How to establish Calliandra calothyrsus fodder tree


Calliandra calothyrsus is a small, leguminous tree with characteristic pink flowers. It grows in a wide range of climatic and soil conditions, from the sea level to the highlands, but it performs best in coffee zones. Acidic soils, waterlogging and frost affect its growth and its economic benefits can be realized in the first year of planting. The tree can produce fodder continuously for more than 10 years. It can be grown in various sites on the farm since it does not compete with crops growing adjacent to it, as long as it is properly managed to reduce the shading effect.

Why grow calliandra?

There are at least six good reasons for growing calliandra in your farm-

High quality fodder supplement for livestock

Calliandra improves milk production of both dairy cattle and goats. It can also be fed to other types of livestock such as sheep, rabbits and chicken. A cow needs to be fed with roughly 6kg of fresh leaves per day, a goat about 0.7kg. to harvest 6kg fresh leaves every day, you need to plant 500 calliandra trees at a spacing of 0.5m (1½ ft), making 250m (800 ft) of hedge. This seems like a lot but a farm of 1 hectare (1½ acres) has over 400 metres (1280 ft) of external boundary, plus additional sites (along internal boundaries, along contours, around the homestead) where calliandra can be planted.

Soil fertility

Calliandra, being a leguminous species, has root nodules that fix nitrogen from the air. This fixation process helps in improving soil fertility because nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for plant growth. Animals fed with calliandra produce high quality manure.

Stabilizing soils and water conservation structures

Calliandra has a deep root system. When planted along soil conservation structures, it plays a significant role in holding the soil together. It performs well in soil conservation when planted adjacent to lines of napier grass on “fanya juu” and “fanya chini” terraces. The trees need to be planted at a closed spacing of 0.5 metres (1½ ft). They should also be 0.5 metres above the napier line.

Seed production and bee forage

It is advisable that you preserve some calliandra trees for seed production so that you will not need to rely on external sources for future planting. The same trees provide excellent bee forage, so you have additional benefit of honey production. Leave one tree uncut every 20 metres (about 20 steps) and make sure the total number left is more than 30. This improves the chances of cross-pollination and ensures that the seeds produced are of high genetic quality. In case you leave less than 30 trees, exchange seeds with neighbors and mix seeds from different sources before sowing.


If left to grow uncut, calliandra produces quality fuelwood. The wood burns better and has less smoke if left to dry well before use.

Stakes for climbing beans and tomatoes

Stakes produced by calliandra are good support for other plants such as climbing beans and tomatoes.

Establishing your calliandra nursery

Locate your nursery near a reliable water source such as a river, a spring, a borehole, a dep well, or reliable piped water. Ensure that the nursery has access to water throughout the 3 – 4 months it will be in use.

The seedbed should be about 1 metre (3 feet) in width and can be as long as the available space allows, but 3 metres is the usual length. A path of 0.6 metres (2 ft) should be left between two adjacent seedbeds for ease of access to both beds. A bed of 1 x 3 metres can produce 400 seedlings.

After you have decided on the nursery area, apply manure to the beds at the rate of 1 part of manure to 4 parts of soil; this translates to 1 “debe” of manure for every 3 metre length of the nursery. Mix the soil and the manure well.

Pile up the soil and manure mixture to make a raised seedbed with a height of about 10 – 15 centimetres (4 – 6 inches), and then level the soil.

Support the sides of the bed with materials like banana stems, timber or stones and prop them firmly with wooden pegs or stones.

It is very important that the bed is level and texture of the soil is fine, so as to increase the rate of seed germination.

Sowing calliandra seeds

A seedbed of 1 x 3 metres produces about 400 seedlings and requires 40g of seed.  1½kg is sufficient for planting a nursery bed 40m long. This bed will produce about 5300 seedlings, enough to feed 10 cows. This means that 100g of seeds would need a seedbed of about 7.5m that can produce approximately 1000 seedlings, adequate to feed 2 cows.

To ensure good germination, you need to soak the seeds in cold water for 2 days (48 hrs).

Make a furrow about 2cm (1 inch) deep in your bed for accurate sowing. Place the seeds in the furrow and cover them lightly with soil. Space the furrows 10cm (4 inches) apart, and leave 5cm between seeds within the furrow. Avoid putting the seeds too deep into the soil because this will make them rot.

Water the bed thoroughly immediately after sowing. You can use a watering can, perforated tin or leafy branches. If termites are not a problem in your area, cover the seedbed with dry grass until the seeds germinate.

If you can afford tubing materials, remove the seedlings after they produce 2 leaves and plant them in tubes filled with soil mixed with manure at the same rate as that for raised beds. Using the tube is an extra cost, but it improves the survival rate of the seedlings, especially if there is shortage of water.

It is important to have a level nursery bed and fine soil texture, so as to improve on seed germination.

Use your hand to estimate distances if you do not have measuring equipment. For example, the width of the palm is about 10cm (4 inches) and the length of the first digit of the pointing finger is about 2.5cm (1 inch).

Applying Rhizobium inoculant

As with beans, calliandra roots have the ability to join with Rhizobium to form root nodules that fix nitrogen.

In most cases the Rhizobium population in the soil is not enough to form adequate amounts of root nodules for nitrogen fixation. It is therefore important to get Rhizobium from external sources.

The inoculant can be applied to calliandra seeds or young seedlings. For seedlings, mix the inoculant with water in a bucket and stir thoroughly using a stick. A packet of 200g of inoculant can make a solution of 60litres, which is enough for 40 metres of nursery bed in which about 500g of seed has been sown. Water the seedlings thoroughly before applying the inoculant in the soil. Apply the Rhizobium using leafy branches, repeatedly dipping them into inoculant solution and shaking it off on the seedlings.

If the inoculant is to be applied to seeds, mix it with water to make a solution. Mix the pre-soaked seeds with the solution and sow immediately avoiding excessive exposure to heat and light.

If the Rhizobium is obtained from the soil beneath mature calliandra trees, scoop the topsoil and spread it on the nursery bed before sowing seeds. The Rhizobium will be incorporated into soil and will assist the plant to grow.

Rhizobium inoculants consist of microorganisms that are destroyed by heat and light, therefore it is best to apply it in the late evening.

Nursery management

The following management practices are recommended for calliandra seedlings to enhance their survival:


Carefully observe the moisture level in the nursery bed and water whenever it becomes dry. It is important to water the bed sufficiently (but not too much) in the first 10 – 14 days after sowing before the seeds germinate. The seedlings should never look limp from moisture stress or suffer from damping off because of excess water.

It may be necessary to water the seedlings twice a day – in the morning and evening – especially within the first 2 months after sowing the seeds. Use a watering can, perforated tin or leafy branches. Watering may be reduced to once a day, preferably late in the evening.

Shading the seedlings

Make a shade structure 1m in height and cover lightly with grass or tree leaves ensuring that some light passes through. Avoid using branches from eucalyptus tree since its fallen leaves inhibit germination of other plant species. As the seedlings grow, gradually reduce the shade to get the seedlings used to full sunlight.


Remove all types of weeds as soon as you notice them to ensure better growth of the calliandra seedlings. Never allow your seedlings to be choked by weeds.

Protection against pests

Pests like crickets, grasshoppers and cutworms can cause heavy losses of seedlings if left unchecked. A good and cheap remedy against cutworm is fresh ash, which should be sprinkled around seedlings. Some farmers apply mixtures made from plants like tobacco and garlic to repel insect pests.

Planting out

Calliandra seedlings are ready for transplanting 3 – 4 months after sowing. Depending on the weather, 2 weeks before planting you should reduce watering to once every 2 – 3 days. By this time you should have completely removed the shading materials covering the nursery bed to prepare the seedlings to withstand the field conditions when they are transplanted.

Prepare the planting holes in advance on an appropriate site before removing the seedlings from the nursery. If manure is available, apply a 1kg tin of manure to every hole and mix well with the soil.

Remove the seedlings carefully from the nursery bed after watering the bed thoroughly. The best method involves using a sharp panga to first cut between the rows, then between the seedlings to form squares, and lastly under the seedlings so that you can lift the seedling with a cube of soil attached to the roots. This improves survival in the field.

Place a number of seedlings in a container such as a bucket or basin for safe and convenient transportation to the field. Cover the seedlings with moist cloth or paper and take them to the planting site immediately. Prepare only as many seedlings as you can plant in one hour.



+3 # Caesar 2014-01-24 13:21
Where can I get Calliandra seeds for planting? Thanks
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # xnxx 2015-06-24 12:48
That is an extremely smart written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I will certainly return.

Search on google xnxx go to

Search on google xnxx go to
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # RAYMOND 2015-10-05 12:53
I like everything about calliandra, where do i get its seeds in Kenya?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
free credit report government no creditcard needed
-1 # free credit report government no creditcard needed 2017-05-03 02:24
Vaknin: In 1931, the collapse of Creditanstalt in Vienna triggered a
global depression. If you do have a little money ahead, the instinct can be to
pay more recorded on the bank notes that have the greatest interest rates to try to
slow the erosion of your respective finances as a result of
high rates. Often people faces bad credit problems and also got confused regarding how to settle debt.

Also visit my site - free credit report government
no creditcard needed:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
background check for job how long does it take
-1 # background check for job how long does it take 2017-05-03 03:01
Federal employee lawyers are dedicated in protecting the
rights of federal employees to get free of wrongful employment actions, discrimination and harassment.
Sometimes a complaint can also be made should there
be an abrupt increase of premium. Alternatively, these lawyers also can assist someone to
produce a will.

Feel free to surf to my weblog - background check for
job how long does it take:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
military flashlight
-1 # military flashlight 2017-05-03 03:06
Although these areas could be dirty, with proper
and consistent cleaning, they're not going to offer an excessive increase of dirt and
debris. Pheasant Hunting Dog information A lot of you may have
your own personal hunting buddy-the four-legged one. Most hunters don't need
anything greater than a four- to five-inch blade.

Feel free to visit my site: military flashlight:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
derogatory credit report definition
-1 # derogatory credit report definition 2017-05-03 03:14
These sites increase the risk for lenders compete on your loan and then you can choose the financial institution who offered the very best
deal. So, element in the lower interest advantage, yet also take
into mind the money management perks too. Credit card debt is now easier to manage, merely when you
have merely one loan to pay off.

Here is my blog; derogatory credit report definition:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
best tactical flashlights reviews 2016
-1 # best tactical flashlights reviews 2016 2017-05-03 03:16
The Allen Electronic Hearing Muffs filters out harmful noise while allowing the user to listen for normally so they can still get the deer without
problems for the ear. Folding Knives - For most hunting trips, folding blade knives are
strong and durable enough for the tasks at hand. The ability to bring your
trophy back as luggage will save you around six months
of time and as much as $750 or maybe more in import related expenses and shipping.

Here is my website best tactical
flashlights reviews 2016:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
best tactical flashlight review
-1 # best tactical flashlight review 2017-05-03 03:21
Bolt-action, lever-action, semi-automatic and pump-action rifles are just a couple of the different types of guns that hunters utilize
within the big hunt. Runners are given a unique challenge during hunting season that they can rarely need
to panic about through out the year. I haven't been bow hunting forever and will probably bow hunt this year.

my webpage best tactical flashlight review:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
california free credit report annually
-1 # california free credit report annually 2017-05-03 03:46
Finally, your last option would be to tap firms that specialize in arranging commercial development finance.
As mentioned already there exists a multibillion dollar industry setting up a very healthy take advantage of
consumer debt. This is really a round to clock service that you are able to avail from any corner of the world possibly at any moment that you just want.

Here is my web-site ... california free credit report annually:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
credit report dispute letter example
-1 # credit report dispute letter example 2017-05-03 03:55
You should never allowed this to hold you back from reporting identity
theft. In days gone by this space was making it possible to provide you with the
details and reason for what happened. On the other hand, these cards can have skyrocketing interest
rates in the event the prime rates are soaring.

Also visit my web-site; credit report dispute
letter example:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
can you get a credit report without a credit card
-1 # can you get a credit report without a credit card 2017-05-03 04:00
Hence, if the employ these companies, you will be be assured that your problems shall vanish.
Initially there is strict prohibition to disclose the finance report and score.
With that information you is going to be capable to produce a fully informed decision as to if your situation is more conducive to a plastic card
or whether looking for an overdraft id the best option for you.

Here is my web site ... can you get a credit report
without a credit card:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
my free annual credit report transunion
-1 # my free annual credit report transunion 2017-05-03 04:19
Believe it or not, these business plastic card allows unlimited cards to its employees as well as particular limits on the credit where you could set.
Wireless credit card processing is certainly not but the tremendous way to simplify the business transactions.

They buy your credit scores so that you can decide whether or not to approve or reject your application.

Feel free to surf to my blog post :: my free annual credit
report transunion:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
-1 # Eldon 2017-05-03 04:28
Finally, your last option is to tap companies that specialize in arranging commercial development finance.
Chase includes a website brimming with information plus a well trained customer care department.
Have you ever fell for the lure of cards and discovered yourself
during a small pickle due to of it.

Also visit my homepage free credit (Eldon:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
how do i get my free credit report from transunion
-1 # how do i get my free credit report from transunion 2017-05-03 04:46
In order to purchase a new house or car, most of the people make use of loans
from banks nowadays. Credit card companies frequently offer credit cards with 0 APR on balance transfer offers for any certain length of time.
The fact is charge card companies are in the business of developing

Feel free to visit my website - how do i get my free credit report from transunion:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
credit report dispute service
-1 # credit report dispute service 2017-05-03 04:50
Balance Transfer Trivia - The best kind of balance
transfer credit cards are those with a 0% rate of interest.
If you think that you may well be someone that
this may eventually then try to pick a card with lower fees.
Types of Business Credit Cards - With the push to get
more cardholders, bank card companies are offering a
huge variety of business credit cards.

Here is my website; credit report dispute service:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
credit reporting agencies free
-1 # credit reporting agencies free 2017-05-03 04:59
The last thing you would like is usually to screw up your financial situation and approach your kids to get a bailout.
Actually, you will find three simple steps you need to follow if
you've made a decision to apply for a bank card. and stand again which has a various high
street and internet-based retailers.

My blog ... credit reporting agencies free:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
where to buy military flashlight
-1 # where to buy military flashlight 2017-05-03 07:17
As to the other century can be involved, further improvements were made for loading and firing the rifles including here the creation of the breech-loading
mechanisms and refinements to cartridge design. Heck, the
kids may even call out "quack quack" and you might have no anxiety over the
ducks being cautious about your decoy spread as inside the real world.
These suits are designed to falter a persons outline and resemble heavy

Also visit my web blog :: where to buy military flashlight:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
best dating advice
-1 # best dating advice 2017-05-03 09:03
Lovers in each and every the location where the world exchange valentine
gifts expressing affection by means of roses,
handmade cards, handwritten notes, and require the other a happy valentine's, This day is special occasion when celebration of
LOVE. There is more to simply sucking and licking his [censored], Webb reiterated.
And furthermore any woman who wishes to satisfy her man can be
learn the science and art of it.

My web blog :: best dating
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
best tactical flashlights
-1 # best tactical flashlights 2017-05-03 10:04
" Needless to say Tony was very pleased with his results then there is one good comment so far about it Antique Treasure Hunters Roadshow. Studies have shown that the majority of activity near a scrape generally occurs within the cover of darkness. Games of all kinds certainly are a very popular method to obtain entertainment and deer hunting games online are simply as popular.

My page; best tactical flashlights:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
best dating ideas
-1 # best dating ideas 2017-05-03 11:39
In animals, though, females can secrete a sex pheromone so that you
can attract males. If he feels he do not want marriage, he won't have desire for
it. Before it goes too long you should say similar to, "It felt great to hear your voice.

Review my webpage best dating ideas:
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

Add comment

Members Login

Who's Online

We have 100 guests and no members online