Ginger, sometimes called ginger root, is actually a rhizome.

How to Kill a Ginger Plant

by Marylee Gowans

Wild ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) -- also known as kahili ginger and yellow ginger lily -- is an evergreen perennial growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9b through 13. This attractive plant produces lemony yellow blooms that fill the air with a pleasant aroma. Unfortunately, wild ginger spreads quickly and can block sunlight from desirable plants, essentially suffocating them. Thankfully, you can kill ginger plants with both manual and chemical control methods.

Hand Pulling

Wear heavy work gloves to protect your hands while removing the ginger plants. Hand pulling works best at controlling small infestations such as those found in gardens and flowerbeds.

Grab small seedlings at the base of the stem near ground level. Pull the plants and roots out of the ground.

Dispose of the removed seedlings in a garbage bag immediately. Avoid composting the plants or leaving them on the ground as this could result in future infestations.

Monitor the location for future growth removing new seedlings as they emerge.

Chemical Removal

Wait until a calm day in spring through late autumn. Wear chemical-resistant rubber gloves, long-sleeve shirt, pants, socks, work boots and safety glasses.

Mix 12.5 gallons of water with 1/4 tablespoon of an herbicide containing Metsulfuron methyl as the active ingredient.

Pour the diluted Metsulfuron methyl herbicide into a handheld sprayer. Spray the leaves of the ginger plant thoroughly, but not excessively to the point the herbicide is dripping off the plant.

Allow the plant to brown and dry before removing, mowing or cutting it down. This may take several months, according to the Global Invasive Species Database.

Items you will need

  • Heavy work gloves
  • Garbage bag
  • Chemical-resistant rubber gloves
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Pants
  • Work boots
  • Safety glasses
  • Herbicide containing Metsulfuron methyl
  • Handheld sprayer or pump sprayer


  • Follow the mixing and application instructions on the herbicide label for best results.
  • Create a makeshift shield with plastic or a piece of cardboard to protect desirable plants from the herbicide.

About the Author

Marylee Gowans has written about gardening for both online and print publications. She attended the University of Akron, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. In 2009, she received master gardener certification from the Master Gardeners of Summit County, Ohio.

Photo Credits

  • ginger hand with minced and sliced ginger image by David Smith from