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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.