How to Grow Dalbergia Sissoo in India

Dalbergia Sissoo is popular for its uses as timber, fuel, medicinal purposes, and construction. Let’s have a look at how to grow it!

Dalbergia Sissoo

Dalbergia Sissoo, or The North Indian Rosewood, provides good quality timber and is used in a variety of ways across the Indian subcontinent. Let’s see in detail how to grow it.

Botanical Name: Dalbergia Sissoo

Common Names: North Indian Rosewood, Shisham, Biradi, Sisau

Dalbergia Sissoo Information

Dalbergia sissoo, also known as Indian rosewood, is a fast-growing deciduous tree native to the Indian subcontinent and Southern Iran. The tree can reach up to 25 meters in height and has a wide-spreading crown with a diameter of up to 20 meters.

The bark of the tree is dark brown and rough, with deep fissures, and the leaves are pinnate, with 6-9 leaflets. It produces small white or pink flowers in dense clusters, which are followed by flattened, pod-like fruits.

The wood of Dalbergia sissoo is highly valued for its durability, strength, and attractive grain patterns and is used for furniture, flooring, and musical instruments. The tree is also used for erosion control, as a shade tree, and in agroforestry systems. In addition, the tree has cultural and religious significance in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Propagating Dalbergia Sissoo


The following are two ways that the Dalbergia Sissoo can be propagated:

Propagation by Seeds:

  • Collect mature pods from the Dalbergia Sissoo tree when they start to turn brown and dry out.
  • Remove the seeds from the pods and soak them in water for 24 hours.
  • Sow the seeds in a well-draining potting mix, placing them 1-2 cm deep and 5-8 cm apart.
  • Water the seeds and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  • Place the pot in a warm and bright location, but avoid direct sunlight.
  • Seedlings should start to emerge in 2-3 weeks.

Propagation by Cuttings:

  • Take cuttings from a healthy and mature Dalbergia Sissoo tree during the dormant season (winter).
  • Cut 15-20 cm long stem sections with 2-3 nodes using a sharp and clean pruning shear.
  • Remove the leaves from the lower two-thirds of the stem.
  • Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone powder.
  • Insert the stem into a well-draining potting mix or sand, leaving only the top node above the soil surface.
  • Water the cutting and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  • Place the pot in a warm and bright location, but avoid direct sunlight.
  • Roots should start to form in 4-6 weeks.

Requirements for Growing Dalbergia Sissoo

Dalbergia Sissoo 2


Dalbergia sissoo requires full sun to partial shade to grow well. It can tolerate partial shade but will grow slower and produce fewer flowers and fruits.

However, in hot and dry regions, the tree may benefit from some shade during the hottest part of the day to prevent leaf scorching and water loss through transpiration. When planting Dalbergia sissoo, it is important to choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.


The plant prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter and has a pH range of 6.5 to 8.0. Dalbergia Sissoo can tolerate a wide range of soil types, from sandy loams to clay loams, but it grows best in fertile soils with good water-holding capacity.


Dalbergia Sissoo requires regular and consistent watering to thrive, especially during the first few years of growth. The tree prefers moist but not waterlogged soils, and it is important to avoid both under-watering and over-watering.

Water the tree when the soil feels a little dry to the touch till it reaches a height f about 4-5 feet. After that, it will take care of its own.


It is a hardy tree that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but Dalbergia Sissoo grows best in warm to hot climates with temperatures between 20-35°C (68-95°F).

It can withstand temperatures as high as 45°C (113°F) at the most and temperatures below -1°C (30°F) at the least.


Dalbergia sissoo can tolerate a range of humidity levels, but it grows best in areas with moderate to high humidity (45% -80%).

In its native range, the tree is found in regions with tropical to subtropical climates and high humidity levels. However, it can also adapt to drier conditions, as long as the soil is kept moist and watering is sufficient.

Taking Care of Dalbergia Sissoo


Dalbergia sissoo benefits from regular fertilization to support healthy growth and maintain soil fertility. Before planting, organic matter such as compost or manure can be added to the soil to improve soil structure and nutrient availability.

Once established, Dalbergia sissoo can be fertilized with a balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) once a year in early spring. Slow-release fertilizers can also be used to provide nutrients gradually over time.


Pruning Dalbergia sissoo can be beneficial for maintaining its shape, promoting healthy growth, and improving fruit or flower production.

The tree can be pruned during the dormant season, which is typically in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Dead or diseased branches should be removed as soon as they are noticed to prevent the spread of disease.

Pests and Diseases

Dalbergia sissoo is vulnerable to a range of pests and diseases, although it is generally considered to be a hardy and resilient tree. Common pests include termites, borers, and leaf-feeding insects such as caterpillars and beetles.

Regular monitoring and early intervention can help prevent serious damage from these pests.

Fungal diseases such as root rot and leaf spot can also affect Dalbergia sissoo, particularly in areas with high humidity or poor drainage.

To prevent fungal diseases, it is important to provide good air circulation around the tree and to avoid overwatering. Insecticides and fungicides can be used as necessary, but care should be taken to avoid harming beneficial insects and pollinators.

It is important to inspect the tree for signs of pests and diseases regularly and to promptly address any issues to ensure the health and vitality of the tree.


The tree contains a toxic compound called rotenone, which can be harmful if ingested. Rotenone is found in high concentrations in the bark and leaves of the tree, as well as in the seeds and pods.

Direct contact with the sap of the tree can also cause skin irritation in some individuals. It is recommended to wear gloves and protective clothing when handling the tree and to avoid burning the wood or using it for cooking food.

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