Also known as the Mexican Potato or the Yam Bean, this Central American native is a tropical plant that requires a long, warm growing season. It is best started indoors prior to transplanting out except in horticultural zones 9-10. Jicama is grown for its juicy, crunchy tuberous root only. Its prolific, seed pod-studded vines will climb if provided with structural support but can ramble on the ground: make room. Harvest tubers before the first frost and store in a cool, dry cellar prior to use for up to four months. Make sure that animals and children do not eat Jicama leaves, ripe pods or seeds: they contain toxic rotenone, a natural insecticide. Discard top growth and seed pods: do not add to compost piles. Best grown in hardiness zones 7-10, can be tricky in the colder zones!
Average seed life: 2 years.