Arabicum Flower Farming:
Are you interested in growing Arabicum cut flowers as a source of income?
If that describes you, then you are at the right place.
In this post you’ll find everything you need to know so that you can start arabicum flower farming in Kenya.
Continue reading to learn how you can make big money from arabicum Flower farming in Kenya.
First Things First: What is Arabicum Flower?
I am sure you agree with me that the arabicum flower is not as famous as rose flower.
So it won’t be strange to discover many people around the world don’t know a thing about arabicum.
That’s why I want to start this conversation by explaining the features of the arabicum flowers.
Well…Arabicum is an annual flower grown from bulbs.
Its foliage as well as the stem originate from the bulb.
The mother bulb produces several leaves after it is planted.
Just before arabicum begins to flower, the mother bulb produces several other small bulbs.
Once this is done, the bulb can now produce the flowers.
“How many flowers does one bulb produce?”
In arabicum, each bulb produces only one stem.
Is Arabicum Farming Profitable?
If you consider its…
- Ease for growth,
- Higher yields per square meter,
- and the low maintainace needs…
…then Arabicum is among the top cut flowers to grow.
As we speak, this annual flower is gaining popularity among small scale farmers.
They find it they are easy to grow, yet it gives yield higher returns per acre compared to other cut flowers.
Consequently, many Non-governmental organizations are promoting the cultivation of this flower in their poverty eradication efforts with great success.
Ecological Requirements of Arabicum
Arabicum grows best in a cool climate.
In Kenya, you’ll find the cool climate at elevations of 1500-2000 Meters above sea level.
When it comes to temperature, the ideal range is between 22-28 degrees celcius.
For best yields, Arabicum requires well drained, deep fertile soils preferably with a slightly acid to neutral PH.
Areas Suitable for Growing Arabicum in Kenya
Areas where you can grow arabicum include warm to cool areas such as
- And many other highland areas in Kenya.
Cultural Practices Conducted On Arabicum
To grow arabicum, you need seed or bulbs.
Growing it from bulbs is best because you’ll save lots of time.
All you need is to buy the planting material, and then in subsequent years, you’ll grow from the previous year’s bulb-lets.
Before planting the bulb-lets, ensure they are cured by spreading them in the sun for 7-9 weeks.
Plant the bulbs in raised beds 10-15 cm high and 1 m wide.
The paths between the beds should be 50 cm apart.
If you are in the warm areas, plant the cured bulbs by placing either on the soil surface.
If you are in the cold areas, plant them in shallow holes. The bulbs are set with the roots facing downwards. Immediately after planting the bulbs should be irrigated to ensure rapid sprouting.
Spacing of Arabicum
This depends on the bulb size.
Optimum spacing is 35-60 bulb-lets per square meters. On a 1-meter-wide bed, plant four rows at 20cm apart, with the bulbs 10 cm apart in the row.
Fertilizer to Use on Arabicum
The rate and type of fertilizer you’ll use depends on inherent soil fertility.
Prior to planting, incorporate well-rotted manure into the beds at a rate of 20kg/M2.
At planting, add NPK 20:10:10 or 17:17:17 at 50-100g per plant depending on soil fertility.
During plant growth, do not apply large quantities of nitrate fertilizer as this only leads to vegetative growth at the expense of the flowers.
Irrigation of Arabicum
Arabicum requires plenty of water for quality flowers.
During the growing season, the new bulbs form as leaves and stems extend.
The roots from the original bulb anchor the plants and provide water and nutrients.
Harvesting of Arabicum
It starts 3-4 months from planting.
Arabicum starts to produce a stout flower stem with 8-12 scented white flowers with black centers.
Cut the flower stem is cut at the base, when 2-3 flowers on the stem are fully open and show a white flush.
After harvesting, immerse the flowers in cold water and moved out of the sun as soon as possible.
harvesting continues over a 4 to5 month period.
How to Grade Arabicum
Grading is by stem length
Longer stems with a well-developed blooms are classified as the best grade.
Grade I-70 cm long
Grade II- 50 cm long
Grade III- 40 cm long
Post-Harvest Handling of Arabicum Flowers
To prevent damage during transport, wrap the flowers with clean paper.
Pack the stems in bunches of 10.
Arabicum does not require any special preservative, I recommend the use of a bactericide in the water
Lifting of Arabicum
After harvesting the flowers, the roots and stems die.
When this happens, you have to remove, the bulbs carefully from the soil.
and prepared for storage, by drying. Storage of the bulbs should be on racks in a shady location. Bulbs break their dormancy after 6-8 weeks.
Yield of Arabicum Per Acre
From 1 acre, expect to harvest 54,000-72,000 stems of Arabicum
What are your thoughts on arabicum Flower farming in Kenya?
Share them below in the comments section.