HomeContainer HerbsGrowing Turmeric in Pots | Turmeric Plant Care, Uses and Benefits

Growing Turmeric in Pots | Turmeric Plant Care, Uses and Benefits

Turmeric is a superfood and has many medicinal properties. If you want to reap its true benefits, plant it in your home by Growing Turmeric in Pots!

Growing Turmeric In Pots |
Shutterstock/photoPOU

Turmeric is a golden spice with a warm, bitter taste and a slight mustard aroma but incomparable to anything. It is also known as Indian saffron due to its yellow color and has a long history of medicinal as well as culinary uses in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, and many other Asian countries.

Because of excessive commercialization, most turmeric products are adulterated or sold in inferior quality, which is why it’s a clever idea to grow your own. For this, you don’t need much, just a place with part sun, a few pots, and this mini-guide on Growing Turmeric in Pots and its Care.

USDA Zones— 7b – 11, below these zones grow it from spring to fall

Difficulty— Easy to Moderate

Other Names— Curcuma, Curcuma aromatica, Curcuma domestica, Curcumae longa, Curcumae Longae Rhizoma, Curcumin, Curcumine, Curcuminoid, Curcuminoïde, Curcuminoïdes, Curcuminoids, Halada, Haldi, Haridra, Indian Saffron.

Soil pH— Slightly acidic, neutral to slightly alkaline soil

Have a look at the best nuts you can grow in pots here


What is Turmeric?

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is obtained from the underground tubers or rhizomes. Originated in India, it is now cultivated throughout tropical Asia and to a smaller extent in other subtropical and tropical parts of the world.

You can grow this plant indoors, near a bright window, porch, patio, or balcony. Outdoors, you can plant it in your garden beds in a shady spot or under the shrubs to get a tropical look in your garden, along with flowers that come in white, red, pink, yellow, and red-maroon colors!


Where to Find the Rhizome or Turmeric Plant?

Shutterstock/mat N jujulicious

As you may already know, turmeric grows from the rhizomes like ginger. The easiest way to find them is to search for fresh turmeric rhizomes in organic food stores.

Also, try searching for it in the local garden center or seed store. Alternatively, you can find a turmeric plant or rhizome online.

Want to grow ginger in pots? Click here


Best Pot Size for Turmeric Plant

For growing turmeric in pots, choose a large pot as this wonderful plant can easily exceed the height of 1 meter. The pot should be at least 10-14 inches deep and 12-18 inches wide so that the plant can spread itself freely. Plant 1 or 2 rhizomes in such a pot.

You can also use wine or whiskey barrels.

Check out our article to know about the best spices you can grow in pots here


Growing Turmeric

The best season to plant turmeric is spring or summer, when the temperature starts to stay above 54 F (12 C), but if you are living in a subtropical or tropical climate, it can be planted throughout the year (in pots). After you have got the rhizome, follow the steps below for planting:

  • Break large rhizomes into small pieces, each one should have at least two or three buds.
  • Fill a pot with rich organic soil that is pre-moistened and well-drained.
  • Place it about 1 or 2 inches (4-5 cm) below the soil surface, with the buds facing up.

Best Turmeric Varieties to Grow

‘Hawaiian Red,’ ‘Indira Yellow,’ and ‘White Mango’ are the best ones you can grow in pots. They are easy to maintain and offer a good harvest.


Requirements for Growing Turmeric in Containers

123rf/vainillaychile

Growing turmeric is a lot similar to ginger, it requires a warm and humid climate to perform well. If you live in a cool temperate climate or if you’re short of space and want to grow your own turmeric rhizomes, then growing turmeric in pots is the only option you have.

Location

Being native to India, turmeric requires a warm climate with 8 to 10 months of frost-free growing. The more partial light it will get, the better it is for growth. Keep the plant safe from prolonged exposure to harsh afternoon sunlight.

If you live in USDA zones 8b and higher, then grow it outside without any worries. Below that, harvest it before the first frost.

Soil

Plant turmeric in loamy soil that is rich in organic matter. Make a mix of 70% quality garden soil and 30% compost or manure for the best growth. Adding organic content like aged cow manure to the growing medium will boost the development of the plant.

Water

Watering requirements are similar to ginger. Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season from spring to fall, and do not hesitate to mist the foliage in dry weather to increase the humidity level around the plant. You can also group it with other plants to create a microclimate.

While growing turmeric in a warmer region, keep watering the plant to maintain moist soil in winters too.

Temperature

The ideal temperature range for growing turmeric is between 68-95 F (20-35 C). When the temperature drops below 50 F (10 C), the plant suffers.


Turmeric Plant Care

Growing Turmeric In Pots 10
Shutterstock/photoPOU

Fertilizer

Fertilize turmeric in pots every month with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer during the growing season. Dilute it to 1/4 of its strength. The sidedressing of manure or compost also helps. You can also use kelp and neem cake meal.

Alternatively, you can also use a 4-6-4 blend, diluted to half of its strength.

Pruning

The turmeric plant should not be pruned. It is sufficient if you remove dried leaves from time to time.

Overwintering

Since you are growing turmeric in a pot, move the plant inside even in low-light conditions. Because you have to only overwinter the roots. It is important that when you grow turmeric indoors, maintain a minimum temperature around 60-64 F (15-18 C). At this time, you can harvest it as well. To learn more, read the harvest section below.

Overwintering Turmeric on Ground

If you’re growing turmeric in a true tropical climate, then you don’t need to care about winter. But in warm temperate zones (below USDA Zones 9b and down to 7) to overwinter your turmeric plants, reduce watering around the end of fall, and when the leaves begin to wilt and turn yellow due to temperature drop, cut the plant back to the ground so that it can hibernate. It will perk up again in the spring.

If you want to grow turmeric in cooler areas (below zone 7) then you have to dig up the rhizomes to save them from freezing. For this, dig up the rhizomes and rinse off excess soil from them, snap off rotting pieces. Air dry them and store in a cool and dry place until spring.

Pests and Diseases

The turmeric plant is not prone to any serious pest problems. However, red spider mites and scales hurt it.

In diseases, it only suffers from rhizome rot and leaf spot. Rot appears when the plant is grown in waterlogged soil. Therefore, it is important to grow turmeric in well-drained soil with ample drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.


Harvesting

Shutterstock/johan kusuma

When Growing Turmeric in Pots, it will take 8 to 10 months to mature. Harvesting is done once the leaves turn yellow and the stem starts to dry. Harvesting turmeric is not difficult, simply dig up the plant entirely, including the roots.

Cut the required amount and then replant the remaining part again to get a new plant growing. After you cut the rhizome, follow the steps below to process it:

  • Boil the rhizomes.
  • Carefully remove the skin from rhizomes.
  • Place the bare rhizomes in a tray.
  • Dry them by exposing them to sunlight.
  • You can also use the rhizomes fresh in salad dressing or to make pickles.

When the rhizomes are dry, grind them and store your homemade organic fresh turmeric powder in an airtight container.


Turmeric Uses and Benefits

Growing Turmeric In Pots 16
Shutterstock/frank60

Turmeric powder has many medicinal properties that have long been known in India and China. Turmeric is termed as Super Foodprobably the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It is used as an anti-depressant and plays a protective role against Alzheimer’s disease and against various types of cancers. Surprisingly, it’s been proven in many studies that consuming turmeric daily lower the chance of cancer.

Turmeric powder is the most prominent ingredient in almost all kinds of curry recipes, a pinch of it is used to provide pretty orange color. Its leaves are also useful. Young shoots and flowers are used in Thai cuisines while the leaves are used to flavor the fish in Indonesia. You can also use turmeric in your garden.

One thing you did not know and surprise you is the addition of pepper in a diet, as it contains piperine that helps in the absorption of turmeric. Especially black pepper, which can tenfold the benefits of this superfood.

45 COMMENTS

  1. Are the leaves as beneficial as the root? I’m interested in cooking with the leaves if they have beneficial properties. I live in Zone 10, and I grow much of my food organically. Thank you.

    • Hi Joan,
      Turmeric leaves are used extensively as aromatic herbs in Indonesian, Indian, Thai and Malaysian cooking. They improve digestion, reduce gas, bloating and much more medicinal and cosmetic benefits. You can check out more on it here.

      • The website you mentioned lists turmeric leaves as an ingredient in curry powder. It is the roots that is used. Tumor it leaves are used only for flavor and are always removed before consuming the food.

  2. I grew several turmeric plants and now I want to store root for next year’s planting what would be a great suggestion on how to do this through the winter time? I live in central Arkansas so it gets cold in winter. Thanks

    • I juice my turmeric (double auger juicer) and freeze the juice in a small-cube ice cube tray. Then I add it to smoothies, hot drinks, and anything I decide would like to have turmeric in it.

    • I live in deep south Louisiana and it rarely freezes here but it got serious this past winter, in the teens and 20s for several days, a couple of different times. Coldest winter in many years and my plants came back up like usual.

    • If it is in the ground I would take a few roots up and store them like you would fresh Ginger. If it is in a pot I would just bring the pot inside and keep the soil and it very lightly moist so it doesn’t dry out too much. The roots that you need outside in the ground if covered with lots of mulch will probably come up again next year.

  3. For therapeutic use especially for cancer patients dissolve up to 3 teaspoons in very hot milk along with a pinch of black pepper. Let it cool and stir before drinking. If you are on a ketogenic diet the effect is multiplied by a hundred fold because the active molecule is dissolved in fat and dairy fat is the best. For Alzheimers patients even in advanced stage of the disease a ketogenic diet is just as important but dissolve in warm coconut oil instead of milk. Alzheimer disease in some cases probably majority of the cases limits the brains ability to utilize glucose as a fuel and ketones are readily burned as a fuel the Curcuminoid complex of molecules have an immediate effect on the inflammation of the CNS. Cancer cells multiply uncontrollably and use glucose like nobody’s business once again the availability of Curcuminoid molecules in a lipid (fat) form enables their conversion to ketones, this is deadly to about 80% of cancer cells. Cancer cells are very adaptive as they mutate constantly hence the limited time duration of the positive effects of chemo and other cancer drugs.

  4. Thank you for outlining this. I have just harvested some turmeric (am in Melbourne, Australia) and have found these egg shaped structures attached to the main root ball of the turmeric too. Are they also new roots for new turmeric plants ? I would have attached a photo if I could…

  5. Using the advice given in this article, how much weight in pounds would one pot produce at harvest time? Assume freshly dug and not dried out.

    Also, why boil them?

  6. I live in Myrtle Beach and my plants are in the ground, can they withstand colder months, 30 degrees sometimes or shouaqld I dig them and put them into pots and keep ins garage or covered porch

    • Almost any store that carry health foods like Earth Fare, Mother Earth, Asian food stores and some grocery stores carry it. Some sell by the pound (only buy a few tubers to plant) or in a carton. 3 tubers here in the U.S. ran me $1.50, 6 oz will cost $4.99 but lots and lots of tubers. Here it is $16.99 lb. But that is way too many tubers to plant.

  7. Nice article; now I can understand why my ginger did not do so well in the pot, outside, in full sun, in 120F heat. I do not think tumeric will do so either. Inside, humid, well drained, moist, shade, regular monthly feeding, house temp.

  8. Bought some Turmeric root at our local food co-op. Why is it so expensive $16/lb. or so? Saffron I can understand. It’s difficult to harvest properly. But Turmeric is just a tuber…

  9. Is this real? I have this growing like mad in my yard. I don’t even remember where I got the first plant, but whoever gave it to me called it Hawaiian Ginger. The flowers are gorgeous, like an effervescent pink and the leaves can get 6′ tall. I use tumeric all the time, but had no idea of the plant.

  10. I need a root to plant in my kitchen garden.am suffering from sciatic nerve pain.please assist the pain is so serious and i was informed it has benefit to reduce the pain

    • For immediate pain relief, try powdered turmeric root with bioperine. The combination of turmeric and bioperine is particularly suited for arthritus and neurological pain. B12 might be helpful also btw. There are a number of companies that make it (turmeric/bioperine) in capsules. I live near Chicago, IL and buy turmeric root at my local grocery store called Meijers. I have also picked up turmeric root at various groceries like Fresh Market, Whole Foods, international markets etc. I use turmeric capsules to help with my hip/leg pain. My pain has reduced significantly over the last week since I started taking it. Hope this helps.

  11. I just put some Turmeric roots into the ground, now after about 3 weeks they are already 20cm tall. Only problem I have, where the sun hits the leaves they curl up and become brown. Now I have moved them into the shadow where leaf curling has gotten better.
    Can Turmeric not take too much sun?

  12. I always question the cancer reference. If it helps, 80%(?) why is it not used more for cancer patients? Any research on this information? If so, where can I find it?

      • Great advice Dee Dee! My husband had throat cancer two and a half years ago and we opted for no Chemo and holistically getting his body in top shape. I’m happy to say, he’s doing fine after finding “The Truth About Cancer” with Ty Bollinger,( and Turmeric! )everyone needs to educate themselves when it comes to Cancer.
        It’s no longer a death sentence. The information is out there folks! Drink it in!! We all know someone who has been affected by this hideous disease.

    • BECAUSE THERE’S NO PROFIT IN IT AND IT WOULD CUT DOWN ON ALL THE DRUGS THEY GIVE YOU THEY DON’T WANT YOU TAKING SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN GROW AND USE THAT THEY CAN’T AKE MONEY OFF OF THATS WHY

  13. Dear, please guide me that how much turmeric weight in kg I can get from a size of bed container. Your guidance will be greatful.

    • Anything that grows from the root test it. If it’s orange like the other it’s fine. Sometimes it’s like a blister of nutrition for the roots /rhizomes and won’t hurt by eating it

  14. Hi all Yash here from India
    I always plant 15 to 20 ekars turmeric in my farm.plesae suggest me best procedure for export quality product.is there any retailer who can buy turmeric from me in huge quantity.my email is [email protected]

    Thanks all
    Yash

  15. I have a Turmeric plant. I love growing it for the big leaves. I have never divided it or harvested the rhizomes. This year it bloomed. I cut the flower when it dried, put it in a plastic bag to catch any seed that might have developed. Problem is, I don’t know what I am looking for. Do you have any information about starting a Turmeric from seed?

    • I grew some turmeric in a container that also had some ginger plants. After abou 10 months, I had plenty of turmeric rhizomes but they were white, not orange! Could it be they got hybrided with the ginger?

  16. I found the plants growing wild in the woods it was easy to pull out I just took the plan put it in some dirt and it’s been grown like crazy I love it

  17. I have plenty of osteo arthritis and a doctor suggested turmeric years ago instead of strong pain killers, with all their side effects. I grow it in a plastic pot of about two feet diameter. I never take particular care with it. No fertilizer, etc. After the leaves die off I wash the tubers and take off all the small roots, then I scrub everything after snapping off all the roots that are still there. I never peel the roots, I just mince them in our electric mincer together with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and garlic and ginger – because I like it that way. It should not be cooked for best effect. Cooking, from what I have read, destroys most of the active ingredient, which is curcumin (which you can buy in capsules). Since doing this I have gone from taking 6 to 8 Panadol Forte every day to zero. Unless I hurt myself somehow. I put several bits in a pot and I get about 4 to 5 pounds of product. I live 17 degrees South of the equator 10 miles from the coast.

  18. My favorite drink: I finger ginger, 1 finger turmeric, 1 lemon fruits and 1 hot pepper… Cut all and put them in Hot water (1 liter) all the night, and start drink it for 2 days AMAZING drink for cleaning body from everything.. Try it

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