About forty species of small evergreen or bright shrubs belong to the genus Curcuma, originating in Asia and Australia. C. alismatifolia is native to India; develops long lance-shaped leaves, slightly stiff, shiny, light green; in summer, at the apex of 60-70 cm tall, erect stems, large pinkish flowers bloom. These plants develop fleshy rhizomes, which in Asia are used, dried and shredded, as a coloring agent and as a food spice. The flowers have a very particular shape, the flowering lasts a few weeks. Turmeric is generally grown in the apartment, although it is possible to use it as a summer bulb, or you can put the rhizome in late spring, and unearth it in autumn. The rhizomes are grown in a cool, dry place with a minimum temperature above 15 ° C.
Exposure is a very important factor to take into consideration when growing Curcuma alismatifolia. This is because the plant, having tropical origins, prefers therefore minimum temperatures above 12-15 ° C, even during the winter months. It prefers luminous positions, but not directly exposed to sunlight. During the cold months the containers are kept away from the cold, in a cool and dry place.
This plant needs a warm, humid climate to develop; from March to September-October water regularly and in abundance, avoiding leaving water in the saucer, and letting the soil dry slightly between one watering and another. If the climate is very dry it is advisable to vaporize the leaves periodically. Towards the beginning of autumn the leaves begin to turn yellow, from this moment we avoid watering the plant: the leaves will dissolve and the rhizome begins a period of dormancy, during which watering is avoided, and the pot is left in place fresh and dry, with temperatures above 15 ° C. It starts again to water when the shoots of the new leaves sprout from the ground.
Reproducing our seedlings is an operation that can give us great satisfaction. To do this, it is enough to know the most suitable multiplication methods to use and proceed as explained below. As the years go by, the rhizomatous roots tend to widen and form large tufts, it is possible to remove small portions, to be repotted individually, which will give rise to new plants.
There turmeric alismatifolia it is cultivated in soft and light soil, rich in organic and well-drained, neutral or slightly acidic matter. The cultivation soil of our plants is another element that should not be underestimated. The wrong soil can limit the optimal growth of the plant! For this reason, it is advisable to inquire about the specific cultivation needs of turmeric before cultivating it.
Turmeric - Curcuma alismatifolia: Pests and diseases
Generally these plants are not affected by pests or diseases, although they can sometimes be affected by the cochineal. These are parasites that feed on plant sap and can be defeated by manually removing them with alcohol wipes. If watered during the winter months, they can be attacked by root rot, which quickly causes the plant to die.