are growing little sprouts. Well, time to break them up and put those suckers in pots. How exciting! Can’t wait to see if this will work.

  • Kenny Point

    You are right about that Kenneth, and my potted ginger plants probably will find themselves out on the patio once the weather warms up.

    It’s not hard at all Catie, and if you have roots that have already sprouted that will make things even easier! Good luck and let us know what success you have with them.

  • Kenny Point Your all points is really very nice i am very impressed from you hope you will be update us.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

  • I planted ginger in my garden this year with small esxpectations and, boy, it has shot up and done so wonderfully! Thanks for the post!

  • Hey, just wanted to make you aware of my new site that was a long time in the coming, check it out i think it can be a good resource and solution to many people! http://pickmycrop.com http://www.facebook.com/PickMyCrop

  • Linda

    Love this site. It is so nice to hear from home gardners that
    have tried things and post their findings.
    I stumbled onto this site while searchng for information on growing
    goji berry plants. Another fun plant to grow. And the berries are really
    good for you.
    Thanks for the infomatin on ginger plants. Think I will try it.

  • Plants certainly are amazing. I’ve had a similar thing happen a few times where a plant seemed to be dead only to come back the next season. They seem so fragile on the one hand, and then amazingly resilient on the other.

    I never tried growing ginger, but I use it a lot in cooking and in smoothies so now I might give it a go!

  • Nice Kenny Nice…ginger fetches a big price over here in the UK – ‘self reliance’ is the way forward like Catie …inspired also 🙂


  • Catie

    Just a follow-up – I planted the ginger, and it is doing GREAT! I planted a few in the raised bed, and then more in two different pots. Sprouts shot up and now I have beautiful palm-like fronds. Now that the season is winding down, I’m anxious to see how well the roots did. I’ll dig up the ones in the raised bed, but I’ll probably bring in at least one of the pots to see how they do over the winter.

  • Roz

    Shropshire UK, Like you Catie, I had rooting ginger on my kitchen table and I wondered if it would grow. I have two shoots about 10inches high indoors in a pot. I keep wondering if they will survive and what I should do with them if they last until the spring. Really inspired by the above posts. A year later ,how did the ginger go??

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