Ginger is one of the most famous vegetables used for culinary uses to spice up dishes. It also serves several health benefits like relief from cold, nausea, or inflammation. But to grow them in your garden, you must understand the basic requirements, light being one of them.
Despite being a tropical plant, ginger requires only 2-5 hours of morning or evening sun, which is enough for its growth and development. Ginger plants also do fine under partial or indirect sunlight during the day. When grown under direct-intense sunlight, the plant will start wilting.
There are a lot of things to know about ginger’s light requirements. If you wish to grow ginger in your garden and understand its light needs, this article will take you through the subject in detail.
How many hours of sunlight does a ginger plant need?
Ginger is tasty and aromatic.
When you cut them into slices in the kitchen, the room fills with its aroma.
And adding ginger slices to the dishes adds extra taste and spice to the food.
Growing them in your garden is indeed a great idea.
You can use them whenever you want, for several health benefits and cooking purposes to enhance the food taste.
And the good part is, you don’t need to buy them repeatedly.
But, to obtain a healthy, tasty, and aromatic ginger from your garden, you must take care of its requirements.
One basic requirement is the light conditions.
Ginger is a tropical plant native to rainforest areas.
Despite being a tropical plant, it thrives best under partial or dappled sunlight.
You might plant the ginger at a location with some direct sunlight, but remember, the intensity has to be soft and not harsh.
For a rough estimation, I recommend giving them only 2-5 hours of direct sunlight daily.
There is no strictness here because your ginger will flourish with 1-2 hours of direct sunlight.
Ginger is perfect if your garden is shady and has such light conditions.
Will ginger survive under the full or direct sun?
Since it is a tropical plant, ginger enjoys a hot and humid climate.
But, it won’t be able to withstand the full sun for a very long time.
Ginger will remain perfectly fine under partial or indirect sunlight with no full or direct sunlight.
Suppose your garden gets sunlight throughout the day.
In that case, you must plant ginger at a location where the direct sunlight can’t reach.
You may also fix shading nets to filter the sunlight.
Excessive harsh sunlight for very long hours is not good for the ginger’s health, especially in the afternoon.
However, direct sunlight is fine if it is soft and mild.
So, it should be fine if your ginger plants receive 2 hours of direct sunlight in the early morning.
It will be tolerable for them.
However, some tropical gingers enjoy growing under the full sunlight.
But, they too require some dappled shade during the afternoons and throughout the day summer seasons.
Will ginger survive under indirect or partial sunlight?
In their native land, ginger plants used to grow in rainy places and shady areas.
To make the ginger healthy in your garden, you must mimic the same environment for them.
You can plant gingers in the areas where your garden gets:
- Some filtered sunlight through the canopies.
- Shade from the buildings, trees, and fences.
- Partial sunlight.
Both indirect and partial sunlight is good for ginger plants.
These light settings will keep them thriving in the long run.
Indirect sunlight is the light that filters through the canopies of long trees or the fixed shading nets.
Partial sunlight means where the sunlight falls directly but for less than an hour.
Since ginger won’t withstand direct sunlight for long, these two lights are the best ones for them.
Find a location where some tall trees are at a distance to shade your ginger bed, or the place is slightly shaded by tall buildings, fences, and trees.
Fix shading nets if your garden is an open space and doesn’t have such a light setting.
Put some tall potted trees near the ginger plants to shade the latter.
Make sure that ginger plants remain safe from the broiling sun of the afternoon time, especially during the summer in the warmer zones.
Otherwise, the plants can get damaged.
Can ginger plants develop under the shade?
Though ginger plants are known to enjoy partial or indirect sunlight, they will even flourish under the shade.
Most ginger varieties grow best in shady areas without direct sunlight.
Ginger will grow under the shade the same way as they will under filtered sunlight.
Partial shade is also a good option.
A shady area where some dappled sunlight reaches in the morning will be an excellent place for the ginger plants.
Don’t think twice if your garden is the one with such an environment.
Wild gingers are also native to partial to full shade.
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Which direction can give ginger the right sunlight?
A good place will be where the morning sun falls for 2-5 hours.
After that, the area receives dappled sunlight. For such a setting, an east-facing bed is a good choice.
The northern side of the garden beds would be ideal for a perfect light setting suitable for ginger because the direction gets very soft and mild sunlight.
The southern and western directions get excessive direct sunlight throughout the day.
So, these sides are not ideal for ginger.
But, shading nets are the only way to give ginger plants filtered sunlight if your garden is an open space with no trees and buildings or if your garden lacks northern or eastern directions and only has southern or western directions.
Don’t depend on these directions only.
The direction of sunlight in different directions changes according to the hemispheres.
Find your hemisphere, check which direction can give the perfect light conditions for ginger, and then plant them.
How do you understand the different types of light?
Before you plant ginger in your garden, you must understand the kinds of light.
It helps you find the location having the perfect light setup for ginger.
Here are the different types of light:
- Full sun
- Partial sun
- Direct sun
- Indirect or filtered sun
Now, how do you understand which light is what? Here’s what they mean:
In full sun, a plant remains under the sunlight throughout the day, especially for 6-8 hours.
Not all the ginger plants will appreciate this thing.
However, a few varieties can be fine, but they too will need some dappled shade.
Partial sunlight means your plant gets direct sunlight, but not for a long time.
When your plant gets partial sunlight, they receive less than an hour of direct sunlight throughout the day.
It is perfect for ginger plants.
Direct sunlight means your plant is standing right under the sunlight, without shade.
The direct rays of the sunlight fall upon your plant.
No ginger variety will like this kind of light.
The health of the plants will deteriorate badly, and they will begin to die after some time.
It also means filtered or dappled sunlight.
In indirect sunlight, the light gets filtered through the canopies of the trees or the shading nets you fix and then reaches the plants.
As a result, your ginger plants will have dappled sunlight, which is amazing for them.
Since the light gets filtered by the trees and shades, its intensity decreases and becomes perfect for ginger.
But, indirect sunlight doesn’t always mean the light always has to be filtered or dappled.
In the winters, the sun level reduces greatly, and the intensity becomes the same as the filtered sun in other seasons.
So, that type of light can also be considered indirect sunlight.
How can you differentiate direct and indirect sunlight?
A lot of people get confused about these two light types.
If you are a beginner, you will also feel confused at first.
There is one way to understand the difference between direct and indirect sunlight:
Spread your hand towards the sunlight.
If the shadow is sharp and the sunlight is strong and intolerable, then it is direct sunlight, which is not favored by ginger.
If the shadow is mild and the sunlight is soft and tolerable, it is indirect sunlight, loved by all ginger plants.
What happens if ginger gets exposed to full or direct sunlight?
I have mentioned multiple times that ginger doesn’t enjoy direct sunlight.
The reason is they cannot tolerate such high-intensity light.
Ginger prefers a hot and humid climate along with a slightly wet environment.
They don’t like the dry and sunny atmosphere, as they become wilt.
Ginger won’t take long to show the negative results of staying under the direct sun.
And, if the temperatures are hot, the reaction will be faster.
Excessive sunlight will make the plant weak.
Signs of sun damage in ginger plants:
- Wilted plants
- Leaves turning brown due to sunburns
- The plant will dry up quickly
- The leaves will become papery
Once these signs show up, saving the plant won’t be easy.
How can I save the plant?
Prevention is the first and foremost step you should take if you want to save your ginger plants from such hindrances.
Whenever you plant ginger or think of planting it, find a good location, like having some shade from the trees, fences, or buildings.
Or, set up shading nets if your garden is an open space.
If you have seen the sun damage signs early, don’t be late to fix shading nets because your plants will take very little time to react negatively.
You can put some big potted plants at a location from where the ginger is getting the direct sun to block the light.
Water the plant more often if it is summer and ginger gets a little more light.
It keeps them hydrated, cool, and healthy.
The sunlight won’t be able to harm them too much.
What happens if ginger is not getting enough sunlight?
Though the plant enjoys staying in indirect sunlight and sometimes complete shade, they still need some light.
Most ginger varieties will grow and flourish under indirect sunlight or shade.
But, some varieties will require some amount of direct sunlight.
For these varieties, 1-2 hours of direct sunlight in the morning before 11 am is perfect.
The morning sun is very soft and soothing.
Receiving this much sunlight daily also encourages the plant to produce flowers.
There are not many bad effects in ginger related to low lights.
Ginger will be perfectly fine under the shade.
Shade doesn’t mean your ginger will grow in the darkness.
Dappled light is a good choice.
If your plants don’t get light, they will try to reach the light and become leggy.
Lack of light affects photosynthesis, and this will affect ginger growth.
Does ginger need direct sun for flowering?
Though ginger thrives under the shade, the plant will need direct sunlight for 2 hours if you want to witness its flowering.
Ginger produces lovely red, pink, white, purple, and orange-colored flowers in different shapes and sizes.
These species will need direct sunlight for at least 2-5 hours in the morning and dappled shade throughout the day.
If you don’t want flowers, there is no harm.
Lack of flowering will not affect ginger growth or taste.
But, if you want to see blooms, only 2-5 hours of direct sunlight is sufficient.
Along with the sunlight, the temperature has to be humid and warm for flowering.
Since ginger plants are native to rainforest areas and grow under the shades of big trees, they don’t need direct sunlight to thrive. They thrive best under indirect sunlight throughout the day. Even partial to full shade is fine for them. Most of the varieties flourish under the dappled sun.
You may let them have 2 hours of morning sun for better and faster growth, but not more than that. Excessive light will make them wilt, discolored, and papery. It will be impossible to save the plant if the signs of sun damage are too much.
However, some need 2-5 hours of direct sunlight. It is especially for those people who want to witness ginger flowers. Find a location where your garden has some shade from the buildings, fences, or trees, or the direction gets dappled sun naturally. A north-facing bed is one such kind.
Reference: Ginger Production, Texas AgriLife Extension, USDA, Wikipedia