How Do You Grow Tiger Nut?

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Tiger Nut

Growing Tiger Nut

Everyone has heard about the superfood known as goji berries. But what about a supernut? Yes, the tiger nut may be bursting with health benefits, but you probably haven’t heard of it before. It’s time to change that! And growing tiger nuts is a great way to get your hands on them. Read on for more information about how you can grow tiger nuts as a home gardener.

Tiger Nut Cultivation Guide

Understanding Tiger Nut

Tiger nut, also known as Cyperus esculentus, is a tuber plant that's native to the Mediterranean and has been grown as food for thousands of years. They are rich in fiber, unsaturated fats, and natural sugars, making them both a nutritious and tasty snack.

Preparing the Soil

The first step in growing tiger nut is soil preparation. This plant prefers sandy soil with good drainage. The pH should be between 5.5 and 7. Add compost or well-rotted manure to enrich the soil before planting.


Plant the tiger nut tubers about 10cm apart and 5cm deep into the ground. For better growth, plant the tubers in Spring as tiger nut is sensitive to frost.

Watering and care

Tiger nut needs regular watering especially during the dry season. However, avoid over-watering as it can cause rot. A layer of mulch over the soil can help retain moisture.


Tiger nut is ready for harvest when the foliage dries and turns brown, usually 3 to 4 months after sowing. Dig up the tubers, clean and dry them before storing.

Pests and Diseases

Be sure to monitor your crop regularly for signs of pests or disease. Common threats include aphids, root-knot nematodes, and tiger nut pythium wilt.

Storing Tiger Nut

Once dried, tiger nuts can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. They can last up to one year if stored properly.

Using Tiger Nut

Tiger nut is versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes. They can be eaten raw, cooked, or ground into flour for baking.

What Are Tiger Nuts?

Tiger nuts are one of the most nutritious, vitamin-rich nuts in the world. They are also known as “purple nuts” or “hairy seeds.” Tiger nuts grow on a vine-like shrub native to Southeast Asia. The species is called “ma huang” in Chinese, and “hu hu” in Thai. The season for tiger nuts is between March and August, depending on the part of the world you are growing them in.

Tiger nuts are very hard, oval, yellow-orange seeds that grow in clusters. the shape and color of the seed make it easy for birds to spot and eat, so you’ll need to protect them from wildlife. most of the health benefits of tiger nuts come from the seeds’ high protein and fat content. However, the seeds are also high in minerals such as iron, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. The amino acid profile in tiger nuts is similar to that of human milk, making them an excellent source of essential amino acids.

How To Grow Tiger Nut

Choosing a location for your tiger nut plants is very important. It will be the home of the vines, the food source for the tiger nuts, and the place where your harvest will be stored. Tiger nut vines like warm temperatures and lots of sunlight. If winter comes early to your part of the country, grow tiger nut plants in containers indoors. You can also grow tiger nut plants outside in a garden bed.

For best results, choose a location where the soil temperature is warm and the soil is moist. Choose a sunny part of the bed with good drainage. Soil for growing tiger nuts should be a slightly acidic 6.5 to 7.5 ph. The ph level of the soil should be low enough that it’s not damaging to the roots of your tiger nut plant, but high enough that it’s not damaging to other plants in the bed.

Benefits Of Growing Tiger Nut

1. High in protein: wild tiger nuts have an impressive 87% protein content. The amino acid profile of the tiger nut is nearly identical to human milk, making it an excellent source of essential amino acids.

2. High in iron: wild tiger nuts are a great source of iron, which is important for oxygen transport in the muscles, metabolism, and cell growth. Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world.

3. Antioxidant: the high-fat content in tiger nuts makes them an excellent source of antioxidants. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radical damage.

4. Vitamin C: vitamin C is important for healthy immune function and metabolism.

How To Eat Tiger Nuts

Tiger nuts can be eaten fresh or dried. They can also be bought as a roasted, salted product. When eaten fresh, tiger nuts are eaten raw or lightly steamed. For best results, shell the tiger nuts yourself before consuming. This ensures that the tiger nut kernels are as fresh as possible. When you’re ready to eat your tiger nuts, wash and remove the husks and shells. Dry the nuts on a kitchen towel and then store them in an airtight container.

You can also store tiger nuts in the fridge, but they can stay fresh for up to a month when stored properly. Eat tiger nuts as a snack or add them to your daily diet as a healthy alternative to other nuts. You can also use tiger nuts as an ingredient in recipes. For example, tiger nuts can be blended into a smoothie or used to make a savory dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are Tiger Nuts?

Tiger nuts, also known as Cyperus esculentus, are not actually nuts but small root vegetables that belong to the sedge family. These nutritious tubers are filled with essential vitamins and minerals, making them a great addition to any diet. They have a mildly sweet, nutty flavor and a crunchy texture.

2. Where can I find Tiger Nuts?

Tiger nuts can be found in specialty grocery stores, health food stores, or online. You can purchase them in their raw form, as tiger nut flour, tiger nut milk, or even tiger nut oil. Look for organic and fresh products for the best quality.

3. How do I grow Tiger Nuts?

Growing tiger nuts is relatively easy, and they can be cultivated in both tropical and subtropical regions. Start by obtaining tiger nut tubers or seeds from a reliable source. Choose an area with well-draining soil and full sun exposure. Plant the tubers about 2 inches deep and 8 inches apart, or sow the seeds directly into the soil.

4. How long does it take for Tiger Nuts to grow?

Tiger nuts typically take around 7 to 9 months to reach maturity and be ready for harvest. The time may vary depending on the climatic conditions and cultivation practices. Once the plants produce flowers and the leaves start turning yellow and withering, it's a sign that the tubers are ready for harvest.

5. How do I harvest Tiger Nuts?

To harvest tiger nuts, gently dig around the plants and carefully lift the tubers from the soil using a garden fork or trowel. Remove any excess soil but avoid washing the tubers immediately. Allow them to dry in a well-ventilated area for a few days to further enhance their flavor and texture.

6. What are the health benefits of Tiger Nuts?

Tiger nuts are highly nutritious and offer several health benefits. They are rich in fiber, vitamins E and C, iron, magnesium, and potassium. They also contain healthy fats and antioxidants. Consuming tiger nuts can help improve digestion, support heart health, aid in weight management, and boost the immune system.

7. How can I incorporate Tiger Nuts into my diet?

There are numerous ways to include tiger nuts in your daily diet. They can be eaten as a snack on their own, added to smoothies, cereals, or baked goods. Tiger nut milk is a delicious and dairy-free alternative, and tiger nut flour can be used as a gluten-free substitute in baking.

Takeaway: Growing and incorporating tiger nuts into your diet is a wonderful way to enjoy their unique flavor and reap their health benefits. With proper care and cultivation, you can effortlessly grow your own tiger nuts and explore the countless culinary possibilities they offer. Remember, tiger nuts are not only delicious but also a fantastic addition to a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Few superfoods in the world are more talked about than the goji berry. And for good reason – these little chocolaty red berries are packed with vital nutrients and are a superfood for sure. But what about the tiger nut? It may not have as much attention, but it’s just as beneficial as the other two. The only difference is that it’s native to Asia, where it’s been consumed for centuries. And that makes it a much more unique superfood. So, whether you’re looking for a superfood that is native to Asia or you want to try another supernut, you can’t go wrong with tiger nuts.

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