10 responses to “Curcuma longa”

  1. Mark Darrach

    Should also be noted that C. longa has a very long history of prominent medicinal uses from ancient times to the present day – particularly for its antiinflammatory properties (curcumin) and antioxidant values.

  2. Sue Frisch

    Those rhizomes look like caterpillars!

  3. Morrison

    Great choice for entry! Magical plant!

  4. Kerry

    Interesting! So can this be grown locally (Metro Vancouver)? All the fresh stuff I see in the stores is super expensive.

    1. David W. Eickhoff

      Aloha Kerry,

      ʻŌlena or Turmeric has a long history in the Hawaiian Islands. It was one of the 25 or so canoe plants that Polynesians brought with them when they settled in the islands nearly 2000 years ago. Today, it is grown commercially and in many home gardens in Hawaiʻi.

      Growing turmeric should be easy in your area if you can keep it from freezing or getting too cold (above 60 degrees F.). You can grow them from fresh rhizomes from the store or elsewhere. Since turmeric is a main ingredient in Indian and Asian foods (as the article above stated), some stores may carry fresh rhizomes (root). Each “finger” or piece of rhizome will produce a new plant. See photo.

      Break off each piece and allow the end to heal over for a day or so. This will prevent the possibility of rot. When the weather warms up, plant one finger about an inch under the surface in your garden or in a 3+ gallon pot with rich soil and compost that allows for good drainage and yet holds moisture. The soil should not be dripping wet nor bone dry, but moist. Provide a thin layer of mulch if you wish. Give turmeric as much bright light or full-sun in the mornings as possible, but protect from the hot afternoon sun. You can use balanced organic/natural fertilizers with micro-nutrients for optimum results.

      New growths will appear in about 8+ months when temperatures warm up in spring or summer. Mature plants will display beautiful ginger-like flowers. See photo.

      As the fall and winter months approach, the leaves will turn yellow, then brown and plants will go into a dormancy. This happens in even in our tropical Hawaiian climate. This is the time to harvest them! Or, dig them up from the garden so they don’t experience the cold northern winters. If you have a challenge finding them, you may want to resist the temptation to eat the rhizome, or at least keep some for next years’ planting. Keep them dry for storage.

      Hope this helps! Enjoy!


      1. Lynne

        Admirably clear instructions, Dave. Thank you! I might try growing some in a pot here, as it doesn’t sound like the high desert of New Mexico is suited for outdoor cultivation.

  5. Bonnie

    Thanks for another interesting article Daniel.

  6. Susan Gustavson

    Great article, and I can see why the photo won an award, fantastic. Also had fun looking at the Spice Pages. Thanks!

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