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 17°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 30 - 45 cm 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

17 Aug 08, shelley tee (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I am desparate to buy beg or even borrow some yams to grow,will pay postage and small sum.I am in a frost zone for the first time in 24 years, and remember our yams in NZ were left in until the frost sweetened the tuber.My email is [email protected] thank you
17 Sep 08, Kate (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Yams can be obtained on a very limited basis from; Green Harvest PO Box 92 Maleny Qld 4552 Australia 1800 681014
04 Oct 08, halapolo hola (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
i would like to know the different types of yams and how you look after them with the insect and disease and the grubs. please to the above email address.
08 Oct 08, jacki wright (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I too am hunting for nz yam tubers or seeds with no luck at all. Green harvest do not have them this year. We kiwis love this!
19 Jan 09, (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
As an ex Kiwi I too despaired of ever tasting NZ Yams again Last year I was able to source some seed from another exkiwi and have a few growing very wellwith very healthy topsbut didnt know one had to mound them up like spudsI may have enough of a crop to supply some seed but we`ll just have to wait and see
03 Feb 09, velia (Australia - temperate climate)
i am an ex-kiwi with yams growing, planted oct. but when do we harvest them?? last year they were so precious we did not eat any, just replanted them, even the tiny ones.
17 May 09, Sylvia (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have only just heard about this yam and we are very keen to grow them. Do you think it would be too hot in the Grafton area of NSW to have a successful crop? We grow potatos and sweet potatoes quite successfully.
15 Jul 09, Sue Anderson (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I too am looking for the Aerial Potato (Yam).I have written to some Magazines and nobody seems to able to help me.Why are they so hard to buy..somebody must have them??? Cheers Sue
31 Jul 09, Elizabeth Glass (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I have just ordered some yams from this website.
19 Aug 09, Chris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Have just this morning received 3 yam tubers from Also received a list of available seasonal plants showing their yams now out of stock. Better luck next season guys.
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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