Growing Jerusalem Artichokes, also Sunchoke

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                    P P

(Best months for growing Jerusalem Artichokes in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Plant tubers

  • Easy to grow. Plant tubers about 5cm (1.5") deep.. Best planted at soil temperatures between 46°F and 59°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 12 - 18 inches apart
  • Harvest in 15-20 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Tomatoes, cucumbers
  • Jerusalem Artichoke/Sunchoke
  • Artichoke harvest

These are the edible root of a sunflower. Plant the tubers deep enough to cover with soil. They are quite drought-tolerant, but keep well-watered to grow larger tubers. They grow through the summer to 1.5m-tall sunflowers with a smallish flower. Dig up the tubers when the flowers die down in autumn.

Get a couple of tubers from the supermarket or fruit shop. Two years after planting you will probably have enough to give away. Perennial, if you don't manage to harvest all the tubers they will regrow year after year.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Jerusalem Artichokes

Scrape clean or peel (add a tsp of lemon or vinegar to the water to stop the tubers browning). Steam, boil, or use in artichoke soup (make with artichokes and some stock). Caution - because they contain 'resistent starch' Jerusalem Artichokes are a great promoter of flatulence in some individuals.

Your comments and tips

01 Aug 20, Judy Amstad (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Where do I buy the seed artichokes to grow from please.
03 Aug 20, (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Look up seed selling websites in NZ.
02 May 20, Fiona Buchanan (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hello I've just been given a huge bag of Jerusalem artichokes. No problems in using them but I want to keep some tubers to plant out at then of winter /spring. Can anyone tell me how to store them until then.
08 May 20, Anon (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Plant a few them out now. As sunflowers, they are prettier in a north facing spot. They'll be fine as long as they get a bit of water. Be warned they can be quite invasive over a couple of year period if you're not careful.
06 May 20, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Google how to store them.
02 Apr 20, Anne (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Do you think I could grow these in the Wairarapa? We have frosts to about -5 in winter.
07 May 20, Christie (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I’ve seen them growing in a few Wairarapa gardens - not sure if people water them but I’ve also seen them growing along side the Ruamahanga under one of the bridges so I guess it should be fine!
04 Jan 20, Elaine Brown (New Zealand - temperate climate)
hi, I found keeping the tubers in damp sawdust was ok, but the last season I dug what I wanted and left the rest in the ground over winter dug up in september and planted them out, now I have a forest of them . hope this helps
04 Nov 19, STEPHANIE LIEBERT (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi I bought some Jerusalem Artichoke tubers on trade-me a few months back and they have been dormant in the ground since about June. I am in Auckland, and the spot they are in is sheltered and sunny. NOTHING has come up yet. Should I worry?
07 Nov 19, Another gardener (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Try checking here before planting anything. You planted early winter instead early spring. This is what happens when people plant out of season. If you had a wet winter they may be rotten. Dig around the tubers to see how they are.
Showing 1 - 10 of 37 comments

Do you think I could grow these in the Wairarapa? We have frosts to about -5 in winter.

- Anne

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