My ginger plant is about 33 inches (85cm) tall now, and still plans to get taller. Is this normal? I'm afraid it will fall off and break its stem, and I really don't want to hurt the root down there by installing a support rod. Is it okay to chop off the top of the plant, so that it would stop growing taller?

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1 Answer 1


Having seen the picture, your ginger plant has grown so tall because it's not getting enough light. The condition it's in is known as 'etiolated', which means it's lanky, with a thin weak stem and long gaps between leaves. Even if you reduce the height, it's unlikely to produce more normal growth unless you can improve light conditions.

UPDATE: Even a shady-ish spot outside will give more light to this plant than where it is now. Gingers don't exactly dislike the sun, but they definitely prefer partial shade, so dappled sunlight is fine, or a shady-ish spot. Being outside also means its subjected to breezes, which means the stem will thicken up over time. The one proviso is that it's warm enough outdoors, don't know where you are in the world, but if it is warm enough, you will need to harden this plant off before leaving out overnight. I'd chop it down by half at least, harden it off by leaving it outside during the day for increasing periods over 5 days, until it's out all night and can be left outside.

  • Thanks. This is the second floor of a green house and it's getting light from the above glass ceiling, almost 6 feet higher than the top of the plant. I read that ginger doesn't like direct sunlight, so I'm not entirely sure if it is a good idea to take it outdoors.
    – Amadea
    Jun 26, 2014 at 14:51
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    Wild ginger has leaves every inch or so on the stem. This plant in the picture has a leaf every two or three inches. So, etiolated, yes. Ginger does not like hot dry direct sunlight conditions but needs more light than it is receiving.
    – kevinskio
    Jun 26, 2014 at 16:01
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    @Amadea - see update in answer
    – Bamboo
    Jun 26, 2014 at 16:08
  • If you cut the top ,it will not bloom ,if that is your objective. I stake my "white butterfly" ginger growing in the yard in almost full sun as they get over 6 ft. Aug 12, 2021 at 15:06

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