This is the most nutritious terrestrial plant in the world. It grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions, from cuttings or from seed. The tree is native to India but also grows in Asia, Africa, and South America. Moringa contains a variety of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Moringa has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties and health benefits. It also has antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Moringa is believed to have many benefits and its uses range from health and beauty to helping prevent and cure diseases.
The leaves have 7 times more vitamin C than oranges and 15 times more potassium than bananas. It also has calcium, protein, iron, and amino acids, which help your body heal and build muscle. It’s also packed with antioxidants, substances that can protect cells from damage and may boost your immune system.
PLANTING MORINGA SEEDS:
- Find a spot with soil that is light and sandy, not waterlogged or clay-like.
- Dig a few 1 ft. x 1 ft. holes
1 ft. deep, and “back-fill” each hole a bit with soil.
- If you must plant in heavy soil, dig a hole up to three times as big as described in Step 2 and use a 1/3-sand, 2/3-soil mixture to backfill.
- Plant 3-5 seeds in every 1 ft. hole, spaced 2 inches apart.
- Be careful not to plant seeds more than ½ an inch deep.
PLANTING MORINGA FROM A CUTTING:
- Use hardwood instead of green wood for cuttings, which should be at least one inch in diameter and at least six feet long.
- The best branches for cuttings are the ones that need to be cut off anyway after the tree has finished producing fruit for the year and needs to be pruned to promote new growth.
- Dig a 3 ft. x 3 ft. hole that is 3 ft. deep and plant the cutting inside.
- Fill the hole with a sand and soil mixture. Pack soil firmly around the base of the plant.
SOIL AND WATERING TIPS:
Even though moringa can grow in a variety of conditions and in poor soil, use compost or manure for better results. Mix the compost into your soil, as this will help the tree grow. Moringa trees do not usually need fertilizer of any kind, but if yours needs a little bit of extra help, phosphorus will aid root development; nitrogen will help with leaf growth. Ammonium sulphate can also help your tree grow.
Be generous with watering, but don’t water too much. The soil should not be dry and cracked, but the seeds should not be drowning either. Seedlings also are a bit fragile when they have recently sprouted, so water lightly during this period. When watering a new plant that was started from a branch cutting, try to avoid watering the stem of the plant. Moringa can survive in very dry climates with little water, but regular watering during the first two months of planting seeds helps them develop properly.
After the first two months, you can cut the water back significantly and only water the tree when it looks like it needs water. If you live in a very wet climate and are growing your tree outside, Diplodia root rot can occur. To avoid this, try planting your tree on top of a small mound so that excess water can run off away from the plant.