Turmeric or Curcuma Longa originates from some tropical areas of Asia. It can grow to about 3 feet and its leaves are large and green, and its flowers are pink. This plant adds interest and texture to garden beds.
Turmeric can be grown as a container plant as well. Turmeric is usually grown for its flavorful, bright orange roots. Turmeric’s medicinal properties have been admired throughout history and nowadays it is used as an anti-inflammatory and people use it for treating various skin conditions and also to improve the gastrointestinal health.
Grow Turmeric in This Way
You will need roots which are called rhizomes in order to grow turmeric. These rhizomes should be planted fresh and in spring. You can grow several plants from one rhizome, but it may be hard to find one.
You can use the rhizome for just one plant or every rhizome has fingers which can be snapped and then planted for individual plants. You need to face upwards any sprouts or buds if you notice them in the pieces.
You need to plant the pieces, but make sure to leave 12 inches space between them and plant them 2 inches deep. All you need to do is press the pieces gently and flatten the soil above the area.
You need to select a location which can provide sunshine in the mornings and shade in the afternoons. If you want your turmeric to thrive, make sure the soil is rich. This plant likes moist soil, however, make sure not to overwater it.
Turmeric prefers tropical zones which are warm and humid and in areas like that it can grow for 8 to 10 months. Once the plant begins to shrivel and turn yellow, you need to harvest its roots by digging out the whole plant. Put the rhizomes aside and keep them for next year.
You can also choose to leave the roots inside the ground for next year. The roots are going to sprout new flowers in the spring.
If you live in a colder climate, the turmeric should be transplanted into containers and then moved inside before the first frost. Spray the turmeric with a spray bottle and keep it moist. Once the plant becomes mature, it is going to dry up and turn yellow. Once again, dig up the whole plant from the container, remove the roots and put some away for next year.
You can store the roots in the fridge for up to six months. You can also freeze turmeric. The flavor of turmeric is strong and warm when chopped or grated and used in stews and soups.
Problems and Pests
Turmeric which is grown outdoors is a low-maintenance plant and it is resistant to various pests and problems. Nevertheless, if overwatered its roots can rot. Generally, turmeric is a tropical plant and it cannot stand cold weather. If you plan to grow turmeric somewhere with a cooler climate, make sure to move it indoors and protect it from the cold weather.
Both, outdoor and indoor turmeric are susceptible to mites and aphids, but these can be cleaned with the help of a spray of bottle.