Cinnamon is a dried inner bark spice that come by Cinnamomum genus tree species. Although there are several species, only few of them are grown as spice. It is known as Dalchini in India and widely used in every cuisine for its wonderful fragrance and health benefits. This sweet wood is an evergreen tree mostly cultivated for two years and it is a habitual crop for the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in India. So lets see what are the favorable conditions for cultivating this crop.
Climate and Soil type
- In India June to December period is said to be an appropriate season for cinnamon cultivation.
- According to farming experts cinnamon cultivation gives good production in hot and humid climates.
- Areas with a temperature range of 20oC to 30oC and an annual rainfall of 1200mm to 2500 mm are said to be ideal conditions for its better cultivation.
- Coming to soils, well drained and loamy soils are best suited as they generate good quality of barks.
Varieties and Propagation
- Although there are many varieties in cinnamon, Navashree and Nityashree specified by Indian Agricultural researchers are mostly used in India.
- Propagation can be done through seeds as well as stem cuttings. Fallen or plucked ripen fruits are cut and washed to separate the seeds from its pulp and germinated either in sand beds or polythene bags. Usually you get seedlings within three to four weeks with proper irrigation.
- In stem cuttings, 8 to 10 cm stems are cut with two to three leaves and raised in sand beds or polythene bags for 1 to 2 months under good watering conditions.
- Cinnamon cultivation is carried for almost two years, so proper care should be taken to make the land more fertile. For this, thorough digging is needed with necessary manure adding.
- Later pits of 45cm x 45cm x 45 cm are dug with a spacing of 3m x 3m. Then they are filled with top soil and compost. At an average, 2 to 3 seedlings are planted per pit.
- For the first year 20g of Nitrogen, 18g of phosphorous and 25g of potassium is given per plant. The same amount is increased from second year, till the plant gets to an age of 10 years in addition with 2 kg of farm yard manure.
- From the 10th year onwards the same amount is increased 10 times to get a healthy yield.
- The irrigation depends on the moisture levels in the soil and growth of the plant.
- Basically it is a rainy crop, so it doesnt requires too much of water. But during summer season, two times irrigation per week is necessary.
- Weeds are primary concern in cinnamon cultivation. For this, weeding should be carried for two times per year. Usually it is done at the start of rainy season and winter season.
- Shoot borer, red borer, leaf eating caterpillars and red ants are some common pests found in this cultivation. There are many pesticides available to prevent these pests and expert advice is need in this regard.
- Coming to diseases, leaf spot is the most occurring threat to cinnamon production. For this also we recommend you to consult an expert to take necessary preventive steps.
- Cinnamon can be harvested after two years of plantation. Usually the yield can be obtained two times per year, one at the end of summer season and the other at the beginning of winter season.
- Approximately one meter length and 1.5 meter thick stems are cut to extract the bark. At the same time the leaves of the stems are taken out and subjected to distillation process to extract the oil.
- At an average 100 to 150 g of dried bark is obtained per each plant where as 30 to 40 kg of leaf oil is yielded per hectare.