Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3761

Review

Effect of cultural practices and environmental conditions on yield and quality of herbal plants: Prospects leading to research on influence of nitrogen fertilization, planting density and eco-physiological parameters on yield and quality of field-grown bush tea (Athrixia phylicoides DC.)

Itani Tshivhandekano1, Fhatuwani Nixwell Mudau1*, Puffy Soundy2 and Wonder Ngezimana1
1Department of Agriculture and Animal Health, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of South Africa, Private Bag X6, Florida, 1710, South Africa. 2Department of Crop Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Private Bag X680 Pretoria, 0001.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 August 2013
  •  Published: 10 September 2013

Abstract

Herbal plants are grown in diverse regions of varying climates with growth and productivity being influenced by both biotic and abiotic factors. Cultural practices have a significant influence on growth and productivity of these plants. In order to maximize yield and quality of tea as an herbal plant, cultural practices such as fertilization and planting density should be optimized. Fertilization improves growth, total polyphenols, tannins and total antioxidant content of herbal tea. In particular, nitrogen fertilization increases the production of new shoots and the content of nitrogenous compounds, such as free amino acids, which are the major quality indicators of herbal tea. Plant population density also plays role in tea productivity. In addition dense planting may increase the initial yield and revenue. This review discusses the effects of nitrogen fertilization, timing of nitrogen fertilization, planting density and climatic conditions on growth and productivity of herbal teas and other medicinal plants.

 

Key words: Fertilization, light intensity, planting density, tea quality, temperature.