How To Grow Cinnamon – A Beginners Guide

How To Grow Cinnamon.
How To Grow Cinnamon.

How To Grow Cinnamon:

Introduction – How To Grow Cinnamon

Cinnamon is oldest sweet spices grown for its dried inner bark. Cinnamon trees are native to Sri Lanka and It is mainly grown in India as well. This spice is used in Asian kitchens for its flavor. Cinnamon crop is commercially grown in Tamil Nadu and Kerala Western Ghats. Cinnamon is also being cultivated in Assam and Coastal hills of Karnataka and Konkan region of Maharashtra. Apart from a spice, it is used in making perfumes, chocolates, herbal medicines. These tree slips and lower quality bark is used for making cinnamon oil. The commercial parts of cinnamon tree are bark and leaf. Let us discuss more about how to grow Cinnamon or how to grow Cinnamon sticks.

Scientific or Botanical name of Cinnamon

  • Cinnamomum verum.

Family Name of Cinnamon

Other Country Names of Cinnamon

  • Indonesia: Kayu manis.
  • Arabic: Querfa.
  • Persian: Darchin.
  • Sinhala: Kurundu.
  • Turkish: Tarcin.

Top 10 Cinnamon Production Countries (Exportwise)

  1. Sri Lanka.
  2. Indonesia.
  3. China.
  4. Vietnam.
  5. Netherlands.
  6. United States.
  7. Germany.
  8. France.
  9. India.
  10. Madagascar.

Cinnamon in Indian Languages

  • Hindi: Dalchini,
  • Telugu: Dalchina chekka.
  • Bengali: Dalchini.
  • Gujarati: Dalchini.
  • Kannada: Lavangapattai.
  • Malayalam: Karuvapatta.
  • Marathi: Dalchini.
  • Oriya: Dalchini.
  • Punjabi: Dalchini.
  • Tamil: Karuvapattai.
  • Urdu: Dalchini.
  • Sanskrit: Darushila.

Cinnamon Varieties / Cinnamon Cultivars

Every country has their own varieties developed. The following are Cinnamon cultivars (varieties) grown in India.

  • PPI-1.
  • Konkan Tej.
  • Sugandhini.
  • Navasree (high yielding/high quality).
  • Nithyasree (high yielding/high quality).
  • YCD-1.

How To Grow Cinnamon – Climate Requirement

Cinnamon trees require hot and humid climate. For better yield and quality of bark, there should be an annual rainfall between 200 cm to 250 cm. The ideal temperatures for the tree growth is about 27°C to 28°C. Cinnamon crop can be grown up to an altitude of 900 meters to 1000 meters (m.s.l). Cinnamon crop is raised mostly as rain-fed crop. When grown as irrigated crop, you can use drip irrigation for better utilization of water and fertilizers.

How To Grow Cinnamon – Soil Requirement

Cinnamon tree is a hardy plant can be grown in a wide range of soils. However, the soils rich in organic matter (hums) with well-drainage are best suited for Cinnamon crop. Cinnamon trees can also thrive best in sandy loam soils with good organic content. Red/brown soils which are free of rocks, gravel can also be considered for the cultivation  of Cinnamon. If you are growing these trees in large scale (commercially), you must select appropriate soil as the quality of Cinnamon bark is highly influenced by soil quality and ecological factors.

How To Grow Cinnamon – Land Preparation

Well, the selected sited should be cleared off from the stones, weeds, and any other tree branches or previous crop materials. The land should be given couple of ploughings to bring the soil to fine tilth stage. Make sure to level the land and arrange any water drainage facilities.

How To Grow Cinnamon – Propagation and Raising of Seedlings

Propagation of Cinnamon trees is done through these following methods.

  • Seeds/Seedlings.
  • Cuttings (semi hardwood cuttings).
  • Air layering.

To grow from Seed: Mostly seed propagation is practiced. To raise Cinnamon seedlings, collect the seeds from quality mother trees and remove the seeds from fruits and wash properly by removing any pulp. As the seeds of Cinnamon have low viability, they should be sown in nursery beds without much delay after collecting them from mother trees. You can sow the seeds in polythene bags or sand beds having a mixture of sand, soil and well-decomposed farm yard manure like cow dung. All three (sand, soil and organic matter) should be mixed in 3:3:1 ratio. You can expect the seed germination in 12 to 21 days. For a good percentage of germination, you should irrigate the beds or bags frequently for maintaining constant soil moisture level. If the seeds sown on nursery beds, you can transplant to polythene bags once they attain a height about 15 cm. These seedlings require an artificial shading at least for 180 days.

To grow from Cuttings: You should select about 10 cm hardwood cuttings with 2 to 3 leaves on them. They should be dipped in a rooting solution like Keradix-B. Then they should be planted in polythene bags containing sand soil mixture with good organic matter. These bags should be kept in the shade. Make sure to water these planted cuttings regularly for quick rooting. Usually, it takes 50 to 60 days to get the rooting from cuttings. If the cuttings are planted in soil beds, you can transplant to polythene bags once they attain a height about 15 cm.

To grow from Air Layering: This method of propagation is done with semi-hardwood shoots. As part of the process, a ring of bark is removed from semi hardwood of the mother tree. Apply rooting hormone where the bark is removed. Moist coir husk should be placed around the area where growth hormone/rooting hormone is applied and this should be secured with 20 to 25 cm length of polythene warp. You can expect 50 to 60 days for rooting establishment. The well rooted air layers should be removed from the mother tree and placed in a polythene bag filled with fertile soil mix.

How To Grow Cinnamon – Planting and Spacing

Cinnamon Seedlings.
Cinnamon Seedlings.

In a prepared land, you have to prepare the pits for plantation. The pits should be dug with 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm at a distance of 3 meters x 3 meters. It is better to dig these pits at least 1 month before of monsoon. Once the pots are ready, they should be filled with topsoil and compost. Get the 1 year old seedlings grown from one of the above said propagation methods and plant in the pits. You can plant 3 to 4 seedlings in each pit. To ensure fast growth of the  Cinnamon plant, it is recommended to provide partial shade during the initial years of plant growth. Planting density depends on planting distance and irrigation method. You can easily maintain 3000 plants per acre.

How To Grow Cinnamon – Irrigation/Water Requirement

Mostly this crop is grown as rain-fed, hence water the plants based on soil property, season. Newly transplanted pits should be watered frequently for better root establishment in the soil. You can irrigate the plants to main the uniform moisture level. Protective irrigation during the summer months is beneficial.

How To Grow Cinnamon – Manures and Fertilizers

Timely manuring and fertilization of Cinnamon crop results in better quality of bark and higher yields.

  • During the fist year, apply N: P: K as 20:18:25 grams/plant.
  • 3 years of transplanting, apply 30 kg Farm yard manure, 4 kg Neem cake, 150 grams of Nitrogen, 75 grams of P2O5 and, 150 grams of K2O/plant.
  • Mulch the plants with green leaves, especially in summer months from protecting moisture loss. This can also control the weed growth around the plant base and stop the soil erosion. Later, this mulch material will work as organic compost for the plants.

Note: These manure and fertilizers should be applied in 2 doses during 1st week of September month and in March.

How To Grow Cinnamon – Intercultural Operations

  • Weed control: Controlling weeds around the plants is a very important task. During the 1st three to four years of planting, carry out the weeding 3 to 4 times in a year. Subsequent weeding should be carried out once or twice. You can expect Cinnamon seedlings 2 meters height in 7 year period.
  • Training and Pruning: Training and pruning should be done to establish a good and a strong framework of Cinnamon trees. The shoots should be cut back to a height of 30 cm from the ground to produce side shoots (this is called coppicing), this should be done once the seedlings becomes 2 to 3 years old. This process should be carried out until the whole tree attains a shape of a low bush with side shoots. Sometimes, stooling should be carried by slight mounding of soil to encourage new shoots.

How To Grow Cinnamon – Pests and Diseases of Cinnamon Tree

Plant protection is an important activity during entire growth period of Cinnamon tree.

Common Pests of Cinnamon plant:

  • Leaf eating caterpillar.
  • Cinnamon butterfly.
  • Leaf miner.
  • Red ants.
  • Termites.
  • Shoot borer.
  • Coffee red borer.

For symptoms and control measures of the above said pests, contact the department of local horticulture or spice board.

Common Diseases of Cinnamon plant:

  • Leaf spot and die back.
  • Seedling blight.
  • Grey blight.

For symptoms and control measures of the above said diseases, contact the local department of  horticulture or spice board.

How To Grow Cinnamon – Harvesting of Cinnamon

Harvested Cinnamon Bark.
Harvested Cinnamon Bark.

The harvesting of Cinnamon bark starts from 4th or 5th year after transplanting in the pits. The shoots of the tree are cut for bark extraction. The harvested shoots are cut into 1 to 1.5 meters of straight pieces. Scraping and peeling are the next operations. A sharp knife can be used for peeling the bark. Cinnamon oil is extracted from the steam distillation process. The harvested produce is known as “Quills”.

How To Grow Cinnamon – Yield of Cinnamon

The yield of Cinnamon crop depends on variety, plant density, irrigation, climate and plant age.

  • 4th year and onward: 70 to 125 kg quills/ha.
  • 10th year and onward: 225 to 300 kg quills/ha.

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