Jasmine: Bride's favourite, businessman's too
Jasmine flower, the all-time favourite flower of Malayali brides, is not only fragrant and beautiful but also profitable. Jasmine cultivation is suitable for the climate in Kerala.
It is one of the flowers that fetch highest price in the market. In India, jasmines bloom during winter. The biggest advantage of jasmine is that it blooms all year around.
The major varieties of jasmine are Gold Coast Jasmine, Spanish jasmine, dwarf jasmine, Arabian jasmine, Italian jasmine and wild jasmine. The shrub jasmine variety can easily be grown in sack or flowerpot.
- The ideal time for jasmine cultivation in Kerala is between June and August.
- Places where direct sunlight is available are most suitable for growing jasmine.
- Rooted stem cuttings are used for planting.
- Applying hormone like Ceradix is good for fast rooting.
- Dig holes in soil and put compost, bone manure, neem cake and cow dung powder.
- Plant two rooted stem cuttings in each holes.
- Up to 30 jasmine saplings can be planted in a one-cent plot.
- Leave a distance of at least 1 metre between two saplings.
- If there is no rainfall, irrigate the plants regularly.
- Jasmine will start blooming within four months of planting.
- The branches of the jasmine plant should be cut for getting more flowers from it. This process is called pruning.
- The months from November to January is ideal for pruning. Bordeaux mixture can be applied on the cut portion of branches.
- Shrub jasmine will give more flowers when it is provided organic fertilizers like Amrita Jalam.
- For chemical fertilisation, 250 gram urea, 1 kg rock phosphate and 900 gram potash can be given to one plant in one year.
- Jasmine flowers can be harvested in 4-5 months. One kg jasmine flower fetches Rs 80-200 as per the season.
- More number of flowers can be harvested in the months from February to May.
- Flowers should be plucked from the plant very early in the morning.
- Keep the flowers in thin polythene sheets in order to prevent the moisture from drying up.
- When the jasmine flowers are exported to distant places, keep small packets of potassium permanganate with them to keep them fresh for longer.