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Monday, 30 July 2012

COLEUS – An easy growing tuber crop

Coleus plants of one month old

Coleus is a tuber crop that can be grown very easily in our homestead garden. Coleus is also called Chinese potato. Its scientific name is Solenostemon rotundifolius .In Kerala it is known as Koorka. Its tuber is widely used as vegetable.
Tubers of Coleus
Coleus grows well in tropical and subtropical regions. This is mainly planted during the season between July and October. Promising varieties available in Kerala (India) are Nidhi and Sreedhara.
Coleus plants grown on a bed
Coleus is propagated by vine cuttings. Cuttings can be collected from raised nursery. Selected seed tubers are planted in nursery for this purpose. Usually we can take cuttings of 10-15cm length after three weeks from planting. Plant the vine cuttings collected from the nursery on ridges at a spacing of 30cm or on raised beds at 30x15 cm spacing. A thick layer of organic manure may be mixed with soil before planting.
Weeding and earthing up along with fertilizing should be done 30-45 days after planting for better growth and yield. Cover bottom portion of vines with soil to promote tuber formation.
No major pests or diseases are seen in the crop.
Harvest can be done five months after planting.

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