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How to Grow Turmeric at Home - 5 key steps for the best results

We have a lot of people ask us about growing Turmeric at home. The good news is that you absolutely can grow it. You may not get a bumper crop like this one from our subtropical farm but you will get a beautiful plant and enough Turmeric to plant again next year and enough to enjoy the natural goodness of over 50 active ingredients that can help your body maintain a natural state of wellness.
We are going to assume that you are growing this in a pot. You can grow it in the ground but remember Turmeric will need 9 months of 75F-90F of soil temperatures to thrive. For most people in most parts of the US the best way to grow it is in a container that you can start inside to provide a long enough growing season.
A little history - Turmeric originated in subtropical India, probably in the region known today as Kerala. There is over 10,000 years of recorded growing, trading and enjoying Turmeric. Turmeric is a "herbacious, perrenial rhizome" - decoded this means it dies back in cool weather, it reshoots each year and it propagates from root cuttings. 
Just like us, it takes 9 months to grown. Plant in Spring and harvest in winter. To shoot Turmeric will need soil temperatures about 65 F and preferable 75-80 F. Once it is growing it will need daily water to keep the growing medium damp but never wet. It hates wet feet and will get diseases and rot if it sits in water. Given that you may need to move the container we have kept the container small but do remember this plant will grow up to 5 tall (we have grown them 7 feet tall) so protect the pot from tipping over in the wind as it grown.

5 Steps to Growing Turmeric at Home

  1. Get three pieces (each about 1 inch) of fresh Turmeric root from the grocery store. Make it organic if you can.
  2. Fill a 5-gallon plastic pot or container 3/4 fill with well-drained potting soil. The extra room will be needed as the turmeric root grows later in the season and fills the container
  3. Place the turmeric pieces 1 inch under the top of the soil and cover them and keep it damp but not wet
  4. Place in a sunny warm location where the temperature stays between 70-80 degrees F. We like to cover the top of the potting mix with a 2 inch blanket of mulch like pine bark or straw to reduce evaporation and keep it warm. Now be patient - it is going to take a while for them to shoot.
  5. 5. Shoots will appear in 2-4 weeks. Add a general purpose fertilizer every 6 weeks
Well cared for the plants will grow 3-5 feet tall with lush green soft leaves. The orange roots will develop in month 6-9. At the end of the season, around November once the weather gets below 65 F the leaves will turn yellow and the plant will die back, this is part of the natural cycle. It's harvest time tip it out, cut back any leaves and stem, wash and dry the roots and enjoy your bounty!

Ross Harding
Ross Harding

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