The Maca plant has been cultivated by the Bolivian people living in the high Andes for thousands of years. The root of the Maca plant is often used to balance hormones and naturally enhance libido function. Maca plants will not grow well in hot climates but can be grown in the winter months of most northern latitudes. Maca root growth extracts nutrients from the soil and can deplete the viability of the land when planted year after year. Indigenous farmers usually allow the land to rest for three to five years between Maca plantings.
Things You'll Need
Manure or compost
Locate a growing area with full sun and well-draining soil. Maca plants prefer cool average temperatures between 30 degrees and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, though they can withstand vast temperature ranges.
Prepare the soil by removing stones and breaking up large clumps of dirt. Pull weeds in or near the growing area.
Mix manure or compost into soil.
Check the pH of your soil. Maca plants do best in alkaline soil with a pH of 5 and heavy mineral content.
Bury the seeds ¼ inch below the surface level of the soil. Seeds will take four days to germinate in soil at a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water seeds lightly immediately after planting. Without fully saturating, keep the soil moist until seedlings reach 6 inches in height. Once seedlings mature, fully soak the ground with water one to two times per week.
Add another layer of compost or manure half way into the growing cycle as this will maintain growth and add needed nutrients.
Harvest Maca roots after about seven months in the ground. Partially dig away the soil on one side of the plant to see the size of the root. Edible roots are typically 2 to 5 centimeters in size.
Maca root prefers alkaline soils, such as decomposing granite or volcanic soil. Maca plants have few pests because of their high altitude environment and naturally repel root crop pests.