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Safed Musli
Botanical Name – Chlorophytum borivilianum
Family – Asparagaceae 

Importance

The botanical name of Safed musli is Chlorophytum borivilianum. Its roots are used for preparing various drugs. It is an annual herb having average height of 1-1.5ft. Flowers are star shaped, 2cm across and yellow or green in color. Fruits are greenish to yellow in color and mainly produce in July – December. Roots are in cluster having black seeds. It is found mainly in tropical and subtropical Africa. Assam, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are major Safed musli growing areas.

 
Alkaloids

Saponin

Varieties

RC-2, RC-16, RC-36, RC-20, RC-23, RC-37 and CT-1: These varieties are maintained and collected by RAU, Udaipur. They are found to give good yield and high saponin content.

MDB-13 and MDB-14: Developed by Maa Danteshwari Herbal Research centre, Chikalputi. This variety contains high yield, disease/fungal resistance, maximum saponin and alkaloid content.

Jawahar Safed Musli 405 and Rajvijay Safed Musli 414: Released by Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi  Vishwa  Vidyalaya,  Mandsaur,  Madhya  Pradesh is good for cultivation.

Soil and Climate

Soil –

It can be grown in variety of soil ranging from loamy to sandy soil having good drainage system. It can tolerate mountain slopes or sloppy lands. It gives best result when grown under red soil rich in organic matter. Avoid cultivation in water lock conditions. The soil having pH ranging from 6.5-8.5 is best for plant growth.

Climate –

Safed Musli can be grown in hot and subtropical climate. Normally the agroclimatic conditions suitable for potato, onion and garlic are also suitable for safed musli crop. Well drained soils with rich mineral content is ideal for this crop. Hard and acidic soils are to be avoided.

Land Preparation .

For Safed musli, it required well prepared nursery beds. For land preparation firstly single deep cultivation is done before sowing and then 2-3 tillering are done. Land is mainly prepared in the month of April – May.

Sowing

Time of sowing
Optimum time for sowing of Safed musali is from June to August month.

Seed

Seed Rate
Usually propagation is done through tubers or seeds. For suitable growth, use seed rate of 450kg per acre.

Seed treatment
To protect crop from insect, pest and diseases, treatment of fungicide and growth promoter are done. Treatment with Humicil@5ml in 1 litre of water or Dithane M-45 @5gm per litre is done to protect crop from soil borne diseases. After chemical treatment, use seeds for sowing.

Nursery Management and Transplanting

Sow Safed musli seeds on raised beds of 1.2m width and of convenient length. Nursery bed should be well prepared on which seedlings are raised. Seeds are sown by broadcast method. After sowing cover bed with light soil. Mulching is done for the better growth.
Seeds start germinating in about 5-6 days. Seedlings are ready for transplantation in about 5-6 days. Water seedling beds 24hours before transplanting so that seedlings can be easily uprooted and be turgid at transplanting time.

Method and spacing

Spacing
Depending upon plant growth habit, use spacing of 10 inches x 12 inches.

Method of sowing
Transplanting of seedling in main field.

 
Fertilizer

Nutrient Requirement (kg/acre)

NITROGEN PHOSPHORUS POTASH
100 50

 

At the time of land preparation, apply well rotten cow dung@80-100q/acre and mix well in the soil. Apply organic manure i.e. FYM @8-10ton/acre and mixed well with soil.  Apply fertilizer dose of Single super phosphate (SSP) @100kg/acre, muriate of Potash @50kg/acre and Bone meal @100kg/acre.
 
Before sowing of seeds apply green manure @60kg/acre. If soil is of clayey nature then apply Mycemeel @1.5 t/acre

Weed Control

Do frequent weeding, hoeing and earthing up and keep field weed free till 3 months. One post-emergence weeding is done and two weeding are done to keep the field weed free. If any deficiency is seen in growth of plant then immediate required spray should be given.

Irrigation

For good growth and better development apply irrigation at the interval of 20-22 days. In rainy season, irrigation is not required but in the absence of rains irrigation is required at proper intervals. Depending upon climate and soil irrigations may vary.

Plant protection

Pest –

1)White grub: Grub worms ruin the roots of plants by munching on them.

Application of Aldrin@10kg/acre is done to get rid of white grub.

2)Leaf blight: It is a pathogenic disease which causes yellowing of leaves then withering and then ultimately death of the whole leaf.
Application of Bavistin solution @1g in 1 litre of water at the interval of 25 days is given twice to control red spot.

Diseases

1)Red spot: It is a disease which causes red, orange and yellow leaf spots on plants.     

Application of Bavistin solution @1g in 1 litre of water at the interval of 25 days is given twice to control red spot.

2)Leaf eating caterpillar: Caterpillars eat the fresh and healthy green leaves of the plants.
Application of [email protected]% is done to avoid the pest.

Harvesting

Plant starts yielding in about 90 days after planting. Harvesting is done in the month of September or October. Harvesting is done when leaves start yellowing and then gets dried.     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Post leaf fall: Harvesting of tuber is done when they changes its color from light to deep black. On maturity the tubers give maximum quantity. Mainly tuber harvesting is done in the month of March or April.

Post Harvesting

After harvesting, drying of tubers is done. The white tubers are taken and then they are air dried for around 4-7 days. Then peeling is done and then they are packed in air tight bags for transportation and for less spoilage. From dried material several products like Safed musli powder and Safed musli tonics are made after processing.

Yield(t/ha)

1 ton of
dry root