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How to Grow Elettaria — Cardamon

Elettaria cardamomum
Elettaria cardamomum

Elettaria–commonly called cardamon–is a handsome leafy shrub with linear to lance-shaped bright green leaves. When grown in tropical regions, Ellettaria bears violet-veined white flowers which give way to aromatic seed capsules. The seed capsules are used as a spice called cardamon.

In temperature regions and indoors, Elettaria makes an attractive foliage plant. In frost-free regions, it can be grown outdoors in a shady bed or border. Indoors, Ellettaria grows well in bright light but can adapt to limited light.

Elettaria is a genus of four species of evergreen rhizomatous perennials. Elettaria is native to tropical rainforests in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Sumatra.

Get to Know Elettaria 

  • Plant type:  Perennial
  • Growing zones and range: Zone 11
  • Hardiness:  Tender, hardy to Zone 11
  • Temperature: It needs a cool temperature and medium humidity. 
  • Height and width: 3 to10 feet (1-3m) tall and wide grown outdoors 
  • Foliage: Erect shoots of linear to lance-shaped leaves
  • Flowers:  Large-bracted spikes of 3-lipped, 3-petaled flowers followed by spherical capsules
  • Bloom time:  Summer
  • Uses:  Fruit is used as a spice; attractive shrub and houseplant
  • Common name: Cardamon.
  • Botanical name:  Elettaria
  • Family name:  Zingiberaceae
  • Origin:  Inida, Sir Lanka, Malaysia, Sumatra
Cardamon plant, Elettaria cardamomum
Cardamon plant, Elettaria cardamomum

Where to Plant Elettaria 

  • Light outdoors: Grow in full sun with some midday shade.
  • Light indoors: Cardamon thrives in bright light and can adapt to limited light. 
  • Soil outdoors:  Grow Elettaria in fertile, humus-rich soil.
  • Soil indoors: Use a soil-based potting mix.

When to Plant Elettaria 

  • Set Elettaria outdoors in spring and autumn,

Planting and Spacing Elettaria 

  • Space  Elettaria 10 feet (3m) apart.

How to Water and Feed Elettaria  

  • Water: Allow the soil to dry to the touch between thorough watering. 
  • Feeding: Apply a balanced fertilizer monthly in spring and summer. 

Elettaria Care  

  • Elettaria needs tropical conditions to flower and fruit. It is a handsome leafy plant grown in temperate regions. 
  • Trim away lower leaves as they wilt and dry.
  • Use an all-purpose potting mix to repot Elettaria.

Growing Elettaria as a Houseplant

  • Elettaria thrives in bright light and can adapt to limited light.
  • Elettaria needs a cool temperature and medium humidity.
  • The soil should dry between thorough waterings.
  • Fertilize Eletarria monthly in spring and summer.

Elettaria Pests and Diseases  

  • Elletaria is susceptible to attack by mealybugs and spider mites. 

Elettaria Propagation  

  • Elettaria can be propagated by division in spring.
  • Sow seed in warm soil as soon as ripe.  

Elettaria Varieties to Grow  

  • Elettaria cardamomum, also known as Amomum cardamomum, cardamon. Perennial grows to 3 to 10 feet tall and wide: has bright green leaves that grow to 15 inches long and 3 inches wide; violet-veined white flowers are followed by aromatic, pale green capsules.

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