Crossandra is one of the important commercial flower crop that is grown in different parts of India. It is popularly known as Kanakambaram. It is known forits less weight and its unique colour. It is used tomake garland and for hair adornment. It is mostly grown in the states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andra Pradesh.
Varieties and hybrids
Delhi Crosssandra, Lutea yellow, Arka kanaka, Arka shravya, Arka chenna etc.
It is a tropical plant and requires temperature of 30 – 35°C and required rainfall for its growth. It is susceptible to low temperature and frost and also shade tolerant
It requires Well drained sandy loam and red soils for its cultivation. It requires pH of 6 – 7.5. Soil is to be tested for nematodes before planting.
Tetraploids are propagated through seeds. Seed rate required is 5kg/ha. 60 days old seedlings are transplanted in the main field.
Triploids are propagated through terminal cuttings of 10 – 15 cm length (41,700 cuttings/ha)
Seeds are sown during July – October in raised beds at 15 cm apart in lines. Watering should be done daily. The seedlings will be ready for transplanting in 60 days.
Seed rate of 5 kg/ha is required for optimum plant population. For Delhi Crossandra, rooted cuttings have to be used for planting.
2-3 ploughings are given and FYM at 25 t/ha is incorporated. Ridges are formed 60 cm apart.
Dip the roots of seedlings in Carbendazim (1 g/l of water) and plant on one side of the ridge at 30 cm spacing. For seed production the spacing may be 60 x 60 cm. For Delhi Crossandra a spacing of 60 x 40 cm is to be followed.
Manures and fertilizers
Tetraploids: Apply FYM @ 25 t/ha as a basal dose and NPK at 75kg/ha, 50kg/ha and 125 kg/ha as top dressing three months after planting. Repeat NPK application at the same dose at half yearly intervals for two more years
Delhi Crossandra: Apply FYM @ 25 t/ha, Gypsum 100 kg/ha and P & K at 50kg/ha and 100 kg/ha respectively as basal dose. Top dressing is done 30 days after planting with neem cake 250 kg and N 40 kg/ha. Apply N P K @ 40:20:60 kg/ha 90 days after planting and repeat this dose at quarterly intervals for a period of two years. Spray Diuron (pre-emergence) 2.5 kg a.i/ha for controlling the weeds.
Growth regulators can be sprayed like Ascorbic acid 1000 ppm (1 g/lit of water) before flowering.
Irrigation is given once in a week. It has to be given regularly
Harvesting can be done when the flowers start to bloom after transplanting. Fully opened flowers are picked once in two days.