Zingiber Officinale
Family: Zingiberaceae


Ginger is believed to be originated in East Asia and has historic records more than 3000 years. Ginger has been used as a spice from ancient times. It has been widely used in Chinese and in Ayurvedic medicine. There is information that says at the time of ruling of Emperor Nero the Roman army used ginger as a medicine. It was found that ginger was imported to the European countries as a spice by 1547 A.C. In recent years Ginger has been cultivated as a commercial crop in many countries. Countries such as China, India, Australia, Fiji, Hawai, Hongkong, Jamaica, Japan, Nigeria, Pakistan, West Africa, Taiwan are few countries which cultivate Ginger in a large scale.

Products and Uses

Ginger is available in market as fresh ginger or in dry form. Dried ginger is powdered and used for different products. Pickled fresh ginger is popular in East Asian countries and salted and sweetened ginger products are also commonly available in the Asian markets. Ginger oils and oleoresins are used in the food industry as a spice to flavor curries, bakery & other food products and to some extent in the perfumery industry, Also it is a common ingredient in the Ayurvedic medical system till today.

Major Growing Areas

Ginger is grown in all over the country but wet and intermediate zones are major growing areas. Total cultivated extent in 2007 was 6000 ha and Kurunagala, Kandy, Gampaha, Colombo and Kegalle were main growing areas. In the western province ginger is largely grown as an inter crop with coconut and as a home garden crop.

Total cultivation extent in 2017 was 1883ha


Several local and imported varieties are grown in Sri Lanka in large scale.  Local ginger – Rhizomes are small and the fibrous flesh is some what ash white in color. Ginger taste and aroma is comparatively higher than other species. Largely used for beverages.  Chinese ginger – Rhizomes are large with watery flesh. Flesh is pale yellow in color. The taste and aroma is low. Largely used for pickles.  Rangoon ginger- Rhizomes are medium in size and with well spreaded finger rhizomes.

Soils and Climatic needs


 Well drained fertile sandy loam soils are the most suitable soil type.  


 Altitude – successfully grown in areas up to 1500 m MSL

 Rain fall – Rain fall should be 1500 mm or more. If rain fall is low crop should be grown under irrigation.   P.H – should be 5.5 – 6.5 

 Medium shade is good for the successful growth Ginger is a seasonal crop and the best time to cultivate ginger is between the middle of March and early April. Generally it takes 8-10 months to get yield. However in dry zone areas ginger is cultivated September to October.

Crop establishment

Planting material: Matured lateral rhizomes are the most suitable planting material. Piece of rhizome should be 30-40 in weight and be with 68buds. Planting material should be disease free and selected from a high yielding cultivation. Before planting rhizomes should be immersed in a fungicide (captan) for about 5-10minutes to avoid fungal growth during planting..  Planting material requirement is 1500kg/ha.

Field Planting

Ginger is planted in raised beds or on ridges. Field should be ploughed up to 35-40cm in depth and tilling soil is done. Beds are 100cm in width and length is vary width the space available. However when inter cropped with coconut width and length can be changed according to the available space. Height of the bed is about 15cm and drains, with 50cm in depth, should be prepared in between beds.

 Spacing – between rows – 30cm between plants – 25cm 04 rows per bed

 Planting depth – 5-7.5cm              

 Planting should be done after the rain. If no adequate moisture beds should be irrigated.

Crop management

Mulching To protect moisture and to keep weeds under arrest mulching should be done immediately after planting. Straw, coir dust, dry leaves or coconut leaves are most suitable mulching material.  Fertilizer application To add adequate Ca and Mg dolomite is mixed with the soil immediately after ploughing at the rate of 2 mt./ha. To get a higher yield saw dust ash also added to the soil at the rate of 3-4kg/sq, meter of the bed during land preparation period.

Fertilizer recommendation

TimeOrganic fertilizerUrea(kg)TSP (kg)MOP (kg)
BasalAt the time of planting20 mt100
1st app.After 01 months65100
2nd app.After 03 months65100

Fertilizer is applied after weeding and should be mixed with the soil. After that beds should be mulched. Fertilizer is applied with rain or should be irrigated after fertilizer application.      In addition glyricidia leaves can be added as an organic fertilizer and thereby can cut down the need of chemical fertilizer and to protect the soil moisture.  Weeding  Weeding has to be done after one month of planting. The second weeding is done after three months of planting and the beds should be mulched again to protect the moisture. Cleaning drains and earthling up also done with the weeding.

Crop Protection


  1. Soft rot
  2. Bacterial wilt
  3. Leaf spot
  1. Soft rot

Causal organism – Pythium Spp


  • Presence of water soaked lesions on pseudostem.
  • Soft rot symptoms found initially on rhizome and spreads gradually to roots.
  • At the initial stage yellowing of leaf starts from the leaf tip & progress along the margins leveling green colour along the midrib
  • At severe cases , yellowing symptoms found in all leaves


  • Use of healthy rhizomes in new planting.
  • Seed treatment : Dip seed rhizomes in 0.3% Mancozeb (40g in 1 L water)
  • Solarization of beds, before planting.
  • Maintain proper drainage.
  • Remove infected plant – maintain proper sanitation.
  • Drenching Mancozeb (40%g in 10L water) two times at 2 weeks
  1. Bactirial wilt

Causal organism: Ralstonia solanecearum


  • Leaf yellowing
  • Falling pscudostem
  • Rhizome rot
  • Infected rhizome having a bad odor
  • Release of bacteria ooze can be observed using a clear glass of water.


  • use of healthily seed material
  • Solarization of beds
  • Crop rotation
  • Remove infected plant & maintain proper sanitation
  • Maintain proper drainage
  • Drenching 1% Bordeaux mixture or Copper oxichlorids 50% wp (40g in 10 L water). Apply two times at two weeks in

 3 Leaf spot disease

 Causal organism: Phylosticata zingiberi


  • Presence at brown colour leaf spot on leaf
  • At latter stage, brown colouration occur in all areal parts (straw like appearance)


  • Cut & remove infected leaves , at initial stage
  • Spray 1% Bordeaux mixture or Mancozeb 80% wp (25g in 10 L water)


Stem Borer Dichocrocis puncitiferalis

  • Larvae feed inside the pseudo stem. Adult is a most


  • Remove all infected plant part & maintain proper sanitation

Scale insect : Aspidiella bartil

  • Scales feed on rhizomes. Leaf yellowing occurs.
  • Infected Rhizomes show low growing ability


  • Use healthy planting material.

Harvesting and Post Harvest practices

Harvesting is done after 8-10 months of planting. If planted in March-April Season turmeric is ready to be harvested by December – January. During that time plants become yellow in color and start leaves drying. Harvesting is done with care not to damage rhizomes and attached soil clusters should be removed with a wooden stick.

Medicinal and Chemical Properties

It is proven that man has used ginger as a medicine in the past. In many Ayurvedic remedies Ginger is a main commodity. Not only for common flue but it also works for high blood pressure and as an antidote for cancer.

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