Cardamom(Elettaria cardamomum.);Zingiberaceae

Malabar types
Mudigere-1 and Mudigere-2, PV 1, ICRI 1, ICRI 3, TKD 4, IISR Suvasini, IISR Vijetha, IISR Avinash, Appangala-2
Mysore types
Vazhukka types
PV2, Njallani Green Gold, Panikulangara Green Bold No.1 (PGB-1), Thiruthali

Cardamom is generally grown in forest loam soil with medium to high available phosphorous and potassium. Well drained forest loamy soil and red lateritic soil rich in organic matter with good drainage is preferable. The soil pH of 5.5 to 6.0 is highly ideal for cultivation. Cardamom cannot tolerate water logging. Small cardamom is a pseophytic plant and prefers to grow under warm humid climate. It requires 40-60 per cent shade. An annual rainfall ranging from 1500 to 4000 mm with even distribution is essential. Summer showers during February-April are very much important for the initiation of new panicles. Temperature range of 10oC to 32oC and an altitude of 600-1200 m above MSL are suited for cultivation. However, good productivity is achieved when the cardamom is grown from 900-1200 m above MSL. Areas with heavy winds should be avoided

June – December.

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

Dig pits of 60 x 60 x 60 cm and fill with compost and top soil. Contour planting may be done in slopy areas.

Mysore type: 3m x 3m (1,111plants/ha), Malabar type: 2m x 2m (2,500plants/ha) and
Vazhukka type: 2.4m x 2.4m (1,736plants/ha)

Generally Cardamom is grown as a rainfed crop, but sprinkler irrigation may be provided during summer for increased yields.

Apply compost 25 t/ha; 75:75:150 kg of NPK per ha in two split doses during June – July and October – November.

Shade regulation
 Moderate shade – 50-60 %
 Rainfed – 40 – 50 %
 Irrigated – 55-60 %
Mixed population of medium sized shade trees- Karona, Red cedar, konikonna, Jack, Vellakil, Thempavu, Thambahom, Bolongi, Elangi.

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.

 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.
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 colour.
200 – 250 kg/ha

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