Gardening 101: How to Grow Curcuma Plants - Krostrade

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Gardening 101: How to Grow Curcuma Plants

If you’re looking for instructions on how to grow Curcuma plants in your yard or greenhouse, you’ve come to the right place. Curcuma plants (also known as turmeric) belong to the family of Zingiberaceae, the same family that ginger belongs in. Even though it doesn’t produce ginger, Curcuma makes a beautiful ornamental in the garden, and when cared for the proper way, you can enjoy the beauty of your Curcuma plant all year-long.

Plants belonging in the genus Curcuma are typically easy to grow and care for as many of them have similar needs. The two most common types of Curcuma plants are Curcuma longa, also known as the “common turmeric” and Curcuma zedoaria, or the “white turmeric”. The roots of the Curcuma longa are often used to produce the golden spice, turmeric.

Gardening 101: How to Grow Curcuma Plants

Growing Curcuma Plants Successfully

When planning to grow Curcuma, you have to make sure that you use nutrient-rich soil that’s constantly moist. You must also keep in mind that these plants need to get a lot of sunlight. In most parts of the United States, turmeric plants strive best when placed indoors during the entire winter season. Once the weather becomes warmer, and the frost goes away, you can place your turmeric back outside to enjoy the sunlight. Here are some of the important considerations you need to keep in mind when planning Curcuma in your garden or greenhouse:

 

Preparations

To start the process of planting turmeric, you have to obtain bare rhizomes of established turmeric plants. You can easily find some at the local farmer’s market or from plant nurseries in your locality. Usually, rhizomes with a lot of bumps or buds on its sides are the best ones to use for planting.

Curcuma or turmeric plants take about ten months to grow, beginning from planting to harvest. When determining the time to plant, you have to count 10 months before the first frost appears in the fall. For instance, if the first frost usually happens in mid-October in your area, you’ll probably have to start planting between December to March.

 

Soil type

Curcuma strives best in well-draining soils. For this reason, be sure to use well-draining soils mixed with compost or humus when planting your turmeric plants. The organic matter you’ll add to the soil will provide additional microbes that could be beneficial for the growth and propagation of your Curcuma plant.

It’s also important to avoid overwatering your plants as this could turn your curcuma’s leaves to yellow. Once in a while (about 5 to 7 days), dip your finger in the soil to feel its moisture if it’s dry down for about 1 ½ inch, water the plant immediately to avoid drying.

 

Light and temperature

Curcuma plants thrive best in warm areas where they can receive full sun. They usually thrive in temperatures ranging from 68°F to 95°F. During extreme summer conditions, the soil of your Curcuma plant could easily dry out, that’s why it’s important to check it now and then so you can provide water and avoid plant dehydration.

During the winter seasons, it’s common for temperatures in some parts of the United States to drop below 50°F. As a result, your Curcuma plants could suffer. In this case, it’s better to bring them indoors or transfer them in a mini greenhouse if you have one.

 

Planting

When planting your Curcuma, it’s better to start sprouting your rhizomes in a separate small container. Once you have your rhizome, divide it into sections while making sure that each section has at least 2 to 3 buds. With the prepared soil, lay your rhizome flat on it then cover it with more potting soil before adding water to it.

Once your rhizomes are in place, cover the containers with clear plastic and place it in an area where the temperature is warm (ideally around 90°F). Placing your Curcuma plants in a cooler place will lead to slow sprouting, or sometimes, sprouting may not even happen. For best results, place your containers inside a greenhouse where you can regulate the temperature.

When your Curcuma plant has grown and is around 6 to 8 inches tall, the next step is to transplant it to another bigger container or pot. This will give it a larger surface area and will make sure that the plant will have more room to grow into.

 

Benefits of Using a Mini Greenhouse for Your Curcuma Plant

Curcuma plants strive best in a warm environment. If you live in an area where the nights are constantly cool or the winter season could bring about extreme drops in the temperature, one way to make sure that your Curcuma plant survives the harsh weather conditions is to place it inside a greenhouse.

Here are the main benefits of having a mini greenhouse:

 

Benefit #1. You can grow your plants in an ideal growing environment

You can have full control of the internal environment. This allows you to manipulate the levels of temperature and humidity that your plants get exposed to. If your plants need extra warmth, you can easily provide this need by making use of heating mats.

 

Benefit #2. You get to grow more for longer periods of time

Growing your favorite plants in a mini greenhouse lead to greater yields, as well as high-quality crops. Since a mini greenhouse allows you to garden non-stop regardless of the weather outside, you can easily extend growing seasons for your crops.

 

Benefit #3. You can protect your plants from inclement weather and pests

Since the mini greenhouse serves as a protective layer between your plants and the external environment, you can rest easy knowing that they will be protected from harsh weather conditions, as well as destructive pests and animals that may put all of your gardening efforts to waste.

 

Learn How to Grow Curcuma Plants the Easiest Way

Curcuma or turmeric plants offer more than just beauty to your garden. You can also harvest the roots and turn it into turmeric powder which you can use for a variety of purposes, such as cooking or making tea. Now that you know how to grow Curcuma plants try to do so in a mini greenhouse so that you can have an unlimited supply of turmeric at your disposal.

 

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How To Grow Mexican Heather. 3 Steps To Success

How To Grow Mexican Heather. 3 Steps To Success

You only need to overcome three steps to know how to grow Mexican heather. This compact perennial is unique not just because of its looks but also with how easy it thrives amidst hot conditions. However, do note that Mexican heather plants don’t do as well in cold regions. 

Before you give them up, you may also find it comfortable to grow Mexican heather in the greenhouse. Remember that the stable indoor conditions in the greenhouse make it ideal for starting plants. However, it can also offer protection to plants that don’t tolerate extreme climates. 

 

How To Plant Mexican Heather

 

Step #1. Planning and preparation

 

Timing

The first step in growing Mexican heather is planning and preparing to guarantee success. You want to check your calendar on when is the best time to plant Mexican heather. If your climate is similar to the Mediterranean regions, you can easily plant Mexican heather at any time

However, it’s generally ideal for growing this plant late in fall, so it has established itself before the temperatures get challenging. And as you can assume, you will need to grow Mexican heather in the greenhouse if your area has harsh winters. Starting Mexican heather from seeds indoors will guarantee flowers in the summer.

 

Location

After determining when to plant Mexican heather, you must prepare the site for your plants. Remember that the location is crucial to guarantee the steady growth of any plant. Therefore, you may benefit from starting Mexican heather indoors if your climate is fluctuating. 

In general, you want somewhere with fertile and well-draining soil. Test your soil to do the necessary amendments and improve its structure. The plant also does best with some shade because the full sun affects the foliage’s health. 

 

Step #2. Planting

After you started Mexican heather in the greenhouse, gently take the plant from the pot. Make sure to untangle and loosen the roots before setting the plant in the center of the hole. Allocate a space of three feet between each plant, and the top of the root ball should be half an inch above the ground. 

 

Step #3. Maintenance

Maintaining the newly planted Mexican heather plants is no different from other plants. You want to keep soil moisture to help the plants establish themselves. However, be sure not to create a wet environment that can decay the plant. 

Adjust your watering practices according to the weather. Mature Mexican heather plants will tolerate challenging conditions like drought and summer heat. However, it’s best to provide two to six hours of partial shade instead. 

 

 

How To Propagate Mexican Heather

 

Seeds

You can grow Mexican heather from seeds similarly to other flowering plants. Use pots with standard potting mix for sowing, and then add some soil over the seeds. Maintain soil moisture, and you can place the pots in the greenhouse to protect the seedlings from the environment. 

 

Cuttings

You can also root cuttings from a healthy Mexican heather plant. Take a four-inch stem section, remove its lower leaves, dip the end in rooting hormone, and then plant in a pot with soil. Continue watering until root establishment for transplanting. 

 

Division

Division is an excellent way to grow Mexican heather and also keep the plants from overcrowding an area. Gently loosen the soil around a plant to make lifting easier and divide the root ball into sections using a sharp and sterile knife. Depending on its size, you can get up to four divisions for transplanting in containers or onto the garden. 

 

Caring For Mexican Heather

 

Water and fertilizer

While Mexican heather can tolerate dry conditions, it would still be optimal to keep them well-hydrated. You can water the plants deeply once per week, but ensure that you’re using a well-draining medium and container. Then, wait for the ground to dry in between waterings to avoid creating standing water. 

Remember to adjust the frequency and amount of water you give to the plants. More so, container Mexican heather plants would dry faster, so water them often. You can also mulch every spring to maintain soil moisture and even smother weeds. 

Do you fertilize Mexican heather? Mexican heather is relatively low-maintenance and not meticulous when it comes to nutrients. However, you can still boost and maintain your plant by fertilizing in spring, summer, and fall with a balanced feed. 

 

Pruning

Pruning is not a requirement for Mexican heather. However, you can maintain the size and shape of your plant by trimming lightly every spring. You can also use this practice to remove the unhealthy parts. 

 

Common problems

As one can expect, Mexican heather plants are not that prone to many diseases and pests. However, you still want to maintain proper cleanliness and diligence to prevent infestation and diseases. It would also be best to maintain a stable environment such as a greenhouse to discourage spider mites or fungal infections. 

 

Conclusion

You can add another colorful perennial to your garden in three simple steps. Those who know how to grow Mexican heather can quickly tell you that this plant is the easiest to grow. However, remember to plan your planting date and site to ensure that the conditions will support the plant’s development. 

You can start indoors and then plant Mexican heather somewhere with partial shade and fertile, well-draining soil. Ensure soil moisture but never overwater the soil. Once established, you shouldn’t have any issues in growing Mexican heather. 

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