Q: Can I grow ginger here? I left it in the refrigerator and it is beginning to sprout.
A: Obviously you are referring to the root, Zingiber officinale, and not the ornamental plant ginger. And to answer your question, yes we can grow ginger in Northeast Florida. Ginger is a perennial plant meaning it has several growing seasons but in Florida that may mean only about 2 years. It has been grown in China and the Caribbean for centuries and used for medicine and in cooking. The underground structure is called a rhizome and it can be divided into pieces about 1-2 inches long. In order for it to successfully grow each section must have at least one “eye” (much like the eye on a potato). Allow the cut pieces time to dry before planting to avoid rotting. Ginger rhizomes should be planted in the early spring but you could put them in a pot to get them started if you wanted to grow them now. The cut sections will produce a 2-3 foot narrow stalk of leaves. Gingers prefer partial shaded areas and you should plant them in a mixture of sand and cow manure. You can dig up the ginger rhizomes in the fall or once you see the tops dying.