Re: [gardeners] Growing jicama from the store?

George Shirley (
Wed, 13 Jan 1999 21:19:02 -0600

Bob Kirk wrote:

> >The jicama plant is a very large vine with purple flowers (some would say
> >blue flowers but they look purple to me) and big bean pods, it would make an
> >attractive ornamental trained over a trellis IMHO.
>    The three I've planted with that in mind (a more promising use than
> attempting to actually eat them, imho ;-) all rotted within a week or two.
> Pretty sure I remember all yours are from seed, right, George?

Yup, I think I ordered the seed from Burpee last year, ie 1997 for 1998. I had
hoped to have seed from the large pods growing on my vines but they died before
the seeds could mature.

> But it's
> occurred to me that those of us without 370-day growing seasons would have
> a better chance of seeing flowers if we started with the - ?corm, I guess.

Well, the vines on mine are coming out of the root node or corm so would expect
you could plant one. The jicama is just barely under the surface of the dirt, a
little bit exposed at the surface. Haven't dug but the one so far and will have
to wait until I'm less busy next week to dig more. Was thinking of letting one
stay in the ground to see if a vine would grow when the ground warms up. These
definitely aren't treated, don't know about the ones you find in the store.

>    Any idea what's happening here? My best guess would be they're treated
> like some potatoes etc. to retard sprouting, but from the speed with which
> apparently healthy starts turn into an impressive hollow in the ground, I
> must be doing something else wrong.
>    Excellent, well-drained, warm soil, not overwatered, exact same result
> two years running. Has anyone else tried this, or heard of it being done?

Mine are on a little hill with a good bit of sun but shaded in the late
afternoon. I may be wrong but I think I read some where that they were plants of
the jungle understory and the vines would climb the trees, seems like high shade,
warm soil, light water would work.

>    BK---
> whose deja vu is bothering him something fierce, apologizes if he's asked
> this exact same question in the past but finds no evidence of it & hopes
> that was one of the >50% of posts which end up never being sent.....

<VBG> Don't remember such a post on this list and probably would.