Tuberose farming in india

TubeRose is the most popular loose flower cultivated in india. While roses are considered best cultivated for cut flowers, when it comes to loose flowers, tuberose rules. Tuberoses are cultivated for cut and loose flowers. The variety of the cut Tuberoses are different from those of loose flowers. 

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Tuberose cultivation is profitable and considerably easier than rose cultivation. While rose cultivation requires a greenhouse or closed controlled environment, tuberoses are cultivated mostly on openfields. While there are disadvantages to openfield, the ease of setting up a project for tuberoses is much easier than that of cultivating roses. The initial cost , investment in the structure etc of rose cultivation is usually demanding and to make matters worse, rose cultivation is very sensitive to weather, no matter what kind of infrastructure you provide.

Tuberoses are apt for indian weather, especially in southern india. Major states that cultivate Tuberose include maharashtra, West bengal, Tamil nadu, karnataka, andhra pradesh apart from rajasthan, gujarat, punjab, UP and assam. Tuberose flowers are distributed country wide and exported to other countries from these states. The tuberose flowers harvested are usually sold to local markets for garlands. They sell year round in hindu religious places and are often used in weddings. 

One or two Good tuberose flowers can have a fragrant effect in a small to medium size room. A bunch of it can make a small area fragrant. Tuberoses have a life of 24 -48 hours and if watered and maintained (in bouquets) can last up to 4-5 days.

When do Tuberoses bloom

Tuberoses bloom at night. They are harvested best during late evenings or nights when they are ready to bloom. If harvested early in the morning, they are in full bloom and transportation is usually hard without damaging the quality of flowers. When they are ready to bloom, its picked and packed in bamboo baskets or gunny bags. Some farmers also pack tuberoses in polythene bags lined with newspaper. Depending on how far you need to transport and what quantity of tuberoses you harvest, you need to determine how you would want to pack the tuberose harvested. For cut flowers, the process is entirely different and a bit more tedious. Considering that cut flowers are usually exported or travel a longer distance, cut flowers require processing and storage units before transportation. The processing and packing of cut tuberoses is very similar to that of cut roses.

Loose flowers are usually sent to the market for garlands if sold to local traders. Some traders also sell to units where oil is extracted. For the extraction process, the flower should preferably be picked in the evening because once fully bloomed, the fragrance is reduced.

Products from Tuberoses

Tuberoses are used for bouquets, decorative purposes and garlands. Apart from them, they are used in the food and perfume industry widely.

Tuberose Attar

Tuberose attar is a concentrated tuberose oil extracted from tuberose. Unlike the perfumes which are usually sprayed on clothing, attar is more of an oil concentrate, and works great for aromatherapy or application in your wrist or neck area. The Tuberose attars are concentrated and just a touch of application is sufficient enough to command attention from anyone in the room

Tuberose Agarbatti

Insence is common in most asian cultures. Wide range of fragrances are available when it comes to incense from rose to lilies and mogra. Rajnigandha is one of the most widely used fragrances for agarbatti. The fragrance is fresh and exudes positivity. Rajnigandha Agarabattis are usually produced from lower quality extracts of rajnigandha flowers. 

Tuberose Absolutes

Tuberose absolutes are extracts from tuberose flowers at its best form. Their are 4 types of extraction processes and each of them have their own pros and cons. The heat Enfleurage processes yields the best extract in terms of quantity. For full details on the extraction process, visit the following documents

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237046153_Extraction_Methods_for_Tuberose_Oil_and_Their_Chemical_Components

http://www.joaat.com/uploadfile/2017/0331/20170331062342382.pdf

Tuberose Exported from Karnataka and Tamil Nadul alone accounts for 70% of the Absolutes produced in india. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqCkHnaYSbY There are a few companies which promote, market and produce Tuberose cultivation and purchase them.  The production of tuberose in these parts of the country are year round. Harvesting happens for 10 months in a year and every 2-3 days, there is some maintenance work involved in the farm, from fertilising, weeding or irrigation.

The work in a tuberose farm never really ends. With 10 month  harvesting period, you can expect year round revenue. Unlike most crops which are seasonal and have a good bulk sale during the season and nothing much thereafter, tuberose cultivation ensures constant revenue.

Tuberose bulbs online

You can find tuberose Bulbs online from various online vendors and sites. It’s recommended that you plant tuberose bulbs and NOT tuberose seeds for better results. Tuberose seeds are often known to have lower germination rate and its harder to start a plant from seeds when it comes to tuberoses. Tuberoses are best planted from bulbs. If you buy tuberose bulbs from a local vendor, ensure that the bulbs are big and they are not infected with diseases. A good quality bulb, free from diseases will have a higher chance of survival and better yield in flowers. 

tuberose bouquet

Tuberose Bouquet and Table decorations are common  for cut flowers. Cut flowers are usually used for bouquets and table decoration because of its shelf life / vase live. If watered adequately, tuberoses can survive for up to 4 days and sometimes a bit more if weather / room temperature is feasible. The fragrance of the flower can last for 2-3 days too diminishing slowly. Apart from the fragrance, the elegant white flowers add personality to the room and in case of bouquets, the gift. While a stem of Tuberose cut flower could cost anywhere from 10 rs to 40 rs in the local market, the price could go up to rs.100 when exported. While exported flowers come at a good price, the process of picking processing and storing adds to the cost. Its also important to understand that Cut flowers come with a lot of investment. Cold rooms, proper setup, harvesting practices and man power with skills adds to the cost.

Tuberose blooming season

Tuberoses bloom 10 months in a year. The flower is not seasonal and processes continuously throughout the year with the right climatic conditions. Monsoons and climate which is too cool is not feasible for tuberose and can reduce the yield of flowers. Apart from these seasons and short spells, Tuberose blooms throughout the year.

Tuberose colors

Tuberoses are white but with the double cultivars, you will see a pink shade in the edge of the flowers. Double cultivars are best suited for cut flowers and not for loose flowers which are commonly used in the fragrance industry. Flowers used in the fragrance industry are loose flowers and are typically pure white in color with a stronger fragrance when compared to the double cultivars

tuberose diseases

Like many plants tubresoses are susceptible to a range pests and insects. Thrips, aphids, borers , grass hoppers and rodents could all be a problem for tuberose cultivation. Some of the most common pests and disease which affect tuberose cultivation are as below.

Insects

Diseases 

Pesticides that are commonly used on all other crops are good for Tuberose cultivation too but if you are cultivating tuberose for the fragrance industry and loose flowers, its recommended that you adhere to rules in the industry and use recommended fertilizers and chemicals. Chemical sprays can affect the flower fragrance and this is not a good route to take specially if you have clients lined up for your produce. If a client finds trance ingredients of chemicals which are not suitable for the fragrance industry they will turn away and often not come back. Its always a good idea to ask the client or customer what their preferences are and what quality control they adhere to. Its also recommended to consult clients before you go ahead and spray with chemicals. Prevention in most cases is better than cure when it comes to the tuberose industry and farming in general. 

Tuberose garland

Weddings are never complete without garlands in the indian community . Garlands look good with almost any flower but with that added fragrance and the elegant look of tuberose, you can add a flair to your wedding that will be a talk in the town. Tuberoses are often the choice of flowers for garlands. Weddings or for religious purposes, Tuberose garlands can make the difference. 

Garlands are usually made by women and men with skills (mostly women) and this is a home based industry. The industry creates a lot of work for women in areas where tuberose is cultivated and often where large temples are in place. While wedding seasons can be a good market, Temples and religious places create a constant flow of income for these workers. 

If you are a tuberose cultivator, its important to reach out to these small industries and tap into their needs. Producing flowers for these people and delivering flowers to them not only helps their work but also ensures that you have a constant flow of your produce and no bidding wars in the market. This is indeed a lot of work and could mean added labour and manpower in delivering the product to these people but, when you consider the whole scenario, you would be in benefit more than selling it wholesale in the long run. 

Tuberose garden

Not everyone wants to cultivate tuberoses for commercial purposes. The flowers are beautiful and many gardeners love to add a new flower to their garden space. The tuberose plants are a good addition. While they do look a bit scrawny with little foliage and a plume of flower on the top creating a messy look which may not be the perfect addition to a raised bed in your garden, they may do great in pots or patches. If you are concerned about aesthetics, ensure that your tuberose plants are double cultivars rather than single cultivars. Double cultivars often have more flowers than single cultivars which adds a bit more personality to the garden space than double cultivars. There are varieties of tuberose which come in a range of colors which are suitable for gardens. These colored varieties are not commercially used as they do not exude the fragrance of single cultivars are are rarely sued in bouquets. Nevertheless, these flowers add a great set of colors to your garden. Always remember that tuberose plants have lesser foliage and consider this factor when you plan your garden. Placing tuberoses in the edge or near the fencing areas could add more personality to your garden than putting them up front. 

Tuberose growing conditions

Dry, well drained loose soil with plenty of organic matter is the best condition for tuberose cultivation. Consider areas which do not have high rainfall or colder than 16 degree celsius. Colder areas are not usually the best choice for Tuberoses. Warmer, even humid areas are ok. The ph of 6.5-7 is considered good. Water logging is not tolerated at all and could be the cause of diseases and loss. Irrigation is mandatory for tuberoses. Flood irrigation, once in a week or drip irrigation once in 3 days is sufficient for the plants. Proper fertigation should be maintained and trace minerals should be added apart from the normal NPK formula. 

Tuberose germination

Tuberoses are germinated from bulbs and not from seeds when commercially cultivated. Apart from the fact that seeds are less reliable as a plant starter, it also is a cause of concern when it comes to the quality of the plants it produce. On the other hand , bulbs are usually reliable, easy to germinate from and produce reliable plants with the same quality as the parent plant. 

Tuberose bulbs are usually stored at the end of the harvest, usually 2-3 years after the crop. Expect approximately 20-25 tonnes of bulbs per hectare. The bulbs are cleaned, washed and dried in the shade after which they are sorted by size. A good size of 1.5 centimeter diameter is recommended for good plants and the bulbs which meet this size are separated for the next sowing. 

8-9 Tonnes of tuberose Bulbs is required per hectare of tuberose plantation . Bulbs which are wider than 2 centimeters are usually cut vertically each containing a bud and basal plate. Treatment with copper based fertilizers ensures protection from fungal diseases. Buds are planted at a distance of 20X20 Cm and watered regularly. Germination of these buds usually take up to 2 weeks and in colder areas a bit longer. If the climatic conditions are cold, the buds tend to become dormant and this can be surpassed by treating the buds with Thiourea  solutions.

Tuberose height

Tuberose plants usually grow up to 60 centimeters in a year. Thats a bit more than knee height for most people. The plant has a life span of 2-3 years and is considered perennial. The plants are dormant during winters.

Ref : https://www.ijcmas.com/special/11/Abhinash%20Moirangthem,%20et%20al.pdf

Tuberose yield per acre

The most important question most farmers ask when it comes to farming is about the yield. How much can you produce in one acre of land? Most farmers don’t think about money. This is not usually a bad thing because the better the yield the more the money (at least in most cases). 

The answer is different. 160,000 to 200,000 Spikes per year for double cultivars which are usually for cut flowers. For loose flowers expect 5.5 – 6 Tonnes of loose flowers per year. Apart from the flowers, expect approximately 8 to 10 tonnes of bulbs in the third year. This can be sold in the market as seeds or used in your farm for the next sowing.