Fresh Turmeric: How To Grow Haldi Root at Home? Popular Types

It is a tropical plant that thrives in warm, humid climates. Cultivating turmeric can be a rewarding experience, whether you have a spacious garden, a small backyard, or even indoor space. Cultivating this herb can provide you with a fresh supply of this versatile spice. By following guidelines and providing your turmeric plants with the right growing conditions, you can enjoy a successful harvest of vibrant, homegrown turmeric. Here’s a guide to grow and cultivate fresh turmeric:

How To Grow Fresh Turmeric Root at Home?

It is a tropical plant that prefers temperatures between 68-86°F (20-30°C) and high humidity. Plant cannot withstand frost, so it’s best suited for regions with a warm and humid climate. It grows best in well-draining, loamy soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Amend the soil with organic matter, like compost or well-rotted manure, to improve fertility and drainage. The herb is propagated from rhizomes, which are the underground stems. To start, purchase fresh turmeric rhizomes from a reliable source or use sections of healthy, disease-free rhizomes. Each rhizome should have one or two buds or “eyes.”

Step By Step Guide

  • Pot or Garden Bed: You can grow this herb in a garden bed or a large pot. For pots, choose containers that are at least 12 inches deep with drainage holes.
  • Planting Depth: Plant the rhizomes about 2 inches deep, with the buds facing upward. Space them a few inches apart to allow room for growth.
  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Plants need regular watering, especially during dry spells.
  • Sunlight: Plant requires plenty of indirect sunlight to grow well. Ensure your plants receive at least 6-8 hours of light daily.
  • Fertilization: Feed your turmeric plants with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer or organic matter like compost. Apply fertilizer during the growing season.
  • Mulching: Apply mulch around the base of the plants to retain soil moisture and regulate soil temperature.
  • Controlling Weeds and Pests: Keep the area around plants weed-free to reduce competition for nutrients. Monitor for common pests like aphids and mites and treat them promptly.
  • Harvesting: Turmeric is typically ready to harvest after 8-10 months when the leaves start to turn yellow and die back. Carefully dig up the rhizomes, leaving some in the soil to continue growing.
  • Drying and Storage: Once harvested, clean the rhizomes, and dry them in a well-ventilated area for several weeks. Store the dried roots in a cool, dry place for future use.
  • Overwintering: If you live in a region with cooler winters, you can overwinter plants by bringing them indoors before the first frost.
  • Propagation: You can propagate this herb by saving a portion of the harvested rhizomes for planting in the next growing season.

Turmeric Types

It is a versatile spice and medicinal herb with several varieties, each with its own unique characteristics. Here are some different types of turmeric. It’s essential to note that the curcumin content and flavor profile can vary among these different types of turmeric. The choice of turmeric for culinary or medicinal use often depends on regional availability and individual preferences. People prize some varieties for their curcumin content and potential health benefits, while they prefer others for their unique flavors and culinary uses.

Popular Curcuma Varieties

  • Curcuma longa (Turmeric): Curcuma longa is the scientific name for turmeric, a flowering plant belonging to the ginger family, Zingiberaceae.
  • Curcuma amada (Aam Haldi): Also known as “Mango ginger, Karpura Haridra, Blockzitwer”. Curcuma amada, known for its unique characteristics, belongs to the same family as Curcuma longa, the turmeric plant. The rhizomes of Curcuma amada emit a unique and pleasant aroma reminiscent of both ginger and mango. India, particularly the southern and eastern states, mainly cultivates Curcuma amada.
  • Curcuma aromatica (Wild Turmeric): It serves primarily for cosmetic and skincare purposes and is also known as “Kasturi manjal, Ran Halad, Bombay Arrowroot, Yellow zedoary” in India. It boasts a lighter color and is esteemed for its beauty benefits. In certain regions, people utilize the rhizomes of Curcuma aromatica as a natural dye for fabrics and food, imparting a yellow or orange tint. Although closely related to Curcuma longa (common turmeric), it constitutes a distinct species with its own flavor and aroma. Typically, it does not serve as a direct substitute for common turmeric in recipes.
  • Curcuma caesia (Black Turmeric): Also known as “Nar-Kachura, Kala Haldi, Manupasupa” in India This unique variety has a dark purplish-black rhizome. It is primarily used for its potential medicinal benefits and is known for its antioxidant properties.
  • Curcuma zedoaria (White Turmeric): It is a white, cream-colored rhizome. It finds use in traditional medicine and serves as a spice in some Southeast Asian dishes.

Other Varieties

Curcuma domestica, Curcuma pallida, Curcuma mangga, Curcuma pierreana, Curcuma purpurescens, Curcuma rotundae, Curcuma rotunda, Curcuma xanthorriza, Curcuma zerumbet. Various wild species of Curcuma, such as Curcuma aromatica, contribute to their medicinal properties and serve as a source of essential oils. Turmeric can be grown through organic or conventional cultivation methods, leading to differences in taste, color, and chemical composition.

  • Lakadong: It is known for its exceptionally high curcumin content. It is primarily grown in the Lakadong region of Meghalaya, India. The high curcumin concentration makes it highly prized for its medicinal properties.
  • Alleppey Finger: This variety is grown in the Alleppey region of Kerala, India. It has a rich yellow color and a strong aroma. It is often used for its flavor and color in curries and other dishes.
  • Madras: Grown in the Madras region of India, this type of turmeric is known for its deep orange-yellow color. It has a somewhat bitter flavor and is commonly used in Indian and South Asian cuisine.
  • Java: Grown in Indonesia, Java turmeric is used in traditional Indonesian cuisine. It has a bright color and a warm, earthy flavor.
  • Aromatic: Certain turmeric varieties undergo cultivation specifically for their aroma, finding application in perfumes and essential oils.

Cooking with Fresh Turmeric Root

Cooking with turmeric root is a fantastic way to infuse its earthy, slightly bitter, and peppery flavor into your dishes while also benefiting from its potential health properties. Its versatility allows for its incorporation into a broad spectrum of recipes. Keep in mind that fresh root has a more potent flavor than ground powder, so you may need to adjust the quantity based on your taste preferences. Start by washing and scrubbing the turmeric root to remove any dirt or debris. You can peel it if desired, but it’s not necessary. Many people cook with the skin on, as it contains valuable nutrients. Use a grater or a knife to finely chop, mince, or grate the turmeric root based on your recipe’s requirements.

Popular Recipes

Turmeric root finds application in various savory dishes, such as curries, soups, stews, rice dishes, and stir-fries. Consider using it as a flavor base alongside other aromatics like garlic, onions, and ginger. To make a turmeric paste, blend the grated or chopped turmeric root with a small amount of water. You can add a bit of oil to create a smoother consistency. Store the paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator for future use.

  • Tea or Golden Milk: Grated or chopped turmeric root can be used to prepare turmeric tea or golden milk. Simmer it with other spices and liquids, like milk or water, for a soothing and warming beverage.
  • Pickles and Fermented Foods: You can slice turmeric root and incorporate it into homemade pickles or utilize it to add flavor to fermented foods such as sauerkraut.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Toss chopped turmeric root with your favorite vegetables before roasting for a unique flavor profile.
  • Rice Dishes: You can add finely chopped or grated turmeric root to rice dishes as it cooks to infuse the rice with its flavor and color.
  • Fresh Salads: Grate turmeric root and use it to flavor fresh salads. It can be particularly enjoyable in coleslaw or carrot salads.
  • Fresh Juices and Smoothies: Add small amounts of grated turmeric root to your fresh juices or smoothies for an added nutritional boost.
  • Fresh Salsas or Chutneys: Incorporate turmeric root into homemade salsas or chutneys for a unique twist on your favorite condiments.


Q. How much Curcumin is there in 1lbs of Turmeric root?
The curcumin content in turmeric root can vary, and it typically ranges from 2% to 5% by weight. This means that in every pound (16 ounces) of turmeric root, you can expect to find approximately 0.32 to 0.8 ounces of curcumin. The actual curcumin content may depend on factors like the turmeric variety, growing conditions, and processing methods. Therefore, it’s challenging to provide an exact curcumin content without specific laboratory testing.

Q. How do I use a fresh turmeric root on my face?

Some cultures practice using fresh turmeric root on the face, considering it a natural and traditional approach. Turmeric offers potential benefits for the skin. However, it’s essential to be cautious when applying turmeric to your face, as it can stain the skin, and some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to it. Turmeric may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Apply the mask in the evening and to use sunscreen during the day if you intend to go outdoors. Here’s a simple face mask recipe:

  • Ingredients:
    • Fresh turmeric root
    • Yogurt or milk (for oily or dry skin, respectively)
    • Honey (for added moisture and antibacterial properties)
    • A pinch of gram flour (besan) or rice flour (for texture)
  • Instructions:
    • Start by washing and peeling a small piece of fresh root. Wear gloves to avoid staining your hands.
    • Grate the root to obtain a fine paste. You can also use a small food processor or mortar and pestle for this purpose.
    • Combine the grated root with yogurt or milk, depending on your skin type. Yogurt is suitable for oily skin, while milk is better for dry skin.
    • Add a teaspoon of honey for added moisture and the antibacterial benefits it provides.
    • Optionally, add a pinch of gram flour or rice flour to create a thicker paste with exfoliating properties.
    • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any makeup, dirt, and oils.
    • Apply the mask evenly to your face, avoiding the area around your eyes.
    • Leave the mask on for about 15-20 minutes.
    • Rinse your face with lukewarm water and pat it dry gently with a clean towel.
    • Apply your regular moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.
Q. Can you grow turmeric from store-bought turmeric roots?

Yes, you can grow turmeric from store-bought turmeric roots.

  • Choose a fresh, plump, and unblemished turmeric root from the store. Look for a piece with several smaller “fingers” or buds, as these are the parts that will sprout into new plants.
  • Carefully cut the root into smaller pieces, making sure each piece has at least one or two buds (these look like small, round knobs). Allow the cut pieces to air dry for a day or two to prevent rot.
  • Select a pot or container that is at least 12 inches deep with drainage holes. Plant needs well-draining soil to prevent root rot.
  • Use well-draining, slightly acidic potting soil. You can mix in some compost to enrich the soil. Fill the pot with the soil, leaving a few inches of space at the top.
  • Plant the rhizome pieces about 2 inches deep in the soil, with the buds facing upward. Space them a few inches apart to allow room for growth.
  • Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. The herb prefers humid conditions, so consider using a humidity tray or a spray bottle to increase humidity around the plant, especially if you’re growing it indoors.
  • Place the pot in a warm, sunny spot with indirect sunlight. Plants do well in temperatures between 68-86°F (20-30°C).
  • As the plant grows, it will produce large, lush leaves. It is ready to harvest when the leaves start to turn yellow and die back, usually after about 8-10 months.
  • When you’re ready to harvest, carefully dig up the rhizomes. You can cut away a portion of the rhizomes, leaving some in the soil to continue growing.
  • Dry and store the harvested rhizomes in a cool, dry place for future use.
Q. What is the best way to store turmeric roots?

Properly stored turmeric roots can last for several weeks to a few months, depending on their freshness when initially purchased. Over time, they may become less vibrant and lose some of their flavor, but they are still usable. If you have a surplus of turmeric roots and want to keep them for an extended period, consider freezing them. Simply peel, chop, and freeze the turmeric roots in an airtight container or freezer bag. Frozen turmeric can be used in cooking without the need to thaw, and it retains its flavor and color well. Here are some guidelines for the best way to store turmeric roots:

Tips To Store Fresh Turmeric Root
  • Keep Them Dry: Store turmeric roots in a cool, dry place. Avoid moisture, as it can lead to mold and rot.
  • Use a Perforated Plastic Bag or Paper Bag: Place the herb roots in a perforated plastic bag or a paper bag. The perforations allow some air circulation while preventing excess moisture buildup. You can use a fork or a knife to poke holes in the bag.
  • Avoid Refrigeration: Refrigeration is generally not recommended for storing turmeric roots. Cold and humid conditions can lead to the roots becoming soft and moldy.
  • Store in a Dark Place: Keep the bag of turmeric roots in a dark place to prevent exposure to light, which can cause them to sprout.
  • Check for Moisture and Mold: Periodically check the roots for moisture or signs of mold. If you notice any issues, remove the affected roots to prevent the problem from spreading.
  • Maintain Air Circulation: Ensure that there is some airflow in the storage area, as stagnant air can contribute to moisture buildup.
  • Keep Them Whole: It’s generally best to keep the roots whole until you’re ready to use them. Cutting or grating them exposes more surface area, which can lead to quicker drying and loss of flavor.
  • Store Away from Strong Odors: Turmeric can absorb odors from its surroundings, so store it away from strong-smelling foods or materials.
  • Store in a Container: You can also store roots in a container with a lid or an airtight glass jar with proper ventilation to prevent moisture accumulation.
Q. What is the difference between Lakadong turmeric root and normal turmeric root in terms of medicinal values?

Lakadong turmeric root, specifically sourced from the Lakadong region in the Indian state of Meghalaya, is known for its high curcumin content, which is the active compound responsible for many of turmeric’s potential health benefits. While both Lakadong turmeric and regular turmeric belong to the same species, Curcuma longa, there can be differences in their curcumin content and, subsequently, their medicinal values. Here are the key distinctions:

  • Curcumin Content: Lakadong is renowned for its exceptionally high curcumin content, often ranging from 6% to 9% or even higher. This is significantly higher than the average curcumin content in regular turmeric, which ranges from 2% to 5%. The higher curcumin concentration in Lakadong turmeric may contribute to more potent medicinal properties.
  • Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties: The increased curcumin content in Lakadong is associated with stronger antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin is useful to combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation, which are beneficial for overall health.
  • Potential Health Benefits: While both types of turmeric offer various potential health benefits, including support for the immune system, digestive health, and joint health, Lakadong turmeric’s higher curcumin levels may enhance these effects. Curcumin is also being studied for its potential role in managing chronic diseases and conditions like arthritis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Flavor and Aroma: Lakadong is popular for its robust flavor and aroma, which can be more intense and vibrant compared to regular turmeric. This can influence the taste and aroma of dishes made with Lakadong turmeric.
  • Price: Due to its higher curcumin content and special regional origin, Lakadong variety may be more expensive than regular variety.
Q. How to make turmeric powder from fresh roots?

Choose fresh turmeric roots that are firm, unblemished, and free from mold or signs of spoilage. The fresher the roots, the better the quality of the powder.

  • Wash and Clean the Roots: Gently wash the roots under running water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean towel.
  • Peel the Roots: Using a knife or vegetable peeler, remove the outer skin of the turmeric roots.
  • Slice or Chop: Cut the peeled roots into small, thin slices or small chunks. Smaller pieces will dry more evenly and quickly.
  • Dehydrate the roots:
    • Sun-Dry: Spread the slices or chunks on a clean, dry surface, such as a large tray or a piece of clean cloth. Place them in direct sunlight. It’s important to choose a sunny day for this step. Turn the pieces periodically to ensure even drying. Depending on the intensity of the sun, it may take 4-7 days for the turmeric to dry thoroughly. The turmeric is ready when it becomes brittle and snaps easily.
    • Dehydrator: Arrange the slices or chunks on the dehydrator trays, making sure they are not overlapping. Set the dehydrator to a low temperature (around 110°F or 43°C) and dry the turmeric for 6-8 hours or until it becomes brittle.
    • Oven: If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use your oven. Preheat it to the lowest possible temperature (usually around 140-150°F or 60-65°C) and spread the pieces on a baking sheet. Prop the oven door open slightly to allow moisture to escape. It may take 8-12 hours to fully dehydrate the turmeric in the oven.
  • Grind the Dried Turmeric: Once the root is completely dehydrated and becomes brittle, remove it from the dehydrator or oven. Allow it to cool to room temperature. Grind them into a fine powder.