Tuberose Cultivation – A Beginners Guide

Tuberose Cultivation for Beginners:

Introduction to Tuberose Cultivation:- Tuberose is a night-blooming perennial plant native to Mexico, as is another famous species of Polianthes. It develops in elongated spikes up to 45 cm long which create clusters of fragrant waxy white blossoms which bloom in the bottom towards the top of the spike. It has long, bright green leaves clustered at the bottom of the plant and smaller, clasping leaves along the stem. The oil extracted from these flowers is being used in the perfume industry also aside from using loose flowers for decoration and in religious functions. Commercial tuberose cultivation in India is an excellent business due to its local market demand. Tuberoses can be grown in pots, containers, balconies (with good sunlight), backyards. You can even grow these wonderful flowers even on terrace pots.

Family Name of Tuberose:- Amaryllidaceae.

Botanical/Scientific Name of Tuberose:- Polianthes tuberosa.

Genus of Tuberose:- Polianthes.

Pollination System:- Cross-pollinated.

Common Names of Tuberose:- Mexican tuberose.

Indian Names of Tuberose:- Tuberose (The Fragrance of the night) is called with different names in India.

Nelasampengi: Telugu.

Sugandharaja: Kannada.

Nila Samangi: Tamil.

Gulcheri: Marathi.

Rajanigandha: Hindi.

Urdu: Gul shabbo.

Varieties of Tuberose:- Well, there are many hybrid and improved varieties of tuberoses cultivated across India. Here are some important varieties which are categorized into single and double-flowered.

  • Rajat Rekha – Single flowered.
  • Shringar – Single flowered.
  • Single Mexican – Single flowered.
  • Svarna Rekha – Double flowered.
  • Suvasini – Double flowered.

Climate Requirement for Tuberose Cultivation:- Tuberose prefers to develop in an open sunny location, away in the shade of trees. It requires a warm and humid climate but flowering is profuse under a mild climate. Under cases of high temperatures above 40°C, or reduced (low) temperatures that the spike length as well as also the quality of the blossoms is badly affected. A temperature range from 20°C to 32°C is considered for the cultivation of Tuberose crop.

Soil Requirement of Tuberose Cultivation:- Tuberose plants thrive best in sandy and well-drained loamy soils. This crop usually prefers soil pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Commercial cultivation of Tuberose crop is an excellent option under high saline-alkaline soil conditions. Avoid the site location from strong winds. Commercial growers of Tuberose should go for soil tests for finding the soil nutrients and suitability. Any soil nutrients or micronutrient deficiencies should be supplemented by means of natural manures or any chemical fertilizers.

Land Preparation in Tuberose Cultivation:- The soil ought to be ploughed few times to a thickness of 30 to 40 cm during January and exposed to sunlight for a minimum of two weeks to kill weeds and insects. Well-rotten farmyard manure (FYM) @ 20 to 25 tonnes/ha ought to be incorporated into the soil immediately after ploughing. The soil ought to be attracted to fine tilth point by breaking up the clods and removing the weeds. The field is laid out into ribbons of convenient sizes with irrigation channels and ridges and furrows.

Propagation, Planting, and Spacing in Tuberose Cultivation:- Selection of suitable bulbs in Tuberose cultivation is quite Important for better quality and yield of the crop. Spindle-shaped bulbs free of diseases with a typical diameter of approximately 1.5 cm or over should be considered for planting. Tuberose bulbs have a definite rest period following Lifting them in the soil. Dipping the bulbs in a 4 percent solution of Thiourea will divide the resting period. Propagation of Tuberose through mature bulbs is expensive, so, multiplication of growing stock can be done With a division of bulbs. Substantially sized bulbs having 2.1 cm or more in diameter are suitable for planting purposes. The bulbs are cut into 2 to 3 vertical sections, each containing a bud and part of the basal All these sections are treated with fungicide and planted vertically in a rooting medium with their Tips simply showing above the surface. A moderately warm temperature should be maintained. New Tuberose Bulblets along with roots develop in the basal plate. At this stage, bulblets are moved to the floor (ground).

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Blooming Tuberose.
Blooming Tuberose.

Under sub-tropical conditions, the bulbs are planted in Feb-April. Well-developed spindle-shaped bulbs, with a diameter of 1.55 to 1.60 cm and above forming at the outer periphery of this clump, are considered ideal for planting. Recently harvested tuberose bulbs can be used for planting 4 to 5 weeks following harvesting. Planting fresh bulbs leads to profuse vegetative development and poor flowering.

The depth of planting in tuberose cultivation varies between 3.0-7.0 cm depending on the diameter of the bulb and the soil type. Planting is deeper in sandy soil as compared to clay soil. In sandy loam soil planting of bulbs is done at the depth of 6.0 cm. In general, planting is done in this way that the growing portion of the bulb is kept at the bottom level. The spacing of the plants varies from region to region. However, A spacing of 30 cm x 30 cm is ideal to accommodate 1,10,000 bulbs/ha.

Irrigation in Tuberose Cultivation:- Initially, irrigation is given immediately after planting in order to place them on the field and to provide them with sufficient moisture for growth initiation. After irrigation is given, depending upon the prevailing weather conditions. Normally, during summertime (April-June), it should be irrigated at weekly intervals and during winters in 10 days intervals. Usually, irrigation of the tuberose depends on soil type, climate, and season.

Manures and Fertilizers in Tuberose Cultivation:- Tuberose is a gross feeder that also reacts nicely to the application of organic and inorganic manures.

Aside from farmyard manure (FMY of 20 to 25 tonnes/ha)  applied during land preparation, a fertilizer dose of 200 kg of N, 50 kg P2O5, and 70 Kg K2O per hectare is recommended, of which 100 kg Nitrogen ‘N’ and the entire quantity of ‘P’ and ‘K’ needs to be applied as a basal dose. The remaining (balance) ‘N’ ought to be given in two split doses in thirty days interval. Nevertheless, under saline conditions, 77 kg of N, 51 kg P2O5, and 36 kg K2O per hectare are discovered to be effective. The application of CCC in 5000ppm and GA in 1000ppm induces early flowering, increased flower stalk production, and improves the quality of blossoms.

Intercultural Operations in Tuberose Cultivation:- Timely intercultural operations in Tuberose cultivation are essential for healthy plant growth and high yields.

  • Weed Control in Tuberose Cultivation: Well, weed-control is one of the significant tasks that have to be carried out for much better quality flowers and yield. The field ought to be kept clean by periodical weeding at monthly intervals. Manual weeding is usually practiced. Hoeing between plants in regular intervals is beneficial in loosening the soil and uprooting weeds. Control of weeds by using chemicals is also found effective. Application of Alachlor @ 2 kg/ha; Pendimenthalin @1.25kg/ha or Metachlor @ 2 kg/ha significantly reduced the weed population.

Pests and Diseases in Tuberose Cultivation:-The following are the pests and diseases found in Tuberose Cultivation.

Pests in Tuberose Cultivation

  • Bud Borer: This insect mainly hurts blossoms. Eggs are deposited singly on growing spikes. Larvae bore into buds and blossoms and feed on them by making holes.
    • Control Measures: Collection and destruction of damaged buds decrease the harm. Setting up light cubes helps to control the population by attracting them. Sprays of Endosulphan 0.07 percent or Methyl Parathion 0.05 percent consumed in the look of eggs on buds and tender foliage controllers borer damage. Neem oil 1% also gives considerable protection by repelling various phases of this pest infestation.
  • Aphids: All these are tiny insects, soft-bodied, green, deep purple, or black in color. These generally occur in clusters and feed on flower buds and young leaves.
    • Control Measures: You can control this pest by spraying the infected tuberose plants with Malathion @ 0.1% at an interval of 2 weeks is an effective method.
  • Red Spider Mites: Mites thrive well under warm and arid conditions, usually on the undersides of their leaves, in which these make webs if permitted to continue. These are generally red or brownish in color and multiply quickly. Mites suck sap, which results in the formation of yellow strips and stripes on the foliage. In due course of time, leaves become yellowish, silver or bronze and distorted.
    • Control Measures: These mites can be controlled by spraying with Kelthane @ 1.2% concentration.
  • Grasshoppers: These pests feed on young leaves and flower buds. Affected plants with damaged foliage and blossoms Shed their elegance, especially during the monsoon (rainy) season.
    • Control Measures: Dusting the crops with 5 percent Cythione/DDT/Folidol dust can stop the harm. Scraping of buds exposes egg whites to natural enemies. Netting prevents harm from hoppers to nurseries.
  • Thrips: Thrips feed on leaves, blossom stalks, and blossoms. These suck the sap and harm the entire plant. Sometimes, all these really are associated with a contagious disease called ‘bunchy top’, in which the inflorescence is malformed.
    • Control Measures: These pests can be controlled by spraying the plant with 0.1% of Malathion.
  • Weevils: The weevils are nocturnal in habit and ruined leaves and shoots. Normally, they nourish the border of their leaves, producing a characteristic notched effect. Larvae feed on roots and tubes into the bulbs.
  • Control Measures: These pests can be controlled by  Applying BHC dust (10%) in the soil before planting the Tuberose bulbs.

Diseases in Tuberose Cultivation

  • Stem Rot: The disease symptoms are preceded by the looks of prominent stains of loose green color due to rotting which goes and protects the entire leaf. The infected leaves become detached from the plant. More or less curved sclerotic, brown spots are formed on and around the infected leaf. Consequently, the infected plant gets weak and unproductive.
    • Control Measures: You can control this disease by the application of Brassicol (20%) in the soil @ 30 kg/ha.
  • Sclerotial Wilt: The initial symptom of this disease is flaccidity and drooping of leaves. The leaves become yellow and dry up. The fungus mainly impacts the roots and the infection gradually spreads upward through the tuber and collar portion of the stem. The two tubers and roots reveal rotting symptoms. The thick cottony growth of the uterus is visible on the rotten stem and on petioles in the soil level.
    • Control Measures: This disease can be controlled by drenching the soil with 0.3% Zineb.
  • Botrytis Spot and Blight: The disease appears during the rainy season. Infected flowers show dark brown spots and ultimately The entire inflorescence dries up. The infection also occurs on the stalks and leaves of the plant.
    • Control Measures: Spraying the plants with Carbendazim @ 2 grams/liter of water effectively modulates the disease. The treatment ought to be repeated at 2 weeks interval.

Note: It is always recommended to contact your local horticulture department for symptoms of diseases& pests and their preventive measures in Tuberose cultivation.

Harvesting in Tuberose Cultivation:- In India, tuberoses are cultivated for their production of flower spikes and loose flowers on a commercial scale to the domestic market requirement. Flowers are ready for harvest in approximately 100 days of planting. August to September is the peak period of flowering. For marketing of flower spikes, the tuberose is chosen by cutting the spikes in the bottom when 1 to 2 pairs of flowers open on the spike. Individual blossoms which grow at the horizontal position on blossoms stalk are picked in the early morning. The spikes are clipped by using a sharp knife that gives a clean-cut, leaving approximately 4 to 5 basal portions of the scape in order not to damage the growing bulb.

Post-Harvesting in Tuberose Cultivation:- Just after harvesting the flowers, the lower end of the spike should be immersed in water for prolonging the life of spikes. The spikes have been made prepared by removing the unwanted leaves to minimize the transpiration loss for sending to local flower markets.

Harvested flowers should be graded based on stalk length, length of rachis, number of flowers per spike, and weight of spike. Straight and strong stem of uniform length and uniform stage of Development is favored. Flowers should be free from bruises and diseases and pests. Florets are Graded according to their sizes for loose flowers.

Exotic blossoms of single-flowered tuberose are packaged in bamboo baskets coated with moist gunny bags. About 10 to15 kg of new flowers should be packaged in every basket and hauled to the local wholesale market in which they’re sold by weight.

Yield in Tuberose Cultivation:- Yield of Tuberose depends on variety, soil, irrigation, climate, planting method, planting density, and season. Tuberose planted at a spacing of 30 x 30cm with a plant population of 1,11,000 plants/ha yield about 90,000 marketable spikes and 1.8 lakhs flowering size bulbs.

Marketing in Tuberose Cultivation:- Freshly cut tuberose flowers can be sold at the farm gate or can be transported to local flower markets in the morning. However, you can also find flower agents who can come and collect flowers from your garden.

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