How to Grow Asarum Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Wild Ginger and Japanese Ginger

Asarum is a hardy perennial.

It has long lasting flowers, that may still be present several months after the flowering season that occurs in the early spring.

Ccommon names for Asarum include wild ginger and Japanese Ginger.

Description of Asarum

Plants in the Asarum genus are low growing, and are often grown for their dark green evergreen heart shaped leaves.

The flowers of wild and Japanese ginger are pretty unnoticeable.

Due to their low growing nature wild ginger makes an ideal plant for covering up small spaces in the gardens.

Asarum delavyii
Asarum delavyii by Cliff1066TM.

Wild Ginger
Wild Ginger photograph by Nordique.

Asarum Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Wild Ginger, Japanese Ginger.
Life Cycle: Hardy Perennial.
Height: 6 to 10 inches (15 to 20 cm).
Native: East Asia, North America, Europe.

Growing Region: Zones 2 to 9.
Flowers: Spring. Long lasting.
Flower Details: Inconspicuous.
Foliage: Many species are evergreens. Heart shaped leaves. Green or variegated

Sow Outdoors: Cover seed. Use fresh seed. Autumn. Spacing: plant 13 to 20 per square yard/metre.
Sow Indoors: Mix fresh seeds when available in a moist growing medium; place in plastic bag; refrigerate for three weeks. Remove then: Germination time: 7 to 20 days. Temperature 60 to 65°F (15 to 18°C), Grow indoors over the winter then transplant after the last frost.

Requirements: Full Shade or light shade. Humus rich moist soils. Soil pH close to 7. Regular watering in dry periods. Apply a fertilizer every spring. Apply a top dressing of compost or peat moss in the autumn. Use Slug pellets.
Family: Aristolochiaceae.
Miscellaneous: Culinary Ginger belongs to the Zingiber genus.

How to Grow Asarum

If planning to grow Asarum outdoors from the off it is best to sow out the seed in the autumn, simply cover the seeds.

If planning to grow wild ginger indoors before transplanting, then seeds should be imbibed by placing the seeds (within soil) in a black bag, then placing in the fridge for three weeks.

Seeds should then be sown out at a temperature of 15 Celsius; they normally take about 19 to 20 days to germinate. Seedlings should be transplanted following the last frost of winter or spring at a spacing of 20 plants per square metre into a partially or fully shaded area.

Ideally Asarum should be grown in a humus rich soil, that has a pH close to 7.

Caring for Asarum Species

Plants of the Asarum genus are easy to look after. They should be fertilised in the spring and watered in dry periods.

In the autumn they should be given peat moss and protected from slugs. If you require more wild ginger plants, then cuttings can be taken in the summer, or the rootstock can be divided in the autumn.

Common Questions

How many members does the Asarum genus have?

The Asarum genus has approximately 85-100 species, the exact number varies as classification is under constant review.

Do members of Asarum make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Asarum, commonly known as wild ginger, makes an excellent ground cover in shade gardens due to its attractive, glossy foliage.

Which Asarum species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The European wild ginger (Asarum europaeum) and Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense) are often chosen by gardeners for their lush, heart-shaped leaves.

Are members of the Asarum plant genus fragrant?

Asarum plants are known for their aromatic roots, which have a scent similar to ginger, hence the common name 'wild ginger'.

What is the perfect location to grow Asarum?

Asarum prefers a shady location with moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. It's an excellent choice for underplanting in a woodland garden.

Is Asarum invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Asarum is not classified as invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Asarum plants from my garden?

To remove Asarum, carefully dig out the plants, ensuring all of the root system is removed to prevent regrowth. Dispose of removed plants responsibly.


The Asarum genus, part of the Aristolochiaceae family, includes about 100 species of perennials known as wild ginger. Native to the temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere, they are grown for their heart-shaped leaves and unique, jug-shaped flowers that are usually hidden beneath the foliage.

Asarum plants thrive in part to full shade and moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. They are perfect for woodland gardens or shady areas where they can form a lush, green ground cover. While not typically grown for their flowers, the unique blooms can add a surprise element to the garden when discovered.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Asarum plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: Growing Asarum europaeum, Ginger Lily, and Fritillaria plants.