How Do You Grow Oca?

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Oca

Growing Oca

Sounds a bit odd for a garden plant, right? But the Oca is more amazing than you think. The Oca is also popularly known as the New Zealand yam but looks a lot more like stubby, wrinkled carrots. It is a perennial bushy plant whose leaves look like clover.

Cheatsheet for Growing Oca 🌱

1. Ideal Growing Conditions 🌤️

Sun: Full sun to partial shade 🌞

Soil: Well-drained, loamy soil 🌱

Climate: Cool, frost-free regions ⛄

2. Planting Oca 🌱

Planting Time: Early spring or late summer 🌷

Spacing: 12-18 inches apart to allow tubers to multiply

Depth: Plant tubers 2-3 inches deep 🌍

3. Watering and Care 💧

Watering: Keep soil evenly moist, not waterlogged 💦

Mulching: Apply mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds 🌿

Fertilizer: Use balanced organic fertilizer once a month ⚗️

4. Harvesting Oca 🍠

Harvest Time: Wait until foliage dies back in late autumn 🍂

Method: Dig tubers carefully to avoid damage 🐛

Yield: Expect 5-10 pounds per plant 📊

5. Storing and Cooking Tips 🍲

Storage: Store harvested tubers in a cool, dry place 🏞️

Cooking: Boil, bake, or roast oca for various dishes 🍽️

Nutrition: High in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants 🥕

6. Fun Facts and Trivia 🎉

Oca originated in the Andes Mountains 🏔️

Oca is also known as "New Zealand Yam" or "Oxalis Tuberosa" 🌍

It comes in various colors like red, purple, and yellow 🌈

Start growing Oca today and enjoy its unique taste and nutritional benefits! 💪

Gardening can be very rewarding, especially when you successfully grow your own foods and vegetables. One vegetable that is becoming increasingly popular amongst gardeners is oca. If you're ready to tackle this unusual tuber crop, here's how to grow your own oca!

Determine Your Growing Conditions For Oca

Oca is a root crop native to the Andes, so it grows best in cool high-altitude climates with short summers. It will also grow well in areas with colder summers with average temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Plants typically take about 4-5 months to reach maturity, so be sure to start planting early enough if growing in colder climates. Oca can be grown in the ground or in containers, as long as the soil is fertile, well-drained, and consistently moist.

Prepare The Soil For Oca

Oca grows best in soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Before planting, be sure to work plenty of compost and other organic material into the soil to improve drainage and fertility. Be thorough and make sure to break up any large clumps of soil or roots. If planting in containers, use a light potting mix that drains easily. It's also a good idea to start off your oca crop with a balanced fertilizer to give it an extra boost.

Plant Oca

Once the soil is prepared, you can begin planting your oca. Plant the tubers at a depth of 6 inches, spacing them 1-2 feet apart. When the plants begin to grow, make sure to keep them well-weeded and watered. For best results, water once a week and make sure the soil retains some moisture. In drier climates, oca may need to be watered more frequently.

Harvest Oca

When the foliage of the plants begins to turn yellow and the tubers are of sufficient size, the oca is ready to be harvested. Carefully dig up the tubers and remove any remaining soil. Then store the tubers in a cool, dry place until ready to use. The tubers can also be washed and cut before storing, if desired.

Growing oca can be a fun and rewarding project for any keen gardener. With a bit of care and patience, you'll be able to enjoy the fruits (or should we say tubers) of your labor!


1. When should I plant Oca?

Plant Oca in early spring when the soil is workable and average temperatures reach 50°F (10°C).

2. What type of soil does Oca prefer?

Oca thrives in well-draining, fertile soil with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.

3. How much sunlight does Oca need?

Provide Oca with full sun for at least six hours daily to promote optimum growth and yield.

4. How often should I water Oca?

Water Oca regularly and consistently, ensuring the soil is consistently moist but not waterlogged.

5. Can Oca be grown in containers?

Yes, Oca can be grown in containers as long as the containers are at least 12 inches deep and have proper drainage.

6. Does Oca require any special care?

Oca benefits from regular mulching to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. It also requires protection from frost.

7. When is the best time to harvest Oca?

Wait until late autumn or early winter when the foliage turns yellow and dies back to harvest Oca tubers.

8. How do I store harvested Oca?

After harvest, cure Oca for a few weeks in a cool, dry location before storing them in a cool and dark place for up to several months.

In conclusion, growing Oca can be a rewarding and fascinating experience for any gardener. With its vibrant colors, delicious flavors, and nutritional benefits, Oca has certainly earned its place in the garden. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can successfully cultivate this unique tuberous crop in your own backyard. Remember to choose a suitable location with well-drained soil, provide adequate sunlight, and give your Oca plants sufficient space to flourish. Additionally, keeping an eye on pests and diseases while providing regular watering and fertilization will ensure a bountiful harvest. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, the joy of growing and tasting your very own Oca is truly special. So why not embark on this exciting gardening journey and add a touch of color and flavor to your meals? With some patience and care, you will be rewarded with a vibrant tuber and a sense of pride. So go ahead, garden with love and let nature's gift of Oca thrive in your garden.

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