Saffron root (Curcuma alismatifolia) belongs to the ginger family and comes from Asia and Australia. The bulbous plant not only grows upright in height, but also in width. The roots of the plant are also used as a spice for preparing food. The first flowering shoots form in late spring, the color of the flowers varies from purple to pink to white, depending on the variety. The saffron root is especially valued for its lush green leaves and beautiful flowers in the gardens of the local latitudes.

Location, plant substrate, plants

The saffron root is very well suited as a solitary because of its possible expansion, but also fits in small front gardens and in a mixed perennial bed with other plants. The turmeric plant looks particularly attractive in combination with other flowering plants and shrubs that transform the garden floor into a colorful carpet of flowers. In terms of site conditions, the plant is relatively undemanding and generally extremely adaptable in terms of the quality of the soil. The saffron root loves bright places, but cannot stand the blazing sun and burns here extremely quickly. A location in partial shade, on the other hand, is well tolerated; the canopy of a large tree or a large-leaved plant can serve as protection. The saffron root can be used without restrictions as a container plant,

  • A humus-rich and loosened plant substrate is ideal
  • Light soils are preferred
  • Normally nutrient-rich, slightly moist and well-drained soil
  • Loosen heavy and dense soils sufficiently
  • Enrich extremely loamy soil with sand or compost, mix well
  • Create drainage in the form of pebbles or other material
  • Sun-protected location in a bright, partially sunny to partially shaded location
  • A little morning and / or evening sun is ideal
  • Partial shade places are well tolerated
  • Strong sunlight and midday heat are not tolerated at all
  • Avoid soils that are too dry and extremely cold and draughty locations
  • Saffron root is ideal as a houseplant and container plant
  • Use normal, well-drained potting soil
  • When placing in a bucket, ensure that it is of sufficient size
  • Cultivation in pots simplifies wintering

Watering and fertilizing

Saffron root is relatively easy to care for and easy to use, but certain care regulations must be adhered to. The turmeric plant does not like prolonged drought, so regular watering is essential. Fertilizer is also required, especially during the flowering period and in extremely nutrient-poor soils.

  • High water requirements during the flowering period
  • Curcuma flowers must not get any irrigation water
  • Only water when the top soil layer has dried
  • Water regularly and normally
  • Keep the soil evenly moist, but not too wet
  • Reduce watering after flowering
  • A layer of mulch worked into the soil keeps the moisture in the soil longer
  • Water more intensely during extremely hot and dry weather phases
  • Avoid complete drying out of the soil and roots
  • Waterlogging and dry balls are not tolerated at all
  • Fertilize depending on the quality of the soil and the growing season
  • Use semi-concentrated liquid fertilizer about once a month
  • Fertilize only from April to September, not in winter quarters
  • Fertilizer sticks for potted and container plants
  • Do not fertilize newly purchased and freshly repotted plants for the first 6-8 weeks

Cutting and wintering

During the growing season from spring to autumn, the saffron root does not need to be pruned. When the leaves have wilted, all leaves that have not fallen off are cut back to the tuber.

  • Pruning only necessary in late autumn or at the beginning of winter
  • Never prune during the flowering period
  • Before winter, cut off old and dead leaves as close as possible to the tuber

The saffron root is summer green and not hardy, the tubers must be moved to a suitable winter quarters over the winter. Similar to dahlia bulbs, the rhizomes can overwinter and sprout again in full splendor in spring.

  • Preparation for winter quarters in November / December
  • Dig up any remaining rhizomes from the ground
  • Tubers must be stored frost-free and in a moderately warm place
  • A room temperature of approx. 12-16 degrees is ideal
  • The storage area must be completely dry
  • Place potted or potted plants in a frost-free room
  • Tuber can overwinter in a bucket or pot
  • Wintering in complete darkness is possible
  • If stored incorrectly, no new flowers will sprout in spring

Growth, leaves and flowers

The saffron root has delicate inflorescences in different colors, which are a colorful ornament for every garden and terrace. The curcuma tubers have to be stored properly over the winter so that they can sprout again in spring and form new flower buds. Even with very careful care, a new inflorescence is not always formed, with incorrect care the plant will only bloom with difficulty. When the temperatures rise to pleasantly warm values ​​in spring, the first shoots are usually visible. If too much moisture and moisture get into the flowers, they will rot quickly and then die. The leaves of the plant are rich green in color and fall off towards the end of autumn. The saffron root likes a certain humidity, especially in a sunnier location it is helpful to when a bowl filled with water is placed right next to the plant. Occasional spraying and wiping will keep the leaves dust-free. However, do not spray the flowers; this treatment is ideal after the flowering period. The height is manageable and rarely exceeds 80 cm. The saffron root is a hardly poisonous plant, so that there is no great danger for small children, cats and other pets if swallowed.

  • Flowers sprout again at around 22 degrees at the beginning of spring
  • Terminal inflorescences of filigree flowers with colored bracts
  • Flowers in purple, pink or white
  • Flowers are sensitive to direct watering
  • Flowering time is mid to late spring
  • Slowly limit watering after the flowering period
  • Do not water after the leaves have wilted or in winter quarters
  • Deciduous leaves that fall off from November
  • Growth height approx. 50-60 cm, with good care up to 70-80 cm possible

Propagate, repot and plant

The plant is propagated by exposing it in spring or by dividing the root. Curcuma tubers are available in Asia shops under the name of turmeric. If the plant is given a break, “Kindel” will emerge after a while. In spring the saffron root shows new shoot tips, then it needs a light place and should be watered regularly. If the space requirements in the tub or flower pot are limited, now is a good time to repot.

  • Propagate by dividing the root runners (rhizomes)
  • Divide the rhizome at the beginning of the shoot in spring
  • Transplant and repot tubers annually
  • Planting time is in spring
  • Prepare for spring from the end of February
  • Place or plant in light and warm locations for driving
  • Water moderately at first until the foliage has fully developed

Taste, effect and variety of varieties

Turmeric has a pungent and bitter taste and is valued for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also bile and digestive. In addition, it stimulates the respiratory functions, the uterus and the body’s own circulation. That is why it has been used by people since ancient times, and it is particularly popular in Asian cuisine. The genus Curcuma contains around 90 species and is one of the ginger family, whose range extends from Asia to Australia. The saffron root is available in different cultivated forms, which differ significantly in the height and color of their inflorescences.

  • Root tubers serve as a hot spice
  • Promotes human health
  • More than 90 species known
  • Species differences lie in the size and the flower color

Diseases and pests

The beautiful flowers of the plant tempt you to overwater, which unfavorably promotes disease and pest infestation. This creates a breeding ground for harmful fungal diseases. If the flowers stay permanently wet, flower rot will occur. Spider mite / red spider infestations can occur quickly and should be combated immediately.


  • Is caused by waterlogging
  • Water moderately and always only when the top layer of soil has dried off
  • Isolate the plant and repot it in fresh soil

Flower rot

  • Is generated by always wet flowers
  • Only water the soil and not the flowers

Red spider / spider mites

  • Leaves take on a pale hue, die off and then dry up
  • Are attracted by dry and too hot air
  • Increase humidity
  • Spray leaves more often and finely, leave out flowers
  • Isolate and wrap with clear plastic wrap
  • Fight stubborn predatory mite infestations
  • Chemical treatment with acaricide

The saffron root is a beautiful ornamental plant, which is a delight for the eye with its filigree inflorescences and lush green leaves. Since the plant is not hardy, it needs special winter quarters during this time. In spring there is a colorful awakening when the turmeric sprouts again. Mistakes in care are punished with failure to flower, but these can easily be avoided. Due to the expansion in height and width, the plant must be given sufficient space.

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