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All About Sunroots

By dave
April 6, 2011

Easily grown and impossible to kill, the sunroot is an amazingly useful and beautiful plant that belongs in every garden.

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Name: Audrey---Doe 41--- Warren
South East Missouri
I'm a Charlie's girl, too!
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Audrey
Jul 8, 2011 9:45 AM CST
This sounds like something I need! Are they expensive to start?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Jul 8, 2011 10:41 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Fedco Seeds sells sunroots through their "Moose Tubers" store. They call them sunchokes and they sell several improved varieties for $12.25 per pound (less if you buy multiple pounds).

They increase in size quite rapidly and therefore in my opinion, they are quite cheaply obtained. Smiling
Name: Audrey---Doe 41--- Warren
South East Missouri
I'm a Charlie's girl, too!
Charter ATP Member
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Audrey
Jul 11, 2011 7:05 PM CST
Thankkks!
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo) (Zone 10b)
Leap. The net will appear.
Charter ATP Member Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Permaculture Plant and/or Seed Trader Tropicals Farmer
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AlohaHoya
Jul 28, 2011 8:30 PM CST
Dave, do you think they will go 'bush' here? Are the seeds easily spread? Will a wee piece of a tuber start a forestation project (i.e., will a piece inadvertantly thrown in the forest easily root and take over?). We do get tons of rain 70" - 150" a year.

TIA, Carol
It's all about choices.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jul 28, 2011 9:09 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Hi Carol,

They will not spread and will not be invasive, however they are very difficult to get rid of because the little tubers are in fact very vigorous. They are similar to comfrey in this respect.

Given the history of Hawaii dealing with invasive species, I would carefully consider whether it would be a good idea to plant it there. You have many other very useful, and less aggressive, plants from which to choose. Smiling
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo) (Zone 10b)
Leap. The net will appear.
Charter ATP Member Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Permaculture Plant and/or Seed Trader Tropicals Farmer
Dog Lover Garden Art Cat Lover Orchids Garden Ideas: Level 2
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AlohaHoya
Apr 17, 2012 11:27 AM CST
Yes, I could....but Sunchokes are so healthy and easy to cook/grow. I am thinking about growing some in a large container, in one of the greenhouses. Will check out your supply recommendation! Big Grin
It's all about choices.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Apr 17, 2012 11:30 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thumbs up
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
Sep 4, 2012 10:27 PM CST
Can they they grown in a container instead of the ground?

I might plant it there instead.

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Sep 5, 2012 7:13 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

You sure could. Just make sure they get lots of sun! They definitely don't like being root bound so make sure you use the biggest container you can find.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
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Marilyn
Sep 5, 2012 10:48 PM CST
dave said:You sure could. Just make sure they get lots of sun! They definitely don't like being root bound so make sure you use the biggest container you can find.


Sounds good! I've 20" and 24" containers that I could use and lots of sun! Thumbs up

Where does one find sources for this plant? I'm all ears!

Would the regular soil-less potting soil I use for other containers be ok?

I know I've lots of time since I wouldn't be doing it til next year.

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Sep 6, 2012 6:40 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I'll dig some tubers this spring and mail them to you, if you'll pay shipping. Thumbs up
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
Image
Marilyn
Sep 6, 2012 2:27 PM CST
Of course! Thanks Dave! Hurray! I tip my hat to you. nodding Thumbs up

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo) (Zone 10b)
Leap. The net will appear.
Charter ATP Member Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Permaculture Plant and/or Seed Trader Tropicals Farmer
Dog Lover Garden Art Cat Lover Orchids Garden Ideas: Level 2
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AlohaHoya
Apr 14, 2013 10:02 PM CST
Dave....do you happen to have any more tubers? I would like to try some experiments. I have a large raised bed producing nothing....and sunchokes could grow there. Do they need DEEP soil? Or would 6" of good compost work?
It's all about choices.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
Image
Marilyn
Apr 14, 2013 11:38 PM CST
Dave,

Can I pass on this Spring for shipment? I need more time. Can I let you know another year, please?

Thanks! Thumbs up

Marilyn
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Apr 15, 2013 6:01 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Our sunroots haven't come up yet and I'm actually worrying about them quite a bit. Usually by now they would be up and about but so far I've seen no sign of them at all. So, Marilyn, you can pass on this spring. Smiling

I've dug around and found tiny little roots so I think they are alive but I don't have any big roots at all this year.

Carol, if you really wanted to do some experiments (and I highly recommend you do!) I would highly recommend you splurge and order a pound from Fedco's Moose Tubers. That's where I got mine and they were nice and big and healthy. If I had them I'd be more than glad to send you a box but as it is I think mine are barely surviving. I'm going to try a different location for them this year, somewhere with the soil not as heavy with clay.
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo) (Zone 10b)
Leap. The net will appear.
Charter ATP Member Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Permaculture Plant and/or Seed Trader Tropicals Farmer
Dog Lover Garden Art Cat Lover Orchids Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
AlohaHoya
Apr 16, 2013 10:23 AM CST
Will do, Dave. I think I could make a barrier in one of the unused beds and ameliorate with lots of cinder for drainage..... Thanks
It's all about choices.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Apr 16, 2013 10:51 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thumbs up I'll be curious to know how you like them as a plant. I'm certainly a fan. I'm on the lookout for other cultivars that may do better for me.

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