Welcome to Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development
Climate and soil
    Clove grows well in rich loamy soils of the humid tropics and can be grown successfully in the red soils of the midlands of Kerala as well as in the hilly terrain of Western Ghats at higher elevations in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.  A cooler climate with well distributed rainfall is ideal for flowering.
    The site selected for cultivation of Clove needs good drainage since the crop cannot withstand water logged conditions.  It thrives well in areas receiving an annual rainfall of 150-300 cm.  In India, clove grows from sea level up to 1500 m above sea level.

Planting material
    The seeds should be collected from fully ripe fruits for raising seedlings.  Fruits for seed collection, known popularly as ‘mother of Clove’ are allowed to ripe on the tree and drop down naturally.  Such fruits are collected and sown directly in the nursery or soaked in water overnight and the pericarp removed before sowing.  The second method gives quicker and higher percentage of germination.  Only fully developed and uniform sized seeds which show signs of germination by the presence of pink radicle, are used for sowing.  Though the ripe fruits can be stored for a few days by spreading them in a cool shaded place, it is advisable to sow the seeds immediately after harvest.  Heaping the fruits or keeping them tied up in air tight bags hastens the death of seeds.

Nursery practices
    Beds of 15-20 cm height, 1 m width and convenient length are to be prepared for sowing seeds.  The beds should be made of loose soil-sand mixture over which a layer of sand may be spread (about 5-8 cm thick).  Seeds can also be sown in sand beds but care should be taken to prevent erosion of the beds in rain.  Seeds are sown at 2-3 cm spacing and depth of about 2 cm.  The seed beds have to be protected from direct sunlight.  If only small quantities of seeds are available for sowing, they can be sown directly in polybags filled with soil-sand-cowdung mixture and kept in shade.  The germination commences in about 10 to 15 days and may last for about 40 days.  The germinated seedlings are transplanted in polythene bags (25 cm x 15 cm) containing a mixture of soil, sand and well decomposed cowdung (3:3:1).  Sometimes, the seedlings are again transplanted after 1 year to large polythene bags containing the same proportion of potting mixture.  The seedlings are ready for transplanting in the field when they are 18-24 months old.  Transplanting time can be reduced to 1 year by planting the seedlings in a mixture consisting of soil and vermicompost in 1:1 proportion.