Crossandra Flower Farming Guide:
Introduction of Crossandra:- It is one of the famous and an important commercial flower crop cultivated throughout India. This flower also called as “Firecracker flower”.This flower is popularly known as “ Kanakambaram” in south India. This flower is also grown in other countries like tropical areas of Africa and Madagascar. This flower became popular in India due to its bright attractive colour and light weight. These flowers are used for women hair adornment and making garlands. Normally women mix these flowers with jasmine flowers and use them as hair adornment. Crossandra belongs to family of “Acanthaceae”.
Local names for Cassandra Flower in India:- Aboli/Priyadarsha (Hindi), Aboli (Marathi), Kanakambaram (Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam), Kanakambara (Kannada), Itimola (Oriya), Abbuli (Konkani),
Varieties of Crossandra Flower in India:- Following are the main Crossandra varieties cultivated in India.
- Delhi cultivar is triploid (2n = 30) : Produces more attractive flowers of bright deep orange colored.
- Orange is tetraploid (2n = 40) : Produces bright orange colored flowers.
- Lutea Yellow is tetraploid (2n=40): Produced flowers are in orange yellow colour.
- Sebaculis Red is tetraploid (2n=40): Produces hardy red colored flower, it has high degree of tolerance compared to other cultivars.
Climate Required for Crossandra Flower Farming:- Crossandra cannot tolerate low temperatures and frost since it is a tropical plant. The required temperature for its optimal growth is about 28 °C to 35 °C.
Soil Requirement in Crossandra Flower Farming:- Crossandra thrives best in well drained sandy loam and red soils with pH value of 6 to 8. Soils, rich in organic matter are best suited for its cultivation. It is good idea to perform the soil test for nematodes before plantation. Soils alkaline or saline in nature should be avoided.
Land Preparation in Crossandra Flower Farming:- Main field should be ploughed 3 to 4 times till the soil attains fine tilth stage and incorporate 30 tonnes farm yard manure in last plough.
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Planting Season in Crossandra Flower Farming:- Usually, seeds are sown in July to Oct period in raised beds at 12 to 15 cm apart in lines. Irrigation should be carried regularly and the seedlings become ready for transplanting in the main field after 2 months..
Propagation in Crossandra Flower Farming:- Propagation in Crossandra is done through the seeds and cuttings or seedlings. Seed rate required in this cultivation for optimum plantation is about 5 kg/ hectare. 2 months old seedlings should be ready for transplanting in the main field. Seedlings are raised in poly bags in the month of April to May and Aug to Sep. For Delhi Crossandra variety, rooted cuttings of 10 to 15 cm length should be used for planting. These cuttings would be ready for transplanting in the main field when their roots are developed properly. Approximately 42000 cuttings can be accommodated in one hectare land.
Planting Method and Spacing in Crossandra Flower Farming:- Seedlings or rooted cuttings should be treated with fungicide before planting. Dip the seedling roots in Carbendazim (1 gram/liter of water) and should be planted on sides of ridges @ spacing of 30 cm and keep the 60 cm distance between ridges. Make sure the planting is done in moist soil. To obtain higher yield of flowers, one should provide partial shade to the plants.
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Manures and Fertilizers in Crossandra Flower Farming:- First fertilizers application should be carried out after 7 to 8 weeks planting.
- Apply 20 to 30 tonnes of farm yard manure/ha
- Apply 50 kg of Urea/ha
- Apply 100 kg of super phosphate/ha.
- Apply 50 to 60 kg of Muriate of potash/ha.
These fertilizers should be given twice @ 6 months interval.
Irrigation in Crossandra Flower Farming:- This plant requires frequent irrigations especially at the time of planting and flowering stage. In hot summer or long dry spell season, daily irrigation should be carried out for better flower yield.
Weed Control in Crossandra Flower Farming:- 1 or 2 hand weeding are preferred and spraying of pre-emergence weedicide @ 2.5 kg per hectare will control the weeds in Crossandra cultivation.
Pests and Diseases in Crossandra Farming:- Following are the pests and diseases control measures Crossandra farming.
- Nematode: To control this pest, avoid planting in nematode infested fields and apply Phorate @ 1 kg per hectare after 1 week of planting. Repeat this process for every 6 months period.
- Aphids: To control this pest, spray Dimethoate 30 EC @ 2 ml/liter of water.
- Wilt: To control this disease. Drench the soil with Carbendazim1gram/liter of water.
Flowering and Harvesting in Crossandra Flower Farming:- These plants start flowering after 2 to 3 months of planting. Fully opened Flower picking should be done on alternate days. Hand plucking can be done in morning or late evening hours. These plants continue to bear flowers throughout the year and production will be less in rainy seasons. Total crop duration of Crossandra is 3 years.
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Yield of Crossandra Flower:- An average yield of 2000 kg/hectare can be expected. In Delhi Crossandra variety, the yield will be more and it’s about 2800 kg/ha.
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