Haldi is revered for its medicinal and antiseptic properties in India. Here’s a detailed guide on How to Grow Turmeric in pots at home!
Haldi is one of the most used spices in Indian dishes and comes with an unmistakable bitter taste and pungent flavor. It is also famous as the Indian Saffron due to its orange-yellow color. With its so many culinary and medicinal uses, it makes perfect sense to grow it at home, and here’s everything you need to know about How to Grow Turmeric in Pots!
Botanical Name: Curcuma longa
Other Indian Names: Manjal, Arishina, Pasupu, Haladi, Halada, Haridra
Here are the best medicinal plants you can grow in India
What is Turmeric?
Native to Asia, turmeric is grown for its edible rhizomes or tubers. A pinch of Haldi powder goes well in almost every sautee and stir-fry recipe, thanks to its warm flavour, mustard aroma, and tendency to impart a yellow color to the dishes. Besides, its young shoots are also used in Thai cuisines.
Turmeric is also therapeutic in nature, because of which it has been used in Ayurveda and Siddha medicine system from the Vedic times.
How to Grow Turmeric in Pots at Home
The best way to propagate a turmeric plant is from fresh rhizomes (fleshy root-like structure), also known as seed rhizomes. It grows like ginger. You can get them at a local nursery or organic food stores. Though you can grow the turmeric plant in the tropical climate of India year-round, growing it in summer is ideal when the temperature is well above 13 C.
- Break the rhizomes into small chunks. Make sure each chunk should have at least 2-3 buds.
- Plant them in a pot, 2-3 inches deep, filled with potting mix or organic matter-rich regular soil.
- Secure the tubers well with the soil.
- Water thoroughly.
- Keep the plant at any bright and ventilated location.
Pro Tip: To accelerate sprouting, you can store turmeric tubers at a warm place, in slightly moist layers of peat moss, coco coir, prior to planting.
Growing Requirements of Turmeric Plant
In the tropical climate of India, the plant does well in full to partial light. But, it requires shelter during the scorching afternoons. Choose a spot where it can get a morning sun with and protection from harsh sunlight.
The plant performs well in well-draining and aerated soil. Go for any sandy-loamy soil with a pH of around 5-7. Make sure to amend it with organic matter like aged compost or well-rotted manure. Using a mix of 70% regular soil and 30% compost would be a great start.
Keep the soil moist but do not over-water the plant. Keep a close eye on the topsoil and water the plant when it feels dry to touch. You may have to water the plant more frequently in the hot summer months of India.
Turmeric plant responds well to a warm and humid tropical climate. It grows best when the temperature is between 20-35 C. Ensure that the temperature does not drop below 15 C, as it will result in poor rhizome growth.
Since the plant produces tubers, so it requires plenty of room to grow. Hence, consider using at least 12-16 inches deep and wide pot. Make sure the container is breathable, like terracotta or ceramic, as it allows better aeration.
Caring for Turmeric Plant
Feed the plant with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer once in 3-4 weeks during the growing phase. The application of compost tea, rotted manure, or worm casting is also beneficial. Avoid fertilizing the plant in winters.
Tip: If growing in the garden, you can use beans, peas, or ginger as companion plants for turmeric, as they enrich the soil with nitrogen that turmeric plants love the most.
Pests and Diseases
Be careful about Slugs, Snails, and Thrips. Make sure the plant is well ventilated. You can take care of the pests using a neem oil solution or an insecticidal soap.
The plant is also prone to tuber rotting due to waterlogged conditions. Hence, do not keep the soil soggy for long.
Harvesting and Storage
The turmeric may take up to 9-10 months to get ready for harvest. Check if its stems are dry and the leaves have turned yellow or droopy. They are the tell-tale signs that the plant is ready for harvest.
- For harvesting, dig the whole plant out of the soil using a garden fork.
- Snip off the tuber from the plant using a sanitized shear.
- Discard the excess soil.
- Wash the tubers and boil them for a couple of minutes. After boiling, peel off the outer skin.
- Place them on tissue paper, and dry them in the full sunlight.
- Once the tubers become completely dry, grind them.
- You can store the powder in an air-tight container for later uses.
Significance of Turmeric
Turmeric has been enlisted as a superfood, thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. It is known for its immense health benefits, thanks to its curcumin compound. It can give relief in various ailments, like:
- Reducing inflammation and swelling in arthritis
- Controlling high cholesterol
- Helping in treating liver disease and skin itching
- Enhancing memory
- Treating bowel diseases
- Strengthening immunity