Cultivation Technology of Crossandra

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Cultivation Technology of Crossandra

Swapnil M. Raghatate


and Balkishor M. Muradi


Ph. D. Scholar, Department of Floriculture and Landscape Architecture, Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola (M. S.)

Corresponding Author Swapnil M. Raghatate



Crossandra, Cultivation Technology, Loose flower How to cite this article


rossandra is an important traditional flower crops and cultivated commercially in the South Indian states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. It is generally used as a loose flower. Crossandra is also known as fire cracker plant due to the cracking sound or the splitting of the seed pod. It is an evergreen small size shrub, hardy in nature, produce beautiful flowers with different colours almost throughout the year. The height of the plant is generally 60-90 cm. Leaves are dark green, elliptic, glossy, borne in whorls of 4 and are about 5-7 cm in length. Flowers are very

popular in south India and generally used in temple for worshipping the god, decorating hairs, religious ceremonies, used for making gajra and veni. Flowers of crossandra are very liked by the women’s for decorating hairs in south India all-round the year. The flowers have high demand in the market round the year due to its attractive bright colours, good keeping quality and its light weight. Crossandra flowers are also ideal for making the garland. This flowers are also used in with the combination of jasmine flowers for making veni and gajra.

 Scientific name - Crossandra undulaefolia



Crossandra is a traditional loose flower and commercially grown in the southern states of India. Crossandra flowers have high demand in the market and it is available throughout the year. It is generally used for offering to the god, making of garlands, gajra and veni and for decorating the hairs of women. It is very popular flower in south India for hair decoration. It has attractive flower colour, good keeping quality and light weight. This flower has a scope for cultivation in other parts of the country if the growers have proper idea and knowledge about its cultivation practices. In the present article we discuss in detail about the cultivation practices of crossandra.


Raghatate, S. M. and Muradi, B. M. 2021. Cultivation Technology of Crossandra. Vigyan Varta 2(10): 62-66.


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 Family - Acanthaceae

 Origin - East Indies

Species of Crossandra

The species of crossandra under cultivation are Crossandra infundibuliformis, Crossandra undulaefolia, Crossandra mucronata, Crossandra guineensis and crossandra sebacaulis. Crossandra undulaefolia is commercially important species which are generally grown for the production of flowers.

The height of plant of this species are about 30- 90 cm, short branching and perennial. Leaves are long dark green, lustrous and pointed.

Flowers are showy, bright orange, salmon to scarlet colour. The spikes are 7.5 to 12.5 cm long and 4 sided. Individual flowers consist of long slender tube about 2.5 cm which terminates in a 5 lobed limb. It is also known as

“fire cracker plant”.


Crossandra requires warm humid climate for its cultivation. It requires average temperature 20- 320 C for its proper growth. The luxuriant growth of crossandra is occurs at 300 C. Seeds require 25-280 C temperature for germination.

It is susceptible to low temperature and frost.


Crossandra is cultivated in wide range of soil but fertile red loam soil with pH 6.0-6.7 is ideal for its successful cultivation. Soil should be free from infection of any diseases and pests and it

should be well drained, rich with organic matter.


Tetraploids of crossandra are generally propagated through seeds. Good quality of seeds are obtained when the crop is raised at 50x50 cm spacing. Whereas, Triploid crossandra is propagated through terminal stem cuttings of 5-8 cm long are taken from March to June. Cuttings should be transplanted when the sufficient roots have developed.

Seed rate

The required seed rate is 5 kg ha-1 for the optimum plant population for one hectare area.

Cultivars and Varieties of Crossandra

 Orange: Orange crossandra is tetraploid (2n=40). Profuse number of flowers with bright orange colour.

 Delhi crossandra: Delhi crossandra is triploid (2n=30). Flowers are attractive and deep orange colour. It is propagated by cuttings because it doesn’t set seeds.

 Lutea Yellow: It is a tetraploid variety of crossandra and colour of flowers are orange yellow. It is suitable for planting in pots, front area or line of shrubbery and hanging baskets.

 Sebacaulis Red: It is a tetraploid variety of crossandra which is tolerant to nematode.

 Mona Wall Head: Plant of this variety is 50 cm tall and compact. Leaves are lustrous and vivid green in colour.

Colour of the flowers are deep salmon to pink.

 Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam: It is a mutant of Delhi crossandra developed by gamma irradiation technique.

Flower colour is deep red. It can flower


64 | P a g e throughout the year and resistant to

some major diseases.

 Lakshmi: It is a high yielding mutant of Delhi crossandra developed by gamma irradiation technique. It bears an orange colour large flowers.

 Maruvur Arasi: It is mutant of Delhi crossandra developed by gamma irradiation techniques. Flowers are red in colour. The flower stalks are larger than Delhi crossandra and each stalk bore more than 75 flowers.

Varieties developed at Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bangalore

 Arka Ambara: Flowers are big size with orange red colour. It gives yield 5.9 t acre-1 year-1. Flowers are generally used as a loose flower.

Arka Chenna: Flower of this variety is medium sized, 20% bigger than the local. Petal colour is orange. Yield is 4 times higher than the local variety. It gives 40 kg flowers in a week per 1000 plants. Shelf life of the flower is 3-4 days.

Arka Kanaka: Flowers are big size with orange colour. It gives yield 5.01 t acre-1 year-1. Its flowers are used as a loose flower and the size of flowers are bigger and pleasing colour.

Arka Shravya: Flower colour is orange to red. It is suitable as a cut flower. It does not set seeds and has to be multiplied by terminal cuttings.

 Arka Shreeya: Flower colour is orange to red and propagated by terminal stem cuttings.

 Arka Soundarya: It is used as a loose flower.

Seed Sowing in Nursery

The seedlings are generally raised in polybags.

1 m wide and 10 cm height from the base of bed should be prepared. The seedlings are generally raising in the polythene bags and for that perforated polybags of 22.5x15 cm size with 100 gauge are used. The potting mixture of FYM and soil in the ratio 1:3 are filled in the polybags and 2-3 seeds are sown in one bag and only one retained after germination. 60 days old seedlings are generally transplanted in the main field.

Land Preparation

Land should be ploughed at least once or twice and at the time of ploughing FYM 25 t/ha are incorporated in the soil. Then two to three harrowing’s are given and proper leveling should be done. Beds are prepared about 1m wide and of required length. Ridges are prepared 50-60 cm apart and proper channels are formed. Beds should be 10 cm high from the base for proper drainage.


Seedlings are normally transplanted at 4-5 leaf stage. It takes near about 50-60 days for getting seedlings ready after sowing in the polybags.

Planting is done in the month of June-July and October-November. Seedlings are transplanted at 30x50 cm spacing. For seed production the spacing may be 60x60 cm. For Delhi crossandra 60x40 cm spacing is generally followed.

Manures and Fertilizers

Fertile soil is required for the successful cultivation and better flower production of crossandra. Apply FYM at 25 t/ha in the soil before last ploughing. NPK (75:50:125 kg ha-1) is applied as top dressing three months after planting. The same dose of NPK is repeated at half yearly intervals for two more years. The irrigation is necessary after application of fertilizers.


65 | P a g e Irrigation

Immediately after transplanting irrigation should be given. Irrigation once in a week is necessary for proper growth and development of plant. Frequency of the irrigation is depend upon atmospheric condition, during dry period frequent irrigation is required. During flowering soil should kept continuously moist.

Irrigation should be given during the early parts of the day that allowing the leaves of the plants to dry before night.

Cultural operations


It is very necessary to keep the field weed free for proper growth and development of plant and minimize the competition of weeds with plants for space, nutrients and water. Manual weeding is found suitable to keep the field weed free.


It is recommended to shorten all flowering growth by tow third after flowering. Pruning is given by cutting back old flowered growth by one half of mature plants in late winter.


Mulching is an important for reducing the incidence of weeds and conserve soil moisture.

The flowering and quality of flowers are influenced by using organic and inorganic mulches. Due to mulching the length of spike and flower yield increases.

Crop duration

Crop is retained in the field up to three years.

After three years it has to be removed as it is not economical.


1. Wilt: It can be controlled by wet ceresin (0.1%) with Phorate at 1 g plant-1. Soil drenching with Carbendazim 1 g/l is found effective.

2. Alternaria leaf spot: This disease is controlled with the application of Indofil M-45 (0.3%) or Carbendazim (0.2%) effectively.

3. Stem rot: At fortnightly interval spray of Benomyl (0.2%) and Captan (0.25%) found effective to control this disease.

4. Leaf blight: When the first sign of symptoms appears or observed the infected parts are destroyed and the plants are sprayed with sulphur suspension and repeated at interval of week or ten days

Insect Pests

1. Aphids: Spray of Dimethoate 30 EC 2 ml/lit water can control the population of aphids effectively.

2. White fly: The attack of white fly can be controlled by the application of appropriate contact insecticide like Malathion 0.5 kg ha-1 or systemic insecticide like Dimethoate 0.4 kg ha-1 at weekly interval.

Nematodes: Application of Phorate 1g plant-1 at weekly interval found beneficial to control the attack of nematodes.


After two to three months of transplanting crossandra bears flowers and continuous throughout the years. Harvesting of flowers generally starts three months after transplanting. From the base of the spike flower opening starts. Two diagonally opposite flowers open together. Flower opens completely within two days, while complete flowering occurs in 15-25 days. The flowers are generally harvested early in the morning on alternate days by pulling corolla out of the calyx. After flowering is over dried spikes should be removed.


66 | P a g e Postharvest management

Freshly harvested flowers are packed in cloth bags or polythene bags for transporting to the local market. Sometimes it is transported through the baskets. Shelf life of flowers are 2- 3 days and soaking flowers on 0.5% boric acid or aluminium sulphate 1% can extend for 3 hours.


Flower yield is depend on the fertility status of soil, varieties, planting density, climatic condition and cultural practices. On an average yield of crossandra is 2000 kg flowers per hectare. In Delhi crossandra 2800 kg flower yield per hectare can be obtained. Yield of crossandra flowers may vary variety to variety.


Crossandra flowers have high demand in the market throughout the year due to its attractive and different flower colours, good keeping

quality and light weight. It is used for hair decoration of womens in South India. This flower crop has good scope of cultivation in other parts of the country if the growers or farmers have proper knowledge about its growth habit, cultivation practices, life cycle of plants, nutrients, fertilizers, stages of harvesting and marketing. So, farmers not only of south India but also other parts of the country can earn good money from the cultivation of crossandra because it flowers throughout the year.


Bose, T. K., Yadav, L. P. and Pal, P., 2003.

Commercial Flowers (II). Pp. 615-622.

Singh, A. K., 2006. Flower crops Cultivation and Management. New India Publishing Agency, New Delhi. Pp. 93- 110.



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