Aromatic Crops - Citronella Cultivation Practices

By TamilNadu Agricultural University on 23 Jan 2019 | read

Citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus)
GraminaeImage title

Java-2, Jerlab-2, Java citronella, Java II and Ceylon citronella, Bio-13, Mandakini and Manjusha are the high yielding varieties.

Soil and climate 
Sandy loam with abundant organic matter with pH of 6.6 – 8.0 is highly suitable.  It comes up well under tropical and sub-tropical conditions with a high rainfall (200 - 250 cm) and high humidity.
Seeds and planting
It can be propagated through slips. About 28,000 slips at a spacing of 60 x 45 cm in ridges can be planted in a hectare.

Plough the field thoroughly and flat ridges are formed. Slips are planted at the top of the ridges.

Planting spreads from June to July. 

The crop requires FYM 10 t/ha and NPK at 25:40:40 kg/ha as basal dose. 75 kg N/ha can be applied in 3 equal splits of 25 kg each at 3, 6 and 9 months after planting.

Life irrigation is given on third day and again at 7 – 10 days interval.

After cultivation 
One to two weeding at the initial stages and earthing up after each harvest are required.

Plant protection

To control red spider mite and sucking pests, spray dimethoate 2ml/l.

Leaf blight 

Spray any one of the Dithiocarbamates namely Mancozeb or Zineb at an interval of 15 - 20 days.

The first harvest is done at 6 months after planting.  Second and subsequent harvest can be taken at an interval of two and a half months. Cut the bush by leaving 10-15 cm above the ground level. Oil extraction is done after shade drying the leaves for one day.

The herbage yield is about 20 - 30 t/ha/year. Oil is extracted by water distillation. The oil content ranges from 0.2% to 0.3%.

Oil yield
First year                              :          50 - 100 kg/ha
Second year                         :          100 - 150 kg/ha
Fifth year                              :          250 - 300 kg/ha