Soil and Climate
Well drained sandy loam and red soils with pH of 6 - 7.5 are ideal. Soil is to be tested for nematodes before planting. It requires a temperature of 30°-35°C for growth. It is shade tolerant to some extent but susceptible to low temperature and frost. Crossandra will not yield properly, if planted in shade conditions.
Local crosssandra is multiplied through seeds. However, the triploid varieties are propagated through terminal cuttings.
SEEDS AND SOWING
Fresh 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 when they have four or five pairs of leaves. The required seed rate is 5 kg/ha for optimum plant population.
In triploid varieties, the terminal cuttings of 10 cm length, preferably with two buds will be taken. The distal end will be dipped in 1000 ppm IBA for 30 seconds and planted in media consisting of 1:1 ratio of sand and cocopeat inside growth chamber with 90% humidity. The cuttings will be ready by 30 days.
Preparation of field
The land has to be ploughed three or four times. FYM @ 25 t/ha is incorporated and mixed well in the soil. Ridges are formed 60 cm apart. A fertilizer dose of 33.3: 60: 60 kg/ha N: P2O5: K2O is applied as basal. Planting of seedlings or rooted cuttings can be done on one side of the ridge at 30 cm spacing. Two plants in a bed are recoomonded with 60 cm in between plants and lines. The crop is top dressed twice with 33.3 kg N per ha each time, the first at 3 months after transplanting and the second 8-9 months after transplanting. The application of fertilizers is to be necessarily followed by irrigation. Weeding, application of fertilizer and earthing up can be combined together for easy maintenance of the crop.
Soil application of 2 kg each of Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria per ha at the time of planting. It is to be mixed with 100 kg of FYM and applied.
Irrigation: Irrigation is done once or twice in a week.
Crossandra flowers within two to three months after planting and continues to bear flowers throughout the year with a lean production season during rainy months. Fully opened flowers are to be picked early in the morning by pulling the corolla out of the calyx. Harvesting of flowers is to be done on alternate days. The yield of flowers is about 5-10 t/ha.