Growing Yam/Oca, also Oka

Oxalis tuberosa : Oxalidaceae / the wood sorrel family

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

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

  • P = Plant tubers
  • Plant tubers about 5cm (1.5") deep covered with soil. Best planted at soil temperatures between 63°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 12 - 18 inches apart
  • Harvest in 15-20 weeks. Leave in the ground until foliage has completely died down so tubers reach maximum size.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best in separate bed
  • Harvested and washed oca
  • New growth just emerged and some tubers ready for planting
  • Oca just harvested
  • Oca leaves
  • Oca plant
  • Young leaves of Oka

Yams needs a long growing time to produce the tubers.

Protect from early Autumn (Fall) frosts to give time for tubers to fully develop.

Planting needs are similar to potatoes. Yams can handle more shade than potatoes. Earthing up will help increase production.

The leaves look rather like clover. Dig up after the plant dies down and leave outside for a few days to dry.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Yam/Oca

Scrub and boil or roast with other vegetables.

Your comments and tips

29 Jul 22, Allykat (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I brought yams at mitre 10. The packet says planr July/August but all online info says plant in Spring. I live inland Tasman area if that helps.
08 Aug 22, Richard Grevers (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I'd go with the online info. We plant October/November, harvesting May/June (better after the first frost). They can take their time to really take off - ours had minimal foliage until March.
14 Jul 22, Deb (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I tried to grow yams last year without success but leaves shot up this year. I noticed some yams have grown but they have some green skin as they were on the surface or partially exposed. Are green yams toxic like green potatoes?
30 Jun 22, Denise (Australia - temperate climate)
Do the tubers accumulate around the seed yam? I am finding very small tubers growing off the vines.
25 Jun 22, Peter (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Is it possible to grown yams from the shop? I know that its best to use seed potatoes but yams?...
26 Apr 22, Patsy (Australia - temperate climate)
Can you grow yams in WA I'm 2hrs south of Perth and if so where can I get them please thanks
02 May 22, Anonymous (Australia - tropical climate)
Plant in Oct Nov and try some internet seed selling companies - diggers eden seeds etc.
20 Nov 21, Judith Fisher (Canada - Zone 4b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Can yams Oka be grown here?
25 Jan 21, Rob (Australia - temperate climate)
My first attempt to cultivate yams has resulted in no tubers at all even though the tops grew well and died down Why did I not get any tubers?????
27 Jan 21, Anonymous (Australia - arid climate)
Did you plant at the right time. Probably don't over water or fertilise them.
Showing 1 - 10 of 181 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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