Turmeric

A couple of years ago I bought a small piece of turmeric in a grocery store. I put it in a pot indoors. Leaves sprouted and grew about 18". Then the tips turned brown. The whole leaves started to wither.
A new set of leaves started growing in the second year. Now they are healthy.
How do I harvest turmeric. Can I dig out some of it and cut the root without killing the whole plant?
Also are the leaves edible?
-Danny
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It will do best if you keep in mind that it is a tropical plant so it needs the warmest shetered spot with full or nearly full sun you can find. Keep the water up to it in the warmer months, it will probably go dormant in winter (often it dies back in coastal Sydney) when it doesn't need water. It will re-shoot in the spring if you remember to start watering again. If you grow it well with plenty of sun it will flower too, the flowers are very pretty.

Yes, try digging a hole next to it and taking some from the side without disturbing the whole thing. Wear plastic gloves while cutting and peeling unless you like yellow hands.

Yes but they are rather tough. Better used as a wrap, say around baked meat or fish or something similar. If you want to see what the flavour is like select some young small leaves which will be more tender.
David
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How did you get yours to sprout? What ambient air temp? I've been trying to get my piece to sprout. Only some green spots and small bumps that haven't gone anywhere.
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\"remove remove\"> wrote:

grocery
18".
bumps
It needs to be warm, in my experience above about 24 degrees C (~75F), this is best done in spring, keep the root damp but not soggy. Make sure you start with a fresh plump rhizome not a withered dried-out one. Plant into a sheltered spot with full sun or nearly full sun and keep the water up to it once the leaves appear. If your air temp is too cold or very dry you will not succeed. The plant is native to the tropical parts of SE Asia so if you are in a cool/cold temperate area forget it without a hothouse or equivalent.
David
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Thanks. I tried growing it in the shade here during the summer. Have no trouble getting normal ginger to sporut but this one will not. The ones at theindian market have not sproutd though they have not been refrigerated.
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wrote:

FWIW, I have two 30 gal nursery containers into which I throw "used" planting mixes when transplanting or repotting seedlings and other plants. They sit in a brightly lighted portion of my greenhouse. I have ginger, galangal and turmeric growing in them. Here (Central Texas) the galangal thrives even when the GH temps drop to the upper 30's (F) (I only heat in emergencies). The ginger turns brown and loses its upper growth as soon as the soil termp drops into the 50s.(F). The turmeric is somewhere in between. Last year it kept the top growth but was so sorry looking that I cut it off. As the inside temps get into the 80s (F) in spring, all of them resume growth.
The tumeric is a pretty, roughly 5 foot, plant with very nice flowers. Unfortunately they are hidden at the base of the plant rather than being at that top was with most gingers.
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\"remove remove\"> wrote:

Writing from England - you know what our weather is like.
Well, I know this sounds nuts, but...:
Bought some turmeric roots in an Indian grocery about a year ago, put them in a brown paper bag in the salad crisper thing in the bottom of the fridge and promptly forgot about them. Every time I cleaned the fridge (about once every 4 months, to be honest) I'd just remove the bag, clean the crisper and put the bag back. This summer I felt sorry for these few roots. Two had withered away to nothing. I planted the other three in a pot of ordinary compost in June and put them in my greenhouse (in case of late frosts). Crikey, up they came! These tubers had been saving themselves for a big explosion, and they've done extremely well, unexpectedly putting out lots of nice green leaves.
Have removed them to my bathroom (which is the only warmish, moist place in the house at this time of year). So far, so good, they haven't died down yet.
I also grow Kra Chai (Kaempferia spp.), another ginger-like S.E. Asian food plant. As you say, though, the tips turn brown and the whole plant appears to die. But my Kra Chai has been springing up now for several years.
Don't throw your tubers away once the leaves turn brown, they'll spring up again.
thecow
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