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Growing Yacon, also Sunroot

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

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

P = Plant tubers

  • Easy to grow. Plant sprouting root/tuber to a depth of about 4cm and mulch to cover. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 39 inches apart
  • Harvest in approximately 25 weeks. You can collect a few at a time without digging out the whole plant..
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best in separate bed
  • Yacon flowering

Yacon is perennial in sub-tropical/tropical areas. Save some root pieces and treat as an annual in other areas.

Grows into a large plant ( about 2m/6ft) with flowers similar to sunflowers and Jerusalem artichokes.

The plants die down after frost but the roots are sweeter. To store, dig and dry out for a couple of days in the sun if possible. Store in a dry, cool, not freezing and dark place.

Any roots left in the ground will grow the following year except where there are frosts.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Yacon

The large roots can be used raw in salads peel and chop. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning.
'In the Andes, they are grated and squeezed through a cloth to yield a sweet refreshing drink. The juice can also be boiled down to produce a syrup. In South America the juice is concentrated to form dark brown blocks of sugar called chancaca.' (Green Harvest)

Your comments and tips

02 Aug 18, Heather-anne Lang (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi I live on Pirongia in the Waikato and am wanting to grow some yacon. Does anyone have any crowns to share or sell. Because we are on the side of a mountain we don't get frosts so hopefully it will grow well. Thanks.
11 May 18, Minsoo (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi I live in tauranga. Where can I get the seed. I would like to plant in my garden. Thanks
21 May 18, Dawn (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi there. I will be harvesting my yacon in the next month or two and can send you some then for you to plant in spring...paying it forward as I was given 3 two seasons ago, planted 12 and gave away 16 last season, so I expect to have wayyyyy too much this harvest!!!
02 Jul 18, carol o'shea (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hello Dawn. I am in Tauranga, was given a Yacon plant last spring. It is beginning to die down. can you give me any advice as to what I do with it now. Do I dig the whole plant up? how do I start another plant for the coming spring? Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Regards Carol
26 Jul 18, Faye (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Dig the whole plant up. Eat the large light brown tubers (look like dahlia tubers) . Where the stem meets the ground should be a different thickened part more reddish keep this it will get shoots in spring and is the bit to plant when danger of frosts is past.
25 Oct 13, norman (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi. I live in Temuka, S.Island. Would like to obtain seeds and plants for vege garden. Thanx
11 Jun 13, Catharina (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi! I am Catharina and would like more information on this wonderful yacon plant which I would love to grow in my garden. I live in Putaruru in the South Waikato. We do get some frost but the general climate is mild. I am making an area with lots of organic siledge witch would keep the soil pretty warm and weed free.
18 Jun 12, Subhadra (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I am interested in sunroot plant. where can I get the seed or plant in Auckland, New Zealand so that I can plant some in my vegetable garden.
01 Nov 12, Ittai (New Zealand - temperate climate)
hi, Where can I get the seed or plant in Christchurch , Newzealand ? How much is it ? Thanks.
23 Apr 13, G.Renting (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I would like to buy yacon tubers/seeds for my garden

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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