1) General Information:
- Location on Property:
Toothbrush zone & Back of Jungle Cottage, Ohia Camper, Rain Forest Tent, Garden D , Garden E, Garden H
Scientific Name: Alpinia zerumbet
- Region of Origin: Native to eastern Asia
- Type: Useful & Ornamental
- General History: Ginger is indigenous to south China, and was spread eventually to the Spice Islands, other parts of Asia and subsequently to West Africa. Ginger was exported to Europe via India in the first century AD as a result of the lucrative spice trade and was used extensively by the Romans. India is now the largest producer of ginger. Other members of the family Zingiberaceae include turmeric, Cardamom, and Galangal.
- Starting in 1585, Jamaican ginger was the first oriental spice cultivated in the New World and imported back to Europe. In 2012, India, with over 33% of the global production, now leads in growing ginger, replacing China, now in second position (about 20%), followed by Nepal (about 12%), Nigeria and Thailand (each about 7%) and Indonesia (about 5%).
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: NOTE: Our ginger is not the edible or medical variety. The below is for edible Ginger which we are looking to incorporate into our food gardens. Ginger produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice. Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. They are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or cooked as an ingredient in many dishes. They can be steeped in boiling water to make a ginger tisane, to which honey is often added; sliced orange or lemon fruit may be added. Ginger can be made into candy, or ginger wine, which has been made commercially since 1740.Mature ginger rhizomes are fibrous and nearly dry. The juice from ginger roots is often used as a spice in Indian recipes and is a common ingredient of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and many South Asian cuisines for flavoring dishes such as seafood, meat, and vegetarian dishes.
- Fresh ginger can be substituted for ground ginger at a ratio of six to one, although the flavors of fresh and dried ginger are somewhat different. Powdered dry ginger root is typically used as a flavoring for recipes such as gingerbread, cookies, crackers and cakes, ginger ale, and ginger beer.
- Candied ginger, or crystallized ginger, is the root cooked in sugar until soft and is a type of confectionery.
- Fresh ginger may be peeled before eating. For longer-term storage, the ginger can be placed in a plastic bag and refrigerated or frozen.
- NOTE: Our ginger is not the edible or medical variety. The below is for edible Ginger which we are looking to incorporate into our food gardens.
- According to the American Cancer Society, ginger has been promoted as a cancer treatment “to keep tumors from developing,” but “available scientific evidence does not support this.”
- One traditional medical form of ginger historically was called ‘Jamaica ginger’; it was classified as a stimulant and carminative and used frequently for dyspepsia, gastroparesis, slow motility symptoms, constipation, and colic. It was also frequently employed to disguise the taste of medicines.
- Studies are inconclusive about the effects of using ginger for nausea or pain associated with various ailments. Side effects, mostly associated with consuming powdered ginger, are gas, bloating, heartburn and nausea.
- One clinical trial showed ginger to be no better than a placebo or ibuprofen for the treatment of osteoarthritis.
- If consumed in reasonable quantities, ginger has few negative side effects. It is on the FDA’s “generally recognized as safe” list, though it does interact with some medications, including the anticoagulant drug Warfarin.
- Allergic reactions to ginger generally result in a rash. Although generally recognized as safe, ginger can cause heartburn, bloating, gas, belching, or nausea, particularly if taken in powdered form. Unchewed fresh ginger may result in intestinal blockage. Individuals who have had ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, or blocked intestines may react badly to large quantities of fresh ginger. It can also adversely affect individuals with gallstones. There are suggestions that ginger may affect blood pressure, clotting, and heart rhythms.
- Other Uses: Houseplants and yard ornamental
3) Growing Instructions
- Growing: Plant the ginger sections in a shallow trench making sure the ginger root sections are no deeper than 1 inch. Plant one ginger plant per square foot. Once the ginger root is planted, water it thoroughly. Within a week or two you will see the leaves of the ginger plant emerge. Once the leaves emerge, water sparingly, but when you water the ginger root plant, water it deeply.
- Best time to Harvest: Ginger plants take 10 months to mature. Therefore ginger plant will be ready for harvest in the spring, or you can let it grow through the next summer for a larger harvest.
- Sunlight Requirements: part to full shade
- Soil Requirements: rich, loose soil. If you will be planting ginger in the ground, it is a good idea to add lots of compost or rotted manure to the chosen spot. If you will be growing ginger in containers, using potting soil is a must.
- Propagation: Cutting, division, grafting, seed, separating. Prepare ground with compost/soil mix. Choose a healthy, plump looking ginger root that is about 4 to 5 inches long with at least a few “fingers”. If possible, find a ginger root where the tips of the fingers are greenish. Break or cut off a finger and make sure the section is at least 1 to 2 inches long with at least one of the buds (looks like a rounded point) on it. To help prevent rot in the ginger root, allow the cut pieces to dry for a day or two in a warm, dry place before putting them in the ground.
- Controlling Spread: Give at least 6 inches between each planting, as they will shoot up ‘babies’ to fill in this space completely. Just dig up the rhizome and relocate, or thin out with loppers.
History of this Plant at Hedonisia:
The property is covered in several varieties of Ginger in all Gardens and common areas. It supplies a beautiful scent and tropical scenery around the property.
Recipes: NA as we have Ornamental Ginger none of it is for human consumption.