Geranium planting procedures and production techniques

The botanical name of  Geranium: is Pelargonium graveolens (L) Hervitt.; it belongs to the family Geraniaceae, it's an aromatic plant. 

Varieties: Algerian, Reunion, IIHR-8, Kodaikanal 1 and Egyptian.

Soil and climate: A deep light porous well drained soil rich in organic matter and acidic in reaction with a pH 5.5 to 6.0 is suitable. An elevation ranging from 1000 - 2400 m with an annual rainfall of 100 to 150 cm evenly distributed throughout the year is ideal.

Propagation: Geranium is propagated by stem cuttings. Cuttings of about 10 cm taken from current season growth with a well formed crown of leaves with 3 - 4 nodes and terminal bud and raised on sphagnum moss or in polythene bags of 10 x 10 cm size. Thorough field preparation leading to fine tilth condition is essential. Pits of 30 x 30 cm size are dug and cattle manure at 250 g/pit is applied and rooted cuttings of 2 months age are planted at a spacing of 45 x 45 cm
during April - May.

Manuring: 60 kg in each of N, P and K/ha is recommended. P and K are applied every year at the time of first harvest while N is applied in equal splits depending upon the number of harvests per year.

Irrigation: Geranium is usually grown as a rainfed crop. Irrigation during dry periods increases the yield.

Aftercultivation: Weedings, uprooting and burning the diseased plants throughout the life cycle of the plant. From the second year onwards give a deep soil forking around the plants to improve the growth of more suckers.

Pruning: Pruning of the bushes is necessary when the bush shows signs of decline. The branches are cut back leaving 15 - 20 cm once in 4 - 5 years.

Plant protection against Pests
Nematode: To control the nematodes (Meloidogyne hapla) in nursery, apply Carbofuran at 2 kg a.i./ha once in 6 months in June and December.

Diseases and protection 
Wilt: Drench with Carbendazim 1 g/lit at monthly intervals.

Harvest and distillation: In the year of planting, only one harvest can be done at 7 - 8 months and thereafter 3 or 4 harvests can be done in a year. The tender tip portion with 6 - 12 nodes constitute the materials for harvest. The harvested material is withered in shade for two to
three hours and distilled.

Herbage : 20 - 25 t/ha.
Oil yield : 15 - 20 kg/ha.

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