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Friday, March 11, 2011

The Ajwain Plant

Having a herb garden is another way of bringing nature in your home. This does not requrie much care or cost. Even a window sill is sufficient to grow few herbs and this also helps to solve simple health problems. Growing of ajwain plant is very easy and it has multiple uses. The leaves are very beautiful and attractive in rounded shapes. They grown in bunches and clusters and look similar to money, hence the benefit of rounded leaves of money luck in feng shui.It can be grown by cuttings from the original plant. Many smaller plants emerge from the sides of the original ajwain plant.Needs regular cutting and trimmings to keep a watch at its growth, otherwise it will over take other containers, as roots develop from the stem whereever they come in contact with soil.
The Ajwain Plant
This is a herb. Very effective for stomach problems. (Many people make bhajiyas from the leaves and are very tasty). The leaves have beautiful ridges and must try stamp painting with this. Tolerates direct sunlight and grows profusely. needs to be trimmed often. Must begin eating them (have not tried) to keep a check on their growth! The plant has pungent and very strong smell which can be felt even from a distance. The colour of the leaves are bright green and they are feathery on the surface, almost like velvet. Grow best in hanging pots.
This is also considered to be lucky plant in terms of Feng Shui as the leaves are round and any circular shape promotes good chi to enter the place. This promotes goodluck and money luck.
Tip: Remember over watering can kill this and the soil has to be well drained as the stem become limp with excess water and drop. Also take care while transferring this ajwain plant. Take care till the roots are in place firmly otherwise the plant will be above the soil and loose soil will not encourage growth. This requires less water and it needs firm rooting, and once it is rooted there is no looking back for this ajwain plant!
Kapporavalli plant as in tamil is a herb and can be used in many dishes as a starter or side dip for pakoras. Chutneys prepared with these leaves is healthy and colourfully green. Good for stomach aches, gives relief from gas troubles, and a very good cure for cough and colds.

58 comments:

  1. It makes a good salad dressing !

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  2. Hi Karen.
    yes this plant can be got by sowing dried ajwain seeds, which are available in market for seasoning.

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    1. Ajwain seeds are also available extremely cheaply from larger Asian shops! - in the spices section.

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  3. will try this tomoro...and if its a success, will notify u too

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  4. Hi Srikanth,
    Thanks for stopping by.
    I have not planted with seeds and have planted this Ajwain from cuttings, and it roots very fast and once rooted grows like wild!.
    You may try sowing Ajwain seeds available in market or get a ajwain plant sapling from any plant nursery.

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  5. I tried planting ajwain seeds but the plant doesn't look the same as in picture above, are you sure it comes from seeds.
    Where can i get this in plant swap?

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    1. I am scavenging the web to solve exactly the same mystery..my Ajwain (planted from seeds) has tiny slender leaves as against the round ones I had expected.

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  6. Even when we click ajwain plant in google we get 2 varieties of picures.Which one is real ajwain?

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    1. Ajwain is also known as Ajowan, Ajwan, Carom, Bishops Weed (& oftem confused with Lovage) -
      for pictures of its foliage, see
      http://www.thisgardenisillegal.com/2006/05/virtues-of-bishops-weeds.html
      for pictures of its flowers, see http://gernot-katzers-spice-pages.com/engl/Trac_cop.html
      for its medicinal uses & warnings, see http://www.drugs.com/npp/bishop-s-weed.html
      Hope this helps!
      to buy seeds very cheaply, get from larger Asian shops!
      (from TJ from Brum - says Anon cos I don't have an online thingy to insert here!)

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    2. Thank you very much Anonymous for sharing all this wonderful information on Ajwain plant here on garden care simplified.

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  7. Hi Srikanth,
    It would be better if you get some plant cuttings as this plant grows abundantly and those who have it have it plenty!or else the local nurseries have this plant for very cheap.Hope I could help you here.
    yes two plants are shown in google search, I think it is chamomile plant, another herb used for herbal teas.Have you soaked the seeds in water and then grown them.if this plant has grown from ajwain seeds then must be another variety , must find out. Thanks for posting this query.

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  8. hi, what kind of sunlight requirements does this plant have? thanks, shilpa

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  9. Hi Shilpa, The Ajwain plant grows best in indirect sunlight.A window sill would be good or a shaded corner in your garden.

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  10. The one shown here is called "Karpooravalli" in Tamil. But Ajwain is called "Omam" in Tamil. But this plant also has the similar smell of Ajwain. But they are different as of my knowledge.

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    1. Thanks Kuzhali for the information on Kapooravalli plant, as this has lots of medicinal properties.

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  11. Guys, anyone wanting a cutting of this plant in mumbai will find it at a Mangalorian's house. i'm so damn sure about it!!!!! its called Sambaralli in tulu, if i'm not mistaken. my grandma (nani) planted it in my balcony and it had grown to a monsterous size. my nani made many various medicines out of this plant and forced it down our throats almost every alternate day.
    the list of benifits of this plant is never ending. it is said to be very rich in vitamin A & C and is most effective in increasing homeoglobin level. And to my surprise i very recently learnt it is nothing else but an oregano plant and comes from the same plant family as Thyme. Hence SRIKANTH CHERUKURI if ur ajwain plant has slender leaves, as what u said, it could be that the seed was of Thyme.
    The plant, apart from all the benefits it has, also has some interesting myths attached to it. They say a cutting of this plant should be stolen and not be asked for. if one gives a cutting to anyone his own plant dies and also that it brings bad luck... funny, ain't it.. haa haa... chinese feng shui recommends having this plant at home. it brings luck.

    Good Luck
    Dinesh Anchan

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  12. Dinesh, the myth, may or may not, but I do luv to share cuttings, a great fragrant herb, with lots of properties, I do hope to try out u'r suggestions.

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  13. Do you root ajwain cuttings in plain water and then plant it in soil? someone plz reply asap...the color of the leaves in the cutting is withering(holes and brown spots)...the stem is still strong though...

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  14. Hi Jalpa, I have always planted cutting directly in soil , though smaller size containers, the holes in the leaves are due to bugs that eat up the plant, observe the tiny black brown flying bugs eat up the plant.
    hope you are able to save your Ajwain plant All the Best

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  15. Hi..i also planted the ajjwain seed but the plant is different from the one shown above..

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  16. hi anonymous this plant grows from cuttings, as for seeds I have not tried

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  17. Dear Rizwana, let me clarify. Ajwain plant is nothing but Oregano and is not related to the plant tachyspermum ami the plant from which we get ajwain seeds. This plant (t ami)as correctly somebody pointed earlier is related to thyme. The ajwain plant is related to marjoram and mint and therefore tends to proliferate from cuttings, stem lying on ground etc. Rapid proliferation of this plant can be a headache, therefore it is required to regularly trim it. The leaves can be dried and will be same as dried oregano that we buy from the market

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    1. Ajwain is NOT oregano! & it IS Trachyspermum copticum.
      But it's correct that its seeds tastes like thyme, but much stronger, & that it has a tendency to overgrow!
      Its leaves are also eaten.

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    2. Sorry, Ajwain is Trachyspermum Ammi(check Wikipedia). However that is the plant which gives ajwain seeds. The plant we are talking of now is called locally ajwain plant and is actually oregano.

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  18. I would like to add to my comments above. All the plants mentioned contain a chemical called thymol which give the characteristic smell of ajwain. Thymol has been named from the thyme plant, however concentration of thymol in ajwain seeds (T. Ammi) is the highest followed by oregano (ajwain plant) and least in thyme. The high concentration of thymol in ajwain seeds (T. Ammi) and ajwain plant(oregano) leaves makes them smell the same and some people confuse the oregano plant to be the source of ajwain seeds. Hope this has clarified all confusions.

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  19. Sorry I forgot to introduce myself, I am Debadutta and have posted the above two comments.

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  20. Debadutta, thanks and many thanks for the enlighting info on Thyme plant, and also sharing this here, yes the plant grows like wild and needs to be controlled! hope to see you sharing more info on other plants, Take care!

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    1. You are welcome. By the way as I said before the plant you are growing is oregano. As you have to frequently trim it you can dry out the leaves and use it for flavouring pizzas etc instead of buying it from the market. Debadutta

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  21. Hello
    I am suyash. I have grown the ajwain plant in my house..it is the same as is in the picture above..i needed a clarification regarding the extraction of ajwain seeds from the plant..please help me on this..

    Thankyou

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    1. Dear suyash the plant is oregano. However due to the smell of the leaves being uncannily similar to ajwain seeds this plant is erroneously called ajwain plant. Ajwain seeds can be obtained from the real Ajwain plant which is different , having thin leaves and sparser foliage and can be grown from ajwain seeds from the market. Debadutta.

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    2. Thanks Suyash for coming by Garden care Simplified, Debadutta has clarified by sharing such good info. Hope this helped.

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  22. Hi, Im Debadutta. There appears to be still some confusion about ajwain oregano thyme etc. So to clarify I shall list them
    (a) Ajwain- Trachyspermum Ammi- our normal ajwain plant producing ajwain seeds. Appearance is thin stalked with thin branched leaves with white bunched flowers. Seeds contain high concentration of thymol which gives the typical taste and smell.

    (b) Oregano- Origanum Vulgare- Bushy plant with larger sawtooth edges, thicker stems and purple flowers. Leaves are rich in thymol and therefore smell and taste like ajwain seeds. Therefore are erroneously but popularly called ajwain plants in India.

    (c) Thyme-Thymus Vulgaris- Plant with thin branched stem and small narrow leaves. Thymol was originally discovered from leaves of this plant and hence the name. Uncommon in India.

    Hope matter is resolved. The present plant we are talking about is Oregano erroneously but popularly called AJWAIN PLANT in India

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    1. Thanks Debadutta sor sharing the info, but can you share how the different plants you mentioned can be grown at home. I mean where can we find the saplings of thyme, basil and oregano. I stay in Calcutta and if you give me some address from where I can manage, it would be of great help.

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  23. Thanks Debadutta, such a gem of a person, thanks for sharing this information here on Garden Care Simplified.

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  24. Thanks to all you friends here, the mystery of the oddness of my 'ajwain' plant grown from seeds is resolved. So, that means the chutney that we usually make from coin-shaped leaves is actually oregano chutney?

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  25. good that we all are enlightened about this common but beautiful herb Ajwain, no.. Oregano plant.

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  26. Thanks Debadutta for sharing the info, but can you share how the different plants you mentioned can be grown at home. I mean where can we find the saplings of thyme, basil and oregano. I stay in Calcutta and if you give me some address from where I can manage, it would be of great help.
    Regards Kanishka

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  27. Hi, sorry for the delay, oregano has become a very common herb in India and just planting a branch in soil rich in humus is sufficient. Just look around locally. In Calcutta you can try the nursery at New Alipore. As for Basil(sweet Basil) is native to our country. Holy Basil is Tulsi. Others are varieties of Tulsi. Thyme is not a native plant and as of now I do not know of any local source. For all plants however you can try online with chhajedgarden.com. Debadutta

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  28. thanks you Debadutta, for this info, her on Garden care Simplified, Chhajedgarden does have a variety of palms , am searching are flowering bulbs, any knowledge where i can get lilly, daffodil, in mumbai, on look out as I prefer buying locally than online

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    1. Dear Rizwana, I have not been able to locate any supplier in Mumbai. Since these plants are more conducive to colder weather they are generally grown in Jammu, Himachal, Darjeeling etc. The bulbs are usually available at outlets in Jammu, Kashmir, Delhi and Howrah. You can check out Indiamart for local outlets and their addresses in those cities. Perhaps you can get a friend to buy from Delhi and send to you. Debadutta

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  29. Another thing, I forgot to tell. Many bulbs grow in cold conditions. To grow in places like Mumbai where they can be grown in winter it may be required to freeze the bulbs for 4 to 5 weeks before planting for budding to occur. this is true for Freesia. Other bulbs like lily and narcissus(daffodils) will require to be carefully protected during summer. Debadutta

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    1. Thanks so very much Debadutta, yes i have bought many bulbs of calla lilly, and other types of flowers, but unfortunately they did not ...I also visited plant exhibition where people from Darjeeling and Ooty , Himanchal come, they sell wonderful bulbs, except for gladiolus the others have not made it.
      As for other bulbs we bought from Ooty and himanchal I think you are right they need special conditions for growth, so no need for me to feel sad for the loss!
      but will keep trying..
      Thanks

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  30. Thanks Debadutta for the response. I am kanishka and have enquired u about the whereabouts for oregano and basil. Today I have bought few bunches of basil and rosemary from new market and have planted the cuttings. Keeping my fingers crossed for development of roots.I have come across a seed shop which is probably a reputed one and is based in Calcutta. For more info try suttonseedsindia.com. Will surely look out for oregano at Alipore nursery, but as u have said its difft from the Ajwain plant. I think what we used in Italian recipes is not the Holy Basil(Tulsi) but may be a different variety of basil plant.

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    1. You are right. As I said above basil is also called sweet basil(ocimum basilicum) and tulsi is holy basil(ocimum tenuiflorum). However both originate from India although sweet basil is used in Italian cuisine. In India it used to be used as a cough medicine. Debadutta

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  31. Dear Rizwana, I am facing a problem with potted Tagar plants. Most of them flourish in winter and summer, however during rains they lose their leaves. Some of them revive again in autumn, however others die. In some cases I found that the plant had lost all its roots. This is surprising as there was no excessive watering. Do you have any experience of this and please advice any solution. debadutta

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  32. hi Debadutta, Tagar is a very strong plant, ours is happy in the rains, yes the leaves sometimes get mushy due to heavy down pour,even some stems fall off, but touch wood it is on,
    no till now I have personally not, but yes seen a very healthy plant in ground die due to pest attack,white fungus,
    as for loss of roots, I think some pest or some external factor like pets???, very sad for the losses,

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  33. Hi Rizwana, three of my tagars have survived and new leaves are growing again. One white patched leaf tagar, one large petal tagar and one aromatic tagar. The problem appears to be heavy winds due to our house location on hilltop and the wind carries lot of black dust blown from the nearby Gangavaram Port. The moment I put the plants in a sheltered corner they revived.

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    1. so nice to know the Tagar plants are in good health,yes winds is a problem even with our plants and have planted tough ones like Champa and palms, Ixora grown thick somewhat protects the smaller ones from blasts of winds.
      All the Best!

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  34. I am Dr Muneer Soomro from Hyderabad Pakistan. I have grown many ajwain plants in my home. I would like to add that this plant can be used most effective mosquito replant. Specially in night u keep the pots in your room and morning you shift them in sun light. what is you observation?

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  35. very good helpful observation Dr Muneer Soomro, thank you for coming by Garden Care Simplified.
    The smell of ajwain plant is so strong, it even linger till long after watering , maybe this acts as a mosquito repellent, nice tip, thanks!

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  36. Hi
    Luved d discussion
    I alwys had oregano plant on my window sill gifted by a frnd but thght it to be an ornamental plant wid aroma similar to ajwain :)
    Thnx fr all d info
    I m shamita nd i stay in a mumbai flat
    I m a newbie in dis art bt luv plants
    Cud u let me knw plants i cn grow inside my flat where only indirect light is available

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  37. Thanks Shamita for coming by gardening -simplified.blogspot.in.
    It feels great that we share the passion for plants. As far as newbies are concerned plants still surprise me, we are all new to this!
    yes ajwain as we call it is quiet fragrant herb and often a handed over plant. there are so many plants that would be happy when cared for even inside the home near a window sill,
    Artificial lighting can replace natural light and give the plant nutrition. Try out easy growing plants, our Chinese bamboo has been growing since years and has grown taller than me! try out fleshy leaves plants and money plants, that would grow happily anywhere.
    Hope this helps.
    Take Care and All the Best!

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  38. hi
    i have potted this plant, it has grown well but lately it started getting black spots on its leaves. i am not sure whether it an insect problem or an issue of fungus.

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  39. Hello Anonymous, welcome to Garden Care Simplified.
    Leaves getting black spots are either sun burn or insect eggs. Usually butterflies lay eggs that look like black spots at first but when the larvae grow they have a great appetite and the caterpillars eat away all the leaves.
    Clean with sprinkler of water. And change the place, a more direct sunny place.
    Hope this helps.
    Take Care and all the Best!

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