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Default How to Grow Cardamom

Cardamom is one of the most expensive and unique spices in the world. If you live in a very warm, humid climate (or in US Department of Agriculture zones 10 to 12), you can grow your own cardamom plant. Plant a few cardamom seeds indoors and let them grow for a few months so they sprout above the soil. Transplant the seedlings to a shady place in your yard. It will take several years of watering and nurturing, but your plants will produce cardamom that you can harvest and use in baking or cooking.


EditStarting Seeds

  1. Get cardamom seeds from a grocery or agricultural supply store. Although you can collect cardamom seeds from capsules that you've purchased from the grocery store, it's best to buy cardamom seeds from an agricultural supply company. These seeds will be free from disease and are more likely to thrive.[1]
    • Buy the seeds from local gardening supply stores or from online agricultural supply companies.
  2. Fill containers with loamy soil. The soil should be slightly sandy so it drains gradually. You can purchase loamy soil from most garden centers. If you're planning on transplanting the seedlings to your outside garden, you can use any size container. If you're going to leave the seeds in the container and grow the plants to maturity, use a pot that's at least deep and wide.[2]
  3. Plant the seeds deep. Push a few of the seeds into the containers and cover each with of soil. Water the seeds so the soil is completely moist.[3]
    • Start as many cardamom seeds as you like, but plant them about apart in the container so you can thin and transplant them once they start growing.
  4. Grow the cardamom until it sprouts a few leaves. The cardamom should germinate after about 30 to 45 days. This means you should see the cardamom plants begin to poke up through the soil. Continue to water so the soil stays moist and leave the seedlings in the container until you see at least 2 leaves on the seedlings.[4]
    • It will take around 90 days for the seedlings to become large enough to transplant outside.
EditTransplanting and Caring for Cardamom

  1. Choose a space in the garden with well-draining soil. Pay attention to the soil after a heavy rain to see how it drains. You shouldn't see deep puddles remain, but the soil should stay moist. If the soil is too rich in clay, it will **** the cardamom plant, so find somewhere else in the garden or mix sand into the soil to break up the clay.[5]
    • The ideal soil for cardamom is loamy with a pH level between 4.5 and 7.
  2. Pick a space with partial shade. Cardamom plants will die if they're in direct sunlight, so choose a planting area that has partial shade. If you only have a space that is completely shaded, it will work, but the plant may not grow as quickly.
    • Cardamom plants usually grow under the canopy of trees that are above it.[6]
  3. Select a planting area that has high humidity. Since cardamom grows in subtropical forests, it needs high humidity to thrive in your garden. To plant the cardamom outside, the humidity needs to be around 75%.[7]
    • Cardamom also prefers temperatures between and .
  4. Plant the cardamom seedlings deep. Dig deep holes that are apart. Place 1 seedling into each hole and surround the seedling roots with dirt. If you'd like to support the plants as they grow, drive a garden stake into the soil away from the base of each plant.[8]
    • As the cardamom grows, you can tie the plant to the stake.
    • Avoid planting seeds too deep since they may not sprout if they donít get adequate sun.
  5. Plant the cardamom in a container if you want to move it. If you live in a climate with temperatures that occasionally dip below , you may want to plant the seedlings in large pots instead of outside in the garden. This will allow you to bring the cardamom in when it gets cool.[9]
    • If you use a pot, choose as large of a pot as you can for your space that's also easy to pick up so you can move it in and out of your house.
    • If you do need to bring the cardamom inside your house, consider placing it in the warmest, most humid room of your house, such as the bathroom.
  6. Water the plants to keep the soil moist. Feel the soil with your fingers every day to ensure that the soil is most. Since the soil should never dry out, water until the soil is soaked.[10]
    • The cardamom plants will need even more water during the summer when they're growing the fruit. Plan on watering more during these months.
  7. Add fertilizer twice a month during the growing season. Choose an organic fertilizer with high phosphorous content. Spread it in the soil around the cardamom plants 2 times a month during the summer growing season.[11]
    • To add nutrients back to the soil, you'll also need to spread aged manure or compost once a year.
EditHarvesting Cardamom

  1. Grow the plants until they're high. Continue to water the plants regularly and fertilize them as needed. The plants will begin to grow tall, narrow stalks that reach high off of the ground.[12]
    • Keep in mind that it will take a few years for the plants to put on a lot of growth.
    • The stalks will grow rows of bright green leaves that are about long.
  2. Wait 2 to 3 years to harvest the cardamom fruits. The plants will flower beginning in April or May and will continue to blossom through July or August. The yellow flowers are small and oval in shape.[13]
    • The flowers hold capsules that contain 15 to 20 cardamom seeds.
    • Some plants may take up to 4-5 years until they bloom.
    • Although the plants flower early in the year, wait to begin harvesting until October or November, so the cardamom can ripen.
  3. Gather the cardamom capsules by hand. Once the capsules of cardamom fruit begin to dry out a little, pull one to see if it breaks easily. If the fruit snaps off easily, you can begin pulling off all of the ripe capsules.[14]
    • Cardamom plants will continue to produce more cardamom seeds every year.
  4. Dry the cardamom capsules. Depending on how many capsules you want to dry, you can use a variety of drying methods. For small-scale drying, spread the cardamom in a single layer and allow the sun to dry the capsules. Larger, commercial harvests often dry cardamom using extremely hot kilns.[15]
    • Once the cardamom is dry, you can open the capsules and crush the cardamom to cook or bake with.

  • If the plant's leaves turn brown, it's getting too much sunlight, so consider transplanting it to a shadier spot. If the leaves are yellow, the plant probably needs fertilizer.
  • Spray the plant's leaves with water if the tips turn brown. Ensure you don't spray too much water or the roots may begin to rot.
EditThings You'll Need

  • Small containers
  • Cardamom seeds
  • Soil
  • Organic fertilizer
  • Watering can
  • Large pot, optional
EditSources and Citations

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