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Growing Yacon, also Sunroot

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

Not recommended for growing in USA - Zone 5a regions

  • 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 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

14 Aug 18, TONY MCRAE (Australia - temperate climate)
I am on the east coast of Tasmania and would like to get hold of some Yacon plants. Does anyone have any available? I can collect north or south of the state. Thanks, Tony.
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.
30 Jul 18, Chris Gee (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I grew one Yacon last year a couple of small tubers (just a taste) I have broken up the roots and put them into 200mm pots can I plant these into the garden now or should I dig them up and plat later if so when should I plant?. I live just north of Mackay Qld.
31 Jul 18, Linda Shewan (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I have grown yacon for many years and I usually just replant immediately if I'm somewhere the frosts aren't too harsh. I live in a colder zone now so I have dug them up and put them inside and will replant after last frost date this year. You only replant the rhizomes, not the tubers. So dig them up, eat the tubers and replant the rhizomes into individual spots.
31 Jul 18, Mike L (Australia - tropical climate)
You are Tropical and it says plant April to July. Read the notes here.
19 Jul 18, Gawie Steyn (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Hi Caroline Can you help us to get some Yacon to plant. Thanks Gawie
19 Jul 18, Julie Bourke (Australia - temperate climate)
I have just harvested about 5 kgs of yacon tubers and I was wondering how long they will last before cooking/eating and should they be kept in the fridge?? I am just trying to work out whether it is best to give most away or whether they will last until we eat them....5kgs is rather a lot of yacon!!! Can you overdose on it???
20 Jul 18, Mike L (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
They may keep for a few weeks in the fridge. There is a YouTube video
13 Jul 18, PoMei (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have plenty of yacon eyes to plant and I will be at the Maleny markets on Sundays ...
10 Jul 18, Martin (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I would like to source yacon rhizomes for planting. Can anyone assist
Showing 1 - 10 of 216 comments

In July I planted some tubers I got from my relative in the Blue Mountains ...cold up there. Came back to Brisbane and left them lying around for a few days before I got round to finding a big enough garden bag/soil to plant in. Put them NOT too deep in organic compacted soil and in a week or two they shot up. Now in September they are growing very quickly and looking great. The tubers had gone a bit 'soft' before I planted them but all seems to have gone far. Not sure when they may reach flower and die back. Excited to see what happens.

- Linda B

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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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