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What is Moringa Oliefera? Can I grow a Moringa Tree? What are the benefits of Moringa? If you don't know....you should learn about it!

 

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 Sprouting Moringa Oleifera Seeds

Growing Moringa Trees From Seeds

 

How do you tell if your Moringa seed is good quality?

Moringa seeds should be dark brown or black and the hull hard. If the Moringa Oleifera seed is soft or cream colored, it is old seed.  You really need to test germinate seed you buy, if planting in large quantities. One of the problems in buying seeds from foreign countries, is some of it, is old and won't germinate. I got some beautiful seeds but none sprouted. I tried test germinating them twice with different methods. I was just out the money for them.  

What is PK-1 Seed ?

It is a rating for the seed that denotes higher germination rates than lower seed grades. Moringa seeds are used as fodder for animals and people. Not all seeds are intended to be germinated into new trees.  

What is the difference between Moringa Oleifera seeds and Moringa Stenopetala varieties?

These are the two most common Moringa species grown commercially.

Moringa Oleifera seeds are brown colored and winged.  Stenopetala seeds are tan.

Moringa Oleifera Seeds              Moringa Stenopetala Seeds

Moringa Oleifera Seeds              Moringa Stenopetala Seeds

How should I store Moringa Oleifera Seeds?

Store in a dark, dry, warm area in an air tight container. Do not store in the refrigerator or freezer. These seeds are a tropical tree that likes warmth.  Moisture will cause them to either sprout or rot.

When should I start my Moringa Seeds? This can be tricky.  

Start them indoors in early Spring like you would your tomato seeds. They need warmth to sprout. If your house is too cold, it will not work. You can use a seed heat mat or grow lights to get them started indoors. A warm sunny living room or enclosed porch perhaps.  

Do not put them outdoors until it is warm, after all danger of cold weather and frost is past. One frost will kill them, especially the baby seedlings.

Moringa seeds can be tricky to get started....like wine they take their own time.

If your Moringa seeds do not sprout, they can be stuborn. Wait until June when it warms up to try again.  If you grow the trees without a heated greenhouse you may find the trees will not grow until summer. They will just sit there, like they are stunted. I had a whole set this year that did nothing no matter what I tried (other than a heated greeenhouse). In June they began growing and are doing much better now.  They like very warm, humid weather.

Grow lights and heat mats increase germination.

Methods for Germinating Moringa Seeds

 

#1: Zip Lock Bag Method:

Pierce seed hull with your fingernail gently which makes it easier for the seed to sprout.

You can also remove the hull before planting, being careful not to damage the tender seed in the process.  

Soak Moringa seeds for several hours in a zip lock  bag containing 1/4 cup of warm water.  

Next drain the water from zip lock bag.

Lay the bag on a plate so it is flat.  Separate the seeds so they don't touch each other.

Don't sprout  more than 5 seeds in a bag, so they are not crowded.    This will cut down on mold and prevent their shoots from getting entangled as they sprout.

If you see mold growing on the seeds, gently wash the seed hull under warm water. If you get mold in the bag, move the seeds to a clean bag you have added water to, then drained.

Don't add additional  water to the bag, the seeds are wet enough after being soaked overnight.

Place the plate with the  zip lock bag containing the seeds in a warm drawer or in your gas stove where the temperature is between 90 and 100 degrees F.  Temperature is important for germination.   Don't let seeds get cold.

When the root and stem shoots are about two inches long, transplant them into containers.

Transplant to one gallon containers with loose, organic potting soil.  Make sure you plant seed with root shoot down into the soil and stem with first leaves part up. Plant in pots from 6 to 9 inches deep.

Do not put seed portion more than 3/4 inches below the soil surface.

 

Cake Carrier Container Method

Pastic  covered seed germination method 

#2: This is how I have spouted my last seeds. I soak them in water all night. I take my fingernail, and pierce the shell. Then I put a wet paper towel on the plate, put the seeds on the paper towel, don't let the seeds touch each other, then I put a round glass Corning top over the plate.

I am now using a cake cover that I found at the Dollar Store. it works the best since the top is high enough not to crowd the seeds. I waited until the sprout was about two inches in length, then planted them.  If you work, this is not a good method to use. In the summer heat, the seeds dry out unless sprayed several times during the day.

I am home so I spray the seeds once or twice a day if the paper towel or seeds look dry.  You must be home to use this method and not forget them. I have the plate on top of my chest freezer in the kitchen. When doing things in the kitchen, I check on the seeds. I have had no mold problem with this method.  

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Direct Peat Pot or coir kit Germination Method:

You can use individual peat pots or pots filled with coir fiber as well.  

     

Set up with heat mat underneath and grow lights.

 

Burpee kit I used this year included a tray with individual cells and 0water mat included. Much less work but more expensive. Is reusable. I bought mine at Walmart. They run about $20 to 25.00.  It does not come with a heat mat included.

Moringa seedlings in Burpee jilly cells

Seed must be relatively fresh to give a good germination. Fill the pot to within 1 1/2 inches or use a peat pot or coir from coconuts. Lay one soaked Moringa seed on top, then cover loosely with an inch of soil. Keep soil moist. They germinate from a few days to two weeks.

 If you get a kit, you will water it from the bottom. Each kit comes with a water mat which is nice. You don't have to worry about the cells drying out or getting too wet. The plants in their cells sit on top of the water mat. The mat soaks up water. The plants soak up water from the mat.

I also used a heat mat under my plants since it is cold in the house. The heat mat keeps the water and soil warm, so they sprout faster. They run about 20 to 30 dollars on Amazon. They really do help.

If you use individual peat pots, water the soil lightly daily until the shoot becomes visible. Then add only enough water to keep the soil moist. They don't like standing water or soggy soil. After the shoot is visible, place in indirect light for a month.

Not all seeds will grow into trees. Some seedlings die out quickly. Not all seeds are the same quality.

Seed sown directly in the ground produces a very deep taproot, which will continue until enough water/moisture is reached, even at the expense of not growing the trunk or leaves.

All animals including cats will eat your seedling. You must protect them from chickens, rabbits, mice, rats, dogs, and cats.

 

Growing Moringa Trees From Cuttings

Moringa needs to be planted in soil that drains well. Sandy loam is good. If you have heavy soil, add peat moss, sand, compost, aged manure. I use one from Home Depot called Amend and it is pretty good to add in.

Start with a mature tree. Cut a limb from 1 1/2 feet long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Dry the cutting in the shade for 3 days. Loosen the soil of an area 2' wide by 2'deep . Amend the soil with compost and ages manure. Plant one third of the thicker end of the cutting into the ground. Water the cutting daily until you see green growth buds on the cutting. Water the cutting when the ground is dry. Indoors, water the cutting every 2nd or 3rd day after it takes root. Do not allow water to collect in tray underneath potted cutting. It is generally held that you get faster growth from cuttings.

You harvest 3 times a year. You harvest the leaves, the flowers, and pods. The leaves can be harvested all year around in warm climates.

Cut the tree back when it gets too tall too harvest easily. It will grow up again quickly and won't hurt the tree to cut it back.

 

Go here for Instructions on transplanting, pruning, fertilizing, and other issues


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Email:kate@moringa4healing.com

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