Other common names: Chinese ginger, Chinese key, 凹唇姜
Fingerroot produces a spice extracted from the rhizome, and can be used raw or processed into a powder or a paste to flavour soups, meat, and pickles. The young shoots can also be eaten raw in salads. It is named as such because its roots look like a bunch of fingers.
It is also commonly called Chinese ginger, although it is not in the same genus as true ginger (Zingiber officinate).
Sun and soil needs:
Fingerroot grows well in 4-6 hours of direct sunlight or 6-8 hours of indirect sunlight.
Plants do best in pots with loamy soil at least 15cm deep, or in true ground. These plants are vulnerable to root rot, so ensure that your pots drain well, and that your soil has plenty of organic matter to let the roots breathe.
This plant will not do well in places with a lot of wind, like on rooftop gardens or corridor gardens on high floors. Protect the plant with other larger plants nearby to block off the wind.
Fingerroot naturally grows in clusters as the plant grows more rhizomes. Thin plants out to give them around 5-10cm of space to encourage the production of more rhizomes.
Plants can be harvested for rhizomes at any time. They are typically harvested continuously via division.
Fingerroot is propagated via division of the rhizome.
Common problems & solutions:
This plant is relatively resistant to pests and disease if kept healthy.
Aphids, Mealy Bugs, Whiteflies, and Spider Mites often infest the plant if it has underlying problems like repeated wilting from heat stress. Mechanical pest control methods like pruning the infested parts are the best methods for managing these pests in the short term, but resolving the underlying problem will prevent them in the long term.
Wilting leaves during hot weather is a sign of heat stress. Increase the number of times the plant is watered daily, or move it to a shadier part of the garden.