Ajwain (Trachyspermum Ammi), also known as Ajowan, Carom, Caraway, Thymol seeds, Bishop’s weed, is an annual herb belonging exclusively to the Apiaceae family. in the case of Ajwain both the leaves and the fruits, which look like seeds, are suitable for human consumption. Ajwain bears small, oval-shaped seed-like fruits which are often confused to be seeds. these fruits are pale brown in color and resemble cumin, fennel, and caraway seeds. They have a bitter taste and have a pungent smell as well. They smell like Thyme.
Ajwain is mostly cultivated and harvested in India and Iran. These fruits are rarely consumed raw. Mostly Ajwain is fried in ghee or even dry-roasted and then eaten. Ajwain has many medicinal as well as culinary uses which we will discuss later in the article. As it grows quickly and easily this plant is grown in many houses in India. It is a common item in many culinary dishes of India.
Therefore, it is a must to grow an Ajwain plant in your home garden to make your dishes more edible and extremely delicious. However, we need to follow a few steps in order to get along with and continuous supply of Ajwain. With these steps, you will learn to grow Ajwain at home with ease. So, let’s get started!
Steps to Grow Ajwain at Home
There are two methods to grow an Ajwain plant at home. They are namely:
Step 1 : Cuttings
The best method to grow Ajwain plant is through the method of Stem Cutting. Cut off 5 to 6 inches of the mature plant. The cutting must have lots of nodes. Dip the cutting into a rooting hormone and plant it in a pot or garden. Note that the cutting must be planted deep into the soil. Place it under a shade and water it frequently.
Step 2 : Seeds
Purchase Ajwain seeds from the local market or order them online. Sow them during the spring season to get a steady supply of Ajwain throughout the summer season. Sow them deep into the well amended soil in the garden or in a pot and sprinkle water on it. Keep the container in a semi-shady area to find the seeds germinate within 7 to 10 days.
Rules to follow to grow Ajwain plant at home
- The plant should be grown in a pot which must be 8 to 12 inches deep.
- Patta Ajwain or Ajwain leaf can be propagated and spread through green cuttings or tip cuttins as well.
- Cuttings can be directly planted in a pot with well prepared soil with organic fertilizers.
- In humid or rainy weather even the old stems can be placed horizontally on the soil and they can give rise to new saplings.
- Ajwain plants grow well in partial shade and can be grown in hanging baaskets with proper soil as well.
Growth Requirements for Ajwain Plant
Sunlight: Ajwain plant grows the best in partial shade with a moderate amount of sunlight. if exposed to sunlight the jade green leaves turn dark green. It should be kept near south-facing windows for best results.
Water: Slightly alkaline and moist soil is needed for Ajwain plant germination. The soil should not be soggy. The plant needs to be watered in the early morning or evening.
Soil: Ajwain plant grows best in loose, well-aerated, and well-draining soil with a pH of around 6-8. Amend the quality of soil using organic fertilizer or compost if it is growing in a garden. For the pots use a potting mix. You can compose your own mixture by mixing equal parts of compost or well-rotted manure, coarse sand, and peat moss for excellent results.
Pot Size: The post must be 12 inches deep and wide with at least one drainage hole below to let the excess water drain out of the pot.
How to Care for the Ajwain Plant?
Fertilizer: Ajwain is not a really heavy feeder but during springs, when it is attaining fresh growth, you can apply a soluble, slow-release fertilizer. The plant gets benefits from the regular application of compost tea, cow dung manure, and dilute fish emulsion monthly.
Pruning: When the plant reaches at least 6-8 inches, trim the long stems of the plant using a pair of scissors. Remove broken and damaged leaves from the plant. Pruning makes the plant thicker and encourages the fresh growth of leaves and fruits.
Mulching: Mulch the plant base using shredded bark, grass clippings, or bark chips to prevent water loss from soil. This also aids to keep the temperature even and moderate.
Support: When the plant is grown in a garden it may require support because the stems start drooping down when they attain maturity. You can grow the Ajwain with strawberry, cabbage, or tomato as a companion plant.
Attacks from Pests and Diseases: Ajwain is generally not damaged by pests. In fact, it drives them away from the plant. Although it can be vulnerable to Aphid attacks, and bug attacks, so you can use neem oil and spray them on the plants to drive away from the pests. Never forget to remove the affected parts.
How to Harvest and Store Ajwain Plant?
The flowers and leaves of the plant are both used for cooking purposes as well as for their medicinal value. It can be harvested within 6 to 7 weeks. During the summer season the fresh leaves should be cut off to delay and reduce any kind of hair growth. The flowers and leaves both can be used to make tea. It is not advisable to store ajwain for further use but if you want to do so you can store it in a container away from heat.
Where to Buy Ajwain Seeds
There are many trusted online website that sells high-quality ajwain seeds, if you from India then you can buy from different sellers from a trusted website such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc at cheap rates with FREE shipping in some of the areas.
It is very essential to purchase the right quality seed, so after thorough research, we came across some of the best seeds from the online market. However, you can also get high-quality seeds from an offline store. Although, if you want to go anywhere and order anywhere then you can choose between these products.
Some Benefits and Uses of the Ajwain plant
- Ajwain leaves aids in the digestion process
- These leaves are used as spices and garnishing agents in various cuisines.
- Ajwain leaves are natural mosquito repellents.
- These leaves can be used to get rid of a blocked nose during a cold.
- Homeopathic medicine is prepared from fresh Ajwain leaves for the treatment of various illnesses like burns, affectation of urinary organs, and urinary infections.