Geranium farming Step Wise Guide With all important Details

Hello friends, welcome to our new blog on our website rabi crop. Today we will give all the details of medicinal plant Geranium, we will share all the information about Geranium farming that we have gathered with own experience of Geranium farming.

To make you understand more about geranium, we explained here how to do geranium farming, what are its soil and climatic requirements, rainfall requirement during Geranium farming, fertilizers requirements for the cultivation and its propagation techniques, harvesting method of Geranium and different geranium varieties.

The history of the use of aromatics plants is ancient with many civilizations, includes it in culture like Egypt, India, Arabia, China and Greece, about geranium plants, their properties and their uses.

Geranium growing Step Wise Guide

Fragrance plays a vital role in securing consumer acceptability in almost every product used. The pleasant smell of flowers attracts insects and which helps in the cross-pollination of Geranium. 

Essential oils are now a basic raw material for consumer products, as shops and other beauty products in the medicinal or cosmetic industry.

There are various essential oils which have high demand in market such as mint oil, peppermint oil, sandalwood oil, jasmine and tuberose concretes, menthol, attars, red sandalwood powder, synthetic camphor, thymol, pepper oil, ginger oil, davana oil, spearmint oil, geranium, anise, patchouli, orange, lavender, nutmeg, citronella (Java), synthetic essential oils, etc, along with many other natural and synthetic perfumes.

Geranium is one of the important aromatic plants, yielding an essential oil which has the most demand in the market because of its strong rose-like odour.

For its unique rose-like odour, we also known it as the plant as a rose geranium. The chief constituents of the oil are geraniol and citronellol.

We know geranium by different names like rose-geranium, scented-leaved geranium, rose- scented geranium and scented leaved knew geranium, and pelargonium.

Geranium also has many benefits in the medical and cosmetic industry. To know more about them, let’s know more about it:-

  • Geranium is an aromatic herb used in cosmetics and perfumes.
  • Geranium essential oil works as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent. 
  • It is the chief constituent of the oil are geraniol and citronellol.
  • The pure geranium oil is almost a perfume by itself, and we blend well with all other perfumes.
  • We used it as a flavoring agent in many major food categories, alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Geranium helps to staunch bleeding and healing of wounds.
  • Geranium also treats ulcers, diarrhea and skin disorders.
  • Because of its antibacterial and insecticidal properties, we used it in aromatherapy.

Geranium farming In Short

Botanical Name Of Geranium :- Pelargonium graveolens
Geranium Family :- Geraniaceae
Origin Place Of Geranium :- Cape Province in South Africa
Varieties:- 
  • Algerian or Tunisian (KKL-1)
  • Reunion or Bourbon(Sel-8)
  • Hemanti
  • Bipuli
  • Kunti
  • Sel-8
Soil Requirement Of Geranium :-  Well drained Loamy soils with pH 5.5 to 6.0.
Temperature Requirement:- Tropical, subtropical, temperate and Mediterranean climates
Rainfall :- annual rainfall ranging from 100 to 150 cm.
Seed requirement:-  Around 0.25 kg per acre.
Fertilizer Requirements:-  N-100-220 kg,

P-15-30 kg , 

K-90-150 kg , 

130 kg Ca, 30 kg Mg, l0 kg Fe, l-2 kg Mn, up to 20 kg Zn and Cu for 1 hectare of land.

Propagation:- Stem cuttings.
Harvesting:-  We can harvest multiple times if we do proper cultivation.

 

Geranium farming In Detail:

Geranium is a bushy aromatic perennial plant, and that is widely cultivated for its oil content.

It is a native plant in South Africa. Later it is commercially cultivated worldwide in France, Belgium, Spain, Morocco, Madagascar, Egypt, Reunion Island, Congo, China, India and the former USSR countries.

Since geranium is mostly adaptable to all climatic conditions, we cultivate it in tropical, subtropical, temperate and Mediterranean climates. It has various unique features like drought tolerant, aromatic nature and climatic conditions.

Geranium nursery

We widely cultivated it in Parts of India in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and North-Eastern regions. 

Geranium appears green when young and turns brown with age and it has a woody stem at the base in cylindrical shape. The botanical name referring to Geranium is Pelargonium groveling, which belongs to the Geraniaceae family.

Geranium has different species/varieties:

The family Geraniaceae has over 650 species, most of which are aromatic and yield essential oils. They are native to South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe

The commonly grown species of geranium are

  • Geranium cinereum
  • Geranium clarkei (Clark’s geranium)
  • Geranium phaeum
  • Geranium platypetalum (broad petaled geranium)
  • Geranium pratense (meadow cranesbill)
  • Geranium psilostemon (Armenian cranesbill)
  • Geranium renardii (Renard geranium)
  • Geranium dalmaticum
  • Geranium endressii (Endres’s cranesbill)
  • Geranium erianthum (wooly geranium)
  • Geranium fremontii (Fremont’s geranium)
  • Geranium himalayense (often sold under Geranium grandiflorum)
  • Geranium ibericum (Caucasus geranium)
  • Geranium macrorrhizum (bigroot cranesbill or bigroot geranium)
  • Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
  • Geranium subcaulescens (gray cranesbill)
  • Geranium sylvaticum (wood cranesbill)
  • Geranium maderense (giant herb robert)
  • Geranium x magnificum (showy geranium)
  • Geranium sanguineum (bloody cranesbill)

The first planting of high-yielding P. graveolens, introduced from Reunion Island, was grown at Yercaud by a French planter, Ernest Sens in the early twentieth century. From that time onwards, we have cultivated it as a cash crop, but only in high altitude areas with a milder climate.

However, the crop also comes up well in the South Indian plains in the Nilgiris and Kodaikanal Hills of Tamil Nadu and in and around Bangalore in Karnataka, also in Uttarakhand in an area of about 2 000 ha.

Geranium Type Details
Algerian or Tunisian Algerian or Tunisian geranium has flowers in dark pink color. They grow it in the Nilgiris and is not suitable for wet conditions.

Algerian or Tunisian geranium yields 50-60% more oil with a more delicate odour than that of the Reunion type.

This type of geranium is rich in citronellol.

Reunion or Bourbon Reunion or Bourbon geranium has flowers in light-pink color.

They grew these in the Nilgiris and Anamalai hill areas, and this type of geranium is more suitable for wet conditions. 

The oil content is higher during the summer months from April to June. The terminal portion with 6 to 12 leaves contains more oil than the middle and basal portions.

Hemanti The CIMAP Lucknow releases Hemanti variety geranium for cultivation in the plains of North India.
Bipuli The CIMAP Lucknow releases Bipuli for cultivation on the plains of North India.
Kunti The CIMAP Lucknow releases Kunti, for cultivation on the plains of North India.
Sel-8 Sel-8 is a Reunion type geranium. It has the highest yield under Bangalore conditions.

The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) developed sel-8, Bangalore.

 

To know more about Geranium farming, there are various things to be adopted before farming.

Land preparation for Geranium farming:

Before starting cultivation of any crop, it is necessary to prepare land to face the challenges that crop goes through and give good health to plant what all it needs during its growth period.

To adopt the things we give to crops like irrigation or fertilizers soil should have good aeration and it should have fine tilth particles.

Geranium plant is a long standing perennial crop, so to have good aeration, we should plough soil before starting cultivation.

2 to 3 ploughing is more than enough for the for the proper growth and development of Geranium. After ploughing, remove all the unwanted plants and leave the field empty for two to three days. In this harmful, insects and weeds will be eliminated from the field. 

We will suggest farmers to use 1.5 to 2 tons of farmyard manure before growing. Farmers can also grow green manure to increase the soil fertility and wonderful production of geranium.

Areas with slopes or high altitudes are best for the farming of geranium.

Soil requirement for Geranium Farming:

We cultivate geranium in well drained porous soil. It is best for the growth and development of Geranium plant.

A light to medium textured sandy or sandy loamy soils having pH 5.0 to 6 are suitable. 

In some areas, red lateritic soils with the pH range of 5.5 to 7 which is rich in calcium, are also favorable for the Geranium Farming rich performed well.

Poor drainage soils are not suitable for the geranium farming, though it is tolerant of drought conditions. We will not suggest geranium farmers to keep water stagnant condition for the longer duration because it adversely affects crop growth and development.

We always suggest farmers doing soil tests before starting the cultivation in your field. By this you will know the nutrient available in your soil.

We made ridges and furrows, the application of fertilizer and irrigation should be done a day prior to planting. 

Propagation of Geranium:

We mainly Propagate Geranium by stem cuttings as there is no seed setting in this plant. About 30,000 cuttings are required for planting a hectare area of land.

we will suggest Geranium growers November to January months are best suited for raising the nursery.

Geranium flowers profuse in February/March and in September. The flowering is more profuse at higher altitudes. For the Propagation of Geranium, we need to choose a good healthy mother plant, take 20 cm length consisting of about 8 nodes and trims some foliage at the bottom of the plant and makes a slant cut.

Now for the proper and healthy growth of geranium, dip the stem cutting in 0.1%, Benlate solution that is fungicide protects our plant cutting from fungal infection, we will suggest dipping it for 1 to 2 minutes in Benlate solution.

Growth regulator hormones like IBA or IAA at 200 ppm should apply to cutting to improve the growth efficiency of geranium plant.

After 20 days, we can see roots will develop in the cutting of geranium. We will recommend growers to plant your geranium cuttings in raised beds 3 m long and 1m wide. The soil should be well mixed with FYM and organic manure.

We suggest growers to place the cuttings in shade until it developed roots and we will suggest growers to water regularly. Always spray 0.2% of the urea solution in nursery at biweekly intervals and the cuttings are ready for transplanting.

We can also grow geranium plants in polythene bags, which help to avoid damage to the root-system while planting in the major field. 

After roots are developed in the Geranium plant, the cuttings are carefully dug out from the nursery and planted at a spacing of 60 cm x 60 cm.

Irrigation requirement for Geranium farming:

Geranium field

We usually grow geranium as a rainfed crop. After we continue irrigate the plant on alternate days for about 10-15 days and then reduced to twice a week during winter/rainy/autumn seasons and during dry periods/summer season irrigation is done at intervals of 7 to 10 days to increase the yield.

However, heavy irrigation/rainfall results in water-logging, which causes root rot and effect the growth and development of the plant.

A well-distributed annual rainfall ranging from 100 to 150 cm is best suited for the geranium farming.

Always check the soil before irrigation. If it is dry, then geranium grower should understand that it’s time to irrigate the field.

Climatic Conditions for Geranium Farming:

Geranium grows in all climatic conditions and is cultivated in tropical, subtropical, temperate and Mediterranean climates.

Warm winters and mild summer temperatures at 5°C to 23°C are best ideal for geranium growth and temperatures below 3°C are not advisable for geranium as it may lead to killing of crops.

Fertilizer Requirement for Geranium farming:

Geranium is a fertilizer loving plant. It needs 100-220 kg nitrogen, 15-30 kg Phosphorus, 90-150 kg potassium, 130 kg Calcium, 30 kg Magnesium, l0 kg iron, l-2 kg Molybdenum, up to 20 kg zinc and Copper for 1 hectare of land.

A 220 kg/ha of nitrogen is applied to the crop in six equal doses during plantation. After 2 months of the first application, 2 equal splits after two harvests to cover three harvests in a year.

The remaining nitrogen, along with 20 kg/ha of zinc sulfate and 10 kg/ha of boron as foliar spray to increase herbage yield.

An application of copper (20 kg/ha) and molybdenum (30 kg/ha) in four split doses after each harvest has been found to increase the yield.

Some Plant growth regulators such as IAA, IBA, Cycocel, Cytozyme, Biozyme, Ethephon, Mepiquat chloride, Triacontanol, Mixtalol etc. and some other organic crop boosters list is also available in our rabi crop website which helps to increase biomass and essential oil yield.

Pests and Disease management:
Pest/Disease Prevention Techniques
Wilt Wilt is a disease caused by the Fusarium species, and Botrydeplodia theobromae, which are soil-borne fungi.

A 0.03% Benlate solution is used to prevent wilt disease during plantation and about 2 weeks before plant is harvested.

Roots-knot nematodes Excess irrigation or water stagnation causes root-knot nematodes.

Application of Aldicarb @ 20 kg/ha to the soil can prevent these.

Leaf blight Leaf blight is a disease, however, can be effectively controlled by spraying the crop with Captafol (0.96 kg/ha) or Chlorothalonil  (0.9  kg/ha)
Little leaf Little leaf is a disease that can be prevented by spraying tetracycline.
Leaf spot  The fungus Botrytis cinerea that penetrates the plant tissue through the wounds causes it. It is very frequent during cool and moist weather.

To prevent leaf spot fungus, ensure plants are available with full sunlight, and keep the plants on the dry side. Use fungicidal sprays if the disease is severe.

Weed management:

Since initially the crop growth is slow, we should remove periodically weeds to encourage plant growth. Trials conducted in our field revealed that mulching helps in reducing weed infestation, the number of irrigations and producing less weed biomass.

Pre- emergence application of nitrogen at Kodaikanal; 2,4-D, Glyphosate, Oxadiazon, Neburon, Pendimethalin, Oryzalin  etc. in Israel, effectively controlled weeds in rose-scented geranium and increased the yields.

Harvesting of Geranium:

Geranium field

We harvest geranium crop after about 7-8 months. In the 1st year, only one harvest is taken. From the second year onwards, leaf shoots are harvested three or four times a year if the crop is well maintained.

It takes time for the first to develop all the edible parts. After every harvest, it is required to fertilize plants to encourage the next harvest. And it is important to remove weeds.

We should harvest geranium before the active flowering stage since we have reported that the oil got from geranium harvested after flowering contains lesser geraniol and citronellol contents.

we should harvest Geranium manually by sickle.

How can we know whether the crop is ready to harvest?

The key observations for harvesting geranium are leaves of geranium light green and the odour of them is like rose.

To ensure good oil yield, it is better to wait a few days after rain and having at least 3 days of hot sunshine before harvesting. We have shown it in trials that oil yields increase with stress factors such as moisture and heat.

Yield of Geranium Crop:

The yield of geranium varies from species to species, but Geranium Herbage varies between 20 – 25 t/ha and oil 15 – 20 kg/ha.

Several factors will affect the Yield of geranium such as cultivation like rainfed conditions, problems of frost, and high rainfall, Wilt and nematode attacks. However, there is scope to increase geranium oil production in this region by developing improved Agro-technologies, disease-resistant strains, and soil and water management practices.

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special thanks to some research websites like research paper for providing extra advanced knowledge on Geranium farming used in uncommon disease.

Suraj Singh