Turmeric ~ The Results Are In

Earlier this year I planted some Turmeric rhizomes. I had no real idea whether or not they would survive, do well, or in fact produce anything. It was one of my “gardening for fun” veggies / herbs.

Here’s the original post , I planted turmeric and galangal, well the galangal never got started, I think I need to find a good supply of fresh roots, ones that haven’t been frozen to death in a supermarket freezer.

Today was empty the Turmeric pots out and see what I could find day. For the faint-hearted of you these are not the most attractive gardening photo’s I have ever taken. I’ve decided the Turmeric is not particularly photogenic!

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As winter is around the corner I needed to check the pots. As you can see the upper plant leaves are straggly but the rhizomes underneath are lovely and very much alive. I emptied 2 pots out and found 2 huge tubers, much larger than the ones I originally used to grow from. Chuffed? You bet!

I’ve re-potted  them and have brought them indoors for winter. I hope to keep the plants going till Spring when they can go back out into the greenhouse or patio. And fingers crossed, and with a bit more potting on and TLC I’ll have lovely splendid plants to show for my efforts next year. The one thing I’ll make sure I do is to pot them into large pots, I think they became a bit root-bound, and would grow to more substantial plants given the extra space. My general neglect of them shows that they are easy and undemanding plants to grow, either in pots or in a border.

As to how I’ll use the turmeric, when you open / peel them they are a marvellous deep orange saffron colour, and have a slight musky scent. I’ve used fresh turmeric before shredded into rice dishes, but I’m off now to find a special recipe for my rhizomes. Unless of course any of you clever and knowledgable WordPress bloggites have any recommendations 🙂

POST SCRIPT ~

The best information I can find is from a website – Urban Harvest . None of my gardening books have anything in them about Turmeric, when I look down the index they all stop at Turnips. So here’s the best information that I’ve gleaned: –

Turmeric, is part of the Ginger family – Ornamental gingers include the Cardamom as well as Galangal, Ginger and turmeric they are part of the family Zingiberaceae.

Galangal – Alpinia galangal, is native to Java, Turmeric – Curcuma longa, is native to South East Asia and traditional Ginger – Zingiber officinale.

“The turmeric plant is fairly large, reaching 4 feet in height and has a growth similar to cannas. Its ornamental beauty makes it a candidate for growing in a flower bed. Galangal is tall, easily reaching six to seven feet, and looks like ornamental shell ginger. Traditional ginger is the scraggliest, but its growth allows it to be planted densely in a traditional vegetable bed. It rarely reaches more than three feet in height.”

So although it looks like a Canna, is a rhizome like a Canna, I believe it’s not related to the Canna. I also haven’t seen any pictures of Turmeric flowering, I guess they do, but I haven’t seen anything nor did mine flower. I hope to find out a bit more next summer – as long as I can keep the plants alive over winter.

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30 comments

  • marvelous! The only tumeric I’ve ever encountered was the dried-and-powdered kind…
    The leaves look a bit like the ornamental cannas that people use in landscaping.

  • I admire your gardening abilities. My home is where house and outdoor plants come to die. They check in for the Winter but never make it to Spring. 😦

    • Thank you John, I think sometimes it’s sheer bloddy mindidness! And I have no idea whether or not they will survive this winter, but if I don’t try I’ll never know 🙂
      I think a lot of plants don’t like our homes, they are often too warm, get too much sun, or not enough light, too much or too little water, no air flow. You name it. They’re a fussy bunch!

  • Wow! Very interesting to know you can grow something that I’ve only ever thought of as a supermarket spice aisle purchase. I’m happy to hear that there is one less thing I have to shop for but can have all the fun of growing…They do look like cannas. Are they related?

    • Thank you, and thanks for popping in 🙂 I really didn’t know it was possible until I tried. I just need to figure how to dry them out so that I could store and use them more easily

    • Hi Janette and thanks for popping in. Growing stuff you can’t get easily is definitely great fun, but I thin the best bit is the taste of homegrown, it wins hand-down everytime !

    • Thank you so much for the link, those flowers are stunning. Now I have a definite ambition for next summer. And looking at those flowers, I might make some space in my small greenhouse to see if I can get some flowers. Ah, a gardener’s dream 🙂

    • Hi Mandy, it isn’t the first thing I think of growing that’s for sure! It’s definitely for fun, but now I’ve seen the flowers, I want to grow the plant again!

  • I’ve never seen the turmeric plant before. I’ve only used the powdered kind, but we like to use it in homemade curry and as a rub for fish and meats (tumeric/ginger/sage/salt/pepper). Turmeric and ginger are also good natural anti-imflammatories Good luck on the rhizomes.

    • Thanks Jack. I have to admit that I am very capable of killing off various plants, often herbs, I find them a bit fussy – too much heat, water, or not enough and they spend a miserable life sulking at me!

  • Your turmeric looks beautiful, I bought some the other week from a market but it was pretty small and shriveled. I used it with some fresh galangal pretty much how I would use dried turmeric and fresh ginger, It was really nice. Now I’ve seen your plants I am thinking about where I could put some in the garden. I think its amazing you have managed to grow something some tropical in the Uk.

    • Hi, I was pretty amazed in grew too! I’ve found a few recipes to try it out on, in fact tonights dinner is prawns with coconut milk flavoured with turmeric and galangal 🙂
      If you fancy it, just leave the tumeric to dry out, and it will start to throw out a shoot, that’s when I planted mine. It took a while tho!

  • Congratulations! I am impressed by both turmeric and galangal. I use both, but would have never thought they can be grown in Europe (especially not its hottest part 😉 ). I wodner if I can plant them next year on my balcony… It might be fun!

    • Well the galangal didn’t work out, so try, try again. I think I need more heat/sun to get the flowers growing so that will be another challenge! I’m sure you could try them out on your balcony, I think potting them on is a good idea 🙂

  • Your garden must be just beautiful, I love the range of plants that you have.. i miss being able to garden in the winter, in fact i am writing about that today for tomorrow.. wise minds and all that.. c

  • Hi C and thank you. The garden is a case of “can always do better”, but I love it 🙂 And like many other gardeners at this time of year I miss sowing seeds, watching them germinate and then wondering if they will be deicmated by the slugs !! Roll on Spring, I need a garden fix so I’m looking forward to reading your next post 🙂 C

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