Ginger is a low-growing tropical plant which is easily grown indoors during the summer months in the UK. You can grow ginger plants from green ginger which you buy from supermarkets, although you are not likely to produce a big crop of rhizhomes.
Growing outdoors in the tropics, it needs a minimum annual rainfall of 150cm, temperatures of 30°C or over, a short dry season and a deep fertile soil. It usually takes nine months to produce a crop.
Best grown as an annual in the UK. Cannot be grown outdoors even in the hottest part of summer: minimum temperature around 28°C.
Propagation: Grown from the end 'finger' pieces broken off a root or 'hand' of ginger. Existing ginger plants can be divided and the roots grown on, although they are difficult to keep alive during the UK winter because of low light levels.
In early spring or late winter, find some fresh ginger in the shops. Choose fingers which have a shoot bud developing - this looks like a small pyramidal horn at the end of the root - and cut off at least 5cm from this bud.
Bury the finger bud upwards in a 20cm pot of loam-based compost. Keep warm and constantly moist during the growing season. Move to a larger pot as the plant grows, (ultimately you might need a 35cm diameter pot if your ginger is growing very well.)
Once the ginger has started to grow, feed every two to three weeks with a general pot-plant feed.
In the autumn, reduce the watering and let the pots dry out, which will encourage the plants to form rhizhomes. Lift the rhizhomes carefully and use in cooking.
Usually healthy, although red spider mite can be an occasional problem. Increasing the humidity by misting plants twice daily with warm water helps discourage these pests.
Plantfinder lists Kobakoba.
Ginger root bought in markets and the supermarket usually shoots readily.