Influence of mother leaf of cutting and of time and frequency of disbudding and decapitation of the new shoot on growth of young tea, Camellia sinensis (L.)

A. Kathiravetpillai, S. Kulasegaram


The Importance of the mother leaf in the early growth of the tea cutting was studied by removal as well as by clipping off the top half of the mother leaf periodically from planting of cuttings. The effect of the time of commencement and frequency of disbudding and of different degrees of decapitation were also studied in young tea plants. Removal of the mother leaf arrested new growth up to week 12, while clipping off the top half of the mother leaf arrested growth only for eight weeks. Disbudding plants at four months of age produced plants with a low spreading habit compared to disbudding of younger or older plants. Disbudding twice and "thumbnailing" twice gave a better plant spread. Disbudding, in addition, improved overall growth. Comparing the different degrees of decapitation, disbudding alone produced more side shoots. Decapitation removing six leaves produced longer and heavier side shoots compared to decapitation removing fewer leaves. All decapitation treatments except disbudding depressed the dry weight of roots but plant dry weight remained unaffected.


Tea; Disbudding; Decapitation; Mother leaf removal; Shoots

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