Geranium Cultivation Guide:
Introduction of Geranium Cultivation:- Geranium is one of aromatic and herbaceous bushy perennial annual plant commercially grown for its essential oil. It is also being grown for ornamental purpose (cut flowers for decoration). This plant is also known as poor mans ‘rose’. The oil extracted from the leaves, stems, flowers of the geranium plant has excellent health benefits and used in aromatic treatment. The commercial oil of geranium is extracted from Pelargonium graveolens of the family Geraniaceae. Geranium is a genus of 420 species of flowering perennial plants that are commonly known as the cranesbills. When it comes to plant description, the stem of geranium plant is cylindrical, woody at the base, pubescent, green when young and turns brown with age. The leaves of this plant are highly aromatic in nature. The plant leaves /flowers has strong rose-like odour and this plant is also known as rose geranium. This plant is native to south office and used cosmetic and perfumery industries. The main ingredients of the oil are geraniol and citronellol and the pure geranium oil is almost a perfume by itself and blends very well with all other perfumes. As the cost of essential oil is very high, the commercial cultivation if geranium would be profitable provided there are ideals conditions for this pant cultivation. The following article details about growing “Geranium plant”.
Family Name of Geranium:- Geraniaceae.
Botanical/Scientific Name of Geranium:- Pelargona graveolens.
Genus of Geranium:- Geranium L.
Health Benefits of Geranium:- Some of the health benefits of Geraniums are given below.
- Geranium essential oil is good astringent and reduces the wrinkles.
- Geranium essential oil has diuretic properties (Increases the urination, this will flush out any toxins)
- Geranium essential oil has a very pleasant aroma, comparable to a combination of floral fragrances and mint aroma
- Geranium essential oil can treat acne, dermatitis and other skin diseases
- Geranium essential oil helps in relieving stress and reduces depression
- Geranium essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties & helps healing wounds
- Geranium essential oil works as a good insect repellent & bug bite healer
- Geranium essential oil can prevent from respiratory infections
- Geranium essential oil is good for teeth and gum health
- Geranium essential oil helps in relieving from the effects of menopause
- Geranium essential oil is good for hormonal balance
- Geranium essential oil helps in reducing blood pressure
Precaution: Never take this without discussing your physician/doctor.
Common Names of Geranium:- Scented Geranium (English), Geranium (Hindi), Pannir soppu, Pannir patre (Kannada), Geranium (Tamil), Geranium (Marathi), and Geranium (Telugu).
Species and Varieties of Geranium:- Well, there are many geranium species are being grown for both medicinal and horticultural purposes. The following are some the commonly grown species of geranium.
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 (grey cranesbill), Geranium sylvaticum (wood cranesbill), Geranium maderense (giant herb robert), Geranium × magnificum (showy geranium), and Geranium sanguineum (bloody cranesbill).
In India, some of the varieties under these species include are; Algerian or Tunisian, Reunion or Bourbon, KKL-1, Sel-8, Hemanti, Bipuli, and Kunti.
Climate Requirement for Geranium Cultivation:- Well, Geranium crop can be grown in various climatic conditions in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions. However, it grows best in Sub-tropical climatic conditions with humid atmosphere. It can be grown at various altitudes from 1000 meters to 2000 meter (msl). This crop requires well distributed rain fall of 1000 mm to 1500 mm throughout its growth period. Heavy rainfall causes many diseases like root rot and thus decreasing the yield. The ideal temperature for its cultivation sub-tropical regions is 6°C to 24°C. However, this crop can survive in lower altitudes and temperatures up to 42°C in plains under irrigated cultivation.
Soil Requirement of Geranium Cultivation:- Geranium crop requires well-drained porous soil rich in organic matter. This crop is a shallow-rooted crop and thrives best in red-lateritic soils with a pH value of 5.5 to 7.0, though it is ideal to have calcium rich porous soil.
Land Preparation in Geranium Cultivation:- Geranium crop is long standing crop hence it is required to have well establishment of plants. It is recommended to bring the soil to fine tilth stage after removing any previous crop weeds. Field / Land should have gentle slope and should have proper shelter to survive from heavy winds.
Propagation, Planting, and Spacing in Geranium Cultivation:- Usually propagation of Geranium is done by cuttings as there is no seed setting in these species. Terminal cuttings from healthy plant of 20 cm long with 8 nodes propagated through vegetative method gives best planting material where 80 to 85% of rooting without any treatment. Except for the first 3 to 4 leaves of the plant from the top, the rest should be trimmed and a slant cut should be made with a sickle (sharp knife) just below 6th to 7th node. Then it should be dipped in 0.1% of Benlate solution for 10 to 30 seconds.
These treated cuttings should be planted in nursery beds at 5 to 6 cm spacing. These cuttings should be irrigated twice a day under proper shade environment. These cuttings would be ready for transplanting in the field after 2 months from planting in nursery beds (however, the rooting of cuttings can be accomplished within about 20 days’ time under mist conditions). The rooted cuttings should be treated with 0.1% Benlate solution and transplanted immediately at 60 cm x 60 cm spacing in the field. Planting should be done after first monsoon showers in case of rain fed crop. Number of cuttings needed for 1 acre land is about 10,000 and 1 hectare land is for 25,000.
Irrigation in Geranium Cultivation:- Frequency of irrigation depends on soil type, plant growth stage, and climate. However, this crop requires moderate irrigation and heavy rains, over watering will result in root rot and reduces the yield. In case of irrigated crop, soil moisture should be maintained and in dry and summer seasons, frequent irrigations may be needed.
Manures and Fertilizers in Geranium Cultivation:- Geranium crop responds very well to manures and fertilizers. The following inputs are recommended in Geranium cultivation.
|Input Manures & Fertilizers||Per Acre||Per Hectare|
|Farmyard manure (FMY) in tons||5||10|
|Fertilizers in kg||N (Nitrogen)
Note: Nitrogen should be applied in 6 equal split doses and the first dose of ‘N’ should be given as a basal dose and subsequent doses should be applied at bimonthly intervals.
Intercultural Operations in Geranium Cultivation:- Proper intercultural operations are essential for healthy growth of geranium plants. Keep the field always weed free by giving shallow cultivation ( This crop is a shallow rooted hence care should be taken for not damaging the plant roots). Hoeing also can be carried out couple of times in the field. Pruning of Bushes is necessary when they show signs stubby laterals. The plant branches should cut back to 8 to 15 cm during fourth year at the beginning of the monsoons.
Pests and Diseases in Geranium Cultivation:- The following are the pests and disease found in Geranium Cultivation.
- Pests and Control Measures: Termites are the major insects found in Geranium cultivation. These can be controlled by mixing into the soil 25 kg of Heptachlor/ha and irrigating the area.
- Diseases and Control Measures: Wilt is the common disease found in Geranium cultivation. This can be controlled by spraying the crop with 0.2% Benlate solution 15 days before the harvest. After the harvest, treat the cut ends with the fungicide and repeat the spray after 15 days. Provide optimal irrigation and give proper hoeing operations to ensure healthy growth. Avoid over watering as it increases the incidence of the wilt disease.
Note: It is always advised to contact your local horticulture department for symptoms of diseases & pests and their preventive measures in Geranium cultivation.
Harvesting in Geranium Cultivation:- The Geranium crop reaches harvesting stage after about 4 months of transplanting in the field. How can we determine the maturity of these plants? Well, when the leaves begin to turn light green and exhibit a change from lemon like odour to that of rose. Harvesting of leafy shoots should be done using sharp sickle and taken for distillation as soon as harvesting is completed. As the Geranium crop is perennial and can give good harvests for about 3 to 8 years. One can expect a total of 3 harvests in a single year.
Yield in Geranium Cultivation:- Yield depends in many factors like soil, weather and variety of the plant along with pant management practices. In this crop one can expect oil yield of 100 kg/ha in one cutting and maximum oil yield of 250 kg/ha from three cuttings can be achieved.
Bottom Line of Geranium Cultivation:- The selling price of Geranium oil is about Rs. 850 to 1000 per kg in India. If properly planned, there is a huge scope of getting excellent benefits with this herbal Geranium cultivation.
Roughly 1 hectare crop may cost about Rs. 45,000 for 10 years period (for all years). From the average yield of 100 kg of Geranium oil gross returns of Rs. 8,50,000 to 10,00,000 /year.