How to Grow Ginger Root In Water – Propagating an Endless Supply of Ginger at Home

Once you discover how easy it is to grow ginger at home (with our step-by-step instructions), you’ll wonder why you have ever bought ginger at your local shops! In this guide, we’ll be detailing the exact process we use at home, including pictures. So get your propagating hat on – because we’re about to begin.

How to Grow Store Bought Ginger in Water at Home

Let us know if this scenario sounds familiar.

You meal planned to cook a delicious dish involving fresh ginger, but life got in the way, and now you have a piece of ginger root sitting on your kitchen bench, slowly getting wrinkly and going to waste.

We’ve got some good news for you! Your store-bought ginger root may not be doomed after all.

It is possible to grow ginger from the root. And you already have everything you need to do it today!

Here is the process we use how to grow ginger roots in water.

How to Grow Ginger in Water (without soil)

For those who prefer to watch tutorials, we’ve included our own How To Grow Ginger in Water Youtube video below to enjoy.

We find rooting ginger in water an easy and rewarding experience.

It is easy because the ginger root will do most of the work for you. You just need to set it up in the right environment (we’ll discuss this below) and watch your ginger root flourish.

Let’s begin.

Equipment Required for Growing Store-Bought Ginger

To grow ginger from root, you will need the following:

  • viable ginger root
  • propagation container
  • distilled water
  • paper towels

1. Rhizome Selection

IMPORTANT – This step will either make or break your ginger-growing adventures.

Unfortunately, not all pieces of grocery store ginger can be propagated in water.

Some farmers spray growth inhibitor chemicals or growth retardants on their ginger when they ship them to grocery stores. This is terrible news for us because this chemical will stop any future potential for propagation.

It is for this reason we prefer to choose organic ginger over fresh ginger from the supermarkets.

This is why you must understand what to look for in your ginger rhizomes.

When selecting the perfect piece of ginger root for rooting in water, you need to look for two things.

  1. New Growth – look for evidence of new shoots growing from the piece of fresh ginger root. They often look like little yellow nodules or bumps from the old root. If it has advanced growth, the nodules will form a peak with a green tinge at the point. This is the new leaves beginning to form. We’ve included a picture below to demonstrate what you can look for.
  2. Size – you should be looking for pieces of ginger root no smaller than 2 inches in length. It may feel like a waste to keep so much ginger root attached. However, it will help to sustain the new growths and fuel them during the following crucial stages of their new lives.
Ginger with new shoots

If you are lucky enough to have multiple new growths on a single piece of ginger root, try splitting it into several parts to increase your chances of successful propagation.

Here is how we split a large piece of ginger into four smaller parts for propagation.

2. Set Up Propagation Container

Once you have chosen and prepped your pieces of ginger, the next step is to set up your propagation container.

To be honest, there are no special requirements for this container. Rather than buying new things, we recommend hunting or foraging around your kitchen cupboards to reuse or upcycle any old container.

We discovered a seldom-used Christmas star dish that won’t be required for many more months.

Garden Bench Top Tip

Make sure you give it a good clean, and where possible, sterilize it in boiling water. It will reduce the chances of your ginger root from becoming infected by rogue bacteria and begin rotting.

3. Strategically Place Ginger Root for Optimal propagation

Other resources may simply direct you to place the ginger root in your container and fill it with water.

However, at the Garden Bench Top, we made a discovery that has helped us significantly increase the success rate of our ginger roots propagating in water without soil.

During one of our ginger root water propagation projects, we had two pieces of ginger propagating in the same dish (they originated from the same piece of ginger).

They started with two shoots approximately the same size (as shown in the above picture).

And for weeks, only one piece of ginger looked like it would produce new growth.

Check out the difference in root and ginger stem growth between the two pieces of ginger after a few weeks of propagation.

We were resigned that the smaller piece of ginger would rot and die. That is until a new shoot began to grow at the other end.

This new shoot grew at the water’s surface and sprouted new roots immediately after it appeared!

Ginger with new roots developing

The development of the new shoot revealed an important element in how to grow ginger in water – the new nodes are more likely to develop new roots and become self-sufficient if they have a ready source of moisture!

So, the best advice we can give you is to position each piece of ginger close to the water’s surface.

Garden Bench Top Tip

Position your new ginger pieces close to water to encourage new root development.

4. Provide Water and Moisture

As we just established, moisture plays a vital role in stimulating the growth of new roots from ginger root sprouts.

And we’ve found that keeping the ginger root pieces moist (and even presoaking them in warm water before beginning the propagation process) helps to improve the success rate of new roots forming.

We like to use paper kitchen towels in the first few days of propagation to help create a moistened environment (as demonstrated in the picture below).

Paper towel on Ginger Root

You can also keep your ginger rhizomes moist with a spray bottle and spritz them every couple of days.

5. Growing Ginger Root in Water – AfterCare

Once your propagation kit is set up for the ginger roots, it becomes a waiting game.

If you are lucky, you will see some visible growth after a week.

However, expect it to take 2-3 weeks for your ginger shoots to develop roots and become a ginger plant with stems and leaves, potentially longer in colder months.

While waiting for them to grow, your main task is changing the water to keep it fresh.

We usually change the water every second day.

This helps in two ways:

  • Keeps the water oxygenated, and
  • Reduces the opportunity for any bacteria developing in the water, which may lead to an infection and demise of your ginger root.

Finally, place your ginger root propagation project out of the way, so it doesn’t get knocked over accidentally.

And keep it out of direct sunlight or bright sunlight so the root doesn’t dry out and lose too much moisture.

You May Also Like:

Check out the next guide in our Ginger Root Propagation Article Series, How to Plant Water Propagated Ginger Root in Soil.

Or if you already have planted ginger growing in the ground, check out our article Recognizing the Signs Your Ginger is Ready to Be Harvested.



  • Rhizome. (2022, August 27). In Wikipedia.