Ancient vegetables: helianthis

Ancient vegetables: helianthis

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Helianthis has many advantages: easy to grow, disease resistant, and low water requirement.

Helianthis in summary :

Latin name : Helianthus strumosus
Family : Asteraceae
Type : Tuberculous vegetable

Height : 1 to 2 m
Planting distance : Every 50 to 60 cm
Exposure : Sunny
Ground : All types

Planting : April June
Harvest : End of winter, beginning of spring

It can easily replace potatoes on your plates. Not to spoil anything, helianthis is also a very pretty perennial with bright yellow flowers.

Planting helianthis

You have two options for growing helianthis: sowingand the planting.


To sow your helianthis seeds, you must firstloosenyour land and theamendby adding potting soil, compost or manure.

Remove any weeds (weeds) and then proceed to sowing by burying 2 to 3 seeds 1 cm deep.

After 10 to 15 days, the young shoots will have emerged. Then make a selection by keeping only the most vigorous.


Preparing the soil is the same as for sowing: loosen and clean.

For planting, if it is a vegetable garden, space the plants 50 to 60 cm in a straight line.

If it is a massive, do you base it on a planting density of 4 to 5 feethelianthis per m².

Cultivation and maintenance of helianthis

Unlike potatoes which require regular interventions (watering, treatment against mildew, ridging, etc.), helianthis does not require special attention.

Easy to maintain and very rustic, he is also not very greedy in water. However, we must remain vigilant in the event of a drought that is too long.

Note: If your feet are exposed to strong winds, stake may be necessary.

Harvesting helianthis

You can harvest your helianthis tubers at out of winter(end of February, beginning of March).

To take your sample, use a pitchfork and dig up the tubers starting from the outside of the base to avoid damaging the fruits of your harvest.

Conservation of helianthis

When grown out of the ground, the helianthis tubers lose their water and wilt quickly.

They do not keep ; unlike oca from Peru or potatoes.

It is therefore preferable to take the tubers according to your needs.

Diseases and pests

As often, in the vegetable garden, your main enemies will be slugs and snails. These can compromise the flowering of your helianthis plants by attacking the stems and leaves.

Note that the small black slugs Arion hortensiscan cause damage to tubers.

On the disease side, helianthis has good resistance to powdery mildew.

Smart tip

As the helianthis harvest occurs at the same time as planting begins, you can use part of it to create new plants.

Video: What fruits and vegetables looked like before we domesticated them (August 2022).