Complete Guide for Betel Leaf Farming/Cultivation for Beginners in India
Betel Leaf Farming Guide & Tips: Betel leaf plant being an herb/vine is majorly grown in countries like India, Srilanka, Bangladesh, and some other Asian countries. While Betel leaf plant is mainly known for its medicinal properties that are exclusively used in Ayurvedic medicinal preparation across the globe. Scientifically known as “piper betel” gives a peppery and cool aroma when the leaf crushed. In addition to its medicinal use, it is also used in culinary & dessert preparations and also has great regional importance in India. It can also be grown in pots, containers, half barrels, kitchen gardens, terrace gardens etc.
Betel Leaf Nutrient/Mineral Content and General Characteristics
Betel leaf plants are wide and green in color they form a heart shape. The overall circumference of the tree is around 45 cm. and the height is up to 12 to 15 cm. Small sized fruits are produced of which the seeds are hard, blotchy gray and brown color in look. To consume the fruits, you should harvest at the unripe stage and boil in water. Later you have to sun-dry them. Check below in this Betel Leaf Farming Guide for varieties of Betel Leaves.
Varieties of Betel Leaves
S.noVarietyCharacteristics1KhasiSet up in northeastern hills of India and in wild. The leaves are either gloomy or dull green colored.2Bidan panA notable feature is a short internode, it is a local variety and the yield & productivity are also comparably higher.3BanglaFibrous leaves which are cordate and in round shape and are gloomy green in color with tinges of yellow. This plant has a great market demand besides, it grows dynamically and has a spicy smell4Sanchi Plants are medium to large in size while the leaves are oval shaped but narrow and the leave lobes being very less predominant. The leaves are very dark green in color5Meetha Mostly found in various parts of West Bengal, the leaves are waxy, thin and oval shaped with pale yellow colored specks. The aromas of the leaves are different from others.6Kapoori Mostly found in states like Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. The leaves are soft with thin lamina and are very narrow &oval shaped. The leaves grow vigorously and have a good aroma.
Apart from the above-mentioned varieties, some other varieties are Bhavana, Peshwar, Pachakodi, Tellaki, Mahoba, Simurali, Mahai etc.
Soil and climatic conditions for betel Leaf Cultivation:
Betel leaf plants can be grown on varied types of soils with moderate pH. However, clay soils with rich organic matter content would be best suited for betel leaf plant cultivation. Saline and alkaline soils are not suited also too light and too deep and waterlogging soils should be avoided. While the proper drainage system should be made at the time of land preparation. Betel leaf plants grow well under cool climatic conditions at the same time they require plenty of sunshine as well. Furthermore, they can withstand climatic extremities like heat and cold. Moderate rainfall would be enough for plant growth.
Pre-Planting and Post-Planting Operations in Betel Leaf Farming Guide:
- Make sure that the field that you select for betel leaf cultivation is free from stones and stubbles. Then next, Carry 2 to 3 deep ploughings so as to achieve fine smooth texture in the soil. You can also add FYM to incorporate and enhance the soil fertility. Generally, the cuttings are planted in the months of November, December, January and February.
- Ridges and furrow method is best for betel leaf cultivation. While you can select one to two nodes cuttings with some leaves for planting. 2 to 3 rows of bud bines should be planted on the ridges along with the mother plant at a distance of around 10 to 15 cm. Furthermore, on an average 120000 to 160000 of cuttings are required per hectare.
- A detailed soil analysis report will help to know the application the required amount of particular fertilizers. Micro nutrients like calcium, manganese, boron, cooper, chloride, molybdenum, zinc, iron and nickel.
Irrigation should be given at the time of first planting and then the further irrigations should be scheduled depending on the soil moisture content. Care has to be taken during the rainy season that water should not be logged as it is not good for plant growth and productivity. Furthermore, the irrigation system best suited for betel leaf cultivation is sprinkle /drip irrigation system and saline water should not be used for irrigation.
Inter-Cultural Operations in Betel Leaf Cultivation:
- Proper monitoring is important. Whenever necessary remove weeds either manually or through the application of weedicides. You should keep in mind that Betel Leaf field is free from weeds every time.
- In order to conserve the soil moisture and prevent weed growth mulching can be adopted either by plastic sheets or through covering the soil by dry or green straw.
- At the time of any disease incidence, remove the effected plants. You can also remove the criss cross branches. Maintain Proper shape in the Betel Leaf Farming through pruning.
- Being the plant tender and shrub, support should be provided either through walls, sticks etc… Through training.
- According to the pest incidence, spray pesticides. The common pests that you observe in the commercial betel leaf farming are aphid, mite, mealy bug, powdery mildew, wilt, scale, blight, spot, and stem rot. Furthermore, check below in this Betel Leaf Farming Guide for harvesting and yield.
Harvesting and Yield in Betel Leaf Cultivation:
- In betel leaf cultivation, you can go for harvesting when the plants attain complete leaf maturity and achieving right size. Usually in betel leaf cultivation hand picking is used to harvest i.e. leaves are picked manually. While avoiding Dried leaves and irregular leaves at the time of harvesting. As they may affect the overall quality and thereby profitability of Betel Leave Farming.
- After harvesting, clean the leaves by washing. Furthermore, do grading in accordance to the size, shape, colour and quality.
- The yield of betel leaf cultivation varies with different factors like variety, soil type, climatic conditions, cultural practices etc… on an average 75 to 100 lakh leaves are produced per hectare per year.
This is all about the Commercial Betel Leaf Farming Guide in India. While we hope that this guide on the betel leaf farming guide is helpful to you. If you have any further doubts, you can contact us via the comment section.