Growing Turmeric in Pots: A Simple Method

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What is Turmeric?

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a tropical perennial herbal plant belonging to the ginger family, Zingiberaceae (Photo 1).

Photo 1. Growing Turmeric Plant in a Pot

Golden colored turmeric powder is generally prepared by boiling, drying, and grinding its rhizomes, commonly used as a culinary seasoning spice in South Asian cuisines (Photo 2).

Photo 2. Gold Colored Turmeric Powder.

Properties of Turmeric

In addition to its use as a spice, turmeric has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Its key active ingredient, curcumin, plays an important role in reducing inflammation, neutralizing free radicals, and enhancing immunity.

How to Grow Turmeric in Pots?

Turmeric can be easily cultivated in fields, home gardens, pots, and different types of containers. Since turmeric doesn’t produce seeds, it is propagated using small rhizome pieces known as seed rhizomes, each with at least 1-2 eye buds (Photo 3).

Photo 3. Seed Rhizomes with Eye Buds.

For growing a large size of turmeric rhizomes, plant seed rhizomes about 2-3 inches deep and 5-6 inches apart in 15 inch- wide X 15 inch- deep pots (Photo 4) filled with well-drained soil that should be enriched with organic matter and compost. 

Photo 4. A Wide Pot for Growing Turmeric

For proper growth of turmeric, adequate moisture levels should be maintained in the pots throughout the growing season. Since turmeric plants grow well in full sun or partial shade, place them in sunny areas. Planted seed rhizomes will start germinating and producing foliage above the soil and developing rhizomes in the soil below within 6-7 weeks of planting (Photo 5). 

Photo 5. Seed Rhizomes will Germinate Within 6- 7 Weeks of Planting

Harvesting of Turmeric

Harvest turmeric rhizomes when the plants start browning and dying back, typically 8-10 months post-planting (Photo 6). To harvest, loosen the soil in the pots and pull out turmeric plants with rhizomes. 

Photo 6. Turmeric is ready for Harvesting is Plants Start Browning and Dying Back.

Wash off soil from uprooted rhizomes, then store them in a cool, dry place until used for making turmeric powder (Photo 2). Also, reserve some healthy rhizomes as seed rhizomes for the following year’s planting.