The uptake studies by Kulkarni et al. (1971) revealed that for production of 1 kg of cardamom capsules, 0.122 kg N, 0.014 kg P and 0.2 kg K are removed by the plant. For the cardamom plant as a whole, the ratio of N, P, K, Ca and Mg in which these nutrients are present was worked out as 6:1:12:3:0.8. A similar ratio was also arrived at by Venkatesh (1980). Highest uptake of N (53 per cent) and Ca (47.5 per cent) was shown by leaves followed by shoots, whereas, in case of P, K and Mg the reverse was the order observed. Uptake by rhizomes and roots followed in the descending order (Pattanshetty, 1980). Among the major nutrients, uptake of N by leaves was higher than P and K during pre-bearing stage compared to the harvest stage. However, there was considerable reduction in N uptake by leaves at harvest stage than at pre-bearing stage, whereas, N uptake by rhizomes and shoots showed an upward trend at harvest stage. In case of P and K, the highest uptake was at harvest stage by shoots and there was reduction in the uptake of N by leaves. Rhizomes occupied the second position in uptake of K at harvest stage indicating the importance of this nutrient in crop production. Among secondary nutrients, the highest uptake of Ca was seen in shoots at both the stages, whereas, for Mg it was the leaves which showed highest values. Uptake of Ca by shoots at harvest stage was more than that of pre-bearing stage; on the other hand the reverse was the trend in case of Mg (Sulikeri, 1986).
The nutrient requirement of cardamom shows the need for liberal application of K, N and P in that order. Importance of K in the nutrition of cardamom is also highlighted from studies of various workers that soils giving high yields in Karnataka (Kulkarni et al, 1971) and Kerala (Vadiraj et al, 1998) have high fertility ratings for potassium.
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