Flowers are considered a luxury in Kenya but easier access to incentives and a ready market abroad has drawn more small-scale farmers to the venture. Tuberose is one of the summer flowers grown by smallholders for export. It is a perennial plant grown in the open field without plant support structures and has low technical and financial input.
- Rainfall: Above 750, responds well under irrigation as constant moisture is maintained.
- Soil: Does well in soils that are neutral
- Climate: Hot to mild cold climate
- Sunlight exposure: Require 6-8 hours exposure
Till the land early before planting removing all weeds and obstacles such as stones and stumps if any, harrow the soil to a fine tilth. Add 25kg of a well decomposed organic manure per meter square and mi thoroughly with the soil.
Water the seedbed properly prior to planting, wet the soil well as the flower require much water for its growth. Plant the flowers at a spacing of 25cm by 25cm within and between the rows. Apply DAP fertilizer at planting stage to supplement phosphorus first feeder roots at early stages of development.
Water the flowers early in the morning or late in the evening. Wet the soil properly since the flower require much water for its growth and development, ensure the soil has sufficient moisture throughout the growing period.
Keep the field weed free during the growing period, all weeds should be removed prior to top dressing to avoid competition for nutrients and other growth resources with the flowers.
Done one month after planting using CAN, incase of contract farming use fertilizers recommended by the contracting companies.
Soft rot is the most common disease, use clean planting materials from credible sources such as horticulture research centers and companies providing contract farming.
Matures in 6 months, first flowers appear within 3 months.Harvested flowers should be taken to a cool place to remove field heat, allow free flow of air within the pre-cooling area (shaded area).
Being a summer flower it has less risks to rapid deterioration of quality, handle with care to avoid bruises that may result to soft rot.