Turmeric Plant

Turmeric may be a tropical plant. Its rhizomes have traditionally been used both in food preparation and as a drugs it’s a member of the Zingiberaceae (Zingiberaceae) and, like ginger, is taken into account a spice. Another feature it shares with ginger may be a showy flower (although the showy part is really a bract, not truth flower), which suggests a further use for the plant is as a decorative . The canna-like leaves make it a beautiful foliage plant even when flowers are absent.

Botanical NameCurcuma longa
Common NameTurmeric, common turmeric, turmeric root
Plant TypeHerbaceous perennial
Mature Size3 to 4 feet tall and wide
Sun ExposureFull sun in the far North, partial sun elsewhere
Soil TypeRich, well-drained, and consistently moist 
Soil pHSlightly  acidic to slightly alkaline
Bloom TimeJuly to August
Flower (Bract) ColorBurgundy, green, pink, white, yellow, or bicolored
USDA Plant Hardiness Zones8 to 11
Native Area India and Malaysia
turmeric harvest

How to Grow Turmeric

It is fairly easy to grow turmeric. this is often not a plant that you simply prune. Your main jobs are to stay it well watered and to shelter the rhizome from cold temperatures. To grow a turmeric plant during a climate colder than zone 8, you’ve got three options:

Treat it as an annual.

  • Grow it within the garden during the summer, then dig the rhizomes up in autumn to store them away for the winter indoors. during this case, you’d stop the highest growth, then store them during a cool, dry location. Gardeners typically use sphagnum, sawdust, or vermiculite as a data-storage medium. Keep the data-storage medium slightly moist throughout winter by occasionally misting it.
  • Grow it during a pot which will be placed outdoors during the summer then moved indoors in fall, until warm weather returns.
  • Assuming you select to grow turmeric during a pot, here is how you’d proceed. Select an appropriate container (or containers) for the plant or plants to grow in. Since turmeric may be a fairly large plant, choose large pots (roughly 18 inches across and a minimum of 12 inches deep).

Buy a few of rhizomes of it (more likely available online than at your local garden center). Inspect the rhizomes for buds (think of the “eyes” on a potato). alittle rhizome will have two or three buds thereon , which is ok . Larger ones may have more, during which case you ought to divide them. So let’s say that every rhizome that you simply bought has 6 buds thereon you’d break each rhizome in half and plant two halves in one among your pots, the opposite two halves in another pot.

Plant these rhizomes two inches deep within the pot, in early spring. The buds got to be facing up. Keep the pot indoors until nighttime temperatures not dip below the 50s (F). At that time , bring the pot outdoors and put it during a sunny spot that’s sheltered from high winds.

Make sure the soil within the pot never dries out. this will be a challenge because the soil in containers dries out more quickly than soil within the ground. Since turmeric likes humid conditions, increase humidity further by misting the plant’s leaves during times of hot, dry weather.

If you’re growing turmeric as a decorative and need to overwinter the rhizomes, simply bring the plant back indoors, pot and everyone, in fall, when the primary frost comes, as you’d do for other tropical specimens such as:

  • Elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta)
  • Canna tropicana
  • Dahlia

Since the thought behind overwintering turmeric is to save lots of the rhizomes, you actually don’t need to worry much about your potted plant once you catch on indoors. you’ll plow ahead and take away the above-ground portion of the plant. Add water to the pot only sparingly. you are doing not need to worry about light levels, but do keep it somewhere where temperatures will remain consistently within the 50s or low 60s (F).


In the far North, give your turmeric plant full sun. The further south you’re, the more it’s advisable to afford it some afternoon shade.


Turmeric likes upscale soil. Adding compost and/or manure helps achieve this. The soil should also drain well.


Turmeric may be a plant that tolerates wet soil. At the very least, be careful that its soil never dries out. Turmeric’s water needs are considered to be above-average.


Because turmeric needs tons of nutrients, feed it monthly. An all-purpose liquid fertilizer works best.

Harvesting Turmeric for Culinary and Medicinal Uses

If you’re growing turmeric as a spice or as a drugyou’ll want to get rid of a minimum of some of the rhizome annually at the top of the seasonthe remainder is often brought indoors as you’d when growing turmeric as a decorative. This way, you’ve got an annual source of turmeric to be used in cooking, etc.

Harvest it in fall after the primary frost, which can produce yellowing within the leaves. it’s the rhizome that you simply are harvesting because that’s the plant structure utilized in food preparation and for medicine.

To prepare a turmeric rhizome to be used as a spice, boil it first. Then let it dry out. Once dry, you grind it into a powder.

The rhizome has also had variety of medicinal uses traditionally, including to scale back inflammation.

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