Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Coriander Cultivation

Coriander generally known as “Dhania” (Coriandrum sativum) belongs to Apiaceae.In India it is cultivated in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, U.P., etc. Mainly used as a condiment for its medicinal
coriander grown in pot

properties as well as for culinary purposes as spice. Green leaves of coriander are also extensively used for culinary purposes

Climate & Soil

Coriander requires cool climate during growth stage and warm dry climate at maturity. It can be cultivated in
coriander seeds

all most all types of soils but well drained loamy soil suits well. It is observed that quality of seed is superior & essential oil content is more when the crop is grown in colder regions & at high altitudes.

Preparation of field

Land should be ploughed 2-3 times followed by planking, to bring the soil to fine tilth. Clods should be
coriander field of Gujarat,India

broken and stubbles of previous crop should be removed. Before land preparation, pre-sowing irrigation should be given, if optimum moisture for seed germination is not available in the soil.

 The following improved varieties can be cultivated for getting high yield .
                    1.   Guj.Coriander-1
                    2.   Guj.Coriander-2
                    3.   RCr-41
                    4.   UD-20
                    5.   Rajendra Swati (RD-44)
                    6.   CS-287
                    7.   CO-1
                    8.   CO-2
                    9.   CO-3
                  10.   Sadhana
                  11.   Swati
           and 12.   Sindhu

Seed rate and Sowing

15 to 20 Kg of seed is required for sowing of one hectare area. Usually coriander is cultivated during Rabi season. The best time for sowing of coriander is 15th October to 15th November. Seed should be rubbed to split into two halves before sowing. While rubbing care should be taken to save the sprouting portion. Timely
coriander seeds

sowing is beneficial as in early sowing germination is affected on account of excess sun shine and late sowing leads to paltry growth of plants and development of various diseases. Sowing time may be adjusted in frost
coriander field of Himanchal Pradesh,India

prone areas so that the frost incidence can be avoided during flowering stage. Sowing should be done in rows at a spacing of 30 cm apart.

Manures and fertilizers

coriander flower
15 to 20 MT FYM per hectare
coriander with developing green seeds
should be incorporated in soil at the time of land preparation. Apart from FYM 20 Kg Nitrogen 30 Kg Phosphorous and 20 Kg Potash per hectare should also be applied in the soil as basal dose, in case of rain fed crop.

For irrigated crop; 20 MT FYM, 60 Kg of Nitrogen, 30 Kg Phosphorous and 20 Kg Potash per hectare is recommended. Full dose of FYM should be mixed in soil at the time of land preparation and one third dose of Nitrogen (20 Kg), full dose of Phosphorous and Potash should be applied as basal dose and remaining 40 kg Nitrogen should be top dressed in two equal split doses at the time of first irrigation and at flowering stage.


Generally, 4-6 irrigations are given depending on type of soil and climate. First irrigation should be given within 30-35 days from the date of sowing, second after 50-60 days, third after 70-80 days, fourth after 90-100 days, fifth after 105-110 days and sixth after 115-125 days.

Interculture and Weeding

During early stages of growth, coriander plants grow very slow, hence weeding during this period is very essential to save the plants from weed competition. In rain fed crop, first weeding should be done at about
ripen coriander seeds

25-30 days after sowing and in irrigated crop about 40-45 days after sowing. Thinning of plants should be done before first irrigation to maintain a spacing of 5 to 10 cm between plants. Second weeding should be done 50-60 days after sowing, in rainfed crop.


Aphid infestation occurs at the time of flowering or after flowering in coriander crop. It sucks the sap from

tender parts of the plants resulting in heavy loss. Spraying of 0.3% solution of Malathion or 0.1% solution of
flowering coriander field

Dimethoate should be done to control this insect. Sowing during last week of October to first week of November can minimize the damage caused by aphid.


It is a caterpillar, brownish in colour, which cuts the plants from ground level and make them to fall down.
These are the caterpillars of various moths in the family Noctuidae. They vary in color and markings according
cutworm - turnip moth caterpillar

to species, but a common behavior of cutworms is their tendency to curl into a letter C shape when disturbed. The adult moths are medium-sized, somewhat drab night fliers. The moths pollinate flowers, and don't do any direct harm to garden crops.

Infestation of this pest starts at the initial stage of plants resulting in heavy loss to the crop. Drenching of Chlorpyriphos before last ploughing is also recommended.

Young garden plants severed at or near the soil surface, usually overnight. Most cutworm problems occur in

spring when plants are tender and small. Some cutworms feed on foliage, buds, or fruit, and others feed on the roots.

Control measures:

Turn and till your garden soil before planting in the spring to disturb overwintering cutworms.

Look for signs of cutworm activity late in the day or in the early evening, when the caterpillars are most active.

Damaged or severed stems or the presence of frass may indicate a cutworm problem.

If you find evidence of cutworms, try to find them in the soil around the affected plant. Collect and destroy any cutworms you find hiding in the soil.

Install collars around seedlings to act as a barrier to cutworms. Push one end into the soil a few inches, and allow the other end to extend above the soil surface. Cardboard toilet paper rolls can work well for this.

Plant a perimeter of sunflowers around your garden to act as a trap crop for cutworms. Monitor the sunflowers for cutworms and destroy them as you find them.

Remove any plant debris and pull weeds to minimize places for small cutworms to shelter.
At season's end, turn and till your garden soil again.

Pesticides for cutworms 

The mother beds one dusted with a mixture of quick lime and ash. This checks attack of cutworm larvae.

Dusting of endosulfan 4% and quinolphos 1.5% @ 25kg/ha is found to be effective against the cutworms. 


Wilt disease

The fungus which causes wilt affects root system of the plants. To prevent the crop from infection of the fungus, deep ploughing should be done during summer season. Crop rotation may also be followed. In those plots, where effect of this disease has been noticed, coriander crop should not be taken for 2-3 years. Sowing should be done after seed treatment with Bavistin @ 1.5 gm per kg seed or Thiram 1.5 gm per Kg seed.

Affected plants grow poorly and are stunted. Lower foliage turn yellow with reddish tinges, and plants wilt during warmer times of the day. The main stem, crown, and taproot exhibits vascular discoloration that is reddish to light brown. As disease progresses, plants eventually dies. A fungus was consistently isolated from symptomatic vascular tissue in crowns and taproots. On the basis of colony and conidial morphology, the isolates are identified as Fusarium oxysporum . 

Powdery Mildew

Attack of this disease is seen during cloudy weather condition. White powdery growth appears on the leaves and buds during its primary stage. Seed formation may not take place in affected plants due to this disease. To control this disease, dusting of Sulphur dust @ 20-25 Kg per hectare should be done. Spraying of wettable sulphur or Kerathane can also control this disease.


In this disease dark brown spots appears on the stem and leaves of infected plants. Spraying of 0.2%
blight in coriander

solution of Mancozeb should be used to control this disease.

When coriander plants are affected by the blight that can cause severe losses in these crops. In the diseased coriander  field , yield loss from blight ca be  over 90 per cent. The disease is also called blossom blight because it mainly kills the flowers.


The most important cause of blight in coriander are Aureobasidium sp and Ascochyta sp.  Additional fungal species can cause the same disease on both crops and these are: Fusarium avenaceum, F. poae, F. culmorum, F. equiseti, F. sporotrichioides, F. graminearum, Botrytis cinerea and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. The occurrence of persistent wet conditions during flowering could result in any one of these fungi-causing blight.

Suggested Control Measures 

Crop rotation: Crop rotation is another control measure, but there is no data to suggest how long the interval should be between crops. An estimate would be a two to five-year period between the same crop. There are many factors that determine how long the causal agents will survive in a field. For instance, coriander persists as a weed for a long time, which could allow the disease to survive in a field so a longer interval between crops may be needed. Another consideration is that Fusarium spp., which can cause blight in coriander and caraway also cause fusarium head blight in wheat. If fusarium head blight was severe in a wheat field it might be appropriate not to seed that field to coriander or caraway the following year.

Field location: Give some thought to field location because a severely diseased crop is a source of inoculum for crops planted in adjacent fields the following year. The inoculum of these diseases can spread across a road allowance, but it is unknown if they can spread further.

Disease-free seed: Using seed from a field with no disease should reduce the spread to new fields or new areas. Caraway seed could be tested for the presence of pathogens, but coriander seed is usually heavily contaminated with saprophytes so a seed test may be inconclusive to determine the presence of pathogens.

Fungicide control: Although fungicide sprays have shown some promise, none are currently registered for use on caraway. Quadris is registered for control of blossom blight on coriander.

Stem gall

Galls appear on the leaves and stems of the plants affected by this disease. Shape of coriander seeds change due to effect of the disease. Increasing level of humidity, intensifies the effect of this disease on crop. To control the disease, sowing may be done only after treating the seeds with 1.5 g Thiram and 1.5 g Bavistin (1:1) / Kg. seeds. Spray 0.1% solution of Bavistin when the symptoms start appearing and repeat the spraying at an interval of 20 days till the disease is completely controlled.

Pest Management
 Producers find weed control is a serious limitation to coriander production. Because of coriander’s slow emergence, weed competition may be a serious problem.  The control of perennial weeds is very difficult.


 Diseases can also be a serious problem in a coriander crop. Seedling root and damping-off can reduce emergence of the new crop. Crop rotations out of the carrot family for several years can help reduce disease problems.

Aster yellows is a virus-like disease that occurs in many crops, including many other members of the carrot family. Aster yellows-infected plants may be yellowed and may have malformed floral parts. Infected plants are often rendered sterile and may be taller than healthy plants. The disease results in the discolouration of the plant’s reproductive organs and results in severely reduced seed set.

This disease is spread by leafhoppers, which feed on infected plants. This disease overwinters in the crowns of biennial or perennial crops or weeds. No chemicals are registered for the control of this disease. Rotating to other non-host crops and avoiding planting near perennial crops, which may harbour the disease, can help to reduce incidence.

Coriander may be affected by other pathogens if the plants are damaged or weakened at later growth stages by hail, high winds or heavy rains. Plants should be harvested before rapid deterioration in seed quality.


 Grasshoppers can seriously damage a coriander crop, and their presence may result in downgrading the crop price because body parts in the sample are hard to remove when cleaning. Leafhoppers may also cause problems as the vector for aster yellows.


This crop matures in about 110 to 140 days. At maturity, seeds turn to yellowish green colour. On pressing, mature seeds are medium-hard. After harvest, the crop should be dried under partial shade to retain the green colour and its aroma. When the plants are completely dried, the seeds should be separated by thrashing. Seeds should be cleaned by winnowing or with the help of sieve or by vibrator and graded.

Straight combining coriander when it is fully mature is preferred over swathing and combining, as coriander is prone to shattering.

If not straight combining, coriander should be swathed when 80 per cent of the seeds turn purple-brown. Swathes should not be left out too long due to the potential for shattering. Swathing when there is dew or high humidity will reduce shattering losses.

Combining is usually done when seed moisture content is less than 15 per cent. At 10 per cent moisture, coriander is considered dry, but buyers prefer 9 per cent. Cylinder/rotor speeds should be set at approximately 500 rpm under dry conditions. An initial setting of 0.5 in. (12 mm) at the front and 0.25 in. (6 mm) at the back is suggested. Wind speed should be enough to reduce dockage, return speed should be reduced to the minimum and ground speed should be slowed.

Coriander oil is very volatile, so the seed must be dried gently; avoid hot air drying. Aeration is useful for reducing moisture content; however, coriander seed readily takes up other odours, so store away from gasoline, herbicides, etc. Remove green material such as weed seeds as quickly as possible, since aeration will be diverted around these areas in the storage bin, resulting in the potential for spoilage.

Crop samples must be free of rodent droppings and have very low foreign material (2 per cent). If samples have greater than 5 per cent split fruit, the shipment is usually discounted by the buyer.


About 500 to 800 Kg coriander/ ha from rain fed crop and 1200 to 2000 Kg from irrigated crop can be obtained

Properties and Uses

The coriander plant yields both the fresh green herb and the spice seed and has been used since ancient times. The small, woody root is used as a vegetable in some parts of China, but this use is not significant in international trade. The green herb is used very widely in several cuisines. The leaf is available in markets from Beirut to Beijing, as well as Japan and both Mexico and South America. The herb is a key component to curries, and when ground with green chilies, coconut, salt and a squeeze of lemon, it makes delicious common Indian chutney.

Bunches of green coriander can be distinguished in the market not only for their aroma (which has been labelled “unpleasant” by some not familiar with its uses), but also for the bundles of lower, fan-like leaves and upper feathery greens. The leaves are not suitable to be dried for culinary use.

The spice is an important item of international trade. Coriander is widely used in whole or ground forms for flavouring purposes. In India, coriander goes into curry powders (25 to 40 per cent of world production) and is used to flavour liqueurs in Russia and Scandinavia, as well as being an important flavouring agent in gin production. The fruits are also used (both whole and ground) in baking, sausages, pickles, candies, sauces and soups.

The spice is also employed for the preparation of either the steam-distilled essential oil or the solvent-extracted oleoresin. Both products can be used in the flavouring and aroma industries. Essential oils can be fractionated to provide linalool (usually 60 to 70 per cent), which can be used as a starting material for synthetic production of other flavouring agents, such as citral and ionone.

The seeds have been used medicinally since ancient times. One pharmaceutical use of coriander seed is to mask or disguise the tastes of other medicinal compounds (active purgatives) or to calm the irritating effects on the stomach that some medicines cause, such as their tendency to cause gastric or intestinal pain.

Coriander is a commonly used domestic remedy, valued especially for its effect on the digestive system, treating flatulence, diarrhoea and colic. It settles spasms in the gut and counters the effects of nervous tension. The raw seed is chewed to stimulate the flow of gastric juices and to cure foul breath, and it will sweeten the breath after garlic has been eaten. Some caution is advised, however, because if used too freely, the seeds can have a narcotic effect.

Used externally, the seeds have been applied as a lotion or have been bruised and used as a poultice to treat rheumatic pains. The seed essential oil is used in aromatherapy, perfumery, soap making and food flavouring. The oil is also fungicidal and bactericidal.

The seed contains about 20 per cent fixed oil, thus creating the potential to become an alternative to oilseed rape, although the oil content is somewhat low in present varieties. The oil can be split into two basic types: one is used in making soaps, etc. while the other can be used in making plastics.

The growing plant repels aphids. A spray made by boiling one-part coriander leaves and one-part anise seeds in two parts water is said to be very effective against red spider mites and woolly aphids.

The dried stems are used as a fuel. 

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