grows in areas up to an altitude of about 1800 m. Humid
tropical evergreen rain forest conditions favour the
best growth of cinnamon. Well-drained, deep sandy soil,
rich in humus is suitable for the crop. Avoid marshy
areas and hard laterites.
Nithyasree and Sugandini.
Cinnamon is usually propagated through seeds. Sow seeds
immediately after harvest on raised beds. Pot seedlings
when they are six months old.
Select seedlings with green leaf petioles. Plant seedlings
in the main field when they are 1-2 year old with the
commencement of southwest monsoon. Planting is done
in pits of size 60 x 60 cm at a spacing of 2 x 2 m.
Dig the pits sufficiently early to allow weathering.
Fill the pit with leaf mould and topsoil before planting.
Apply N:P2O5:K2O @ 20:20:25 g/seedling in the first
year and double this dose in the second year. Cattle
manure or compost at 20 kg / plant / annum may also
be applied. Increase the dose of N:P2O5:K2O gradually
to 200:180:200 g / tree / year for grown up plants of
10 years and above.
organic manures in May-June and fertilizers in two equal
split doses, in May-June and September-October.
Weed regularly in the early stages of growth. Irrigate
the seedlings till they get established, if there is
long drought period.
Prune plants when they are 2-3 years old at a height
of 15 cm above ground level. Cut the side shoots growing
from the base to encourage growth of more side shoots
till the whole plant assumes the shape of a low bush.
spot and dieback disease (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides)
young nursery seedlings, small brown specks appear which
gradually enlarge resulting in drying of the leaf. From
the leaves, the infection spreads to the stem, resulting
in necrosis from the apex downwards.
old seedlings and mature trees, light and dark brown
concentric zonation occurs. Spraying 1% Bordeaux mixture
during rainy season controls the disease.
other diseases of cinnamon include grey blight caused
by Pestalotiopsis palmarum, sooty mould caused by Phragmocapnius
sp. and algal leaf spot by Cephaleuros sp.
The plants will be ready for harvest in about 3 years
after planting. Harvesting is done during two seasons,
the first in May and second in November. The correct
time for cutting the shoots for peeling is determined
by noting the sap circulation between the wood and corky
layer. Peelers can judge this by making a test cut on
the stem with a sharp knife. If the bark separates readily,
the cutting is taken immediately. Stems measuring 2.0
to 2.5 cm in diameter and 1.5 to 2.0 m length are cut
early in the morning and twigs and leaves are detached.
outer brown skin is first scrapped off and the stem is
rubbed briskly to loosen the bark. Two cuts are made round
the stem about 30 cm apart and two longitudinal slits
are made on opposite sides of the stem. The bark is separated
from the wood with curved knife. The detached pieces of
bark are made into compound quills. The best and longest
quills are used on the outside while inside is filled
with smaller pieces. The compound quills are rolled by
hand to press the outside edges together and are neatly
trimmed. They are dried in shade as direct exposure to
sun can result in warping. The dried quills consist of
mixture of coarse and fine types and are yellowish brown
quills are graded as Fine or Continental, Mexican and
Hamburg or Ordinary. The Fine consists of quills of
uniform thickness, colour and quality and the joints
of the quills are neat. Mexican grades are intermediate
in quality. The Hamburg grade consists of thicker and
darker quills. The lower grades are exported as: (a)
Quillings: The broken lengths and fragments of quills
of all grades are bulked and sold as quillings; (b)
Featherings: This grade consists of the inner bark of
twigs and twisted shoots that do not give straight quills
of normal length.
This includes the trimmings of the cut shoots, shavings
of outer and inner bark, which cannot be separated,
or which are obtained from small twigs and odd pieces
of thick outer bark.
Cinnamon oleoresin is prepared by extracting cinnamon
bark with organic solvent. Oleoresin yield varies form
10 to 12 per cent. The oleoresin is dispersed on sugar,
salt and used for flavouring processed foods.
A pale yellow liquid possessing the delicate aroma of
the spice is obtained by steam distillation of quills
(0.2 to 0.5%). Its major component is cinnamaldehyde
(55%) but other components like eugenol, eugenyl acetate,
ketones, esters and terpenes also impart the characteristic
odour and flavour to this oil. Cinnamon bark oil is
used in flavouring bakery foods, sauces, pickles, confectionery,
soft drinks, dental and pharmaceutical preparations
and also in perfumery.
Cinnamon leaf oil is produced by steam distillation
of leaves yielding 0.5 to 0.7% oil. It is yellow to
brownish yellow in colour and possesses a warm, spicy
but rather harsh odour. The major constituent is eugenol
(70 to 90 %) while the cinnamaldehyde content is less
than five per cent. The oil is used in perfumery and
flavouring, and also as a source of eugenol.
root bark oil
The root bark contains 1.0 to 2.8% oil containing camphor
as the main constituent. Cinnamaldehyde as well as traces
of eugenol are found in the oil, having less commercial