HomeCropField Preparation for Elaichi

Field Preparation for Elaichi

Cardamom, known as the ‘Queen of Spices’ originated in the Western Ghats, India. It is one of the most highly-priced spices in the world. India is the second largest producer of cardamom, following Guatemala and exports about 15,000 tons of it to various countries. Major cardamom-growing states in India include Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It is a perennial crop, characterized by its dried pod with seeds. It is a long-duration crop, where the crop will stand for at least 5 years. Cardamom is also used in food preservation.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Selection of Seeds

There are many varieties of cardamom, however, there are two major kinds i.e  Sri Lanka and Elettaria cardamomum Maton. The minor ones are Mysore, Malabar and “Vazhukka”. Cardamom hybrid popular varieties are ICRI 1, 2, 3; TDK 4 & 11; PV 1, CCS 1 Madhugiri 1 & 2; NCC 200; MCC 12, 16 &40; RR1.

Elachi Seed Treatment

Elachi is propagated through suckers or clippings. Elachi can also be propagated with seeds. The seeds are treated with sulphuric or hydrochloric acid for 20 minutes. The seeds are then washed in demineralised water. The seeds are then dried in a shade area and then sown.

Nursery Bed Preparation for Elaichi

Elaichi suckers are propagated with spacing 1.8 m x 0.6 m (6800 plants/ha of clonal nursery). Elaichi is propagated usually in polythene bags. The nursery is cultivated in the shade provided by erecting overhead pandals. The seedlings are planted in 20 x 20 cm polybags. The seedlings are transplanted at the age of 18-22 months..

Land Preparations for Elaichi

The land is ploughed three to four times. At the time of the last ploughing, apply compost 12 t/ha; 35:35:75 kg/ha NPK. The pits are dug in 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm size and filled with compost and topsoil. Cardamom is usually a rainfed crop, however,irrigation is provided using sprinklers. The sprinklers are used especially during the summer months. The spacing for the saplings for larger varieties is 2.5 x 2.0 m and for smaller varieties, it is 2.0 x 1.5 m. Elaichi is usually planted and cultivated in the hilly regions. Therefore contour must be done for sloppy areas.

Soil Type Requirements for Elaichi

Cardamom is a wild crop and therefore grows best in forest loamy soil with good drainage. Cardamom grows best in acidic soil with a pH range of  5.0 – 6.5.


Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices. Cardamom though can’t be cultivated easily, it can promise a return for the labour and other cost. Cardamom doesn’t require much maintenance or water. Cardamom, once in a stable growth phase, can take care of itself and will reap profits.


  1. Suggest some popular varieties of Elaichi/Cardamom.

Sri Lanka and Elettaria cardamomum Maton are the major kinds. 

  1. What are the popular hybrid varieties of Cardamom?

ICRI 1, 2, 3; TDK 4 & 11; PV 1, CCS 1, Madhugiri 1 & 2; NCC 200; MCC 12, 16 & 40; RR1 are some popular hybrids. 

  1. What is the method of cardamom propagation?

It is propagated through suckers or clippings. It can also be propagated with seeds. 

  1. Is cardamom a rainfed or irrigated crop?

Cardamom is usually cultivated as rainfed crop. It is found to grow well in areas where the annual rainfall ranges from 1500 – 4000 m, provided the rainfall is well distributed.  

  1. What is the spacing for the seedings?

The spacing for the seeds of larger varieties is 2.5 m x 2.0 m and for smaller varieties, it is 2.0 m x 1.5 m. 

  1. How is Cardamom planted- Direct sown/Transplanted?

It is usually propagated in polybags and then transplanted at the age of 18 – 22 months. 

  1. What is the Fertilizer recommendation for Elaichi?

The general dose of fertilizer recommended for Cardamom/Elaichi is 30:30:61 kg/acre. The commercial quantity to be applied in the field is given in the table below. 

Nutrient  Fertilizers  General Dose (per acre) 
Organic  FYM or Compost  5 kg/plant 
N  Urea (or)  66 kg 
Ammonium Sulphate  145 kg 
P  Rock Phosphate  250 kg 
Single Super Phosphate (SSP)  189 kg 
K  Muriate of Potash (MOP) (or)  101 kg 
Sulphate of Potash  121 kg 


Note: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial or legal advice. Pesticides are a considerable risk of loss in crops and viewers are advised to do their own research before making any decisions.

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