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Jicama growing

Jicama Growing Guide

Champion of the Underdog » Tropical Gardening » Jicama Growing Guide

About Jicama

Jicama or yam beans grow easily in the tropics, so we have produced this ‘jicama growing guide’. However, do not eat the beans of this plant as they are poisonous.

This plant originated in Mexico and Central America. The Spanish are known to have introduced it to Asia. Other names for jicama include yam bean, Mexican potato, Chinese potato and sweet turnip.

Can you grow jicama from a tuber?

Jicama can be grown from either a tuber or by seed.

Bowl of Jicama

Jicama growing from seed

Time needed: 5 minutes

How to grow jicama from seed.

  1. Prepare seeds.

    Soak your seeds overnight before planting.

  2. Planting

    Plant your seeds 50mm deep and 20cm apart in well draining soil.

  3. Trellis

    It is a good idea to plant next to a trellis or other structure for the plant to grow up.

  4. Sun and Water

    Make sure your plant receives at least 9 hours of sunlight per day and water regularly.

  5. Harvest

    Wait at least 6 months before harvesting.

Location and Soil for Jicama Growing

Full sun or even semi shade are fine for growing yams. However, you will need a trellis for them to grow up.

This plant requires well draining fertile soil containing lots of organic matter. Indeed a rich, moist, sandy loam soil that is high in potassium will give the very best results.

Jicama Growing Tips

Jicama growing in pots


You should fertilise jicama once a month with a high phosphorus organic fertiliser to assist the growth of large, tuberous roots. Avoid using too much nitrogen on your plants, as that will encourage the production of stems and leaves rather than roots.


Many home gardeners prune jicama. Pruning the vine can help prevent the plant from taking over your garden. In addition, removing flowers to help the plant send more energy to the roots instead of the growing flowers.

Jicama Growing Pests and Diseases

Fortunately Jicama is very pest resistant. However, it can be susceptible to weevils and plant diseases. Your plants may also experience root rot if overwatered.

Jicama Growing: Fruit Benefits

Raw jicama’s white flesh is slightly sweet and crunchy. While some people like to use it when they’re stir frying vegetables, jicama is typically eaten raw in slaws and fruit salad.

Jicama is known to helps relieve inflammation, gout, hangovers and cleanses the kidney and liver.

Vitamins and Minerals

Yams contain vitamin A, E and C. They also contain other minerals like manganese, zinc, phosphorus, iron and calcium.

Weight Lose

Jicama is high in protein and low in fat, making it a good food to eat if you are trying to lose weight.

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