Cardamom also commonly known as Elaichi, is a perennial plant grown in semi-tropical conditions. Cardamom belongs to the plant of the Zingiberaceae family. It is a family of gingers, hence the aroma and taste of the cardamom.
They are native to South Asia, mostly Nepal. Plant the cardamoms after the frost in a thin layer of soil, as they need aerated space to stretch out.
The plant is easy to grow although it is a high maintenance plant. They require at least 3 to 3 and a half years to produce cardamom of seeds.Don't let the soil dry out completely. It needs water constantly during the summer.
The average height of the plant is around 5 to 10 feet. The leaves of the plant are around 2 feet in length and are broad, lance-shaped. The mature cardamom roots can spread to 9 to 11 feet.
The flowers of the plant are small red in color. They bloom during the season of summer; around April. The flowers are tender and tiny.
They require soil which is mildly acidic in nature. The ph value of the soil should be around 6.5 to 7.
The soil should be rich in nutrients with well drainage capacity.
Water the plant with 3 to 4 cups of water regularly. Keep them under the canopy of tall plants. Water should drain out easily but the soil should remain moist. Not clay textured soil or damp but of consistency.
Cardamom requires indirect sunlight of low intensity. They can't tolerate frost so it should be kept in humid climate.
Cardamoms need temperature from 22°C and above.
If you are planting your cardamom indoors then place it under the east facing window where it can enjoy the morning sun.
There are two types of cardamom- green and black. Black cardamom does not have any culinary purpose. They are long and thick. Green cardamom is mostly used in various dishes and especially used in making tea.
Feed the cardamom with high manganese, minerals, potassium fertilizers. Use Neem cake fertilizer twice a month.
Supply the cardamom with phosphorous-rich fertilizer twice a month during the blooming season.
These are the best plants to be grown indoors as they require a humid and shady location to grow. Cardamom can be propagated from seeds and large rhizomes. The stems are around 3 to 4 meters high.
Cardamom has various a culinary purpose. They are grown for its aroma and spicy blends.
It is believed that a cardamom own certain medicinal properties. They are used to treat snake bites, kidney alignments, and oral infections.Some people also believe that cardamom seeds are a powerful aphrodisiac.
Cardamoms are prone to rhizomes rot and mosaic virus and nematodes. Mosaic virus disease is transferred by aphids while rhizome rot causes chlorosis of the leaves; the leaves start to decay and drop.
Rhizome rot is caused due to waterlogging of the soil.
Try to keep the aphids away from your plant and provide iron rich fertilizers to prevent yellowing of the leaves. Don't overwater the plant, as the plant would start to wilt.