HORT 282 :: Lecture 07 :: FENUGREEK

Trigonella foenum-graecum, Fabaceae

Fenugreek, a  native  of  south Eastern Europe  and  west Asia, is  cultivated  as a  leafy  vegetable, condiment and  as  medicinal  plant. The  fresh tender leaves and  stem are  consumed as  curried  vegetable and  the  seeds  are  mainly  used  as spice for  flavoring  almost  all  dishes. It has a high medicinal value as it prevents constipation, removes indigestion, stimulates spleen and liver and is appetizing and diuretic.
It India, it is grown in about 0.30 lakhs ha producing annually about 30000 tonnes of seeds. Out  of  this 1000 to 3000 tonnes  are  exported to Saudi Arabia, Japan, srilanka, korea  and  U.K., thus earning  a  foreign exchange  worth  of Rs.170 lakhs  annually. The major states growing fenugreek in India is Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharastra and Punjab.


       It  is an annual herb  reaching a height of  about 0.9 m, leaves are  light green pinnately trifoliate,  flowers-papilionaceous, fruits- legume, long, narrow, curved, tapering with  a  slender  point and  containing  small  deeply furrowed  seeds. There  are  two  species of the  genus Trigonella  which are  of  economic important viz., T. foenum  graecum, the common methi and  T.corniculata, the kasuri methi. These two differ in their growth habit and yield.  The latter one is a slow  growing  type  and  remains  in  rosette  condition  during  most  of its vegetative  growth  period.





Climate and soil
It has wide adaptability and is successfully cultivated both in the tropics as well as temperature regions. It is tolerant to frost and freezing weather. It does well in places receiving moderate or low rainfall areas but not in heavy rainfall areas. It can be grown on a wide variety of soil but clayey loam is relatively better. The optimum soil pH should be 6-7 for its better growth and development.



Special Characters



CO 1

Reselection from TG 2336

Dual purpose quick growing, suited for intercropping, high seed protein


685 Kg grain, 4.5 t of green

Rajendra Kanti

Mass selection

High yield, medium height, bushy suited for pure as well as intercropping. Seed protein 9.5%


1200 -1400 Kg grain

RMt – 1
(Jobner, RAU)

Pure line selection from Nagpur type

High yield, moderately branched, moderately tolerant to root rot and powdery mildew, Seed protein 21%


1500 kg grain

Lam Sel. 1
(Guntur, APAU)

A selection from Germplasm

High yield, bushy plant type. Seed protein 53%


740 Kg grain

Land preparation and sowing
Land is prepared by ploughing thrice and beds of uniform size are prepared. Broad casting the seed in the bed and raking the surface to cover the seeds is normally followed. But, line sowing is advocated in rows at 20-25 cm apart which facilitates the inter cultural operations. Sowing in the plains is generally taken up in Sep-Nov while in the hills, it is grown from March. Approximately 20 kg of seed is required for one hectare and the seed takes about 6-8 days to complete its germination.
Manures and fertilizer
Besides 15 tonnes of  farm yard manures, a fertilizer  dose of 30 Kg N,    25Kg P2 O5   and  40Kg  K2O per  ha  is  recommended as basal.  20 kg N at 30 days after sowing. To obtain more successful leafy growth, nitrogen should be applied after each cutting.
First irrigation is given immediately after sowing and subsequent irrigation is applied at 7 to 10 days interval.
Hoeing and weeding during the early stages of plant growth are required to encourage proper growth. Thinning may be done on 20-25 days to keep the distance between the plants at 10-15 cm and to retain 1-2 plants per hill. In about 25-30 days, young shoots are nipped off 4’’ above ground level and subsequent cuttings of leaves may be taken after 15 days. It is advisable to take 1-2 cuttings before the crop is allowed for flowering and fruiting. When the pods are dried, the plants are pulled out and dried in the sun and seeds are threshed by beating with stick or by rubbing with hands. Seeds are winnowed, cleaned and dried in the sun. They may be stored in gunny bags lined with paper.
500-700 kg of seeds and about 4000-5000 kg of leaves may be obtained per hectare in crops grown for both the purposes.
Plant protection
Root rot is a serious disease and can be controlled by drenching carbendazim 0.05% first at the onset of the disease and another one month.


  1. Native of fenugreek is _____________
  2. Fenugreek belongs to the family _____________
  3. Two economic important species of fenugreek are _______ and ___________
  4. Improved cultivars of fenugreek are __________
  5. Serious disease of fenugreek is _____________


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