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Complete information about Betel plant

PlantationCrops October 31, 2015

Cultivation of Betelvine: Complete guide on Betel plant farming involves in seed treatment, planting, pest management, irrigation, harvesting and uses.

Scientific name of Betelvine (Piper betel) Piperaceae:

The betel is the leaf of a vine belonging to the Piperaceae family, which includes pepper and kava. It is valued both as a mild stimulant and for its medicinal properties. Betel leaf is mostly consumed in Asia, and elsewhere in the world by some Asian emigrants, as betel quid or in paan, with or without tobacco, in an addictive psychostimulating and euphoria-inducing formulation with adverse health effects. Betel is notable for staining the teeth of regular users.

In Sri Lanka and in the Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam and West Bengal, a sheaf of betel leaves is traditionally offered as a mark of respect and auspicious beginnings. Occasions include, greeting elders at wedding ceremonies, New Year, offering payment to Ayurvedic physicians and astrologers where usually money and or areca nut are kept on top of the sheaf of leaves and offered to the elders for their blessings.

The betel plant is an evergreen perennial, with glossy heart-shaped leaves and white catkin. The betel plant originated in South and South East Asia.



Karpurakodi, Kallarkodi, Revesi, Karpuri, SGM 1, SGM (BV) – 2, Vellaikodi, Pachaikodi, Sirugamani 1, Anthiyur kodi, Kanyur kodi and Bangla type are under cultivation

Karpuri, SGM 1 & SGM BV2

Soil and climate:
Well drained fertile clay loams are suitable. It does not tolerate saline and alkaline conditions. Betelvine require a cool humid with considerable humidity and regular supply of moisture in the soil is essential.

Seeds and sowing:
The vines are propagated by terminal stem cutting or setts about 30 – 45 cm long. Setts obtained from the top portions of the vines are easy to root and hence best for planting. On an average 1, 00,000 setts are required for planting one hectare. Setts with vigorous apical buds and nodal adventitious roots are selected and planted at the base of the live supports, which are to be planted 4 to 5 months earlier.

Sowing Betelvine

November – December and January – February are optimum for cultivation.

Preparation of field:
The field is prepared to a fine tilth and beds of 2 m wide are formed to a convenient length. Provide drainage trenches of 0.5 m width by 0.5 m depth in between two adjoining beds. Plant the seeds of the live supports i.e. Agathi (Sesbania grandiflora) in long rows. About 750 banana suckers are planted at the edges of the beds, which are used, for tying the vines on the live support and for packing the betel leaf.  When the Agathi plants reach 4 m height, they are topped off for maintaining the height. The crop is planted in two rows in beds of 180 cm width on Agathi plants with a spacing of 45 cm between plants in the row.

Betelvine seedlings

Irrigate the field immediately after planting and afterwards once in a week.

Betelvine Drip Irrigation

Training of the live standards:
Before the establishment of vines, the side branches of Agathi trees upto a height of 2 m are removed for early creeping of the vines.

Training of the vines:
Training is done by fixing the vine at intervals of 15 to 20 cm along the standards loosely with the help of banana fibre. Training is done at every 15 – 20 days interval depending upon the growth of vines.

Lowering of vines:
Under normal cultivation, the vines grow to height of 3 m in one year period. When they reach this height their vigour to produce normal size leaf are reduced and they need rejuvenation by lowering during March – April. After the vine is lowered, the tillers spring up from the nodes at the bends of the coiled vines at the ground level and produce many primary vines. Irrigation should be given after each lowering.

Apply 150 kg N/ha/year through Neem cake (75 kg N) and Urea (75 kg N) and 100 kg P2O5 through Super phosphate and 30 kg Muriate of potash in three split doses first at 15 days after lifting the vines and second and third dose at 40 – 45 days intervals.  Apply on beds shade dried neem leaf or Calotropis leaves at 2 t/ha and cover it with mud (2 t in 2 split doses).

Plant protection:
Scale insects:
Select scale-free seed vines. Spray Chlorpyriphos 20 EC 2 ml/lit when one or two scales are noticed on the basal portion of the stem/leaves. Direct the spray solution to the basal portion of the vines.  Spray NSKE 5 % or Malathion 50 EC 1 ml/lit.

Mites (Sevvattai):
Mites can be controlled by spraying Wettable sulphur 50 WP @ 1 g/lit or Dicofol 18.5 EC 0.5 ml/lit.

Sooty mould (Aphids):
To control aphids spray Chlorpyriphos at 2 ml/lit on Agathi leaves. Clip off excess Agathi leaves.

Mealy bugs:
Mealy bugs can be controlled by spraying Chlorpyriphos 20 EC at 2 ml/lit or Dimethoate 30 EC 2ml/lit. Concentrate the spray towards the collar region.

Application of Neem cake at 1 t/ha or shade dried Calotropis leaves @ 2.5 t/ha can be applied to soil for controlling the nematode populations.

Soil application of Bacillus subtilis (BbV 57) or Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 10 g / vine for the control of root knot nematode and quick wilt of betel vine

Phytophthora Wilt:
Integrated method for the management of Phytophthora wilt.

  • Select well matured (more than 1 year old) seed vines free from pest and diseases.
  • Soak the seed vines for about 30 minutes in Streptocyline 500 ppm or Bordeaux mixture 0.5 %.
  • Apply 150 kg N/ha/year through Neem cake (75 kg N) and Urea (75 kg N) and 100 kg P2O5 through Super phosphate and 30 kg Muriate of potash in 3 split doses first at 15 days after lifting the vines and second and third dose at 40 – 45 days intervals.  Apply on beds, shade dried neem leaf or Calotropis leaves at 2 t/ha and cover it with mud (2 t in 2 split doses).
  • Drench Bordeaux mixture 0.25% in basins formed around the vine at monthly intervals starting from October – January, three times soil drench and six times spray from June – July.
  • During winter season avoid frequent irrigation.
  • Remove the affected vines away from the garden and burn them.
  • Application of Trichoderma viride @ 5 g/vine.

Bacterial leaf spot, blight and bacterial stem rot:
Spray Streptocycline @ 400 ppm + Bordeaux mixture @ 0.25% at the time of first disease symptoms appear. Continue spraying at 20 days intervals.  Always spray the chemical after plucking the leaves.

Anthracnose (Theechal):
Spray 0.2 % Ziram or 0.5% Bordeaux mixture after plucking the leaves after the first appearance of the symptom. The variety Karpoori is susceptible to the disease.


Powdery mildew:
Powdery mildew can be controlled by spraying 0.2% Wettable sulphur after plucking the leaves.

It depends upon the growth of the vines and market condition. Once harvesting starts it continues almost every day.

Harvested Betel Leaves

About 75 to 100 lakh leaves/ha/year can be obtained.


The betel leaf is predominantly consumed as betel quid or paan, which is a mixture of substances. The paan almost always contains a betel leaf with two basic ingredients, either areca nut or tobacco or both, with lime (calcium hydroxide or calcium carbonate). Areca nut is considered carcinogenic when consumed with or without tobacco.

In an extensive scientific research monograph, the World Health Organization expert group for research on cancer reported in 2004 that the percentage of oral cancer among all cancers diagnosed in hospitals in Asia has always been much higher than that usually found in western countries, where the habit of chewing betel quid, with or without tobacco, is virtually unknown. In many descriptive studies, investigators have obtained histories of chewing betel quid with tobacco from series of patients with oral cancer; and in all these studies the percentage of patients who practice betel leaf chewing was found to be extremely large. Researchers also noted that the cancer generally develops at the place where the betel quid is kept.

Betel Leaf Oil

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