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Different types of thippali - cheemathippali, cheru thippali, vanthippali, kattu thippali are identified. Cheemathipali is a common cultivated clone of Kerala. Viswam is a high yielding variety of thippali released by the Kerala Agricultural University for commercial cultivation. It recorded 800 to 850kg dry spikes per hectare in open condition and 350 to 400kg in coconut gardens during second year of planting.

Planting time

Plant two rooted cuttings or suckers per pit in the main field soon after the onset of monsoon (May-June).

Planting material

Thippali is propagated by rooted vine cuttings or suckers.

Planting Method

The field should be ploughed two to three times and levelled properly. Raised beds of 1m width and convenient length are prepared and pits are dug at a distance of 60 cm x 30 cm. Dried cow dung or farmyard manure at the rate of 2kg per pit is applied and mixed with soil. Application of chemical fertilizers is not practiced commonly. Plant two rooted cuttings or suckers per pit in the main field soon after the onset of monsoon (May-June).

Fertilizer Application

Thippali needs heavy manuring for luxurious growth. In soils with low fertility, growth of the plant is very poor. Twenty tonnes of cow-dung or farm yard manure is required for 1 ha of land. Since the crop will give economic yield for 3 years, manuring has to be done each year. During the first year organic manure can be applied in pits at the time of field planting. In subsequent years, manuring is done by spreading it in beds and covering with soil. Application of organic manure increases the water holding capacity of the beds.


Crop irrigated during summer, continues to produce spikes even in the off-season. If grown as pure crop, it is better to irrigate once in a week during summer months and if grown as an intercrop, irrigation to the main crop will be sufficient for thippali also and there is no need to irrigate thippali separately. Care should be taken to avoid water stagnation in beds; and channels are to be laid out to drain excess rain water. Sprinkler irrigation is also beneficial. When the crop is not irrigated, it is necessary to give mulch with dry leaves or straw during summer months


The vines start bearing spikes six months after planting. Spikes will be ready for harvest after two months since formation of spikes. Fully grown but unripe fruits are to be harvested. Harvesting at correct maturity is important as delay in harvest leads to loss of pungency. The yield of dry spike during the first year is around 400 kg/ha., it increases up to 1000 kg/ha in the third year. After the third year, vines become less productive and should be replanted. Thicker parts of lower stems/roots are also cut and can be used for making Piplamool after drying properly