Growing Turmeric In Pots | How To Grow Turmeric, Care, Uses & Benefits

Turmeric is a superfood and has many medicinal benefits. Growing turmeric in pots is not so difficult if you follow this how-to guide.

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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, Nisha, Pian Jiang Huang, Racine de Curcuma, Radix Curcumae, Rajani, Rhizoma Cucurmae Longae, Safran Bourbon, Safran de Batallita, Safran des Indes, Turmeric Root, Yu Jin.

Soil pH— Slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil

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

Turmeric plants look good too, you can grow them outdoors to get a tropical look in your garden.

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turmeric flowers

Where to Find the Rhizome or Turmeric Plant

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

Choosing a Pot

For growing turmeric in pots, choose a large pot as this amazing herb can easily exceed the height of 1 m. Pot should be at least 12 inches deep and 12-18 inches wide so that the plant can spread its tubers freely. Plant 1 or 2 rhizomes in such a pot.

Planting 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 tropics, it can be planted throughout the year.

After you have got the rhizome follow the steps below for planting:

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

Requirements for Growing Turmeric in Containers

How To Grow Turmeric (1)

Growing turmeric is similar to ginger, it requires warm and humid climate to thrive. If you live in a cool temperate climate or if you’re short of space and want to grow your own turmeric rhizomes then learn how to grow turmeric in pots.

Position

The position must be sheltered from the wind. In tropics, the plant is grown in dappled shade and does not like all day long intense direct sun, considering this keep the turmeric plant in partial sun in the warmer zones (USDA Zone 9 and above). However, in temperate climates, provide it full sun for optimum growth, some shade in the afternoon would be okay.

Soil

Plant turmeric in a light and loamy soil that is rich in organic matters. Use well-drained soil otherwise the plant will suffer.

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.

If 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 drop below 50 F (10 C) the plant suffers.

Turmeric Plant Careturmeric-flower

 

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 constant ambient temperature of approximately 64 F (18 C).

Overwintering turmeric on ground

If you’re growing turmeric in 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.

Fertilizer

Fertilize turmeric every month with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer during the growing season. Application of manure or compost also helps.

Pruning

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

Pests and Diseases

Turmeric plant is not prone to any serious disease or pests. However, red spider mites and scales can become a problem. 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.

Harvesting

Turmeric plant takes 8 to 10 months to mature. Harvesting is done once the leaves become yellow and stems start 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 to sunlight.

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

Turmeric Uses and Benefits

Turmeric powder has many medicinal properties that have long been known in the India and China. Turmeric is termed as ‘Super Food‘ probably 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 different types of cancers. Turmeric powder is the most prominent ingredient in almost all kind 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.

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

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Turmeric is a superfood and has many medicinal benefits. Growing turmeric in pots is not so difficult if you follow this how-to guide.



27 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

  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.

  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.

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