Learn How To Grow Pista Plant at Home in this article and enjoy the flavorful pistachio fruits of the tree when the season comes!
What is a Pista Plant
The scientific name of the Pista or pistachio plant is Pistacia vera. Native to the central or middle eastern parts of Asia, it is a small tree that belongs to the family of Cashews. This plant can grow up to a height of 10 meters. The seeds of these plants are referred to as pistachios or pista. A famous dry fruit, widely loved by people in India and abroad. Pista is a nutritious nut that has a variety of uses. Apart from being used as a snack, it is used to add crunch to a variety of Indian dishes. Many sweets are also prepared with pista as their key ingredient. Let’s see How To Grow Pista Plant at Home in India.
How to Grow Pista Plant at Home
You can grow these plants from the seeds available in the kitchen, but the whole process can get tedious. So if you want your plant to produce seeds properly, then it is better to buy a healthy plant from a nursery near you. As there are chances that the plant that you grow from seeds will not even fruit.
Propagating Pista Plant
Propagating Pista plants from seeds is a long, but simple process. You can follow these steps to achieve the germination of seeds.
- Choose 10-12, good quality, and healthy seeds that you can easily find in supermarkets or even in your kitchen. Just make sure that the seeds are raw, as the shops also sell roasted and salted pistachios.
- Put these seeds in a dish of water for 2-3 days and allow them to soak.
- After you have soaked the seeds, take them out, and remove their outer cover. Keep in mind that oversoaking the seeds will cause them to split open. And you’ll have to start the whole process again.
- Now there are two ways in which you can germinate your seeds.
- The first way is by putting the soaked seeds in a well-draining, small pot, after filling it with potting mix or coco peat. Water the plant and keep the pots in the indirect sun until they germinate. Another way is by using the toilet paper method. In this, you have to put the seeds in damp toilet paper and put them in a ziplock to create a greenhouse effect. Keep the bag warm by placing it into the indirect sun.
- After you have put the seeds, simply wait for them to undergo the germination process., that can take up to 3-5 weeks.
Transplanting the Pista Plant
After the seeds have germinated and reached the size of two-leaf saplings, it is time to transplant them into bigger pots and let them grow there.
The trees usually take 6-7 years before they start producing fruits. The pista plants that you grow from such seeds are good only for adding a plant to your garden, as they are incapable of producing seeds in large quantities. So it is better to get a healthy plant from a nursery to reap the good fruits later.
Requirements for Growing Pista
The process of growing pista at home is long and requires a lot of patience and care before you can see the fruits. But even though you can grow this plant at home, it is quite uncertain that it will produce seeds. The reason being, it requires two plants, one male and one female, to facilitate pollination.
If you are wondering when to plant the pista tree in India. You can plant them twice a year, mainly in the months of June-July just before the arrival of the monsoon.
‘Kerman’, ‘Red Allepo’, ‘Peter’, ‘Chiko’, ‘Joley’ are some varieties of pista plants that are cultivated in India, especially in the states of Jammu and Kashmir.
In India, the state of Jammu and Kashmir is the natural location that is most suitable for pista cultivation. As the trees require an average temperature of 36°C in the days. These plants require a lot of sunlight to grow well; you have to give special care during the process of growing the seedlings. When you grow pista from seeds at home, you have to make sure that the seeds receive plenty of indirect sunlight, as they need warmth to germinate. Also, make sure to provide the plants with protection against winds with the help of a sheet as the weak plants may fall.
You can grow the pista plants in a wide variety of soils. However, well-draining, sandy loam soil with slightly alkaline pH will prove ideal for growing pista plants. Make sure to plant the seedlings in deep soil.
Although these trees are quite drought tolerant, watering these plants properly is a good idea, as the trees produce higher yields when provided with proper water. Watering Pista plants can be tricky. So rewater the plants when the top two inches of soil gets dry. Water often during the summers.
The plants seem to require constant fertilization, as they grow bigger. So if you wish to keep your plants organic, you can provide them with frequent doses of cow manure (gobar khaad) as the plants start to mature. The seed production is often reduced due to the deficiency of potassium and phosphorous so you can also provide your plants with 12-12-17 dose of N-P-K fertilizer twice a year once during late winters(Feb- Mar) and summers (Apr-may)
Pests and Diseases
Pista plants are prone to various pests and diseases like powdery mildew, leaf blight, rust, twig borer, etc. You can get rid of these plants with the help of natural and homemade pesticides like neem oil, soap solution, etc. You can also remove the infected leaves to remove the blights from your plants.