How to Sprout a Jicama Root


The jicama root, sometimes called the Mexican potato, is native to New Mexico, southern Texas and Mexico. It tastes something like an apple and has the consistency of a potato, but contains less starch and fewer calories. For these reasons, jicama roots make a healthy, sweet addition to coleslaw and salsa. Though jicamas are more expensive than the average potato, sprouting your own yields a large, free crop in the warmer months. If you find you love jicama roots, this may be a way to keep both your budget and your diet under control.

Things You'll Need

  • Jicama root
  • Paper bag
  • Small trellis
  • Rubber mallet
  • Trowel
  • Water
  • Choose a large, firm jicama root for sprouting. It should be free of mold, bruises and discoloration. It's papery, tan skin should be smooth and have no gouges or deep tears.

  • Place the jicama root inside a paper bag. Set the bag in a warm, dark place. The temperature must be above 65 degrees Fahrenheit for the root to sprout.

  • Check on the jicama root after a week or two. You should see small sprouts, similar to potato sprouts, forming on one side of the root.

  • Choose a place to plant your jicama. The area should get full sun all day long, and the soil should be loose, but dark and rich. Pound a small trellis into the area.

  • Dig a hole about 6 inches deep and wide. Place the sprouted jicama root into the hole and cover it with soil.

  • Water the root with about a quart of water each week. Water it every three days during dry periods. The jicama should sprout and vine in about 3 weeks. Twine the vine through the trellis.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sprouted jicamas don't taste very good, so only sprout them if you want to plant them. Otherwise, store jicama roots at about 55 degrees to prevent sprouts.
  • Do not eat the vines, leaves or flowers of your jicama -- they're poisonous.

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