People who experience freezing climates commonly question how to grow ginger in cold climates and if it is even possible to grow.
If you can provide all the care and essential elements required for the plant, you can comfortably grow ginger plants indoors in cold climates or in winter.
What pests does Ginger attract? Read this: Ginger Pests: How Do These Insects Affect Your Ginger? Tips to control
Is Ginger Cold Hardy?
Ginger can tolerate some cold, but not extreme cold as it is a tropical plant. So, for example, freezing temperatures would not allow ginger to grow to its best ability.
There are some varieties of ginger that can take lower temperatures than others. But, keep in mind when temperatures get too low, the ginger plant can go into dormancy. Ginger is definitely not a cold hardy plant!
How Much Cold Can Ginger Tolerate?
Ginger cannot tolerate temperatures below 14℉ or -10 ℃ which is present in USDA zones 8 and below.
But there are ways to get around this and keep your ginger plant alive in winters even if it can’t tolerate much cold. Because let’s face it, ginger comes in handy in winters to make broths and soups to help prevent and heal colds and flu!
So, you could plant it in a container and bring it indoors, when there is severe frost and cold.
Can Ginger plant Survive The Cold?
Taking into account that ginger is a tropical plant, it is safe to say that it does not do well in freezing temperatures.
Many varieties of ginger can tolerate up to -6 degrees celsius, but none will grow in frozen soil. If you live in very cold climates, it’s best to have your ginger planted in a container that you can take indoors when the cold is too much for your plant.
How to Grow Ginger In Cold Climates?
Ginger does not grow well outdoors in cold areas, but if you want to grow yours indoors, you can proceed with the following steps.
- Store-bought ginger rhizomes (make sure they are treated)
- Container- preferably one that doesn’t hold water
- Good quality soil (must be well draining)
- Grow light
- Fertilizer or compost
When choosing a container, one with more width is better than one with more depth. This is simply because ginger plants spread horizontally instead of vertically. So focus on width.
Apart from this, try to get a container made from a material that is lightweight, easy to move, and dries water out fast. Ginger doesn’t fancy wet soil!
A good potting mix is a must! Good fertility and good drainage are of the utmost importance for growing ginger properly, especially indoors! A soil that has a good concentration of decomposing organic matter would be ideal.
Some ginger rhizomes can be coated with a growth inhibitor. Sometimes they are treated with a fungicide or pesticide to ensure they maintain viability. Wash the ginger rhizomes and then soak them in water for 24 hours.
Then slice the ginger into slices. The pieces that have “eyes” can be selected. These “eyes” are where the new growth points will occur. These when planted will become new ginger plants.
You will have to place these ginger slices on the soil in the pot, with the “eyes” pointing upward. Cover with an inch of soil.
The placement of your ginger plant is another important factor. If the conditions are favorable, if the conditions are right, your ginger will thrive.
For the best results, your ginger should be in a warm spot in the house where temperatures should be 75 to 80℉. Initially, it needs light amounts of water only.
TIP: If you live in a cold climate and cannot control the temperature in your house, you could get yourself a seedling heating mat. This will help keep the soil warm, or even a grow lamp can help.
Check on your ginger to see if it is sprouting. Check the soil before watering, make sure it gets some sunlight or a substitute in the form of growing light. Also, fertilize occasionally as nutrients in pots will become exhausted.
Plant other plants with ginger to save space and resources. The Good and Bad Ginger Companion Plants
What Happens to Ginger in Winter?
Well for one, ginger will not be growing vigorously! It is a tropical plant that needs warmth and heat provided by the sun. Winter is not its favorite time and these plants won’t mind showing it.
Ginger will either become inactive and not grow in winter, or it will die off! Either way, you look at it, ginger won’t fare well!
How to Store Ginger in Winter?
Suppose you live in an area where winters are cold and freezing temperatures are common on a daily basis. What should you do to make sure you have viable ginger rhizomes that can be planted in spring again? You must pick from these two options to choose from.
1. Dig Out Ginger Rhizomes
Dig up your ginger rhizomes and store them in a box with dry peat. Keep the box in a cool and dry area, and check on them occasionally, to see that they have not rotted away. The aim here is to let them go into dormancy so that they will not grow nor will they rot.
2. Grow indoors.
If you have the space, and you have just a few containers of ginger, you may consider bringing the plants indoors. But use a location that allows them to get some light if possible, perhaps near some windows or a sunroom. Or else you have to try artificial methods of light and heat.
If you have the space, you could put up a small greenhouse (other plants could also benefit)
Ginger plants are not the most cold hardy plants and they will not tolerate a lot of cold and definitely not frost. However, if you live in a cold climate, you can attempt to grow ginger indoors to keep it out of cold temperatures.
You will need an appropriate pot, fertile well-draining soil, fertilizer, and possibly a grow light if there is little to no sunshine.
Ginger cannot be grown outdoors in USDA zones 8 and lower. Zones 9 to 12 are best for growing ginger all year round.
Related read: 7 Reasons For Ginger Leaves Turning Brown + Solutions
In climates where ginger thrives and is adapted to the current temperatures, the plant will go dormant. This means you are likely to experience dying down or dead plants at temperatures. However, the rhizomes below ground are still alive, just not growing. Note this only happens in USDA zones 9 to 12 where ginger grows year-round.
Yes, it is possible to grow ginger in pots indoors during winter provided you can give them the elements that naturally exist outdoors. This includes sunlight and heat to avoid overly moist conditions. Also, care must be taken to ensure the potted ginger plants are well cared for and have their nutrients replenished regularly.