How to grow kumara shoots

kumara shoot

The journey to a boomer crop of kumara begins with shoots or tipu. Start them growing now, in early spring.

The shoots are grown on a kumara, and this kumara is so special its called the mother.

Mother kumara

Choose your mother with care. Select a firm, organically grown kumara with no rots. She doesn’t need to be huge, middle sized is perfect.

Lay the mother kumara in a sandbox

Spread river sand on the bottom of a pot or box and reverently lay in mother kumara. Cover her over with sand and gently moisten. She needs to be kept toasty warm about 20 degrees. I sit her on the heatpad in the greenhouse with the tomatoes and peppers.

Sandbox with mother kumara n a heatpad at Ediblebackyard

Keep the box moist (not wet) and shoots will soon appear.

kumara shoots

Homegrown kumara shoots are easy as pie.

If you run out of time to grow your own, no worries you’ll find them at various garden centres mid-spring.


  1. HI Kath,
    thank you so much for the information you generously continue to give out! I find it invaluable.
    Regarding the river sand, if I can’t get this, do you think a mixture of pumice and woodshavings might work ok? Plus, I don’t have a greenhouse, so was thinking of keeping Mother Kumara in my kitchen above the fire. What are your thoughts?

    • Good point – yes of course not everyone can get to this! You can buy propoagating sand and if by pumice you mean the bought stuff for propogating – yes! Wood shavings depends on what type of wood and the thickness of the shavings. My experience is sawdust and it works if well rotted – fresh is no good for new green shoots. The end goal is a warm, free draining fabric doesn’t need food – the food is in the kumara. You can grow them in the ground if your soil is 18 degrees and free draining. So many options!
      Anywhere warm is key. Above the fire is perfect although once sprouting begins there needs to be light on.

  2. can you grow kamara from ground that you have just had spuds in ?

  3. Hi, I had a bag of kumara that I forgot about and they have grown shoots in the dark in my cupboard. Will they be good to plant?

  4. Christine Sabin says

    I have my shoots growing, can you please tell me how early you can plant them out and how best to prepare the bed? Thanks

  5. Hi
    Intresseting reading about Kumara, this is a new crop for me.
    It looks a lot like sweet potatoes. What is the difference between the two?

    Jenny from Sweden

  6. Hi,
    Where do I get the mother kumara from?