Cardamom is a plant that belongs to the ginger family, and is classified as one of the aromatic plants that have amazing health benefits, so research on how to grow cardamom has become common in different parts of the world. Cardamom has its origins in Southeast Asia and is used as a local spice in the preparation of various dishes in India, Bhutan and Nepal. Some types of this plant grow in nature, either in the form of trees or herbal shrubs.
How to grow cardamom
Today, cardamom is cultivated in most of the countries located in the Indian Peninsula, where 60% of it is produced in India, Guatemala, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka. Its cultivation in home gardens and pots is also very popular, due to its ease of cultivation.
Description of cardamom
Cardamom, (Elletaria Cardamomum), is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae), cultivated for its fruit, which is used as a spice. The cardamom bush consists of 10 to 20 leafy buds that develop from the rhizome. The buds are actually pseudo-sheaths within which are other overlapping leaf sheaths that protect the seeds. The leaves are lanceolate, dark green in color.
This plant produces flowers in the form of a long, drooping chain, and its fruit is capsule-like and is pale green at first or yellow, but turns brown when dried. The fruit contains 15-20 small aromatic seeds. The cardamom tree can reach a height of 5 meters (16.4 ft) and has an economic life of 10 to 15 years, when you can enjoy its abundant production. Cardamom is known in its many types, such as green cardamom, black cardamom, brown cardamom, red cardamom, or white cardamom, and it originates from southern India and Sri Lanka.
Conditions suitable for cardamom cultivation
Whatever method of cardamom cultivation you choose, it should be noted that the cardamom plant needs to provide a set of appropriate environmental conditions to ensure its proper growth. The most important of these conditions are as follows:
The right temperature
how to grow cardamom at home
The suitable temperature for the growth of the cardamom plant ranges from (10 to 35) degrees Celsius. Of course, this plant can grow well at temperatures up to (30 to (35) degrees. So the cardamom plant can grow well at room temperature, and in a pot up to .
Place of cultivation
It is recommended not to plant cardamom in windy places, because the sensitivity of the cardamom plant to wind is very high during its growth, as the wind greatly reduces the efficiency and productivity of the plant.
The heavy and loamy clay soil is the most suitable for cardamom cultivation, and in order to ensure better growth of the plant thanks to the pH being between (2.4 and 6.8), that is, it lives in an acidic to even alkaline medium.
After choosing the cardamom cultivation method that you adopted, you must choose the place designated for planting, so that it is bright and full of light, but away from direct sunlight, because exposing this plant to direct light will cause the sides and ends of the leaves to burn, and they will wither and dry. Also, planting the plant in a place where there is not enough light will cause the leaves to grow farther apart, and their size will become smaller and their color will be dull.
how to plant cardamom
It is known that the cardamom plant loves water, so its soil must be kept moist by spraying the pots with water constantly, but without flooding it, because excessive watering causes blackening of the leaves and rotting of the stems and roots of the plant. In addition to moisture in the soil, providing air around the leaves is essential for the optimal growth of the cardamom plant.
Whatever the method of cultivation of cardamom, it is in dire need of minerals and nutrients necessary for its growth, so in order to improve the quality and quantity of the crop, it is recommended to use the appropriate amount of chemical fertilizers with organic fertilizers immediately after planting and during its growth.
It is known that cardamom cultivation is easy, so one of the following two methods is used to grow it at home in pots:
Planting cardamom seeds.
Cardamom cultivation by dividing the rhizome or vegetative propagation.
1- Cultivation of cardamom seeds
When resorting to the method of growing cardamom with seeds, there are several steps that must be followed:
In the beginning, the seed capsules (pods) should be placed in water for two days, then the capsule is opened with a little pressure on the shell until the seeds come out.
The seeds are then transferred and placed in a wet towel until they germinate. To avoid evaporation of water, it is better to use a closed plastic container, while making sure to constantly moisten the towel.
After germination, the seeds are sown immediately in the pot, all you have to do is moisten the soil surface of the pot using a sprinkler, then put the germinated sprouts on it, then add a small amount of soil on it, and spray the soil over the sprouts with water again.
All you need to do now is to take care of the planted cardamom seeds so that they can grow into a mature plant. The soil of the pot must be enriched with organic materials or various fertilizers, because cardamom needs soil rich in vital elements and organic matter, while paying attention to the need to keep the soil moist.
The period between late summer and early fall is the best period for cardamom cultivation, and its flowering period usually lasts from April to September of each year. Where the cardamom plant shows many beautiful flowers that can be seen for several months of spring.
2- The method of growing cardamom by dividing the roots (vegetative propagation)
This method of growing cardamom ( vegetative propagation ) is also very popular for propagating cardamom at home, and may be easier and faster than the seed method. To ensure the success of this method, you must choose a plant that has exceeded one year of age, and that contains at least one bud. Where the adult cardamom plant, which has already been planted in the garden or pot, is pulled out of the soil along with the roots, the cardamom root will emerge in the form of a clump and rhizome. After that, we must plant them in the pot after filling it with a mixture of topsoil, compost, and cow dung, and then continue to take care of it for a month or two. The vegetative propagation method is better because the plant grows faster.
Field cultivation of cardamom
how does cardamom grow
In modern field cultivation of cardamom, seeds are germinated in protected houses called greenhouses . Then the following stages are followed for the success of cultivation:
In the first stage, cardamom seeds are sown in rows 30 cm apart from each other in prepared holes, which are then covered with a thin layer of sand, and then with a layer of rice straw. Taking care that the seed bed is watered frequently and providing shade over it. In the beginning, the seeds germinate within a period of 30 days, and germination continues for up to 90 days. Irrigation of the seed bed must be continuous, taking into account the shading above it. After it is prepared, it is transferred to another greenhouse, after it germinates and reaches the required height, and the amount of seeds needed to plant one square meter is equivalent to 10 grams.
Germinated green seedlings are planted in the new greenhouse used for vegetative propagation (secondary culture medium), 6 months after germination and kept there for a year.
After one year, cardamom seedlings are planted in the field when they reach the required size. Where we first dig holes about 30 x 60 cm and a height of 60 cm, provided that the spacing between the holes is a distance of 1.5 to 2 meters. Then we put the seedlings within them and cover the cardamom planting layer with mulch, taking care to use the drip irrigation method.
Cardamom plants are taken care of until they start to actually produce, after two to three years, when these products, which are in the form of a completely green capsule, can be harvested when they start to dry.
The right time to harvest cardamom pods is before they turn yellow, as they are fully ripe at this time.
Dry the cardamom product
After harvesting the cardamom, this product must be dried under specific conditions, because drying is one of the very important steps to maintain the quality of the product. For this purpose, it is sufficient to lay the cardamom out in the open air and under the sun until it dries completely, usually after about 5 days, and it may take 10 days when the weather is cloudy. But in no case should the product be exposed to rain water because that will spoil it, and the presence of dust in the air affects the quality of the dried product as well. Today, electric dryers are used for mechanized agricultural products as they are better and avoid unfavorable weather conditions.
Cardamom plant diseases and how to control it
After planting cardamom, it may be exposed to many pests and diseases that must be dealt with urgently, the most famous of which are:
Cardamom capsules rot disease, and it is one of the common diseases that affect the cardamom plant, and it is caused by different types of fungi. It mainly occurs in the event of high humidity and low air temperature, which leads to the destruction of the product.
Root rot is another problem that can affect the cardamom plant due to the fungus attacking the root of the plant.
Fungus attack on the whole plant: it causes the death of the entire plant due to its destruction due to this attack.
Nematodes, all kinds of worms cause a lot of damage to the fields and cardamom crops every year, as they attack different parts of the plant as they are transmitted to the plant through the dung of infected animals.
The method of dealing with each pest of cardamom differs, some of which require the use of insecticides and different preventive measures, but in the case of fungus, which is one of the main pests that affect cardamom, the easy solution is to water the plant in moderation while being careful not to overwater, because excess moisture is the cause The chief of the fungal attack on the cardamom plant.
Some benefits of cardamom
how to grow cardamom in pots
According to ancient Iranian medicine, the benefits of cardamom are many, as cardamom is hot and dry, so chewing its seeds after meals helps in better digestion of food, and it also neutralizes bad breath, in addition to that drinking its hot drink strengthens the stomach and intestines, opens the appetite, and relieves colitis And indigestion, and helps in the treatment of flatulence , nausea and lethargy, and prevents excessive secretion of stomach acid.
Another very valuable and special property of cardamom is the prevention of phlegm in the throat. Therefore, it is recommended to add it to dairy products and sweets to neutralize the effect of milk, which causes sputum to form in the throat. Cardamom seeds also have expectorant properties and cleanse the sinuses, bronchi, and nose of phlegm and excess secretions. In addition, it helps to improve mood and restore energy. It also contributes to the treatment of anxiety and depression. It also strengthens the kidneys and treats night sickness.