Manuka cultivation

Products from the evergreen manuka plant are enjoying increasing popularity worldwide. Modern cultivation methods enable sustainable utilisation and assured product quality.

In Waikura Valley, we utilise and test new cultivation methods for extracting manuka oil, similar to those used for lavender, for example.


Our aim is to plant manuka using an efficient and sustainable cultivation method and thus produce a quality product that is as close to nature as possible.

To do this, we grow the Manuka Plants in long parallel rows. This allows us to utilise several harvests from the same Manuka Plant with a regular pruning schedule. The aim is to maximise the lifespan and productivity of each plant and to be able to use a single plant for 10 to 15 years.

The first two years after planting are the most critical times, as they are forced to compete with other fast growing weeds.

So far, we have already been able to plant 32 hectares of former pastureland with Manuka.

A tree nursery was built next to it. This houses up to 15,000 Manuka- plants in different life stages.

Field maintenance

Two measures are used to create optimal growing conditions for the Manuka Plant. 

Firstly, the fields are grazed with young sheep. These eat the grass between and within the rows and ensure natural fertilisation of the soil. In return, the Manuka Plants provide shade and protection from the weather.

Then, the remaining grass in the intermediate rows is processed with a tractor-powered mulcher. The mulch material keeps the soil moist and suppresses emerging weeds. This means we completely dispense of using any chemical weed control agents.


Harvesting is carried out using a sugar cane harvesting machine mounted on a tractor. This allows for a variable cutting height and a clean cut of the Manuka Plants, which is essential for the regrowth and health of the Manuka.

Leaves and green twigs up to a width of 5 mm are chopped directly into small pieces after cutting and filled into a distillation container. This is placed on the trailer of the tractor and is exchanged for an empty container in the distillation plant when it is full.

Cutting the material into smaller sizes simplifies handling and optimises oil extraction.

The container is connected to our in-house distillation system and the oil is gently extracted from the plant material using steam. Our distillation system was updated in 2023 and is probably the most modern and efficient system for extracting Manuka Essential Oil in the world.

The Manuka Oil is filled directly into aluminum bottles and covered with protective gas. As an important element of quality control, samples from each distillation batch are sent to the laboratory.

The organic pomace left over from the distillation process is reused after harvesting between the rows of Manuka Plants as a natural weed preventer. In addition, the pomace serves as a source of valuable organic matter for the Manuka Plants and the soil.

In the distillation we strive for a content of at least 20 % Beta-triketones.

Wild manuka

Wild manuka has always grown on the steeper slopes of the Waikura Valley. This is also used as a supplement using a special harvesting device. As part of the natural indigenous flora, the Waikura Valley offers these Manuka Plants optimal growing conditions.

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