Growing and Saving the Seed Of Moringa


Latin name Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing tree that is hardy from USDA zones 9 and warmer but is often grown as an annual or potted plant in colder regions. A member of the moringacae family. This plant is prized for its very high-protein leaves, its rich concentration of minerals and vitamins, and its antioxidant properties! Leaves, blooms, young seeds and immature seedpods, called “drumsticks”, are edible. WARNING: Roots are reputed to be poisonous. Do not eat! The mature seeds have a terrible flavor and may not be good to eat, but they are processed into a useful oil.


 

HISTORY

Native to northern India, it is super popular in many tropical and subtropical regions, especially in Africa. Often found growing growing in Hawaii, where it is a popular tree in Filipino communities. A very popular and easy-to-grow tree in central and south Florida.


USES

  •  Leaves, blooms, seeds and immature seedpods, called “drumsticks,” are edible.
  • Seeds are source of a high-quality oil.
  • WARNING: Roots are reputed to be poisonous. Do not eat!

 

 


 

  • Seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
  • Soak seeds in water for 24 hours prior to planting.
  • Direct sow or start indoors and transplant out after all chance of frost has passed.
  • Sow seeds 1 inch deep.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 70-90 F.

 

  • Prefers well-drained soil.
  • Provide full sun.
  • Spacing will vary depending on your preference. Baker Creek offers a dwarf moringa variety that will reach about 5 feet tall in a regular growing season. In frost-free climates it will grow taller but can easily be kept short with pruning.
  • You can keep your plant in a large pot or set in ground.
  • Be sure to space plants at least 6 feet apart if you plan to grow them long term as trees. For annual production in the north, space at 3 feet apart.

PESTS/SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • A pest-free plant.
  • Be aware that this tree will be killed by a freeze. Northern growers can keep it as a potted plant or grow as an annual.

 

  • Allow plants to flower and set pods. When pods turn brown and dry, harvest shell the seeds.
  • Store in a cool, dry place.