Last updated by The POOG on February 07, 2021

This page describes best practices for starting rhizome and tuber vegetables indoors due to a long growing season requirement. In all cases, organic starting material is recommended as supermarket product may be sprayed with sprouting inhibitors. Use of sterilized potting mixes is recommended to prevent the introduction of pests, particularly flies.


The following videos describes growing ginger, a tropical plant, from the store-bought rhizome through to harvesting, drying, and powdering the rhizome.

Here’s another video.


  • soak overnight in warm water with hydrogen peroxide to kill pathogens,
  • plant rhizomes 3″ apart 1″ deep in moist soil,
  • soil kept at 80-85 degrees F.,
  • sprouts in ~ 7 days.


  • free draining,
  • high organic content.


  • full sun,
  • likes warmth, both soil and air, > 65F degrees,
  • higher humidity is desireable,
  • use organic mulch like bark or wood chips,
  • lots of water but not sitting in water; soil at root depth should be moist,
  • transplant to 6″-8″ pot or garden bed; cover with soil to green sprout,
  • firm soil carefully.

Sweet Potato

The following videos compares starting in water versus starting in soil. The latter is faster. The whole procedure of growing plant slips is described. This is not done with ginger or turmeric.


  • place in a planting mix soil to half depth longitudinally,
  • grow the sprouting slips to ~6″,
  • break off or cut them off the tuber and trim off lower leaves,
  • place in water to sprout roots; it takes 2-3 weeks to develop a good root system,
  • plant in a moist potting soil in a 4″ pot.


  • plant mid to late May when the soil is warm and danger of frost is past (no frost tolerance).


A member of the ginger family, it takes a few days longer to sprout and likes slightly warmer temperature. Culture is similar to ginger as these videos show.