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Growing Jerusalem Artichokes, also Sunchoke

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

(Best months for growing Jerusalem Artichokes in USA - Zone 5a 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
  • Artichoke harvest
    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

07 Dec 17, Leanne (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in wa and found some shriveled up chokes at my local iga. I planted them and thought they had died but eventually they popped up and grew. I planted out all the tubers the next year and kept expanding my crop.That was 3 years ago. This year I have planted close to 200 tubers and gave away many more. They grow well here, just need to keep them watered in summer and you will be rewarded. To store them I layer the chokes with coarse sand in a bucket with a lid and give them a spray of water if the sand gets really dry. I am happy to share them if you live in perth.
16 Nov 17, Robert Boardman (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
I have grown Jerusalem artichokes - sunchokes - for two years. What got left in the ground last Fall grew in the late Spring. After two days of below zero temperatures this week I harvested more than 20kg of tubers from about 15 plants. From reading articles and from growing them I learned I cannot find all the tubers when I dig in the Fall. They must be harvested in the Fall, no tubers will form until day length is less than night length.
07 Nov 17, Linda Swanborough (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where can I buy them in the Sandton, Fourways area? Thanks
24 Aug 17, Lynne (Canada - zone 4a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Can tubers be planted in the fall and harvested the next summer like I do with garlic. We usually have a late spring so it's hard to plant until at least June.
30 Oct 17, rita near kamllops (Canada - Zone 3b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
No one responded so I will. I do not know for certain. I shop at farmer's market where 2 organic farmers grow and sell these. Both know I grow much of my own food. The guy I normally buy these from never suggested I plant any.. He had ended for the season and I purchased from the other grower. She was telling everyone to plant some of what they buy. HOWEVER she often sales pitches to clear out stock. Also they are zone 4 - 5 -along the river near Kamloops.. I'm at much higher elevation in an unpredictable area. I long ago quit buying zone 4 plants due to cold snaps that hit every few years. I'm going to try a couple roots this fall if I can get them in this week. (end Oct, 1st of Nov -the next snow might stay). If you have access to them I suggest you try a few too. All the local growers who are at warmer elevations than I start their garlic in the fall and say it needs the extra growing time. These may need the settling in time too. Trial and error is the best bet in these climates. I'm on a hillside and after 30+ years still marvel how some plants do well in one area but not 10-15 meters away. I think it's related to underground moisture. Good luck!
23 Jul 17, Joemarie Rowe (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I am staying in Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, where can i buy some seeds of Jerusalem Artichokes. Thank you. Have a great day
03 Aug 17, Sheena Ridley (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Hi Joemarie, I have some tubers for you- I stay 80kms from Oudtshoorn and do come that way.Contact me by email and we can organise.
14 May 17, sonia marie (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I have just received JA`s and want to plant them but we are into the colder months , should i store them and if so how or should i put them in the soil and wait for them to come up ? i dont want to lose these ive been searching for them forever
15 May 17, Giovanni (Australia - temperate climate)
I would store them in a pot filled with damp sand until spring. If you leave them out they will shrivel and if you plant them they may rot unless you have good drainage. Once established they are virtually indestructible and would survive most winters.
26 Apr 17, Wendy (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted a couple of JA's in spring and about 8 weeks ago they shot up with lovely yellow flowers. I cut these off fairly quickly hoping the growth would go back into the Tubers. I am guessing i could dig some up, but i would like to also move some of the tubers to another spot. Can i do this now or should i wait until the spring?
Showing 1 - 10 of 156 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. Gardenate 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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