How to Grow Moringa Oleifera in Australia from Seeds
Click to buy Moringa Seeds in Australia
The Moringa Oleifera tree is an extremely fast growing tree that can get to 10 meters. The tree relies on a deep tap root that helps it obtain its nutrients from deep underground. The timber is soft and the plant in the early stages will need support as it will bend over in windy conditions. It requires warm climates and sunny conditions.
Moringa Oleifera trees grow well in warm to hot climates, they are a tropical to sub-tropical plant. If planted in these regions they will produce leaf or pods year round.
They do not perform well in cold climates and go dormant below 18 degrees Celsius. They can from time to time handle a light frost.
Moringa can grow in arid regions with little water. They respond well to moderate watering and will produce more leaf. Your Moringa Tree will let you know when it's thirsty. If the leaves look a little dehydrated and dry, it's time for some water.
If the roots are left in standing water or waterlogged clay they will die within a few days. Don't overwater your Moringa Plant.
Moringa can grow in poor well drained soil conditions, but will flourish in good well drained soil or sand. The better the soil quality the better nutrients you will get from your leaves.
Moringa can grow relatively well in pots, with regular water and organic fertiliser. As the Moringa tree grows a deep tap root it is essential to use a deep pot so that the tap root can grow longer.
I re potted one of my Moringa plants that was 9 months old and it was pretty much all tap root and very little other roots that spread out to the sides of the pot.
Moringa can be tricky to repot and care must be taken not to damage the tap root. If your tap root has grown through your base of your pot and you need to repot, then I suggest that you cut the pot to get the root out rather than force it out and damage the root.
They require full sun to part shade. They can be grown inside for a short period of time to shelter them from cold weather.
The Moringa tree if unpruned will grow tall and thin. The wood of the Moringa tree is fairly light weight and lacks strength. Also if your tree gets to 10 meters tall it will make it difficult to harvest the leaves. To keep your Moringa tree bushy and manageable prune when required. You will notice that your Moringa tree will respond very quickly and produce more branches and leaves in a very short period of time. Larger braches that have been cut can be grown as cuttings by placing them directly into the ground. Smaller green branches should be added to the base of the Moringa Tree as mulch and fertiliser.
The natural cycle of the Moringa tree is as follows.
During the dry hot (pre monsoon) period in the tropics, the Moringa tree drops the majority of its leaves and puts its energy into growing its seed pods. These seeds pods then dry on the tree and begin to crack open. They can stay attached to the tree for a couple of months in their dry state. When the first big storms come with lots of rain and wind the seed pods are blown off the trees and the seed pods break open upon impact of the ground. The seeds are then saturated by water and can be totally submersed for a day or 2. This then triggers the seed to germinate, and the tree grows.
To replicate this, place your seeds into a container of water and let them soak for 24 hours. Then plant your seeds in a pot or container to get them started.
The soil you plant into should be of a sandy nature. I use 50% river sand and 50% light friable potting mixture. Water regularly and don't let them dry out at this stage. After 5 days to 2 weeks you should see the seeds starting to grow. If you are using seed raising trays you can transplant after 2 weeks or when the tree is 10 to 15 cm high. Be careful as any damage to the tap root at this stage will kill it. Then repot into a larger pot using a sand based potting mix, or sow directly into the ground.
The advantage of the Moringa Tree is that it is naturally pest resistant. Occasionally you may find a small sap sucking insect that has taken up residence on your tree. This is usually localised and you will see that the leaves have a deformed look to them. The best way to deal with this is to cut off the infected area and discard away from your plant.
Never spray your Moringa Tree with pesticide as this totally defeats the purpose of growing your Moringa tree. I don't use any sprays at all, just the mechanical method. And the occurrences of sap suckers are very rare.
Moringa can grow without fertiliser. But regular feeding with a good organic fertiliser will make the tree power on and produce and abundant amount of nutrient rich leaves. Any Moringa leaves that you are not doing to consume yourself make a fantastic fertiliser not just for your Moringa tree but for other plants as well.