Package of Practices for Cultivation of Geranium
Botanical Name : Pelargona graveolens
Family : Geraniaceae
Cultivation of Geranium:
A deep porous well drained soil rich in organic matter and acidic in nature (pH 5.5 – 6.0) is suitable for the crop.
Sub tropical climate with humid atmosphere and evenly distributed 1000 -1500 mm rainfall is essential.
Land should have a gentle slope and be sheltered from heavy winds. Geranium stands for some years, it is desirable to clean the land and bring it to fine tilth.
30x30x30 cm, add 30 gm Rock Phosphate and 200 gm Compost and DDT @ 10 kg/ha.
Spacing: 110 x 60 cm (1600 pl/ha).
Planting: Planting is done after first monsoon showers.
In the first year 85 kg urea and 15 kg MUP is applied during Sept. Oct. in subsequent years N: P : K @ 50:30:70 is applied. P is applied by placement and N and K are applied by broadcasting.
Geranium is rainfed crop. Irrigation during summer increases the yield.
Pruning of Bushes is necessary when they show signs of decline (week and stubby laterals) the branches are cut back to 7-15 cm during 4th year at the beginning of the monsoons.
In the first year only one harvest can be taken. From the second year onwards leafy shoots are harvested 3-4 times a year. The tender tips with leaves constitute the material for harvest.. The harvesting is done at the beginning of flowering season when the lemon like odour of the leaves has changed to a pronounced rosy note. After every harvest; adequate foliage should be left on the plant. The harvesting should be carried out possibly in full bloom which takes 120 days after planting. The harvested crop should be dried in open air 1-2 days and.spnd it for distillation.
Yield: Oil yield 100 kg/ha. Maximum yield 250 kg/ha (three cuttings).
i) Mentha oil: 60-68 % from fresh herb ii) Major constituent: Menthol.
Pests and Diseases:
i) Mites and Sucking pests; Rogor and Kelthane 0.3 %
ii) root knot nematodes ; Aldkarb 10 a.i. @ 20 kg/ha.
ill) Root rot, wilt, rust, Leaf spot: Dithane M-45 and COC @ 0.5 %.
Annual demand for Gernium oil is 25 tons in our Country, but the actual production is only 3 – 4 tons. Large quantities of oil are thus imported. The selling price of oil is Rs. 850 per kg in India and is higher than the price in the International Market.
Cost of cultivation of 1 hectare crop for 10 years like period works out to about Rs. 30,000/- and from the average yield of 100 kg of Geranium oil a gross returns of Rs. 8,50,000/- can be obtained.