Growing Yacon, also Sunroot

Smallanthus sonchifolius : Asteraceae / the daisy family

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 2 m/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

07 Jan 24, Di (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have yacon if you'd like some tubers. I live in Tauranga.
10 Jan 24, Evan (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I would love some Yakon tubers Di, I am in Tauranga also
09 Jan 24, Bruce (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I'd love some too. I'm local, can pick up
07 Jan 24, Jane Pearce (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I would love some yacon! I live in Christchurch. Obviously I would pay postage, but would you also charge for the plants? Thanks.
19 Sep 21, (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Did you manage to find some?
09 Mar 21, Sue (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Is it too late to plant my yakons now. How do I keep the plants alive if it is too late
27 Apr 21, GM (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Just doing some research myself, and I found this comment on the Koanga website -
11 Oct 20, Suzy Hawes (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Oops! That was meant to say Yakon tubers!
11 Oct 20, Susan Hawes (New Zealand - temperate climate)
We grow all our own food. Large longstanding garden but my husband is having blood sugar issues and we're looking for yakon rivers to plant. Tried Koanga Gardens but they have none. 0274223442 [email protected] Thanks
13 Aug 20, peter (New Zealand - temperate climate)
You cannot buy Yakon seed from bunnings or anyone else because they only propagate from tubers.
Showing 1 - 10 of 52 comments

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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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