Patchouli Farming – Introduction
Patchouli is a very important herb among many other herb plants. The importance of medicinal and herbal plants has been very high since ages. Since centuries, people have been cultivating them. Because of the precious properties, they are very much in demand in the recent years. The cultivation of patchouli can be beneficial in many ways for farmers who are looking for new crops to cultivate.
The patchouli is usually used for medicinal purposes. The plant bears pale pink flowers. The patchouli is extracted through steam distillation. The extract is used for making perfumes. The fragrance is used in making incense sticks and other materials as well. The leaves are used in cooking in some cultures and areas. The scent of the patchouli can drive away insects. So, it is used as an insect repellent. For all these purposes, the patchouli farming has gained much importance in the recent years. Proper cultivation of patchouli can give huge benefits. The export of this medicinal plant can bring higher revenues than usual. For that, the herb must be cultivated using modern and scientific cultivation methods. A proper cultivation can yield a very good harvest.
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Scientific Name of Patchouli: Pogostemon cablin
Name Of Patchouli In Different Languages
Sanskrit: Patra, Gandhaparta
Malayalam: Pachila-പച്ചില, Pacholy, Patchouli-പച്ചോളി.
Different Varieties Of Patchouli For Cultivation
- KSM 4
This is a high yielding variety of patchouli. Among various other varieties, this variety is best known for its number of leaves, the pattern of branching and area of cultivation. The plant grows robust and is very good in terms of growth. It also has a good content of oil, herb and yield of other matters.
- KSM 5
The oil content in KSM 5 is about 31 percent. The quality of the patchouli plant is also good.
This variety of patchouli is best known for its yield of herb. But the downside is that the oil quality is not so good in this variety.
The oil content and the quality of oil for this variety is very good.
Among all the other varieties, the Johore variety gives the best oil yield and quality. The smell and the chemical composition of the oil are superior compared to many other varieties.
Cultivation Of Patchouli
The cultivation of patchouli must be done properly. Proper techniques must be used for its cultivation. There are few varieties of patchouli. High yielding varieties will give a higher yield. Since the patchouli is basically cultivated for its extract, the nutrition and irrigation play an important factor. Proper methods must be used so that the oil yield is good. Land selection and techniques of cultivation play a major role in the farming of patchouli.
Soil Preparation For Patchouli Farming
The ideal ph for the cultivation of patchouli is 5-7.5. The ph can be slightly acidic in nature. Too many acidic or alkaline soils must be avoided. Though patchouli can be cultivated in almost any kind of soil, the loamy soil is the best for its cultivation. The soil must be deep and well drained. The soil must be rich in nutrients and humus content. Fertile soils must be used for the cultivation of patchouli. It is very important to keep the quality of the oil and the herb quantity better for commercial purposes.
Climatic Conditions For Patchouli Farming
The patchouli is basically a tropical and subtropical crop. It is best to cultivate them in a warm climate. Too much heat or direct sunlight is not good for the growth of the patchouli plants. The patchouli can be best grown in areas which are higher than the sea level above 800-1000 m. An annual rainfall of 150-300 cm is necessary for the cultivation of patchouli. It is important that the rainfall is evenly distributed. Heavy rainfall is also preferred for the farming of patchouli. The crop must be protected from extreme climatic conditions such as frost and other such conditions.
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Land Preparation For Patchouli Farming
The land must be thoroughly prepared. The weeds and other plant materials must be removed from the land. After the land is clear, it must be ploughed several times. The ploughing is done to prepare the soil for a fine tilth. After ploughing, harrowing and tilling must be done. proper quantities of farmyard manure must be mixed with the soil to make it fertile. Tilling of the field must be done properly. For preparing the land for planting, ridges and furrows have to be dug in the field. the dimensions of the ridges and furrows must be 20cm*22cm. There must be a spacing of 60cm between the rows. To drain away the excess water, there also must be proper drainage channels in the land.
Propagation Methods For Patchouli Farming
In case of patchouli cultivation, vegetative propagation is used. Cuttings are used for the propagation of the patchouli. The cuttings must be collected from healthy plants and they must be treated well for the planting.
Planting Methods For Patchouli Farming
For planting, 10-12 cm cuttings are collected. Usually, the cuttings take about fourteen days to develop the roots. After the roots have been developed, they can be transplanted to the main field. the cuttings are raised in the nurseries. They can be put in poly bags and cultured in a proper culture media. For early rooting, growth hormones can also be applied at the cut end of the roots.
Spacing And Planting Season For Patchouli Farming
The cuttings should be planted with a minimum spacing of 5-10 cm in the nursery. A standard spacing of 60*90cm must be applied for the cultivation of patchouli. The planting must be done before the rainy season. Planting at such time provides enough moisture to the soil and plants.
Irrigation Methods For Patchouli Farming
The patchouli plants cannot waterlog. So, over irrigation must be avoided at all costs. The planting is done in rainy season. It gives enough moisture for the soil. The first irrigation must be done after transplanting. Regular watering must be done when the plants are young. After that, irrigation after every 10-15 days is sufficient. Watering is very important, especially in the dry and humid weather. The excess water in the rainy season must be drained out of the field through the drainage channels. Watering is important for the proper formation of herbage and yield of oil.
Manure And Fertiliser Application For Patchouli Farming
A soil test is important before the application of fertilisers and manure. The well-decomposed farmyard manure must be applied at the time of land preparation. Based on the soil test, proper quantities of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus must be applied. The application of proper quantity is very important as the yield of oil depends on the soil quality. The soil must be rich so that the quality of oil is good. The soil might be deficient in micronutrients as well. In that case, application of the appropriate amount of micronutrients is also important.
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Intercultural Operations For Patchouli Farming
The crop must be kept weed free at all times. Manual weeding must be done to remove all the weeds from the crop. If the weeds are not removed at proper intervals, it will pose a serious threat to the patchouli crop. Chemicals must also be applied for the destroyer of weeds from the crop. Application of pesticides might be helpful. Application of a combination of all methods of weed removal can be done.
Intercropping can also be done in patchouli farming. Intercropping increases the income of the farming and cultivation method. Mulching is a good method for controlling weeds. In patchouli cultivation, the mulching is also helpful for saving water.
Disease And Pest Control For Patchouli Farming
The most common diseases and pests affecting the crop of patchouli are:
- Leaf blight
Apart from these, there is no such serious pest or disease attack of patchouli plants. These can be controlled by proper crop management and maintenance of the patchouli crop. Application of proper pesticides and chemicals might help to control the diseases and pest attack.
Yield Of Patchouli
The average yield of herb from the patchouli cultivation is 1750-2000kg of dried leaves. The oil yield is about 45-65 kg. The yield depends on the variety used. Also, if the crop management is done properly, the yield can be increased to a great extent.
The crop is almost ready to harvest after five months of planting. After that, the harvesting can be done at an interval of 3-4 months. The premature harvesting should not be done. Premature harvesting will result in poor quality of the oil and less oil yield.
Post-Harvest Management And Marketing Of Patchouli
Immediately after harvest, the plants must be dried under the sun for several days. The drying must be done for 3-4 days. After that, there is a particular odour which is given off by the plants. It is important that the moisture content of the leaves must be minimum. For a good yield of oil, it is important that leaf moisture content is minimum. After drying, the extraction of oil from the dried leaves is another important process. The oil is extracted from the leaves using hydrodistillation or steam distillation process. After the oil has been extracted, storage of the oil is very important. The oil must not contain any water in it. The oil must be stored in bottles and proper containers.
It is sold in proper places after extraction. For other purposes, the leaves can be sold in the market. The fresh leaves must be sold in the market. For export purposes, the oil can be sold in the market.
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Benefits Of Patchouli
- The patchouli has antidepressant The extract of the plant is beneficial for calming the nerves and provide relief from anxiety.
- Patchouli has mild sedative properties. Anyone suffering from insomnia or sleeping problems can use the extract for relief.
- The patchouli has insect repellent properties. So, it can be used effectively against driving away the insects.
- The patchouli also acts as an antiseptic. Its antiseptic properties help to kill bacteria and prevent infection.
- The essential oil of patchouli is also beneficial for the skin. It can help to clear away scars of the skin and make it clear.
Conclusion – Patchouli Farming
Patchouli has gained quite an importance in the agriculture industry. The herb has great qualities for its nutritional value and medicinal importance. It is also very much in demand in the international market as well. At such times, the cultivation of patchouli is very important and can turn out to be profitable. The proper implementation of cultivation tools and techniques can guarantee the increase in profit.
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