How to Grow Jicama

Four Methods:Prepare Jicama SeedsPlant Jicama SeedsCare for Jicama PlantsHarvest the Jicama Tubers

Jicama, or Pachyrhizus erosus, is actually a vine that is native to Mexico, although most people are familiar with its root, which is used in cooking. Jicama, also known as yam bean, can be found on tables in Mexican restaurants as a condiment, and it is widely used in recipes like fresh salads, salsas and soups. Jicama requires a long growing season in order to produce the roots, or tubers, that provide the meat of the plant. The vine itself is hardy and long, often growing up to 15 feet (4.6 meters) in length, and requires you stake it or use a trellis. Jicama is a tropical plant that grows best in warm climates throughout Central America and USDA zones 7 through 10. The following steps will allow you to grow jicama that can be enjoyed in the fall.

Method 1
Prepare Jicama Seeds

  1. 1
    Soak jicama seeds in lukewarm water to speed germination.
    • Place seeds in a shallow pan of warm water for 24 hours.
    • Remove seeds from the water.

Method 2
Plant Jicama Seeds

  1. 1
    Sow jicama seeds outdoors after the last frost. Choose a location in your garden that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day, and has rich, loamy soil that is loose.
  2. 2
    Dig small holes about 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) in depth and about 8 to 10 inches (20.32 to 25.4 cm) apart.
  3. 3
    Place jicama seeds in the soil, cover them, and tamp them down lightly.
  4. 4
    Lightly water the planted jicama seeds, but do not saturate them.

Method 3
Care for Jicama Plants

  1. 1
    Fertilize jicama once a month with an all-purpose fertilizer.
  2. 2
    Stake the vines of the jicama plant when they are about 24 inches (61 cm) in length.
    • Place wooden tomato stakes about 4 inches (10.2 cm) deep into the soil next to the jicama vine. Loosely tie each plant with twine.
  3. 3
    Check the jicama plants daily for dry soil. Only water when the soil is dry since jicama does not do well with over-watering.
  4. 4
    Deadhead the blooms. Remove the tiny flowers that bloom on the jicama to encourage stronger root growth.

Method 4
Harvest the Jicama Tubers

  1. 1
    Dig the tubers from underground. Unearth the tubers from the ground using a trowel. Wait until late fall, but before the first frost to dig your tubers. This will be approximately 150 days from the time of planting.
  2. 2
    Collect the tubers and allow them to dry, then lightly brush off any remaining soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Jicama seeds
  • Shallow dish
  • Trowel
  • Tomato stakes
  • Twine
  • All-purpose plant fertilizer

Article Info

Categories: Growing Vegetables