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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

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
10 Jul 18, Gawie Steyn (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where in South Africa can I buy yacon to plant?
24 Jun 18, Greg (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Firstly I’m not sure cool/mountain climate best describes my climate, Horsham Victoria (January average temperatures > 30 and cool winters with frosts. I planted Yacons in pots in August and garden bed in September. Plants still 2 - 3 feet high and green. When should/should have I dig them up? greg
28 Jun 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
Read the comments here, it generally tells you these things. Plant time Oct -Nov. Harvest time 25 weeks.
11 May 18, Minsoo (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi I live in tauranga. Where can I get the seed. I would like to plant in my garden. Thanks
21 May 18, Dawn (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi there. I will be harvesting my yacon in the next month or two and can send you some then for you to plant in spring...paying it forward as I was given 3 two seasons ago, planted 12 and gave away 16 last season, so I expect to have wayyyyy too much this harvest!!!
02 Jul 18, carol o'shea (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hello Dawn. I am in Tauranga, was given a Yacon plant last spring. It is beginning to die down. can you give me any advice as to what I do with it now. Do I dig the whole plant up? how do I start another plant for the coming spring? Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Regards Carol
21 Apr 18, Jim (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Has anyone got any spare Yacon in Toowoomba? Cheers, JIm.
23 Apr 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
If no success try Boondie Seeds (lives in Armidale NSW) - they have them but sold out at the moment - contact her to find out when she might have them back in stock. Sometimes she has stock when the website says sold out.
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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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