Cinnamon has been famous as a spice since ancient times, and its manufacturer was Sri Lanka. Cinnamon is an endemic plant of the Lorrace family and the genus Cinnamomum. They are botanically called Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Blume/ Cinnamomum verum Presl. It is have originated in the mountainous areas of Sri Lanka and can be successful cultivated up to 700 m above sea level.
Peeling Cinnamon and making it into cinnamon sticks is a unique Sri Lankan method, which has made it easier to identify the true Cinnamon in the market.
There are two types of Cinnamon in the market
- True Cinnamon
- Cassia Cinnamon
Real Cinnamon is producing in Sri Lanka. Cassia Cinnamon is a market in Indonesia, Vietnam, and China. Botanically Cassia cinnamon is called Cinnamomum brumani, Cinnamomum aromaticum, Cinnamomum tamala, and its relatively low price. Cassia cinnamon has been founding to contain more than 5% of the carcinogen coumarin.
Cinnamon, a flowering, evergreen plant, has a unique aroma. Under natural conditions, the cinnamon plant grows to a height of 10-15 m and grows to 60-75 cm in circumference. In commercial cinnamon cultivation, the plant is controlled to a height of 2.5-3 m and maintained as a shrub.
Soil conditions and climatic requirements for cinnamon cultivation
Cinnamon is successfully grown in Galle, Matara, Ratnapura, Kalutara, Hambantota, Kandy, Matale, Badulla, and Kurunegala in Sri Lanka. Cinnamon can be grown up to 700 m above sea level under different climatic and soil conditions. But the dry climate is not conducive to cinnamon cultivation.
Cinnamon can also be grown successfully in reddish-brown catabolic soils, immature brown loamy soils, and sandy loam soils. The pH of the earth is 5.5-6.5 is suitable for cinnamon cultivation. Temperatures 25-30 degrees Celsius are ideal. But the minimum temperature is 20 degrees Celsius, and the maximum temperature is 35 degrees Celsius can be grown. Annual rainfall 1875-3750 mm is ideal.
Five cinnamon types have been identifying according to their taste and intensity, seven cinnamon types identified according to the cinnamon leaf’s shape.
The Department of Agriculture in Sri Lanka has introduced two new varieties of Cinnamon for commercial cultivation.
- “SHRI GEMUNU” (suitable for oil extraction)
- “SHRI VIJAYA” (ideal for cinnamon sticks production)
Cinnamon plants cud be use from seeds and cuttings. Cinnamon plants can be harvested within two and a half to three years after first planting and then harvested every one and a half years.
Chemical fertilizer is applied twice a year for cinnamon cultivation, and 20 tons of organic fertilizer per hectare per year is recommended for organic cultivation by the Srilankan agriculture department.
Cinnamon cultivation is damaged by various pests, which use chemical and biological pest control methods to control them.
Stay with us for more details on the harvesting and processing of Cinnamon in our next article.