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.

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:



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.



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.


3 thoughts on “Gardening 101: How to Grow Curcuma Plants”

  1. Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it. I had no idea what to do for a plant that I just purchased. I thought it was so beautiful!!

  2. I have three of these plants I purchased over the summer. Two are still in the container and one of them I have in planter. Do I need to dig up the bulbs and replant or should I place the two in their original containers into the planters I purchased for them and bring them indoors for the winter? W live in Northern Georgia

  3. How long will it take for the roots to be full grown? We are trying to grow Turmeric. The plants are now about 12 cm high.

Leave a Comment