Growing French Konjac in the vegetable garden

Konjac, with the botanical name Amorphophallus konjac, is a perennial plant of the Araceae family that grows from a spherical bulb that can easily reach 3 to 4 pounds, and sometimes up to 20 pounds after several years of cultivation. This amazing plant grows naturally in Asia (China, Japan, Indonesia, Korea…).Where its bulb has been consumed in various ways for a long time, both for its virtues and for its nutritional value.

Today, food and cosmetics made from Konjac are gaining more and more importance on store shelves in the West, and especially in Europe. Konjac flour noodles or konjac sponges are probably the standard bearers (learn more about how to use the plant). Konjac is also a very decorative plant with its unusual and immense bloom that can reach almost 50cm in height! It is a plant that is both curious, easy to grow and interesting from a culinary point of view, hence my wish to apologize a little for this little-known plant and its culture! Why not grow French Konjac in your vegetable garden?

How to properly grow and produce Konjac in France?

Despite the strong agricultural and economic potential of Konjac, its cultivation in Europe and France is currently only on the confidential scale of garden collectors. The tuber of Amorphophallus konjac is gaining popularity for its nutritional and dietary qualities, to the point that in recent years demand has outstripped supply! Today, almost the entire world production of Konjac flour (about 30,000 tons per year) is made in China and Japan.

To guarantee a quality Konjac, durable and without treatment, it is therefore particularly interesting to grow it directly in your vegetable garden. We have been experimenting with its cultivation here in Alsace for several years and it even turns out that the resistance to cold is quite high, much higher than the minimum indicated in the literature. Indeed, under a layer of about twenty centimeters of mulch during the winter period, its bulb remains in the ground from one year to the next without any problem, despite occasional negative temperatures, of the order of -12 /-15°C.

Konjac foliage, bottom view – Photo: Rexania.

The bulbs can also be taken out of the ground before winter and kept in a dry place until spring, this is generally recommended, especially in poorly drained soils, or with too much water holding capacity which can lead to rotting of the bulbs. bulbs. period of vegetative rest. The plant is also cultivated in Asia. The longer the bulb is grown, the greater the weight becomes. In general, the final harvest is carried out between 3 and 4 years. In the first year, the young tubers of about ten grams are planted in the spring and then harvested in the autumn, around mid-November before the cold. Then they are replanted and harvested the next two years before the last harvest, usually in the third year, to get tubers weighing between 1 and 4 kilos.

For cultivation, Konjac appreciates soils rich in organic matter, drained and fresh. As for light, this plant prefers partial shade. Avoid a position in full sun, especially during the hottest hours of the day, which can burn and dry out the foliage.

Konjac in the ground in Alsace – Photo: Rexania

Become a pioneer of Konjac cultivation in Europe!

We have been growing a kind of Konjac in the ground for almost ten years, now perfectly adapted to our climate. Over the years, we have worked to develop, propagate and select the most resistant Konjac plants with the best yields, while improving our growing techniques in the open ground and in pots. With our experience in the cultivation and harvesting of this tuber, we are now ready to offer bulbs and young plants for sale to amateur gardeners and gardeners who want to develop their culture in France and offer an alternative to the Konjac produced and imported from ‘Asia.

Do you want to become a pioneer in France of the Konjac culture? Go to our webshop to order young plants or flower bulbs, depending on the season! You are a horticulturalist and would be interested in growing Konjac on a larger scale, please contact us for more information, or for a technical or price request.