Cardamom grows luxuriantly in forest loam soils, which are generally acidic in nature with a pH range of 5.5-6.5. Growth of cardamom is enhanced, when planted in humus rich soils with low to medium available phosphorous and medium to high available potassium.
The crop thrives well in regions which receive a well-distributed annual rainfall of 1500-2500 mm with a mean temperature of 15°C to 35°C and 600-1200 m above MSL.
Propagation through seeds Collect seeds from healthy and high yielding plants. Seed rate 600g/ha (fresh seeds) Treat with commercial grade Sulphuric acid or Hydrochloric acid for 20 minutes. Wash with water. Prepare the beds with equal quantity of well rotten cattle manure, wood ash and jungle soil. Sow the seeds in beds and cover with a thin layer of fine sand. Mulching and shading may be provided to seed beds. The beds should be kept moist but not too wet. Germination starts usually a month after sowing and continues upto three months. One year old seedlings are transplanted to secondary nursery. Secondary nursery Prepare the beds. As that of primary nursery, shade is provided by erecting overhead pandal. Seedlings are planted at a distance of 20 x 20 cm. 18-22 months old seedlings are used for transplanting Polybags of 20 x 20 cm size can be used
Suckers from high yielding plants are planted in clonal gardens. Spacing 1.8 m x 0.6 m (6800 plants/ha of clonal nursery) Shade and Irrigation are provided and 32 – 42 suckers are obtained from each planting unit in 12 months
Weeding is done as and when necessary. Towards the end of monsoon rains, a light
raking or digging and mulching is given around the plant to a radius of about 75 cm to
conserve moisture during the dry period.
Pests Thrips Apply any one of the following insecticides Diafenthiuron 50 WP 8 g/10 lit or Quinalphos 25 EC 12 ml /10 lit. Shoot/Panicle/Capsule borer Set up pheromone trap @ 12/ha to attract and destroy the female moths. Spray Diafenthiuron 50 WP 8 g/10 lit
Mosaic or Katte disease This is transmitted by banana aphid which can be controlled by regular spraying with methyl demeton 25 EC or dimethoate 30 EC @ 1.5ml/lit. Hairy caterpillar Spray Phosalone 35 EC 1 ml/lit. Mites Spray Dicofol 18.5 EC 2 ml/lit.
Mosaic or Katte disease This is a serious disease affecting the productivity of cardamom It is transmitted by banana aphid, which can be controlled by regular spraying with methyl demeton 25 EC or dimethoate 30 EC @ 1.5 ml/l Damping off or clump rot or rhizome rot Pythium: Prophylactic drenching with 0.25% mancozeb or 1% Bordeaux mixture immediately after germination Rhizoctonia: Soil drenching with 0.05% carbendazim at 15 days after germination Capsule rot or panicle rot or azhukal Three sprays with 1% Bordeaux mixture or copper oxychloride @ 0.25 % or mancozeb @ 0.2 % during August – September Drench the soil with 1% Bordeaux mixture CIB recommendation Spraying of fosetyl-AL 80% WP @ 2.25 to 3.0 kg/ha
Harvesting commences from third year onwards. Economic yields from 5th year.
Harvesting is done once in a month. Pick only those fruits which are just ripe but not fully
ripe. Fully ripe fruits tend to split on drying and do not develop the desirable dark green
Growing districts Theni Major markets in Tamil Nadu Bodinayakanur, Kumily, Thekkady, Kumbum Grade Designation Alleppey Green Cardamom, Coorg Green Cardamom, Bleached or Half Bleached Cardamom, Bleachable white Cardamom, Mixed Cardamoms, Cardamom seeds Grade specification Freshness, colour, aroma and size