How to Grow Ginger in a Grow Bag

I’ll admit it… I’ve become obsessed with growing ginger. There’s something so special about pulling up fresh ginger roots from the garden, washing them off, and grating them right into the tea you’re brewing! I think I’m addicted.

Because of this newfound addiction of mine, I’ve been playing around with the best ways to grow ginger in containers. There are a few pieces in my open garden, but since space is at a premium and ginger is a root crop, I prefer growing it in containers.

Grow bags are a go-to choice for growing ginger. The air pruning from a grow bag keeps roots from overextending but also prevents the roots and tubers from sitting in water and rotting. Considering the best part of the ginger sits underground, avoiding root rot is a necessity.

Here’s what you need to know to start growing ginger in a grow bag.

Setting Up Your Grow Bag

Grow bags are quick to set up. If you’re using a new grow bag, simply open it up and add your soil. For grow bags that have been used before, make sure they’ve been washed and dried since their last use and that they’re not damaged.

Since ginger is a root crop, you’ll want a sturdy grow bag that’s deep enough to contain a larger root system. It doesn’t grow deep roots like potatoes, so you don’t need a huge bag unless you’re planning to grow multiple plants together. Choose a bag that’s at least 5-7 gallons for a single ginger plant.

When you’re setting up the soil, choose a mix that has:

  • Plenty of organic matter
  • Excellent drainage
  • Moisture retention

You can use regular garden soil with a high amount of organic matter, such as compost, wood chips, mulch, manure, or similar. A soil substitute like coconut coir is also a great place to start, but you’ll need to add nutrients and organic material to feed the ginger as it grows.

Planting Ginger in a Grow Bag

Ginger grows from the thick, fleshy root system known as the rhizomes. Rhizomes are a horizontal root system that’s capable of producing new shoots on its own from different points as it grows. With ginger, the rhizome is the part of the plant that you eat, but it’s also what you’ll put in the soil to grow a new plant. Rhizomes for planting can be small, around 1 – 1 ½ inches in length, but they need to have at least one budding head on them.

You can get ginger rhizomes specifically for planting by ordering them online or from a local gardening center, but it’s also possible to wash and plant grocery store ginger. As long as the rhizome is healthy and not rotting or molding, it can be grown. You can take fresh ginger and leave it in a cool, dark place until it starts to grow buds.

Plant the rhizomes about 2 inches deep in the soil with the budding head facing upwards. If you’re planting multiple pieces in a single grow bag, plant 2-3 rhizomes in a 10 gallon bag. Larger bags can hold more ginger plants, as long as you leave around 4-6 inches of space between each rhizome you’re planting.

Don’t overcrowd a grow bag with ginger plants. Although the plant is a little skinny above ground, it has a larger root system that spreads under the soil. Base the bag size on the root growth you want, not the leaf growth. The same principle applies if you’re companion planting with other herbs, vegetables, flowers, or plants in the same grow bag.

Caring for Ginger Plants

Ginger is an easy plant to grow. As long as you give it the right conditions, it will thrive both indoors and outdoors.

Here are the conditions to look at for watering, soil care, environmental conditions, and fertilization.


Dry soil is the enemy of ginger. If you want your ginger to grow well, keep the soil moist. When the weather is hot and dry, water it more regularly. During cooler weather, or in climates where it’s very humid, only water when the soil begins drying out.

Because grow bags dry out quicker than other growing containers, you need to stay on top of watering to keep the soil from completely drying out.

Note: Moist soil does not mean you need to drown your poor little ginger plant. Moist means that it feels damp to the touch, but wouldn’t drip water if you picked up a handful of soil and squeezed it.

Soil Conditions

Moisture is a must for growing ginger. Soil that retains a lot of moisture is best. The soil texture should be loamy and loose, full of organic material. Use soil with a neutral pH or higher alkalinity rather than acidic soil.


Ginger is a sturdy plant, but it’s not cold hardy. It prefers warm weather over cold weather. Ideal temperature ranges around between 75-85 degrees F (23-30 C), but it’s far more tolerant of heat than cold. You can grow ginger even if it’s 110 degrees (43 C) outside! The key is not to let them dry out.

When you’re growing in the heat, you need to make sure your soil is good, you water regularly, and your grow bag is mostly shaded. Ginger sitting in full sun in the intense heat will not be happy, but if you grow it in a shadier spot it will thrive.

If you’re growing ginger in a colder climate, move your grow bag indoors and pre-sprout the ginger inside until it warms up outside. Make sure you wait to relocate them until the weather is consistently above 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). You can bring your bagged ginger indoors all winter to keep it growing.

Note: Some varieties of ginger are more cold hardy, such as Canada wild, Japanese, Mango, Thai, or Crepe gingers.


Ginger should be fertilized regularly to keep the rhizomes growing well. Make sure you plant it into healthy soil to begin with, then add a scoop of compost, manure, or other organic matter fertilizer once every 3-4 weeks. You can also use a good quality, balanced liquid fertilizer.

Only fertilize during the hot seasons when the ginger is in growth. Don’t fertilize ginger when it’s cold, even if you’re growing it indoors. You can use compost tea while you’re watering to give it an extra nutrient boost along with your normal fertilizing.

How to Harvest Ginger

When it’s time to harvest your ginger, you have two options. You can either harvest as needed or harvest all at once.

Single Harvest

Ginger is ready for a full harvest when the stalks yellow and die back. You can trim back the leafy stems once they start to yellow, to help them dry out more quickly.

If you’re going to harvest all your ginger at once, you’ll want to carefully remove the whole rhizome from the soil. With a grow bag, the simplest way to do this is to spread a tarp on the ground and gently pour the full contents of the bag out on it. Pick the rhizomes out of the dirt and brush any loose soil chunks off them.

Continuous Harvesting

You can harvest ginger at any time while it’s growing, even if the plants are not fully mature. If you want to harvest it without killing the plant, gently dig into the soil to locate a rhizome. Cut part of the rhizome off the main plant using a clean, sharp knife. Cover the area with soil again and water the plant.

If you’ll be harvesting continuously, it’s best to keep multiple plants and harvest from different ones each time to allow each plant time to grow between harvests. Harvesting from the same plant regularly can stunt the growth of the plant and put it at a greater risk of disease.

Storing Ginger

Ginger can be stored in a pantry, fridge, or the freezer.

For pantry storage, place the ginger roots in a cool, dark place. It’s likely to last for 1-2 months in the pantry. The cooler and drier the storage space is, the longer it’s likely to last. Do not store ginger in the pantry if it’s already been cut or peeled.

In the fridge, fresh ginger can last up to 3 months. Unpeeled, uncut ginger roots will last longer in the fridge than in the pantry. If the ginger is cut or peeled already, it will likely last 3-4 weeks in the fridge. For best results, put the ginger in an airtight bag or container, but you can also store it as is.

Storing ginger in the freezer will keep it good for longer, but you need to do some prep work ahead of time. Wash and peel the ginger, then place it in freezer-safe containers or bags and put it in the freezer. You can also chop the ginger into smaller portions to make it easier to use later on, or even grate it and freeze it in blocks. In the freezer, ginger will stay fresh and keep its zing for 5-6 months. It will still be good after this time for 12 months or more, but the spicy taste will diminish over time.

Making Ginger Powder

If you’re growing a lot of ginger and you want to use it year round, the best thing to do is turn it into ginger powder. Powdered ginger can last for up to 2 years or more in your pantry.

Here are the steps to making powdered ginger from your fresh ginger harvest:

  1. Wash and peel your ginger roots
  2. Grate all the ginger and spread it out on a flat tray
  3. Dry out ginger gratings completely, either by leaving the tray in the sun for 1-2 days or by putting the gratings in a dehydrator or oven. Ginger should be completely dry before moving to the next step
  4. Grind up the dry ginger into a fine powder, using either a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or a mortar and pestle
  5. Pour the powder through a fine sifter to remove any large chunks. These chunks can be ground up again and resifted or stored separately to use right away

Store your freshly made ginger powder in a sealed container in the pantry or fridge. Keep moisture out of the container if you want it to last as long as possible.  

How Long Does Ginger Take to Grow?

Ginger plants grown from small rhizomes can take anywhere from 8-10 months to be fully mature and to die back for harvest. However, the rhizomes are growing continuously, and you can begin to do partial harvests within 2-3 months of planting if you’re going to be harvesting as you go.

You can track ginger growth by looking at the shoots and stems. As the rhizome spreads and goes through growth phases, new shoots are likely to pop up. This can show you how much the originally planted ginger is expanding and give you a good idea of what’s going on under the soil.

Does Ginger Grow Well in Containers?

Ginger is a fantastic container plant! As long as you give it the space it needs for its roots, ginger will thrive in a plant pot, grow bag, or other type of planter. Look after your ginger well and it will give you a great harvest, no matter what you’re growing it in.  

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