Cassava Plant Care – Information On How To Grow Cassavas
What Is A Cassava?
A cassava is a small tree native to Central and South America which grows up to 3 m tall with a diameter of 1–1.5 m. They are widely cultivated worldwide for their edible pods (also known as ‘cabbage’) and leaves, but they have other uses too such as food, fibre, fuel and medicine.
Cassava Plant Care – Growing Cassava From Cuttings
Growing cassava from cuttings is a simple procedure, which involves the following:
Plant the seedling into a potting soil mix. Keep it moist until it germinates.
After sprouting, transplant the plant into a well drained bed or container where it will continue to grow for several years. When ready to harvest, simply pull out the pod and eat!
How To Grow Cassava From Root
The easiest way to grow cassava from root is to buy a commercial product called “Cannabis Seeds”. These seeds come in many different varieties, each one having its own characteristics.
Some of them are hardy and suitable for growing in your garden; others may not produce any fruit at all when grown from seed. There are two main types of cannabis plants: Indica and Sativa. Each have their own characteristics.
Cassava Growing Cycle
A typical cassava growing cycle starts with a ‘Shovel’, generally available from all reputable tool shops or online. This is followed by ‘Soil’, which is required in order to grow your Cassava plant.
The next item is ‘Water’, which helps your Cassava plant grow. The cycle is then completed by harvesting your Cassava plant, with the help of a ‘Saw’.
Cassava Plant Care – How To Grow Cassava From Cuttings
Cassava is a fast growing plant that is easy to grow from cuttings. The only real difficult part of growing cassava from cuttings is taking the cuttings themselves, after that the cassava plant care is easy.
To grow cassava from cuttings you will need to take a cutting from an existing cassava plant. The best time of year to do this is in the springtime and early summer.
Cassava plants respond well to pruning, so take a few cuttings from established plants.
Cut a few 3-4 inch cuttings from healthy plants. Remove all the leaves except the top 4-6 sets of leaves.
With your sandpaper, lightly sand the ends to provide a little surface area for the rooting hormones.
Prepare your potting soil. You can use any good potting soil or a 50-50 mix of topsoil and compost.
Remove the cassava plant from its current container and gently separate out the roots. Be careful not to tear them or scrape them as that could lead to infection.
Place the cuttings into the soil, leaving them just beneath the soil. Cover the roots with soil and lightly firm it around the base of the stem.
Water your newly planted cassava cuttings. You will need to water them every day or every other day to keep the soil moist. This will help them to quickly re-root into their new growing medium.
After a week or two you will see signs of new growth starting at the base of the stem. The stems will thicken and you will see little leaf buds starting.
Once your cassava plant starts growing you can give it a drink of water every couple of days, just enough to keep the soil moist. Your cassava plant is now ready to plant into your garden or grow in a large pot on your porch!
Cassava Plant Problems
Cassava plants are easy to grow and can adapt to the majority of growing conditions. They aren’t bothered by too much sun or too little sun; they can survive in wet or dry soil; and they aren’t prone to many diseases.
Your cassava plant may suffer from any number of pests, the most common being mealy bugs and scale. Mealy bugs look a little like ants and they gather along the stems.
They produce a white mealy wax that covers their bodies and protects them from pesticides. Scale are tiny insects that can be either brown or black and look a little like sprinklings of sand on the stems or around the base of the plant.
Eliminating these pests is fairly easy. Use a soft bristled brush to remove them by hand.
You can also use a cotton swab that has been moistened with alcohol to kill and remove the pests. If your cassava plants are indoors, you can also treat them with neem oil or insecticidal soap to destroy the pests without harming the plant itself.
You may also notice that your cassava plant doesn’t grow as well as you expected it to. This could be a number of things.
Perhaps you are trying to grow it in the wrong type of soil, such as sand. It might need a little more watering or maybe even less. You may be living in an area with poor water quality and your cassava is suffering from nutrient deficiency.
Whatever the problem, don’t give up on growing cassava. With a little research and experimentation you should be growing enough for yourself in no time!
Sources & references used in this article:
Examining cassava’s potential to enhance food security under climate change by DM Rosenthal, DR Ort – Tropical Plant Biology, 2012 – Springer
The cassava transformation: Africas bestkept secret by F Nweke, DSC Spencer, JK Lynam – 2002 – cgspace.cgiar.org
Cassava about‐FACE: Greater than expected yield stimulation of cassava (Manihot esculenta) by future CO2 levels by DM Rosenthal, RA Slattery, RE Miller… – Global Change …, 2012 – Wiley Online Library
Cassava: a basic energy source in the tropics by JH Cock – Science, 1982 – science.sciencemag.org
Informal “seed” systems and the management of gene flow in traditional agroecosystems: the case of cassava in Cauca, Colombia by GA Dyer, C González, DC Lopera – PLoS One, 2011 – journals.plos.org
Cassava mineral nutrition and fertilization by RH Howeler – Cassava: Biology, production and utilization, 2002 – books.google.com