Discover the vibrant allure of Kokum plant – a treasure trove of natural goodness! Read on to learn how to Grow Kokum plant in your garden.
Kokum is not only a boon to those suffering from digestive problems but research also shows that it helps in elevating your mood. So ever feel blue, a sip of Kokum juice is the way to go! Continue reading to learn more about the miraculous benefits of Kokum Plant and then may you too would love to grow it in your garden.
Learn about the 15 types of berries found in India here
Information on Kokum plant
Kokum is a tropical plant native to the Western Ghats region of India. People have used Kokum, known for its vibrant red fruit, in Indian cuisine and traditional medicine for centuries. The fruit is rich in antioxidants and hydroxycitric acid, which may aid in weight loss and digestion. People also value Kokum Plant for its cooling properties and often use it to make refreshing beverages, syrups, and pickles.
Additionally, the plant’s bark, roots, and leaves have medicinal uses, including treating sores, allergies, and inflammation. With its tangy flavor and numerous health benefits, Kokum Plant is a versatile and valuable plant with a myriad of uses.
Botanical Name: Garcinia indica
Common Names: Goa butter tree or kokum butter tree in English, Bheranda in Marathi, Vrikshamla in Sanskrit
Propagation of Kokum Plant
You can propagate Kokum plants through several methods, including seed propagation and stem cuttings. Here are the steps for each method:
- Collect fresh, ripe Kokum Plant seeds from the fruit.
- Remove the outer pulp and wash the seeds thoroughly.
- Fill a seed tray or pot with well-draining potting mix.
- Sow the seeds about 1 inch deep into the soil, spacing them adequately.
- Water the soil lightly, ensuring it stays consistently moist.
- Place the tray or pot in a warm, well-lit area, preferably with indirect sunlight.
- Germination typically takes 2-4 weeks. Once the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted into individual pots
- Select a healthy, disease-free stem from an established Kokum plant.
- Cut a 6-8 inch long section of the stem just below a node, using a sharp, sterilized knife or pruners.
- Remove any leaves from the bottom half of the cutting.
- Dip the cut end in a rooting hormone powder to promote root development (optional).
- Fill a pot with a well-draining mixture of soil and compost.
- Make a hole in the soil and insert the cutting, ensuring at least half of its length is buried.
- Firmly press the soil around the cutting and water it gently.
- Place the pot in a warm location with indirect sunlight.
- Keep the soil consistently moist and mist the cutting regularly to maintain high humidity.
- Roots should start to develop within 4-8 weeks, after which the cutting can be gradually acclimated to outdoor conditions.
Check out the list of plants that grow by stem cuttings here
Requirements to Grow Kokum Plant
Kokum Plants thrive in warm, tropical climates and require ample sunlight to grow successfully. Ideally, they should be provided with full sun exposure, which means a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
Provide partial shade during the hottest part of the day can prevent sunburn and stress on the plant.
These plants prefer well-draining, loamy soil that is rich in organic matter. The soil should have a slightly acidic to neutral pH level ranging from 5.5 to 7.0. Good drainage is essential to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot in Kokum Plants.
Kokum Plant need regular watering to establish healthy growth, especially during the initial stages. It is important to maintain a consistent level of soil moisture without overwatering.
Water Kokum Plants deeply but infrequently, allowing the top few inches of soil to dry out before watering again. During hot and dry periods, increase the frequency of watering to prevent the soil from completely drying out.
Learn about watering tricks and tips here
Temperature and Humidity
The plant requires warm, tropical climates and are sensitive to cold temperatures. Kokum Plants grow best in temperatures between 25 to 35°C (77 to 95°F) for optimal growth. They are not frost-tolerant and can suffer damage or even die if exposed to temperatures below 10°C (50°F).
Kokum Plant are well adapted to high humidity environments, mimicking their native tropical habitat. They prefer humidity levels ranging from 50% to 70% for optimal growth.
Adequate humidity helps the plant’s leaves retain moisture, supports healthy transpiration, and reduces the risk of dehydration and wilting.
Taking Care of Kokum Plant
Kokum Plant benefit from regular fertilization to ensure adequate nutrient supply for healthy growth and fruit production. Use a balanced, slow-release organic fertilizer with a ratio of 14-14-14, applying it in early spring and again during the growing season.
Alternatively, you can use a well-balanced water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength and apply it every two to three weeks during the growing season.
Learn why fertilizers and manures are beneficial to plants here
The process of pruning Kokum Plant is beneficial for maintaining their shape, promoting airflow, and encouraging healthy growth. It should be done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.
Start by removing any dead, damaged, or diseased branches. Trim back long, leggy branches to promote bushier growth and maintain a compact shape.
Pest and Diseases
Kokum Plantare generally hardy and less prone to pest and disease issues. However, they can occasionally face certain challenges. Common pests that may affect Kokum Plant include aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. These can be controlled through the application of insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils.
In terms of diseases, Kokum Plant can be susceptible to fungal infections such as powdery mildew and root rot, particularly in conditions of high humidity or poor drainage. To prevent fungal diseases, ensure proper air circulation around the plant, avoid overwatering, and apply fungicides if necessary.
Health Benefits of Kokum Plants
- Kokum Plant is rich in antioxidants, particularly hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which can help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Antioxidants protect cells from oxidative damage, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases and supporting overall health.
- It is often used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for its potential weight management properties. HCA, found in Kokum, is believed to inhibit the activity of an enzyme involved in converting excess carbohydrates into fat. It may help suppress appetite and assist in weight loss efforts when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise.
- Kokum Plants has been traditionally used as a digestive aid. It may help improve digestion, relieve acidity, and reduce symptoms of indigestion. The fruit’s natural compounds, such as Garcinol, can help promote the secretion of digestive enzymes, supporting a healthy digestive system.