China Aster is one of the most important annual flower crops. It belongs to family Asteraceae and is native to china. In India, it is widely grown in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra.
Soil And Climate
Well drained red loamy soils and alluvial soils are desirable. Very heavy soils with high calcium content are not suitable. Soil with pH 6.8-7.5 is the most suitable. The flower colour is well developed in the temperature range of 20-30 c during day and 15-17 c during night with relative humidity 50-60%.
Important varieties of China Aster recommended for cultivation are kamini, Poornima, Shashank, Violet Cushion, Phule Ganesh White, Phule Ganesh Violet, Phule Ganesh Pink and Phule Ganesh Purple.
Aster can be grown in varied months in all major growing areas depending on prevailing weather and climatic conditions. For maximum flower yield, the best planting time is March-April whereas for seed yield best time for planting is July.
China Aster is propagated through seeds. The seeds loose viability at a faster rate if stored in ordinary conditions, therefore, it is advisable to use fresh seeds. Normally the seeds germinate at a temperature range between 10-35 c, optimum being 21+- 4 c. 2.5-3.0 kg per ha of seed is required.
For commercial cultivation, seed is sown in raised beds measuring 120x60x10 cm. The seeds are rows across the length at 10-12 cm apart and covered with a mixture of soil and FYM. China Aster should be planted in the month of June in low hill areas for better flower yield and cv. Kamini is recommended for higher flower yield.
Usually seedlings are ready for transplanting within 30-45 days. The seedlings are hardened sufficiently before transplanting. Transplanting should be done in the early morning or evening to avoid bright sunshine. About 10-15 tonnes of well decomposed farmyard manure may be incorporated in the soil at the time of soil preparation. Although the practice of spacing varies with the habits of cultivars but generally a spacing of 30×30 or 30×20 is practiced.
Irrigation requirement depends upon the weather, type of soil and season of crop grown. Since it is a shallow rooted crop, it needs continuous soil moisture throughout the period of crop growth. It requires irrigation at intervals of 7-10 days.
Collar Rot Phytophthora Cryptogea: Fungus causes rotting of roots and collar portion of the stem. Disease becomes severe during high humid conditions. Avoid access moisture along ridges to prevent the disease.
A single plant yield 12-15 flower stems whereas the seed yield is 12-15 G.
Gerbera is ideal for beds, borders, pots and rock garden besides as cut flower. Cut flowers have long vase life and suit very well for floral arrangements. It belongs to family Asteraceae. Based on flower heads, they are ground into single, double and semi-double cultivars. Commercially semi-double and semi-double cultivars. Commercially semi-doubles are preferred.
A wide range of cultivars is available for commercial cultivation. It is important to select exotic high yielding hybrid varieties with desirable characters such as large sized flowers, long stalk length, semi double single types of various colours having black centre which have demand in the market. Some of the cultivars grown for commercial purpose are dalma, Goliath, Savannah, Amulet, Thallasa, Tara, Sangria, Sunset, Ornello, Pink Elegance, Twiggy, Paganini Etc.
Gerbera is commercially propagated through division of clumps Suckers. However, tissue cultured plants can also be used for commercial production of flowers.
Day temperature of 22-25 c and night temperature of 12 c to 16 c is ideal for growth and flower production. Shadenet 50% has to be provided to regulate excess light and temperature. Humidity has to be maintained at 60%.
Cocopeat + sawdust + sand I:I:I growing media was found best with respect to days required for bud formation, flower diameter, flower stalk length, flower weight, number of flowers per plant, number of flowers m2 and flower vase life for gerbera cv. Pagamini.
Land preparation And Sterilization
The land should be ploughed deep 2 to 3 times and brought to a fine tilth. Raised beds of 25-30 cm height, I m width and convenient length should be prepared leaving 30 cm passage between the two beds. Before starting gerbera cultivation, disinfection of the soil is absolutely necessary to minimize the infestation of soil borne pathogens like phytophthora, fusarium and phythium which could otherwise destroy the crop completely. The beds should be solar sterilized prior to planting.
Planting: Gerbera planting is normally done in two seasons. January to March and June to August. Growing of gerbera in raised beds improves drainage and aeration. The plants should not be planted too deep.
Spacing: 30×30 or 30×40 (6-9 plants/m2)
Manures and Fertilizers: FYM 7-8 kg m2 (as basal dose), NPK (12:32:16) 250 Gm M2 (Once Every Month)
Irrigation: Providing sufficient irrigation soon after planting and thereafter regularly through drip irrigation system is desirable. The average requirement is about 500-700 Ml-day-plant (4.5 to 61 m2) depending on the season and stage of the crop.
Harvesting and Yield: Gerbera starts flowering in about 3 months after planting the average yield under greenhouse is around 250-270 flowers m2 year. Harvesting is done when outer 2-3 rows of disc florets are perpendicular to the stalk. The heel of the stalk should be cut about 2-3 cm above the base and kept in fresh chlorinated water.
Marigold is another important crop among stemless cut flowers and the hardiest one. The plants with their attractive flower colours bloom for a considerable long period and the flowers keep remarkably well when cut. On an average it is being grown on 313 hectares in the state.
Climate: They can be grown in various types of climates almost round the year except in cold winter when the plants are likely to get damaged by frost.
Soil: Marigold prefers well drained soil and a sunny situation. French marigold performs well on a light soil while African marigold need well manured and moist soils.
There Are Two Major Types
- African marigold-Tall plants with large flowers
- French marigold-Dwarf plant with small flowers
Planting And Flowering Time
|Planting Time||Flowering Time|
|High hills||May-June||Oct-Mid Dec.|
|Under Intensive Cultivation||Under Ordinary Conditions|
|African Marigold||40X40 CM||60X60 CM|
|Dwarf Marigold||30X20 CM||60X40 CM|
Propagation: Propagation Is generally Done By Seeds.
Manures And Fertilizers:
|Muriate of Potash||27kg|
Apply whole FYM, Superphosphate and Muriate of Potash and half of CAN at the time of field preparation and remaining quantity of CAN be top dresses 1 month after planting.
Weeding & Hoeing
Hand weeding can be done at fortnightly intervals.
|Sept-Oct||Once a Week|
|March-April||Thrice or four Times a Week|
|May-June||Depending Upon Weather Conditions|
|Yield Per Plant||Flower||Seed|
|French||350 g||70 g|
|African||800 g||30 g|
Stem Rot Sclerotinia Sclerotiorum: Sunken, water soaked lesions appear on the stem which collapse under moist and shady conditions. Plants are covered with a fluffy white mycelium, inflorescence becomes pale and ultimately the whole plants wilts.
Control: Follow crop rotation with the non-host crop for prevention.