Cloves Growing for Beginners:
Introduction to Cloves Growing:- The clove is the air-dried unopened flower bud obtained from an evergreen medium-sized shrub. The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to 2 meters to 12 meters tall, with big leaves and crimson flowers grouped in terminal clusters. The flower buds initially have a pale hue, slowly turn green, then transition to a bright red when ready for harvest. Cloves are picked at 1.5 to 2 cm long, and consist of a long calyx that terminates in four spreading sepals, and four unopened petals which form a small central ball.
Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a shrub in the family of Myrtaceae. Cloves are native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia and are commonly used as a spice. Cloves are commercially grown primarily in Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Zanzibar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Tanzania. Cloves are available throughout the year. Cloves are used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine, and western herbalism and dentistry where the essential oil is used as a painkiller for dental problems. The use of clove in whole or ground form is mainly for culinary purposes and as a flavoring agent in food industry. Its flavor blends well with both sweet and savory dishes. Commercial cloves growing is an excellent agribusiness and can obtain decent profits under ideal orchard management practices.
Scientific Name / Botanical Name of Cloves:- Syzygium aromaticum.
Family Name of Cloves:- Myrtaceae.
Genus of Cloves:- Syzygium.
Varieties / Cultivars of Cloves:- No specific cultivars have been identified. However, Dwarf and large genes for clove are identified.
Other Country Names of Cloves:-
- Arabic – Kabsh ,Qarunfil.
- Chinese – Ding xiang.
- French – Clou de girofle .
- Indonesian – Cengkeh.
- German – Nelke.
Indian Names of Cloves:- Cloves are called with different names in India.
- English – Cloves.
- Tamil – Grambu / Lavangam / Kiraambu.
- Kannada – Lavanga / Lavangapattai.
- Hindi – Lavang / Laung.
- Bengali – Labango / Lawang.
- Gujarati – Laving / Lavang.
- Konkani – Grambu / Lovang / Longan.
- Malayalam – Karayaamboovu / Grambu.
- Telugu – Lavangam / Lavangalu.
- Marathi – Luvanga / Laung.
- Oriya – Labanga.
- Punjabi – Long / Lavang / Laung.
- Kashmiri – Ruang.
- Urudu – Laung.
Climate Requirement for Cloves Growing:- Clove is a tropical plant and also requires a warm humid climate having a temperature of 21°C To 30 °C. Humid atmospheric condition along with a well distributed annual rainfall of 150 to 260 cm are essential. It thrives well in most situations ranging from sea level up to an altitude of 1500 meters and also in places proximal to and away from the ocean.
Soil Requirement for Cloves Growing:- Deep black loam soil with high humus content located in the forest region is best suited for clove cultivation. It grows satisfactorily on Laterite soils, clay loams and rich black soils having good drainage. Sandy soil is not suitable.
Propagation and Planting Material in Cloves Growing:- Clove is propagated by means of seeds. The seeds should be gathered from fully ripe fruits for raising seedlings. Fruits for seed collection, known popularly as a mother of clove are permitted to ripe on the tree and fall down obviously. Such fruits are collected and sown directly in the nursery or soaked in water overnight and the pericarp removed before sowing. The 2nd method results in quicker and higher percentage of germination. Only fully developed/matured and uniformly sized seeds which show signs of germination from the existence of pink radicle are used for sowing. Though the ripe clove fruits can be stored for a few days in a cool shaded place, it is recommended to sow these seeds immediately after harvest of the crop. Heaping the fruits or keeping them tied up in airtight bags hastens the death of seeds.
Nursery Methods in Cloves Growing:- Beds of 15 to 20 cm in height, 1 meter of width and convenient length would be to be ready for sowing clove seeds. The beds need to be made from the loose soil-sand mixture over which a layer of sand might be dispersed (approximately 5-8 cm thick). Seeds may also be sown in sand beds but care should be taken to avoid erosion of the beds in rain. Seeds are sown at 2- 3 cm spacing and thickness of approximately 2 cm. The seed beds have to be protected from direct sunlight. If only small quantities of seeds are available for sowing, they can be sown directly in polythene bags filled with soil-sand-cow dung mixture and kept in shade. The germination starts in about 10 to 15 days and may last for about 40 days. The germinated seedlings are transplanted in polythene bags of 25 cm x 15 cm containing a mixture of soil, sand and well-decomposed cow dung in the ratio of 3:3:1. Sometimes, the seedlings are again transplanted after 1 year to large polythene bags containing the identical proportion of potting mixture. The seedlings are ready for transplanting in the field when they’re 18 to 24 months old. Transplanting time can be reduced to 12 weeks (1 year) by planting the seedlings in a mixture consisting of soil and vermicompost in 1:1 proportion.
Land Preparation, Planting and Spacing in Cloves Growing:- The area selected for raising clove plantations is cleared of wild growth before monsoon and pits of 75 x 75 x 75 cm size are dug in a spacing of 6 meters to 7 meters. If the clove is planted as an intercrop, the spacing needs to be adjusted depending on the spacing of the major crop. The pits are partially filled with compost, green leaf or well-decomposed cattle manure and mixed with topsoil. The seedlings of cloves are transplanted in the main field during the beginning of rainy season, in June to July, and in low lying areas, towards the end of the monsoon, in September to October. Clove prefers partial shade and comes up nicely at higher elevations with well-distributed rainfall. In order to give a cool humid microclimate, intercropping with banana trees is ideal.
Season for Cloves Growing:- June to December (Indian regions) is found to be optimum. Slopes facing South and West must be avoided. North and North-Eastern slope is preferred. But, cloves may be grown throughout the year under ideal irrigation conditions.
Irrigation for Cloves Growing:- Irrigation is necessary in initial stages. In areas where pronounced drought is normally experienced, pot watering is recommended to save the plants in the initial 2 or 3 years. Subsoil irrigation using 20 cm length subway tubes or bamboo tubes with the help to save the plants during acute summer. Although the trees can survive without irrigation, it is beneficial to irrigate the trees for appropriate growth, quality produce, and yield.
Intercultural Operations in Cloves Growing:- Provide shade for seedlings. Mulch the basins with dried leaves. Pot the basins as and when necessary. Banana could be grown to provide shade during the initial establishment. Small temporary pandals (temporary structure) may be provided for partial shade during initial establishment of the clove orchard.
Manures and Fertilizers for Cloves Growing:- Organic manures can be applied as a single dose at the beginning of the rainy season in trenches dug across the trees. Some horticulture departments advocate an application of inorganic fertilizers @ 20 grams N (40 grams of urea), 18 grams of P2O5 (110 grams of superphosphate) and 50 grams of K2O (80 grams of muriate potash) in the initial phase. The dose is progressively increased to 300 grams of N (600 grams of urea) 250 grams of P2O5 (1550 grams of superphosphate) and 750 grams of K2O (1250 grams of muriate potash) annually to get a grownup shrub of 15 years or more. The fertilizers have to be applied in two equal split doses in May-June and September-October in shallow trenches dug around the plant roughly 1 meter to 1.5 meters apart from the bottom.
Pests and Diseases in Cloves Growing:-
Pests in Cloves Growing:
- Stem borer
The stem borer infests the main stem of young trees in the basal region. The larva of this pest girdles the stem and then bores downward into it. The girdled portion and borehole are covered with a pad like frass material. The infested trees wilt and succumb to the pest attack. Inspect the foundation of clove trees often for symptoms of pest attack. Swabbing the basal region of the main stem with carbaryl and keeping the basins free of germs are prophylactic measures for reducing the insect infestation.
- Scale insects
Many scale insects infest clove seedlings and even in young plants in the main field. The scale insects generally seen on clove include wax scale, 32 shield scale, masked scale and gentle scale. The scales are generally seen clustered together on tender stems along with the lower surface of plant leaves. Scale insects feed on plant sap and cause yellow spots on leaves and wilting of shoots and also the crops present a sickly appearance. Spraying dimethoate (0.05%) is effective for the management of scale insects.
Diseases in Cloves Growing:
- Seedling wilt
Seedling wilt is a serious problem in a majority of those nurseries. The leaves of affected seedlings shed their natural allure, droop and ultimately die. The main system and collar region of the seedling show varying degrees of discoloration and decay.
Since the infected plants encourage further spread of the disease, they are to be removed and the remaining seedlings should be medicated with carbendazim 0.1% both as spray and soil drench. Alternatively, the foliage may be sprayed with Bordeaux mixture 1% and the soil soaked with aluminum oxychloride 0.2%.
- Leaf rot
Leaf rot is caused by Cylindrocladium quinqueseptatum and is noticed in older trees and seedlings. The infection starts as dark diffuse stains in the leaf tip or margin and after the entire leaf rots, resulting in severe defoliation. The foliage of affected clove plants should be sprayed with carbendazim of 0.1%. For additional precaution, Prophylactic sprays with Bordeaux mixture 1% will check the disease.
- Leaf spot and bud shedding
The disease is characterized by dark brown spots with a yellow halo on leaves and is brought on by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. Such areas also appear on the buds resulting in their shedding. C. crassipes causes reddish-brown stains on the leaves. Prophylactic spraying with Bordeaux mixture 1% prevents both the diseases.
Note: Your local horticulture department is a good source of finding information about pests and diseases in Cloves Growing. Don’t experiment on your own without knowing the symptoms and causes.
Harvesting in Cloves Growing:- Clove trees begin flowering from the fourth year of planting in fertile soil and excellent management conditions. But the complete bearing stage is reached by about the 15th season only. The flowering season varies by Sept to Oct in the plains to Dec to Jan at high altitudes. The unopened buds are harvested when they’re plump and curved and until they turn pink. At this phase, they are less than 2 cm long. The opened flowers aren’t appreciated as a spice. Harvesting has to be done without damaging the branches, as it adversely impacts the subsequent increase of the trees. As a frequent practice, the growers do not allow the trees to bear fruits (mom of clove) since they believe that it has a negative effect on subsequent flowering. The flower buds must be harvested when they are fully mature but before opening.
Yield in Cloves Growing:- The yield of this clove crop is dependent upon a number of factors such as plant age, irrigation, soil type, climate and other orchard management practices. A well maintained full grown tree under positive conditions may give 4 kg to 8 kg of dried buds. The average yearly yields after 14th to 15th year might be taken as two kg per tree. Clove oil, the spice determining factor, is about 15 to 21 % in the buds. The oil contains 70 to 90 percent of free eugenol and 6 to 12 % of eugenyl acetate.
Post-harvesting in Cloves Growing:- The harvested flower buds are separated from the clusters by hand and disperse in the drying yard for drying. The right period of drying is reached while the stem of this marijuana is dark brown and the rest of the marijuana is light brown in color. Well-dried cloves weigh about one-third the weight of new cloves. About 11,000 to 15,000 dried cloves weigh approximately 1 kg.
Marketing in Cloves Growing:– Bulk quantities may be sold to spice vendors and herbal companies.