Nutmeg Crop Cultivation Guide | Nutmeg Farming

Nutmeg tree


Nutmeg is native of Molucces Island  and was launched to India in direction of the top of the 18th century and is grown now in sure pockets of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. They’re vital to confectionery, culinary and pharmaceutical industries. Nutmeg and mace additionally yield 7 to 16 and 4 to fifteen% of oil respectively. This oil is used for flavouring meals merchandise and liquors and likewise in perfumery industries. Oleoresin of nutmeg and mace is used virtually solely within the flavouring of processed meals. The nutmeg butter ready by the expression of fats from the bottom, cooked nutmeg is usually used to impart spicy odour to the perfumes. The pericarp is used for making jams, jellies and pickles. Botanical title of nutmeg is Myristica fragrans Houtt which belongs to household My risticaceae. Nutmeg is a densely foliated evergreen tree rising to a peak of 20m and above.

Climate and Soil:

Nutmeg thrives properly in heat humid situations in areas with an annual rainfall of 150cm and extra. It grows properly from sea degree upto about 1300m above MSL. Areas with soils of clay loam, sandy loam and purple lateritic are perfect for its development. Each dry local weather and water logged situations aren’t good for nutmeg. The soil and local weather prevailing within the hill slopes of Western Ghats and Jap Ghats (from 700 to 1300m) are ideally suited to develop nutmeg.

Nutmeg tree

Varieties and planting materials

As nutmeg is cross-pollinated, appreciable variations are noticed within the crop. The crops differ not just for all facets of development and vigour, but additionally for intercourse expression, measurement and form of fruit and amount and high quality of mace. An excellent tree yields about 2000 fruits yearly on a median, however the yield could fluctuate from just a few a whole lot to about 10,000 fruits.

Indian Institute of Spices Analysis (IISR) has launched a excessive yielding selection IISR Viswashree which yields about 1000 fruits on the eight yr of planting. A mean yield of roughly 3122 kg dry nut (with shell) and 480 kg dry mace per hectare might be obtained with a inhabitants of 360 crops/ha. The dry restoration of nut and mace of IISR Viswashree is 70 and 35%, respectively. The nut has 7.1% important oil, 9.8% oleoresin and 30.9% butter, whereas the mace has 7.1% important oil and 13.8% oleoresin. IISR has additionally recognized just a few elite strains resembling A9-20, 22, 25, 69, 150, A4-12, 22, 52, A11- 23, 70 as excessive yielders and grafts of those strains are produced for distribution. To know extra in regards to the selection,

Propagation and Nursery Methods

Nutmeg bushes are often propagated by seed. Giant sized tree burst fruits from excessive yielding bushes are harvested or collected as and after they fall down. The fleshy rind of the fruit in addition to the mace overlaying the seed is eliminated earlier than sowing. The seeds needs to be sown in specifically ready nursery beds instantly after assortment. If there may be delay in sowing, the seeds could also be stored in trays full of moist sand or saved in ploybags or moss, which hold them viable for 15 days.

Common watering is critical for good germination. The germination could start from in regards to the 30th day and lasts upto 90 days after sowing. About 20 days outdated sprouts are transplanted to polythene luggage containing a combination of excellent soil, sand and properly decomposed cowdung (3:3:1). About 18 to 24 months outdated seedlings are used for transplanting within the discipline. Air layering, inarching and budding have additionally been tried with various diploma of success, however the epicotyl grafting method developed by NRCS, Calicur is discovered to be promising now.


Seedlings are transplanted in the principle discipline when they’re 12 to 18 months outdated. Beneficial spacing is 8 x 8m. Pits of 60cm dice are dug and full of compost and topsoil. Seedlings are planted rigorously within the centre of the pits throughout wet seasons. Younger crops are supplied with synthetic shade and irrigated throughout summer time months. The basins are mulched with domestically out there trashes. As nutmeg requires gentle shade particularly at early stage, quick rising shade crops like Erythrina indicia, Elithosperma or Gliricidia maculate or bananas are planted in between them just a few months previous to planting. As nutmeg crops develop, these shade crops could also be thinned out. Via not important, irrigation is advantageous to grown up bushes for getting higher yield.

Nutmeg might be advantageously grown blended with coconut and arecanut. When coconut is planted at a spacing of not lower than 8 x 8m one plantations raised with a spacing of two.7m x 2.7m, nutmeg might be planted at each third row of arecanut in order that inside the sq. fashioned by 4 nutmeg crops there can be 9 arecanut seedlings. In espresso based mostly blended system additionally, nutmeg might be planted at a spacing of 7-8m.

Application of Manures & Fertilizers

Nutmeg requires heavy manuring for correct development and yield. Farm yard manure or compost on the fee of 10kg per plant could also be utilized in the course of the first yr of planting. The amount needs to be elevated yearly so {that a} well-grown tree of about fifteen years and above could obtain 50kg natural manure. Throughout the first yr, fertilizers to provide 20g nitrogen, 18g phosphorus and 50g potash are utilized per plant. The fertilizer doses could also be elevated steadily yearly until a properly grown tree of fifteen years or extra receives about 500g nitrogen, 250g Phosphorus and 1000g potash yearly. The fertilizers are utilized in two equal break up doses, first in Might-June together with natural manure and the opposite in September-October. Shallow trench is dug round every tree at a radius of 1 to 1.5m away from the trunk for making use of manures and fertilizers and coated after software of manures.


Seedling bushes begin bearing in 7 to eight years whereas grafts begin bearing in 4 to five years. They attain full bearing stage after 15 to twenty years and should yield upto 60 years. Nutmeg bushes flower all year long with a peak in sure months. Therefore, although fruits are seen all year long, the height season of harvest is from June to August. The fruits take 9 months from flowering to reap. When the fleshy rind of the nut splits open, the fruits are absolutely ripe for choosing. They’re both plucked from the tree or are allowed to drop on to the bottom after which collected. After elimination of the outer fleshy rind, mace is indifferent from the seed shell by hand and flattened out. It’s then allowed to dry slowly within the solar for ten to fifteen days. Throughout drying the mace steadily turns into brittle and sexy and attains a yellowish brown color. The seeds are dried individually for 4 to eight weeks both within the solar or in synthetic warmth till the kernel rattles contained in the shell, which is then damaged open with a picket mallet, and the kernel is taken out. The fleshy pericarp can be utilized for making pickles, jams and jellies.


Particular person nutmeg fruit weights on a median 60g of which the seed weighs 6 to 7g, mace 3 to 4g and the remaining pericarp. A totally-grown tree below regular situations could produce on a median 2,000 to three,000 fruits per yr. On the idea that about 65% of the bushes in a backyard are feminine and are optimum yields, about 800 kg nutmeg and 100kg mace might be expected per hectare.

Plant Safety

Illness Signs Management measure
Die again
Drying up of mature and immature branches from tip downwards. Take away the contaminated branches; smear Bordeaux paste within the minimize finish of the branches.
Thread blight
(Marasmius sp.)
Blighting of the affected stems or leaves Spray 1.0-% Bordeaux combination.
Fruit rot
(Diplodia natalensis and phytophthora sp.)
Splitting of immature fruits and subsequent rotting of mace. Spray 1.0-% Bordeaux combination when the fruits are half-mature.