Horticulture
Horticulture :: Medicinal Crops :: Medicinal dioscorea

Medicinal Dioscorea (Dioscorea floribunda Mart and Gal.)
Dioscoriaceae

Varieties
Arka Upkar, Pusa 1 and FB(C) – 2 are very popular.

Soil and climate
Well drained clay loam soil is suitable. It can be grown in tropical and sub-tropical climatic conditions upto 1500m above mean sea level.

Propagation
It can be propagated through single node leaf cuttings or tuber pieces.

Single node leaf cuttings
This consists of a single leaf with petiole and about 0.8 cm of the stem.  The cuttings are quick dipped in 5000 ppm IBA and planted in mist chamber for rooting. After about 8 - 10 weeks, the plants are transferred to polythene bags.  After 5 - 6 months, they are planted in the main field at a spacing of 45 x 30 cm during June - July or September - October. Tuber pieces each weighing 50 - 60 g with one or two buds can also be used for planting. A pre-planting dip in Carbendazim 2 g/lit for 10 minutes is essential.

Manuring
In addition to basal application of FYM 20t/ha, NPK 300:150:150 kg/ha is also recommended. The entire dose of P is applied as basal dose. N and K can be applied in 4 equal splits at 2, 4, 6 and 8 months after planting.

Aftercultivation
The vines need support for optimum growth and a pandal may be provided.  Bamboo poles or gunny twines may be used to lead the vines to the pandal. 1 - 2 weedings are essential in the first year. Upto 4 months of planting, the intercrops like cowpea, horse gram, lab lab etc can be cultivated. Spray the crop with 25 ml Dicofol in 10 lit of water to control aphids and red spider mites.

Irrigation
Weekly irrigation is done for first two months of planting and then according to the crop requirement.

Harvest
Harvest at 2 years of age using pick axes or deep ploughing with mould plough.

Yield
Fresh tubers           :           50 - 60 t/ha
Diosgenin content   :           3.0 to 3.5 %
Last Updated : March 2015

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