Lavender is a crop native to Europe but was introduced to the temperate regions of the state of Jammu and Kashmir by the CSIR Aroma Mission. Lavender is a small perennial aromatic herb shrub used in the perfumery, specialty food, and alternative medicine industries.
Although it can also be used for the large-scale extraction of precious oil from lavender which is too expensive and laborious. In India, the lavender crop is grown in the valley regions of Kashmir, the hilly regions of Himachal Pradesh. Lavender can be grown well in backyards, pots and containers. The few plants in the backyards can significantly increase your income. Commercial cultivation of lavender on a large scale can fetch up to millions of rupees due to its valuable essential oil. If you are planning to make your garden bloom with beautiful purple lavender flowers as well as earn extra income with its precious oil for perfumery, please browse through this article and visit us at Krishi Jagran frequently for other such great articles:
The two basic requirements for successful lavender cultivation are full sun and good drainage. Always choose a sunny spot in the garden so that the plants can enjoy the sun for most of the day.
Lavender can grow well in light, well-aerated soil rich in organic matter. Lavenders grow best in neutral to alkaline soil that drains freely. This crop is very sensitive to waterlogging but can do well in poor or eroded soil.
Lavender is a tough, temperate plant that can tolerate drought and frost conditions. The ideal climatic conditions are cool winters and cool summers. It requires a good amount of sunlight and poor lighting can lead to reduced yield.
Varieties of Lavender
Mostly 4 types of varieties are usually grown in India
Variety of True Lavender: This variety is the most cultivated variety adapted to the Mediterranean region. This variety is rich in essential oil.
Variety of spike lavender: This variety is also native to the Mediterranean Sea region but can grow up to 250-700 MSL above sea level. The essential oil content varies between 0.9-3%.
Variety of lavender: This variety is a hybrid of true and aspic lavender.
Sher-e-Kashmir variety: This variety is published by CIMAP, Lucknow and UP. This is a superior strain with 100% higher essential oil yields.
Propagation of lavender can be done by seed, rooted cuttings, tissue culture and layering.
Seeds: Seeds should be sown in prepared beds 1 meter wide either broadcast or in rows at a depth of 10-12 cm apart in autumn. The sowing rate should be 2 g per square meter with a sowing depth of 1-2 cm. Always keep the nursery bed moist and prune lavender regularly to prevent follicles from forming.
Rooted cuttings: Growers should always cut healthy, straight, vigorous stems for rooting. A 10-15cm cut can be made from the top of the plants. ½ to 2/3rd from the cutting must be inserted into a suitable growing medium and then propagated in the seedbed. FYM should be applied for continued plant growth and also recommended during cold spells, cover your crop with backing polyethylene.
Tissue culture: In the case of lavender, tissue culture is very expensive and can only be used for mass propagation from selected mother plants. The primary goal of tissue culture is to produce genetically identical, parasite-free cultures.
Overlay: It is recommended that growers select a long, healthy stem and remove 12-15cm of foliage, leaving 10cm of foliage at the end of the branch. You need to cover the sections with moist soil and the branch will root at ground level.
Planting time and plant spacing
For mild weather conditions, fall planting is preferable as this ensures that plants can be established well before winters. In cold regions, spring planting is recommended and growers should avoid frost before planting.
Transplanting should be done either in fall or spring. Lavender is planted 4 feet apart between rows and 30-40 cm inside rows.
Irrigation should be done regularly until the crop is fully established. At the flowering stage, irrigation is crucial. Also adopt drip irrigation as it saves water and weed growth.
Lavender crops respond very well to fertilizers. The NPK requirement is 100:40:40. Basal application is recommended with 20 kg N; 40 kg P and 40 kg K. The rest of the 80 kg of nitrogen can be divided into two doses for the next two years.
Hand hoeing and mechanical weeding are recommended without damaging the roots. To increase soil moisture and reduce seed emergence, farmers can opt for mulching.
Pruning of flower buds is also recommended from time to time during the first two years to give plants strength.
For more information on lavender insect and pest management, please follow Krishi Jagran’s website.
First published: May 25, 2022, 02:39 IST