Oca Products and Sizes

Tubers

Oca tubers are field grown.  They are typically in their second or third generation out of disease free tissue culture.  In the first generation, they are multiplied in pots.  In the next two generations, they are grown in the field.  As a product grown outdoors in soil, there is potential for the tubers to carry diseases or pests, although I work to limit this.

Tubers are typically offered in two sizes.  Small tubers are those that fall through a one inch grid, so think of tubers the size of jelly beans to marbles.  I expect a packet of five small tubers to yield five plants.  Medium/large tubers are those that won’t pass through a one inch grid, which can mean anything from tubers the size of the last joint of your thumb up to about the length and width of two fingers.  Medium/large packets will generally have a mix of tuber sizes and I expect them to yield 10-15 plants if you cut them.

Small tubers should be started in pots and transplanted outdoors after they reach about four inches tall.  Large tubers can be planted out directly, although they won’t be hurt by being started in pots and will benefit in many climates.

Tubers may be sprouted when you receive them, particularly as we get into spring.  This won’t hurt anything.  Just bury the tubers and the sprouts, placing the tubers at about a 2-3 inch depth.  You can bury the sprouts completely or leave them sticking out if they are long enough.  It won’t make any difference in the long run.

Seeds

I am not currently offering oca seeds.  I may offer them again in the future if I can figure out a way to improve germination.

Oca seeds were collected from the parent variety.  They may be self-pollinated, cross-pollinated, or a mix of both.  Oca seeds never grow true.  Each seedling is unique and, due to oca’s extreme genetic diversity, there is very little trait pattern in the seedlings.  With most varieties, there is a picture in the product gallery that shows an example of tubers grown from the seeds.

Plantlets

Plantlets are small plants from tissue culture.  They are delivered in a plastic container and rooted in agar gel.  The significant advantage of plantlets is that they are established in the lab from a disease free source and are therefore as clean a product as I can produce.  Another advantage is that I can create and deliver plantlets in about six weeks at any time of year, whether it is the growing season or not.  Disadvantages include the expense and the fact that it takes extra work and care on your part to transplant them to pots and get them established before planting them out.  Plantlets are shipped separately from other items you order and must be shipped in a rigid package, which is part of the expense.