I have a long tough box on my window which I stuck some root ginger in. The ginger was in my fridge and sprouting so I figured I'd see what happened. Fast forward a few years and it's a huge clump of root and a lot of it is above the soil level and pushing on the edge of the box. Clearly, I need to do something. In my head, I call it "re-seating" because that's what I'd do with PC RAM if it was not sitting right.

Anyway, the ginger is sprouting at the moment and I have three good stems already. Is this a bad time to re-seat the ginger? If so (and my guess is that this is a bad time) when is the soonest I can harvest and replant for least damage and best grow back?

Edit: (For clarity) This is a window box inside in my flat on the window. It is currently sprouting and bunched up and needs to be better planted soonish.

2 Answers 2


Hmm, well, your ginger should have been harvested a few months back, as the leaves died down - at the time when you harvest the root, you can keep a section which has incipient buds or eyes for replanting to grow the following year. Frankly, I don't know what will happen if you dig it up, cut some of the root off, then replant, depends what you find when you take it out of its container. It's not a question of 'reseating' by the sound of it, because it sounds as if the roots are now so extensive, there's insufficient room for them in the container, though a photograph of it would be helpful.

You could perhaps risk unpotting it and having a look at where the growth is coming from, slicing off parts which don't have growth and replanting the part that does, but again, its difficult to say without seeing it. Otherwise, it means waiting until the plant dies down, then harvesting the root, keeping a section with eyes and replanting that. Of course, you could always just harvest all the roots and buy another piece of ginger from the supermarket, plant that in your box with fresh potting soil, and let that grow.

  • @pnuts not all ginger roots from the supermarket got that memo, and my gut feeling would be that organic ginger is more likely untreated. (My choice when shopping for it anyway.)
    – Stephie
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 19:56
  • 1
    @pnuts possibly depends where you live, or where its imported from, if its imported - in the UK, EU rules prevail, so no problem growing supermarket ginger, but that might not be true in the States, no idea. I find it hard to believe that your rules are so different that an edible product like ginger root might contain toxins from pesticides etc., if you are in the States, but its possible I guess.
    – Bamboo
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 21:42
  • @pnuts buy organic then
    – Bamboo
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 21:52
  • @pnuts possibly, but frankly, its impossible to avoid altogether residues of various chemicals - we're breathing in stuff all the time, and after all, you gotta eat...ethepon residue is likely present in many other food/drink stuffs too, even as ethylene, but of course, you personally don't have to eat ginger root if you don't want to. But where do you suggest people get their ginger from, for growing or consuming then?
    – Bamboo
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 22:22

Since ginger forms rhizomes, I'd simply get a large sharp knife (one you don't mind being used like this) and cut through the branched rhizomes. Leave the large pieces with the new shoots in the soil mix and remove (harvest) the rest. The fibrous roots attached to the rhizomes with shoots will provide for the shoots and as the shoots open to leaves, they'll nourish the rhizomes and new off-sets will grow. I've done similarly with other plants with rhizomes - bearded irises, for example.

It might set it back a little but I don't imagine that much. Certainly, it would bounce back faster than planting bew hinger. To ensure the cut surfaces of the rhizomes remaining in the soil don't rot or get pathogens entering, water it and then clear soil away from the parts you cut through only so they can dry and form a callus. Should form a callus within a week if you keep it dry. You can then cover it with soil.

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