I am always looking for something new and interesting to grow, so I got some from the grocery store. I bought several plump chunks and started several plants.
This is my first season to grow grocery store turmeric. This is my best plant – I’m pretty impressed with the results. I made a mistake though, this pot is about 12″ high and almost 12″ across. I think it might be too small. Next spring I am going to use larger pots and plant more. A pot should be at least 12″ deep and 12 to 18″ across. Plant rhizomes that have 2 to 3 bud heads with the buds upwards.
This is a very nice, large leafed, tropical looking plant. I also planted a piece of ginger in the plant on the right. Ginger has smaller, bamboo like leaves. I don’t consider it as attractive as the attractive turmeric plant. Turmeric and ginger are related plants.
Turmeric grows to 3 feet, the height of this plant. Turmeric does bloom with an odd flower. Hopefully next spring I can get my turmeric going earlier and maybe it will bloom. The plant takes 8 to 10 months to mature rhizomes for harvest.
Turmeric is a tropical asian plant. It requires humid weather – which is our usual summer fare, and significant rain – which will come out of the end of a hose. Morning sun with some afternoon shading is optimal, and is what my garden gets since it is to the north east of a 60 foot high line of trees. The rhizome is best planted 2 inches deep in pots. It can be planted 4 inches deep if you plant it in the ground.
Turmeric grows best at temperatures between 68 and 95 degrees. It wilted some when our hot August temps exceed 100 degrees. It needs even more water then. When temperatures go below 50 degrees the plant suffers. The plants that I left out in my raised beds have lost their foliage, but I am going to leave the rhizomes alone and see if they pop up next spring. The largest plant, pictured above, is now yellowed and sad looking in my greenhouse. I need to cut it off at the ground and let the rhizome overwinter in the greenhouse. I hope that when I put the pot out in the spring it will quickly re-sprout. I may push around in the dirt to examine the rhizomes, but I don’t plan to harvest any of them.
Whenever I do harvest the rhizomes, to prepare them for consumption, they need to be boiled. Then carefully remove the skin and let the pieces dry in the sun. They can then be ground up.
It is a beautiful plant for the cost of rhizomes at the grocery store, so give it a try.