Moringa oleifera is probably one of the most talked-about plants in the world today. The numerous health and medicinal properties the plant offers is what’s making it popular. Moringa leaves are packed with powerful nutrients and minerals, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, dietary fibre, and many other bioactive components.
With the increasing demand for moringa, buying its supplements is becoming expensive and some unavailable. To avoid such inconvenience, why not grow it in your garden. Did you know that moringa is a drought-resistant? Yes, and that means you won’t be needing a lot of water to grow it.
Some people propagate moringa from seeds and others from cutting off the tree. But growing from seeds is the easiest way because they are more available. In this guide, we are going to look at three main areas about growing moringa tree: Conditions for growing moringa, growing from seeds, and growing from cutting:
Perfect Condition For Growing Moringa
Moringa does well in almost all conditions it’s planted. But the plant thrives in tropical and subtropical climates because of the warmth and rains. It can do well in almost all types of soils but thrives in sandy and dry loamy soils.
As mentioned earlier, moringa is a draught resistant plant, and thus it can survive in dry conditions. Anything between 10″ and 118″ annually would be perfect for this plant. If your region receives too much rainfall year-round, you should consider using sandy soil to drain the excess water. Water clogging can cause root rot for these plants.
Moringa plant can also do very well in desert conditions. You just need to water it moderately, and it will grow healthy. The tree loves the sun, so you should be planted in open spaces with plenty of sunshine. Do not under trees.
Growing Moringa From Seed
The most widely used way of growing moringa is from seeds. Unlike cuttings, seeds are more available in most local stores. If you can’t find them near you, you can buy them at online shops across the world. The process of planting seeds is also pretty simple though it takes some time compared to cutting. Here are the steps that will ensure successful germination and transplanting of moringa seeds:
- Soak the seeds. The first step should be soaking the seeds for 24 hours to help break seed dormancy. Moringa seeds are covered by a thick layer of fibre and dry sap that needs a lot of water to soften. After 24 hours then remove the seeds and dry them with a paper towel. The paper towel helps to remove the sap covering the seed for proper germination.
- Put the soaked seeds in a plastic sandwich bag and put them in a dark, warm place. A cabinet or drawer would the best place. It will take around 3-14 days for the seeds to germinate. You will notice two shoots coming protruding from the seed. At this stage, do not add extra water to the seeds.
- Planting the seeds. This is a very crucial step. Of the two shoots coming from the seed, one will have some ruffled growth at the end. This is the shot that grows leaves hence should be exposed to the sun. The other shoot grows roots. Plant the seeds about ¾ inch beneath the soil with the root shoot going down. The planting pot should be about 18 inches deep. Water the seeds regularly, but don’t drown them.
- The shoot will start growing into a plant after a few days. Keep watering and let the moringa plant grow in the pot for at least eight weeks before transplanting. The plant could be prone to pests and diseases at this stage, especially if you have other plants in the garden. You might need to control them, probably using natural methods.
- Transplanting. Once the roots have developed (at least 8 weeks), you can now transplant your moringa to the garden. Avoid disturbing the roots as they are very vulnerable by loosening the soil inside the pot using a thin blade. Then put the pot upside down for the plant and soil to slide out. Put the plant in the watered hole and water it again after transplanting. Keep the plants at least 8 feet apart.
That’s how you grow moringa oleifera from seed.
Growing Moringa From Cutting
Growing moringa from cutting is the easiest way to have this plant in your garden. If you already have a moringa tree or your friend has one, you can use the cutting to grow a new tree. The timing for cutting is what matters the most. Studies have shown that the best time to get moringa cuttings is after the plant has stopped producing fruits.
Here are the main steps on how to growing moringa from cutting:
- Cut moringa branch that is at least 2.5cm in diameter and 1.8m long. This the most ideal cutting size for moringa.
- Dig a hole in your garden that’s at least 1m square and 1m deep. If you are planting many cuttings, the holes should be at least 8 feet apart.
- Place the cutting in the hole and fill it with soil. For the soil, it should be a mixture of sand, compost manure, and the natural soil you had dug up. The sand helps with water soaking and allowing the water to reach the bottom of the cutting. The compost fertiliser provides nutrients needed for the fast development of roots and new shoots.
- Water the cutting regularly, especially in the afternoon, but do not drown it. Always avoid watering near the stem of the new tree to prevent rotting.
That’s how you can grow moringa from cutting. New shoots will start emerging from the cutting in a few weeks’ time, and in 8 to 12 months, it will be ready for the first harvest.
Growing moringa in your garden is the best decision you can make. With the plant in the garden, you will never be affected by shortages, and you can also start making money. Apart from the health, medicinal and commercial benefits, the plant will also enhance your outdoors and landscaping. The growing process is pretty simple, and you will start enjoying free moringa supplements in just a few months.