Ginger is a flavorous plant grown all around the world because of its many uses. It is an ancient herb that is used in cooking because of its aromatic and spicy qualities.
Many people use ginger because of its health benefits, which include boosting metabolism and fighting inflammation.
The good thing is that you can grow your ginger at home without any hassle.
Ginger naturally thrives in warm areas with high humidity. This means to grow ginger at home, you need to recreate the favorable conditions.
Do you know that there are hydroponic ginger plants? In this guide, we will be shedding more light on why and how to grow ginger in water at home.
Characteristics of Ginger Plants
The ginger plant comprises grass-like leaves that grow upright from the rhizome (which consists of thick roots). The popular ginger flavor and aroma comes from Gingerol, which is found in the rhizome.
The root of ginger is called the rhizome, and it is the most used part. Ginger root has a rough and kneaded appearance, while the leaves are green in color and ribbed when touched.
The flowers could be small, and white or yellowish-green.
Growing Ginger In Water – Benefits
There are several advantages of growing ginger in water over all other cultivation methods.
- You need less maintenance growing ginger in water than growing in soil.
- Ginger grows 50% faster in water than in soil.
- Growing ginger in water eliminates the use of herbicides and pesticides.
- This is a perfect choice if you have a small backyard.
- Plant roots usually spread out, expanding their branches in search of nutrients, oxygen, and food in the soil. In a hydroponic setting, the roots are immersed in a tank full of oxygen, nutrient solution, and vital minerals.
- You can grow ginger in water irrespective of the season. However, this is impossible if you want to grow ginger in the soil.
- A hydroponic setup is very efficient. Water is re-circulated, and the unused water will be returned to the system.
Propagation of the ginger plants
Propagation of ginger plants from the rhizome is usually straightforward. You can buy the ginger rhizomes at the market or grocery stores.
First, it is best to root the rhizome in compost before moving it into water. You should also cut a rhizome into pieces containing a bud each. The reason for doing this is to make sure germination starts.
Take a pot and fill it with compost and plant the cut pieces of rhizome at just 2.5 cm deep in the soil. You should then water the pot regularly till you transfer them to the hydroponic system.
Preparation of the Hydroponic system
You need a square foot of room per plant. The growing trays where the plants will be kept have to be 10 – 15 cm deep. Check regularly to see if the rhizomes have germinated.
When you notice that they have grown leaves and stems, carefully observe them, remove the strongest of them from the soil, and rinse their roots. After doing this, make sure the hydroponic container contains 5cm of the growing medium.
Place the germinated rhizomes on top of the medium while spreading their roots. You should also space the plants 12 inches apart. The growing medium has to be enough to cover the roots and hold the plants.
Using the standard hydroponic solution, the plants in the hydroponic system should be fed every two hours. The solution in the system must be kept at a pH of 5.5 and 8.0.
The plants need 18 hours of light daily to survive. You can use natural sunlight or artificial light for this. This means they should rest for 8 hours.
See also: Best pH Meters For Hydroponics
In about 4 months, the plants will produce rhizomes, which can be harvested. Wash and dry the harvested rhizomes and store them in a cool and dry place.
Conditions for Growing Ginger in Water
- Ginger plants love regions of high humidity conditions of 90%. Growing them in a low humid area can stunt their growth. One good thing about growing ginger in large quantities is that they can create their micro-climate of high humidity that suits them. This will lead to optimal growth.
- Ginger plants grow better in nutrient solutions with an EC of 2.2 – 2.6 and a pH of 5.7 – 5.8. This facilitates the uptake of nutrients.
- Always be on the lookout for signs of pests and diseases like insects and leaf diseases. A diseased plant can affect others at a fast rate since they are close to each other. The moment you notice any sick plant, remove it immediately. Hydroponic ginger plants have a robust immune system because they do not have to look for food. The energy used to look for food is instead used to fight off diseases. Hydroponic plants are not usually exposed to the rain. Hence, they do not get affected by fungi and mildew. They are, however, susceptible to insects and bugs. If you see any insect or bug, make sure you remove it.
- Ginger plants love high temperatures. They grow optimally at temperatures between 72 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit. They can grow at higher temperatures as well, but lower temperatures will slow down their growth. So basically, ginger plants grow better in the summer if planted outdoors. They will still grow during the winter with sufficient heat and light.
If you follow these steps to grow ginger in water, you can produce and harvest it endlessly.