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Palmarosa Cultivation Information Guide

Palmarosa Cultivation Information Guide

Palmarosa Cultivation: 

Palmarosa Cultivation.
Palmarosa Cultivation.

Introduction to Palmarosa Cultivation: Palmarosa is tropical perennial grass which is being cultivated for its oil that smells like rose fragrance. It is perennial plant thrives well in tropical and humid climatic conditions. This plant grows wild in some parts of India. Palmarosa is also known as Indian Rosha or Motia or Tikhadi, This perennial grass plant is native to South East Asia, especially India. Palmarosa used in perfumery, food flavouring and pharmaceutical industries. As we know the fact that the demand for aroma industry increasing day by day, farmers are now looking for commercial production of Palmarosa crop. By adopting proper crop cultivation practices, one can obtain decent profits. The following write-up details about package practices of Palmarosa cultivation.

Family Name of Palmarosa:- Poaceae.

Botanical/Scientific Name of Palmarosa:- Cymbopogon martinii.

Genus of Palmarosa:- Cymbopogon.

Uses and Health Benefits of Palmarosa:- The following are some of the health benefits and uses of Palmarosa essential oil products.

Health Benefits of Palmarosa Essential Oil.
Health Benefits of Palmarosa Essential Oil.

Parts Used in Palmarosa: Oil extracted from flowers, leaves and stems.

  • Palmarosa essential oil has Antiviral and Antiseptic properties.
  • Palmarosa essential oil promotes the growth of cells and the recycling of cellular matter.
  • Palmarosa essential oil Aids in digestion.
  • When used in aromatherapy treatments, Palmarosa oil relaxes the muscles and nerves, fights depression, fatigue, anxiety, anger and nervousness
  • Palmarosa essential oil helps in retaining body moisture (hydration).
  • Other uses Palmarosa essential oil includes perfumes, soaps and food industry.

Common Names of Palmarosa:- Indian geranium, ginger grass and rosha or rosha grass.

Palmarosa Names in India:- Palmarosa, Geranium grass, Rose grass, Rosha grass, Rusa grass (English), Gandhabena, Pamarosa, Rohisa (Bengali), Rauns, Roisa ghas, Rousa ghas (Gujarati), Gandabel, Gandhej ghas, Makora, Motio, Rosha (Hindi), Anchi hullu, Bhootika hullu, Chatta hullu, Chippu hullu, Kaachi hullu, Kasavre hullu, Kaavancha (Kannada), Sambharapullu (Malayalam), Kusatan, Roshegavat, Roshsagavath, Rusha (Marathi), Dhanvantari, Dhanwantari ghaasa (Oriya), Kavatham pillu, Kavattampillu, Munkilpul, Kamaksippul, Kavattam pul (Tamil), Kachi gaddi, Kanchi, Kashy gaddi, Nimma gaddi (Telugu), Rauns, Thisankah (Urdu).

Varieties (Cultivars) of Palmarosa:- Some of the popular varities include Motia, Sofia, Tripta, Trishna, PRC-1, IW 31245, IW 3244, OPD-1, OPD-2,  Motia, Sofia and Tripta. Contact your local horticulture department for more improved varieties which are suitable for your region.

Climate Requirement for Palmarosa Cultivation:- Palmarosa is a tropical plant and  grows well in humid conditions. It requires abundant sunshine during its growing period. This crop can be cultivated at elevation up to 300 meters. The annual rainfall required is about 100 to 150 cm. The ideal temperature of 15°C to 38°C results in good growth of the grass. Palmarosa grass is sensitive to frost conditions, so avoid frost-prone areas for its cultivation.

Soil Requirement of Palmarosa Cultivation:- Palmarosa grass can be grown in wide range of soils from poor sandy loam to heavy fertile soils. However, it thrives best in well-drained loamy soils having good organic matter. The ideal pH range for its cultivation is 6.5 to 7.5. This plant can tolerate pH up to 9.5. Soils with water stagnation will result in poor yield and less oil. Commercial producers can go for soil test to find out the soil fertility.

Propagation in Palmarosa Cultivation:- This can be propagated through both  seeds and slips (sapplings). For commercial farming of Palmarosa, seed are the best choice of propagation. Use previous year harvested fresh seeds for propagation.

Palmarosa Seeds.
Palmarosa Seeds.

Land Preparation, Planting, and Spacing in Palmarosa Cultivation:- Using local tractor, plough he land 2 to 3 times until the soil reaches fine-tilth stage, this also gives better aeration. Remove any weeds, dead branches or unwanted plants from previous crops. Subsequently, the land should be laid into beds after applying required manures. Use about 10 tons of manure and 8kgs per 10% B.H.C per acre. Trowel and level the field so that there will not be any water stagnation.

Rain-fed crop can be planted during monsoon season and irrigated crop can be planted anytime during the year in non-frost regions.

Palmarosa seeds should be sown directly or seedlings (raised on nursery beds) should be transplanted in the field during the rainy season. Healthy and established seedlings or slips of 20-25 cm long should be planted during rainy season in rows of 30-60 cm apart with plant distance of 30-60 cm within the rows. Planting can be done on ridges in areas receiving high rainfall to avoid water stagnation in the field. Seedlings/slips should be planted firmly but not very deep in to the soil. Transplanting is preferred in evening hours to avoid transplantation shock. Carry out light irrigation after transplanting. Gap filling should be done within 10 to 12 days of planting. It is recommended to plant 2 seedlings / slips per hill to avoid any seedling mortality. When it comes seed rate, the optimum seed rate is 2.5 to 3 kg of seeds/ha. If slips are planted, it requires about 30,000 slips/ha covering the 60 x 60 cm spacing.

  • Nursery Raising: The seeds are sown in raised nursery beds in lines at 15 – 20 cm apart. Transplant the seedlings after 3 – 4 weeks in ridges at a spacing of 60 x 60 cm during onset of monsoon.

Irrigation in Palmarosa Cultivation:- Irrigation at right stages gives more yield. This crop can be grown as rain fed crop as well as under irrigated conditions. Flood irrigation is best suited for this crop. The frequency of irrigation depends on the climate and soil moisture holding capacity. In dry and hot climate in summer, it requires irrigation at 10-12 days interval. Avoid water logging and make sure to have well-drainage in the field. Stop irrigation 7 to 8 days before harvesting the grass.

Manures and Fertilizers in Palmarosa Cultivation:- Palmarosa crop responds very well to manures and fertilizers. Farmyard manure of 10 tonnes/ha (should be applied during land preparation) and N:P:K of 20:50:40 kg/ha should be applied as basal dose. Top dressing should be done with “N” (Nitrogen) of 15 kg/ha in 3 split doses which should be 3, 6, and 9 months after planting.

Intercultural Operations in Palmarosa Cultivation:- Making weed-free field is important for  any crop cultivation. In Palmarosa cultivation, 2 to 3 weedings and hoeing should be carried during early stages (in first year) to remove any unwanted material from the field. Subsequent years require 2 intercultural (weeding plus hoeing) operations. Earthing up should be done after each harvest and top dressing.

Mulching in Palmarosa Cultivation:- Use any mulch material like straw at the plant base to prevent the moisture loss and soil erosion. Eventually, this muck material will decompose and work as an organic manure.

Pests and Diseases in Palmarosa Cultivation:- The following are the  pests and disease found in Palmarosa cultivation.

  • Pests: Aphids, Thrips, White grub, and Termites are common insect pests found in palmarosa cultivation.
    • Control Measures: Aphids and Thrips can be controlled by spraying Azadirachtin 1% (10,000 ppm) @ 5 ml/liter water. White grub and Termites are controlled by flooding with irrigation water kills these pests.
  • Diseases: Ellisiella blight and Curvularia blotch are the common diseases found in Palmarosa crop.
    • Control Measures: Ellisiella blight and Curvularia blotch diseases can be controlled by foliar application of Bordeaux mixture 1% at 2 weeks interval at initial stages of disease attack.

Note: It is always advised to contact your local horticulture department for symptoms of diseases and pests and their control measures in Palmarosa cultivation.

Harvesting in Palmarosa Cultivation:- Harvest the Palmarosa grass at right stage for getting high yield of oil. The crop will be ready for harvesting 3 to months after planting. Subsequent harvesting of Palmarosa grass should be carried out 3 to 4 months interval up to 5 years (The crop will be productive up to 5 year). Cutting of grass should be done by leaving 15 cm from the ground level. After harvesting, make the grass to dry in shade for 3 to 4 days and send it for steam distillation for oil extraction.

Yield in Palmarosa Cultivation:- Yield of any crop depends in many factors like plant age, cultivar, irrigation, soil type, climate and cultivation practices. In case of Palmarosa cultivation, one can obtain the following average yield under ideal farming practices.

  • Fresh herbage yield: 30-40 tonnes/ha/year.
  • Oil yield: 220-250 kg/ha may be obtained from second year on wards in case of irrigated crop.

Note: Usually, oil yield is low in first year and it increases during 2-4 years of planting but gradually decreases thereafter.

Cost and Profits in Palmarosa Cultivation:- The following is the rough estimate of cost and profits from Palmarosa cultivation.

  • Cost Involved:

In 0.4 acres (1 Bigha) at a distance of 40 cm x 40 cm around 10,000 sapling can be grown.

10,000 * Rs.5/- per sapling which includes labour & transport = Rs.50,000/  (Total cost).

This cost is a one-time investment and the yield is for the next 5yrs as the crop is productive for 5 years.

  • Profit Expected:

From 0.4 acres (1 Bigha) plantation, you can get Palmarosa oil within first 6 months and you get about 30 litres of oil and in the next 6 months it goes up to 30 litres.

In the first year of planting Palmarosa you get about 40 litres of Palmarosa Oil.

60 litres * Rs.1200/- per litre = Rs.72, 000/- income per harvest.(This continues for next five years).

Marketing of Palmarosa Based Products:- Commercial growers of Palmarosa crop should have proper marketing plan well before maturity of the crop. Local pharma companies, herbal companies and food industries are the best source for marketing in whole sale.

For Lemon Grass Cultivation: Read here.

For Sheep Farming: Read here.

Last Updated: April 7, 2018
Author: Jagdish


  1. Can we cultivate palmarosa or lemmon grass in water logged area where 4 months an year we have this water logging in our fields in rest 8 months it will be dry and having good water facility

  2. Very nice information about food and medicinal crops, every agriculture student should follow this site and please write the articles on plant pathogens and their control. I am searching for the disease controlling system in agriculture but I am not getting the valued-information.

  3. Please can you allow me to use an image of Palmarosa, Cymbopogon martini in a book I have written on aromatherapy. Full credit will be given. Thank you, Vicki Pitman, International Federation of Aromatherapists. if so, can you please send the photo image to the address below.

  4. Hi, i am interested in palmarosa farming, i need more details on this project and want to know how you can support me to initiate this project

  5. Hello my son to go into palmarosa cultivation for 30 acres taking over from another person 19 lakh asing to pay to handover.we hv to go for loan for 10.5% interest Please can you explain the pros and cons

    Can we take that risk.

  6. Hello eveyone

    This is hary and i am from gujarat and am interested in farming of palmarosa plant.

    Can any one help us , kindly furnish your contact details so that i can contact .

    Thanks a lot


  7. Dear Sir / Madam,

    I have been looking into the information of growing Palmarosa grass, found interesting.

    One question however pops up in my mind, does this plant only grows in India ? Or any where else in the world, LIke, Newzealand, Australia, Bosnia, Russia, Africa, Usa, Neatherlands.

    Please write us this information for which we shall be greatly obliged.



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