How to Grow Tumeric

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Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and is used in cooking.
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and is used in cooking. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family that is native to southeast Asia. Its origins are in moist, hot climates, so growing turmeric in a different type of climate will prove to be difficult. However, if you live in warm environments such as in the southern portions of the United States, or have access to a greenhouse that can mimic its ideal climate conditions, growing turmeric can provide a welcomed addition to any cook's kitchen.

Things You'll Need

  • Turmeric root
  • Soil and pot (if growing in greenhouse)
  • Soil in direct sunlight (if growing outside)
  • Hand shovel

Purchase fresh turmeric roots. Roots can be found in Asian supermarkets or may be purchased online from nurseries.

Plant the turmeric roots in drained, warm soil during the late spring about 5 to 7 cm deep. If planting outdoors rather than in a greenhouse, plant the roots in direct sunlight. Turmeric plants grow at least 4 feet high, so take into account a fully grown plant when choosing a location.

Water the soil where the turmeric roots were planted, keeping it moist. However, do not allow water to stagnate above the roots, and if planting in a greenhouse, make sure the water is able to drain from the soil. In about two months, shoots will appear.

Harvest the turmeric plants about eight to 10 months after they are planted. The leaves and stems will become dry once they are ready to be harvested. To harvest, first begin by removing the leaves.

Dig the turmeric plant, including its roots, out of the ground with a hand shovel and wipe away any dirt stuck to the plant. If dirt is still visible, soak the the turmeric in water until the dirt breaks away. Allow the turmeric to air dry.

Store any excess turmeric roots in a cool location without moisture present. Any leftover clumps can be replanted to produce additional turmeric plants during the next season.

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