A comprehensive guide to growing one of the world's most important tropical spices in a non-tropical environment. I'll show you how you can grow your own healthy, organic and colorful turmeric even if you live in colder regions. I grow turmeric in Canada!
What the heck is Turmeric?
Looking for a Turmeric growing guide? Well you've come to the right place. Turmeric (Curcuma) is a flowering tropical plant that belongs in the same family as ginger (Zingiberaceae). The plant is cultivated for its roots (technically called rhizomes) and used in cooking. You'll find turmeric in many popular recipes originating from the India, Pakistan, Thailand, the Middle East and others.
Technically a perennial, it is native to the Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia and requires considerable amounts of water and hot humid head to thrive. So you might wonder, how the heck is this guy growing it in Canada of all places! Keep reading!
Turmeric can be consumed fresh, or dried and powdered. The flavor is warm, bitter and it has a mustard-y aroma. Once dried, it has a a deep yellow color that can easily stain hands and clothing, so you must handle with care. This is why it is also used as a dye!
What's so great about it?
Not only does it form a basic component to many dishes like curries, it is nutrient dense. It is packed with Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, fiber and of course Curcumin, the compound Turmeric is known for.
It is also used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine, but there are no clinical trials or hard science that confirm its medicinal properties. There are claims about Curcumin and Turmeric all over the web, so be careful. Do your own research or consult with a physician before you consider taking any supplements or making lifestyle changes.
I personally grow my own for fun (the growth habit of this tropical plant adds visual interest in my garden) and for cooking.
Selecting rhizomes for propagation
The easiest way to start turmeric plants is to source high quality, fresh and organic roots from your local grocery store. Choose firm, fresh and good looking roots. You don't want soft, flimsy or bruised roots.
Make sure to also check out our Ginger Growing Guide eBook.