Palmarosa Essential oil benefits,cultivation, and project report

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Palmarosa is a grass species that is native to India, cultivated for the aromatic oil purpose. Cymbopogon martinii var. motia, is a botanical name given to Palmarosa. Palmarosa, Citronella, and lemongrass all belong to the grass family. They have a unique smell and characteristics.

Palmarosa cultivation is picking up a lot in India. Palmarosa oil has more benefits and a lot of demand is created in the fragrance industry.

Extraction of this essential oil is done by steam distillation of grass which is harvested during flowering. In general, Palmarosa has more Geraniol contents whereas lemongrass and citronella have citral content. This oil smells like rose oil, which is how it got the name, palmarosa.

A lot of demand is present in the market for Palmarosa oil. The aromatic oil has a rose fragrance so it is used widely in soap, food and beverage industries.

Call with different names East India geranium oil, Ginger grass oil, rosha or motia. Majorly it’s grown in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in India.

Palmarosa grass characteristics

  1. Palmarosa is a multiyear crop, which can be used for 5 years.
  2. Palmarosa grows around 5 meters in height.
  3. During winters the Palmarosa plants get dried up, but during the rainy season again it will regrow.
  4. The leaves will be sharp and thin. Not as broad as lemongrass.
  5. The flower pods of Palmarosa will be around 30 to 40 cm. The Geraniol content will be high in flowers.

Palmarosa oil benefits

Cymbopogon martinii var. motia oil has many therapeutic uses, it is most frequently used for skincare.

  1. Palmarosa oil cures Bacterial Infections – external as well as internal.
  2. Palmarosa Oil is also considered good for the digestive system.
  3. Palmarosa oil has even antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
  4. Used in anti-aging treatment, cell rebuilding treating minor cuts and bruises.
  5. Palmarosa oil can be added to coconut oil and can be dabbed gently on the skin. It will decrease the dryness of the skin and makes it much softer and smoother.
  6. As the Palmarosa oil is antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties help in reducing fever.

Cultivation of Palmarosa grass

Palmarosa grass is very easy to grow and requires low maintenance.  complete guide from soil preparation to harvest is shared below:

1. Soil Selection for Palmarosa cultivation

  • Soil should be porous. Water should not stagnate.
  • Water retention of soil should be low, clay soil is not suitable.
  • Rains should be around 150-200cm per year.
  • Grows best in alkaline soil.
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2. Sowing period

  • Take 1kg of seeds for 1 acre i.e 2.5kg for 1 hectare.
  • 1kg of seeds with the best variety costs around 3000 rupees. ($40)
  • Make a raised bed to sow the seeds.
  • Sow the seeds in the month of April-May.
  • After 45 days of sowing, the plants would be around 15 cm in height. ( in the month of June-July)
  • Transplant the plants to the mainland at a distance of 45*30 cm
  • Once transplanted, water the plants to avoid drying up.
  • If you are dependent on rains for the water, then sow the plants +during the rainy season. Plan accordingly.
  • If you are sowing seeds directly to the mainland, then sow them during June-August.
  • Around 30,000 slips required to cover 1 acre of land.

3. Irrigation for Palmarosa cultivation

  • Water the plants once in 10-15 days. 
  • It requires a low amount of water.
  • Suitable for dry areas and water shortage areas.
  • It requires a lot of sunshine, and less rain around 150-200cm per year.

4. Weeding procedure in Palmarosa cultivation

  • Initially after transplanting once or twice before the first harvest.
  • Later weeding should be done, after every harvest.
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5. Harvesting Palmarosa

  • The complete crop above the ground can be used to extract the essential oil.
  • The percentage of Geraniol will be high in flowers. The quality of Palmarosa oil is determined by the percentage of Geraniol.
  • Harvest the crop from 10 to 15 cm above the ground. Leaving the plant to regrow.
  • The first harvest is after 5months (During the flowering time before seed creation)
  • Successive harvests will be after every 2.5 months for the next 5 years.
  • Harvesting to be done only if you see the flowering. Geraniol content will be high during flowering.
  • Before flowering and after flowering is complete, the Geraniol content will drop.
  • 4-ton herbage from an acre per harvest can be expected. (4 ton/acre/harvest)
  • There are 4 harvests per year.
  • In total 16 ton per acre in a year.

6. Palmarosa’s Essential Oil extraction

  • The extraction of this essential oil is done by steam distillation of grass.
  • The distillation process should be done for 2-3 hours to extract complete Palmarosa(Cymbopogon martinii var. motia) oil.

7. Aromatic Oil Production from Palmarosa per acre

  • In 1-ton herbage 4kg of essential oil can be extracted.
  • So per acre in a year around 60 – 80 kg of essential Palmarosa oil can be extracted.

Palmarosa plant varieties

There are varieties of Palmarosa plant which differs in herbage quantity and Geraniol content, some are developed by research centers in India. Here are the best varieties available in the market.

Palmarosa VarietiesOil extracted (kg/acre/year)Geraniol(%)
Cim-Harsha80-8586-90
Trishna65-7078-82
PRC-170-7575-80

GC report for Palmarosa Essential Oil

Gas chromatography (GC) is a common type of chromatography used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. There should be a peak for Geraniol, this determines the quality of Palmarosa Oil quality. The purity oil determines the rate in the market. After every oil extraction process, the GC certificate is a must for that batch, to command a better price.

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Palmarosa cultivation project report

Complete details of expenditure and profit for the consecutive 3 years of Palmarosa Essential oil extraction.

ExpenditureFirst-yearSecond-yearThird-year
Land Preparation
5,000  
Sowing and Transplanting 4,000  
Seeds3,000  
Weeding3,00020002000
Harvesting4,00060006000
Oil extraction
15,0001500015000
Total expenditure
34,00023,00023,000
Oil extracted
40 – 60 kg80 – 100kg80 – 100kg
Essential oil Rs 3200 /kg1,28,000 – 1,60,0002,56,000 – 3,20,0002,56,000 – 3,20,000
Total Profit(Rs)94,000 – 1,26,0002,33,000 – 2,97,0002,33,000 – 2,97,000

Palmarosa cultivation profit on an average for consecutive 3 years is Rs 100000, Rs 250000 and Rs 270000. Farmers can earn a stable income through Palmarosa cultivation. Most of the water-scarce locations are well suited for Palmarosa cultivation. The demand for Palmarosa oil is an all-time high, as it has a long list of benefits and spread across the market. The palmarosa oil price for 1kg is ₹3200 in the open market.

Palmarosa cultivation complete  information guide

Palmarosa is a perennial grass that can be harvested at 2-3 times during the first year and 3-4 times from second year onward. As this crop can be maintained for 5 years, the above-mentioned schedule starting from irrigation shall be followed for the remaining period with suitable alterations. The complete Information guide for Palmarosa cultivation is given below.  

Major activityMonthActivity details
Nursery raising April end – Mid May Seeds mixed with sand in 1:10 ratio, sow in a raised nursery bed in lines of 3 cm deep at 10 cm apart.
Land preparation May – June1ft deep plowing & harrowing
Manure and fertilizer applicationMay – JuneNPK is required. Use Natural farming practice – apply Jeevamrutham (every 15 days once)
TransplantingJune – July Transplanting of healthy and established seedlings of 4-6 weeks at a spacing of 45*30cm
Irrigation June – July One irrigation immediately after transplanting and subsequent irrigation at 10-15 days interval along with water.
Weeding August- September Two weeding at 40 days after transplanting and another at 30-40 days after first weeding.
First harvest October – November Harvest the plants during the full blooming stage by cutting the clumps at 10-15 cm from the ground level
Weeding October – November Normal weeding
Irrigation October – November Irrigation should be given after harvesting. Continue Jeevamrutham every 15 days along with water.
Second Harvest February – MarchHarvest the plants during the full blooming stage by cutting the clumps at 10-15 cm from the ground level
Irrigation February – March Irrigation should be given after harvesting. Continue Jeevamrutham every 15 days along with water.
Third harvest May – JuneHarvest the plants during the full blooming stage by cutting the clumps at 10-15 cm from the ground level
Irrigation May – June Irrigation should be given after harvesting. Continue Jeevamrutham every 15 days along with water.

23 thoughts on “Palmarosa Essential oil benefits,cultivation, and project report”

    • Hellow Pranab, As I mentioned the cost of seeds per kg is around Rs.3000, in the method of broadcast(direct sowing) you may end up consuming more seeds per acre.

      Reply
  1. Dear Mr. Sid Red ,

    Kindly furnish your cell or contact number so as to be in touch with you.

    Awaiting your contact details.

    Harry

    Reply
    • Hello Harry,

      You can whatsapp me on 9035984778. Kindly know that our farm activities are under menu “My farm”. Rest articles are for knowledge purpose only.

      Reply
  2. Hello. The Palmarosa plants will grow in the winter season in Europe. The country where I want to plant is Bulgaria. How can I order seeds from Palmarosa?
    Ivelin Ivanov

    Reply
    • Hi Ivelin,
      Palmarosa is a tropical plant and it grows in warm humid areas. Harsh winters makes them hard to grow. If Bulgaria has good summers, then you can think about it. As this is perennial crop, i would not recommend if there is wet winter.
      I am sorry i do not know about the seeds procurement to your place. Please discuss with fellow farmers.

      Reply
  3. Sir,

    Thanks for the information, can we grow this plan on clay sand as we have less water during the year. Does animal ( PIG) eat this grass once grown up.

    Reply
    • Hi Rajareddy garu,
      Drylands are good for Palmarosa, but once in 15 days, you need to water them. The soil should not hold more water.

      Reply
  4. Hi
    I am farmer from gujarat
    I am planning to make farm of pomoroja oil .
    Can any one guide which type is best ?? Also can i export it direct?? What are certicate required for it ?? What is market rate in india & export ??

    Reply
    • Sir, 30 percent of sand land is fine. If its more sand, Lemon grass and palmarosa is not suitable. Vetiver is perfect for sand.

      Reply
  5. Dear Siddarth Garu,
    I have about 50 acres of coastal sandy and sand-loamy type in Prakasam district(near ongole). Like to cultivate Palmarosa in some part of it. May please enlighten me on the following:
    (1) Where can I get practical training on Palmarosa cultivation?
    (2) Is there any buy-back guarantees for this product?
    (3) Is my land suitable for Palmarosa? How to get my land checked for Palmarosa adoptability?
    I am a petroleum geologist- geophysicist and now
    I wish to pursue this kind of farming as a part of my post-retirement activity. Kindly advise.

    Reply

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