Turmeric is a flowering plant whose rhizome or root is widely used as a spice and a folk medicine. It is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual stems about one meter tall bearing bright green leaf blades.
Turmeric Plant Care
Gardeners in colder climates such as ours grow turmeric in large flowerpots and move them indoors for the winter. Turmeric plants prefer filtered sunlight, warm and humid air, and rich and moist soil. Pot your plant in a shallow but wide pot with pebbles at the bottom for excellent drainage. Soil should be kept damp, but not soaked. Mist regularly. Nutrient rich potting soil with coconut choir and or peat moss, blended with organic compost (like the Urban Seedling Special soil blend!) would work best. Fertilize with vermicompost as stems appear (worm castings – available at Urban Seedling.)
Harvesting and Propagating your Turmeric Plant
Turmeric is a plant that can be continually harvested and propagated if well cared for. Your plant could grow to be two to three feet tall, with beautiful tropical foliage and bright green, white or even pink flowers. Rhizomes will only be fully mature after about 10 months from start. When the foliage dies down in the late fall or winter, it is ready. Cut leaves away and use the root raw or cooked. Save some sections with 2 or 3 buds each, for propagation, and start the cycle anew.
Note: Grocery store turmeric roots (like ginger, potatoes, and other commercially sold root vegetables) are often treated with an inhibitor to prevent sprouting.