Curcuma longa, or turmeric, is a very easy to grow plant that has become wildly popular for its culinary and medicinal properties.
Turmeric is a tropical rhizomatous, herbaceous perennial, in the ginger family. It’ll typically reach a height of 3 to 4 feet in a foliage clump of ornamentally-attractive, elliptic to lanceolate green leaves (about 3 inches in length). Short dense spikes of pale yellow flowers are produced in summer.
Curcuma longa is most noted for its thick, branched rhizomes which are the source of the bright yellow-orange powdery spice known round the world as turmeric. Turmeric has a number of well-known uses including culinary, medicinal, and as a dark yellow dye. In addition to this the plant leaves are sometimes used for wrapping and cooking food; plant flowers may be eaten as a vegetable.
How To Make Your Curcuma Longa, Turmeric Thrive
Turmeric is winter hardy in Zones 8 to 11 where it can be easily grown in organically rich, fertile, consistently moist, but well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best results will include morning sun and some afternoon shade. Your plants will love hot summers and high humidity.
Growing options for areas where plants are not winter hardy include: growing plants as annuals, digging rhizomes in fall and storing indoors in a cool, dry location, or growing them in containers that are overwintered indoors in a cool dry location. Plants grown in large containers may require frequent repotting because the thick rhizomes quickly grow large enough to split open a pot. Potted specimens will require lots of water during the growing season.
Rhizomes are typically harvested in fall when the foliage begins to dry off. Some of the harvested rhizomes can be set aside for propagation.
Curcuma Longa, Turmeric, General Information
Diseases and Pests
There are no serious insect or disease problems for Curcuma longa. You may get spider mites if the soil becomes overly dry. Slugs and snails may attack young leaves.
Grow this in your herb garden, or in containers.
- Family: Zingiberaceae
- Common Name: Turmeric
- Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
- Hardiness Zones: Zones 8 to 11
- Height: 3 to 4 feet
- Width: 3 to 4 feet
- Bloom Time: July to August
- Bloom Description: Pale yellow
- Sun: Full sun to partial shade
- Water: Medium to wet
- Maintenance: Medium
- Tolerates: Wet Soil
Google – Curcuma Longa, or Turmeric Photos
Flickr – Curcuma Longa, or Turmeric Photos