How to grow Moringa tree from cuttings and seeds
Growing Moringa tree from both seeds and cuttings is very easy and requires less maintenance. The Moringa (Moringa oleifera) tree, also called the drumstick or horseradish tree. Moringa plants are native to parts of northeast Africa and India. There are totally 13 species in the genus Moringa, ranging from flowers to shrubs, but by far the most well-known is the tree Moringa oleifera. All parts of the Moringa tree can be used, whether for food, fiber or medications.
Moringa tree is a medium-sized tree belonging to the family Moringaceae; it is adapted to a wide range of soil types but grows best in well-drained loam to clay loam, neutral to slightly acidic soils, although cannot withstand prolonged waterlogging.
Moringa trees are small size to medium-sized, slender trees with thin, arching branches. They grow to a maximum height of about 30 feet and bloom with clusters of creamy white color flowers. The Moringa tree green leaves comprise small, ovate leaflets. The long, brown seed pods have about 20 seeds. Moringa trees or drumstick can be grown from either Moringa seeds or branch cuttings from a Moringa tree. Moringa tree is called the miracle tree because of its leaves that contain high nutrient value. Moringa is a tropical growing tree in which the seeds, seed pods are often eaten as the vegetable and for the extraction of oils.
Growing Moringa trees on your own:
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Moringa trees produce easily from seeds or cuttings. They develop quickly even in poor soil and bloom eight months after planting.
Moringa trees grow best in direct sunlight under 500 meters altitude. It tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, but prefers a neutral to slightly acidic pH level will be 6.3-7.0, well-drained sandy or loamy soil. Minimum annual rainfall requirements for Moringa trees are estimated at 250mm with a maximum at over 3,000mm, but in waterlogged soil, the roots have a tendency to rot. Moringa trees can be easily grown from seed or from cuttings. Temperature ranges are 25 to 35 degrees Celsius, but the tree will tolerate up to 48 degrees in the shade and it can survive a light frost.
Moringa trees prefer well-drained sandy or loamy soil with a neutral pH level. Though it tolerates clay or loamy soil, it cannot be waterlogged. Choose a sunny location for the Moringa tree. You should plant Moringa seeds an inch deep, or you can plant branch cuttings in a hole that is at least one foot deep. Space multiple trees about five feet apart. Seeds sprout readily in one or two weeks, and cuttings will usually establish within this same time period.
The spacing of Moringa plants
For intensive Moringa production, plant the tree every three meters in rows 3 meters apart. To ensure sufficient sunlight and airflow, it is recommended to plant the trees in an east-west direction. When the Moringa trees are part of an alley-cropping system, there should be 10 meters between the rows. The area between trees must be kept free of weeds.
Trees are often spaced in a line 1 meter or less apart in order to create living fence posts. Trees are planted to provide support for climbing crops such as pole beans, although only mature trees must be used for this purpose since the vine growth can choke off the young tree. Moringa trees can be planted in indoor gardens; the tree’s root system does not compete with other crops for surface nutrients and the light shade present by the tree will be helpful to those vegetables which are less tolerant to direct sunlight. From the second year onwards, Moringa trees can be inter-cropped with maize, sunflower, and other field crops. Sunflower is particularly suggested for helping to control weed growth. However, Moringa trees are reported to be highly competitive with eggplant (Solanum melongena) and sweet corn (Zea mays) and can decrease their yields by up to 50%.
Growing Moringa trees in containers/pots:
The drumstick tree or Moringa tree has a deep taproot system. Then, it is best to use a pot that is tall and deep, preferably a 20-inch container. If you don’t have one at the moment, plant in a 6 to 7-inch pot. You can transplant it to a bigger one; say a 24 inch or 30-inch pot, later on. Don’t wait for too long to transplant or you can have a tough time moving the plant.
Fill a pot that is 12 to 18 inches in diameter with loose soil. One pot can generally hold about five dwarf Moringa trees, but it is a good idea to initially plant 7 or 8 in case a few seeds don’t sprout. Put a seed in every hole and lightly cover them with some soil.
Water requirement for growing Moringa:
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Moringa trees do not require much watering, which makes them ideally suitable for the climate of places such as Southern California. In very dry conditions, water regularly for the first two months and afterward when the tree is obviously suffering. Moringa trees will flower and generate pods whenever there is sufficient water available.
If rainfall is continuous throughout the year, Moringa trees will have an almost continuous yield. In arid conditions, flowering can be induced during irrigation.
Fertilizers requirement for Moringa plants
Fertilizers are not required for the Moringa tree. Just feed the Moringa plant with some manure or organic compost they will grow just fine.
Growing a Moringa tree in your garden offers plenty of great benefits. You acquire nutritious leaves, flowers (which can be cooked) and fruit any time you want. Plus, the flowers attract pollinators like butterflies and bees, which will also help other garden plants.
Moringa tree care
Established plants want little Moringa tree care. After planting, apply a common household plant fertilizer and water well. It is very important to keep the soil moist but not overly wet. You do not want to drown or rot through seeds or cuttings. Keep the planting area free of weeds and rinse off any pests that find on the growing tree using a water hose. As the Moringa tree matures, trim off older branches to encourage fruiting. First-year flowers must be removed as they bloom to encourage fruiting in the following years. Since Moringa is a fast-growing tree, annual pruning to a shrub form will help keep its growth under control. You can cut the tree to about 3 or 4 feet above the ground.
Harvesting Moringa tree:
You can harvest the Moringa tree after 9 months from planting. Harvest when the pods are young and about one centimeter in diameter. Older pods increase a hard texture at outside with white seeds and flesh remains edible. In some cases, it is essential to cut the branch that holds many pods to prevent from breaking off. Harvest pods before they open up and white seeds fall to the ground. Seeds can be stored in a dry and shady location to produce them in the next growing season.
Benefits of Moringa:
Moringa tree is believed to have many benefits and its uses range from health and beauty to helping prevent and cure diseases. The benefits of Moringa will be discussed below;
Moringa is a very important food source in some parts of the world. Because it can be grown very easily, and the Moringa leaves retain lots of vitamins and minerals when dried, Moringa is used in India and Africa in feeding programs to fight malnutrition.
Moringa contains a number of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. As an antioxidant, Moringa seems to help protect cells from damage.
Protecting and nourishing skin and hair
Moringa seed oil is very beneficial for protecting hair against free radicals and keeps it clean and healthy. Moringa contains proteins and minerals, which means it is helpful in protecting skin cells from damage. It contains hydrating and detoxifying elements, which boost the skin and hair.
Reducing high blood pressure
Moringa tree contains isothiocyanate and niaziminin, compounds that help to stop arteries from thickening, which can source blood pressure to rise.
Improving eye health
Moringa tree contains eyesight-improving properties thanks to its high antioxidant levels. Moringa can stop the dilation of retinal vessels, prevent the thickening of capillary membranes, and inhibit retinal dysfunction.
Making bones healthier
Moringa contains calcium and phosphorous, which help keep bones healthy and strong. Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, Moringa extract may help to treat conditions such as arthritis and may heal damaged bones.
Treating mood disorders
Moringa is thought to be very helpful in treating depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
Protecting the cardiovascular system
The powerful antioxidants found in Moringa extract may help prevent cardiac damage and has also been shown to keep a healthy heart.
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Some facts about Moringa:
- Moringa trees cannot survive in freezing temperatures and high frost regions.
- Moringa or drumstick trees grow easily from seeds or cuttings. They produce quickly even in poor soil and bloom 8 months after planting. Make a cutting at least one inch in diameter and at least six feet (1.8m) long.
- The Moringa tree is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree that can reach up to 3 meters in its first year. The Moringa tree is easy to grow. Simply Moringa plant seeds or cuttings in a sunny spot.
- The Moringa tree grows mostly in semi-arid tropical and sub-tropical areas. It grows best between 25° C and 35°C (77 to 95°F), but will tolerate 48°C (118°F) in the shade and can survive a light frost.
- Moringa tree prefers well-drained sandy or loamy soil with a neutral pH level.
- Moringa tastes like matcha that has been spiked with notes of Spirulina-like blue-green algae. When added to water, the light powder dissolves very easily, providing a distinctly “green” flavor that is bitter and slightly sweet. Dried Moringa leaf powder can be sprinkled into smoothies, yogurts, and juices.
- To grow a Moringa tree, order some seeds online and plant them one inch deep in a 10-gallon pot filled with a mix of 85% soil, 10% sand, and 5% compost. You should plant the seeds at least two inches apart from each other so that they have room to grow.
- Moringa tree though looks somewhat delicate but if given proper conditions, survive up to 20 to 25 years. It’s good if its long branches keep cut, above 5 to 7 feet from the ground in every 3 years so new branches can come out from the base. Moringa tree requires moderate water but plenty of sunlight.
- Moringa has been used safely in doses up to 6 grams daily for up to three weeks.
- Moringa trees grow up to 4 feet tall 2 months after Planting. Just over two months after planting from seeds, the Moringa trees were up to 4 inches tall. They were growing at a rate of two feet per month and absolutely love the heat and sun
- Moringa trees are perennial, so a single plant can be harvested year after year.
- If your Moringa tree leaves are becoming yellow, it may be due to water stress. It can happen by overwatering or less watering. It is important to maintain soil moisture all the time to avoid this problem.
- Moringa leaves and pods both are useful and healthy.
- You can grow Moringa indoors depending on the location of growing. You can plant the seed in a big pot any time of the year as there is no dormancy period.
- It is recommended to use the seeds freshly harvested from the matured trees which are 90 days old. However, old seeds can also be used but expect less percentage of germination.
- For better germination of Moringa seeds, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting them.
That’s all folks about growing Moringa tree from seeds and cuttings. Keep gardening!.