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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 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

28 Jan 19, Chris Gee (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have grow a Yacon as a test run and it went OK so I have 10 plants in now and they are about 1m high. When I harvest can I just plant the rhizomes straight away back into the ground or should I pot them first?
29 Jan 19, m (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Read the above (info on growing yacon for Sub-Tropical Australia) or google it.
10 Nov 18, Sarah Hulley (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Hi Everyone I was wondering if anyone managed to find Yacon roots for planting?
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.
04 Oct 18, Janice (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi Tony, I am in Hobart and have recently harvested my Yacon and have several clumps of Rhizomes/tubers available if interested. Happy to give away. They grow well here and multiply ++ I acquired my first tuber from a friend in Burnie (they grow well there) ... founder of Food Plants International, which has produced the largest database (fee online) of edible food plants in the world.
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.
08 Feb 19, Jay (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Hi Heather, Did you get any yakon when you inquired? I live in the village and have just been given a plant, we could share.
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 223 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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