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Henna Cultivation

Growth Rate of Henna
The entire shrub of henna grows in semi dried regions in a span of around 5 years with the right and correct climatic conditions. Temperature of 20 degrees and above is suitable for the best cultivation and growth. Henna plant will not grow in the moist regions receiving heavy rainfall. After three to four years of cultivation henna starts accepting fruits and flowers which are collected in clusters once a year.

Germination Process
Henna plant is very easy to grow and cultivate. Germination process is very slow, seeds are sown in the month of March and April, normally no pests affect the plant and enough amount of watering is required from time to time. Small quantities of fertilizers are required and used in henna shrub. In the germination process, seeds are sown and grown unsheltered in open fields. Henna grows well when subjected to highest levels of heat with lowest moisture content.

Henna cultivation

Cultivation Process
Cultivation process of henna shrub is very fast and easy. With increasing popularity and possessing various medicinal, cosmetic, coloring and other properties henna is largely cultivated as a commercial plant. For the ideal growth and cultivation of henna, rainfall needs to be minimum. It is a small tree like shrub widely grown in the middle eastern and the South-Asian countries. Growth of henna basically depends upon the climatic conditions and requirement of soil. Since bronze age, henna has been used for body art and hair dye but recently there had a recent renaissance in body art due to improvements in cultivation processing.

Climatic Conditions and Soil Requirement
Henna containing high moisture content can be used only for fresh use not for drying purposes as it contain very low levels of tannin. Tannin is responsible for providing the dark maroon color to henna. Semi dry soil with minimum amount of water is required for the ideal growth of henna. Less amount of water helps henna in the development of tannin, ingredient used to provide henna its major characteristic of imparting color.

Factors Affecting The Growth of Henna
Henna is a small tree which will only grow where the minimum temperature is above 60 F or 11 C. It grows better and produce high level of tannins in dry regions than wet regions. Some of the factors which are important and essential for the growth of henna are :
  • Lowest moisture, highest heat : In this case henna will have the highest level of tannins.
  • Lowest moisture, high heat : In this one henna will have high level tannins.
  • Some moisture, highest heat : In this case henna will have good tannin levels.
  • Some moisture, high heat : In this condition also henna will have good tannin levels.
  • Dry moisture, hot heat : In this case henna will grow and have moderate amount of tannins.
  • Moist moisture, hot heat : In this henna will grow and have moderate tannin levels.
  • Damp moisture, hot heat : In this condition henna will grow and have moderate amount of tannins.
  • Wet moisture, hot heat : In well drained areas henna will grow with moderate tannin levels.
  • Very wet moisture, hot heat : In this condition henna will have difficulty in growing.
Major Cultivation Regions
Henna tree grows best in water retentive soils and areas. It is commercially cultivated in countries such as western India, Pakistan, Morocco, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan and Libya. In India , Rajasthan is the most heavily cultivated region with around 100 henna processors operating in Sojat City. In other states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh & Punjab henna is used as a major commercial crop where the climate is relatively hot and dry and the rains are scanty. Twice a year henna is harvested, best after the monsoon when the crop is ready by the months of September & October while the February & March crop acts like a side crop.

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