Growing Yam/Oca, also Oka

Oxalis tuberosa : Oxalidaceae / the wood sorrel family

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

(Best months for growing Yam/Oca in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • P = Plant tubers
  • Plant tubers about 5cm (1.5") deep covered with soil. Best planted at soil temperatures between 63°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 12 - 18 inches apart
  • Harvest in 15-20 weeks. Leave in the ground until foliage has completely died down so tubers reach maximum size.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best in separate bed
  • Harvested and washed oca
  • New growth just emerged and some tubers ready for planting
  • Oca just harvested
  • Oca leaves
  • Oca plant
  • Young leaves of Oka

Yams needs a long growing time to produce the tubers.

Protect from early Autumn (Fall) frosts to give time for tubers to fully develop.

Planting needs are similar to potatoes. Yams can handle more shade than potatoes. Earthing up will help increase production.

The leaves look rather like clover. Dig up after the plant dies down and leave outside for a few days to dry.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Yam/Oca

Scrub and boil or roast with other vegetables.

Your comments and tips

05 Jun 17, pati (USA - Zone 5a climate)
will these grow in Michigan
09 Jun 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Yams/oka need about 5 months to grow before harvesting. They can be planted when the soil reaches about 17 degrees C (a bit over 60 degrees). if you can fit these requirements you should be right. Harvest them after the leaves have started to die down to give them the most opportunity to make size.
30 Dec 14, Sandra (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Where can I buy seeds, preferably organic, from? Thankyou
26 Feb 17, (USA - Zone 8a climate)
I live in zone 8a also (Waco TX) & have recently bought from all these places online. I am very happy with these companies. Hope this helps for USDA organic or Heirloom seeds
09 Mar 14, Jane (USA - Zone 6a climate)
I am thinking to grow small amount of oca this year. Is there anyone can tell me where I can get some seeds or tuber to try? Thank you so much!
13 Mar 14, Bill W. (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Jane: You can buy oca in the USA at Delia: Okra, the edible pod, is Abelmoschus esculentus. Oca, a tuber, is Oxalis tuberosa. In Australia, you might be more familiar with it under the name "New Zealand Yam".
25 Sep 13, Bill W. (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Information on where to get oca in the US:
08 Apr 13, Billye Timbes (USA - Zone 8a climate)
I bought 1 or 2 little plants last summer & planted them on a little hilled bed. The plants died down but I left them as they were until last week when I noticed parts of tubers sticking out of the soft ground. I dug around & there are lots of them, some of them sprouting already (April 7). I left a few to grow again but I harvested several quarts of tubers. The slugs had nibbled some of them but most look healthy. Portland OR. no work, no trouble.
28 Feb 13, Glenda (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Where can I get plants or seeds to grow Oca in NY State Glenda

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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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