Moringa Tree – Growing and Caring for the Drumstick tree

Moringa Tree - Growing, Caring & Health Benefits for the Drumstick tree

Moringa Tree- Moringa Oleifera- Drumstick tree-Horseradish tree-Ben oil tree

Moringa Oleifera is the most cultivated species in the family of moringaceae. It is a drought-resistant tree that is native to Himalayan regions of India, tropical and sub-tropical regions where its seed pods and leaves are used as vegetables.

Moringa tree can grow to a height of 10-12 meters and diameter about 45 cms.  The plant starts flowering after 6 months from planting in the months of April to June. Flowering can happen twice with more constant seasonal temperatures and rainfall all year around. Beautiful fragrant flowers are 2 cms long, broad and are bisexual surrounded by 5 yellowish-white petals. Hanging fruit is 20-45 cms long with dark brown seeds which can be easily dispersed by wind and water.

Moringa has become popular as a natural leaf powder supplement. It is used as a traditional remedy for many problems which contains disease-preventing nutrients. It is used for water purification purpose, oil extractions, hand washing and also in herbal medicines.

Drumstick farming is profitable with minimum care and investment. It is very to grow from seeds and cuttings as it is an annual plant meaning that it produces seed pods all year around without considering the climate. farmers are much benefitted if they start growing drumstick plants.

Here in this article we shared the complete information regarding how to grow and care for drumsticks. in addition to this, we provide the information about how pests like aphids, thrips can damage your crops and its preventive methods.

Nutritional Information

Each part of the moringa plant is edible and has more nutrition value. Leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant that contains vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene, manganese, proteins and other essential components. Drumsticks are a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, and potassium whereas the seeds contain high amounts of vitamin B, vitamin C.

Companion Plants

Companion plants in gardening help for pollination, controlling pests and increase the crop productivity. This method is mostly preferred by farmers and gardeners for various reasons. Moringa plants love to grow with Sweet potato, Basil plant, and Pole beans.

Moringa Varieties

S. No Variety Origin
1 Moringa ovalifolia Nambia & Angola
2 Moringa longituba Somalia
3 Moringa drouhardii Madagascar
4 Moringa rivae Kenya
5 Moringa ruspoliana Ethiopia
6 Moringa stenopetala Kenya & Ethiopia
7 Moringa concanensis North India

How to Grow Moringa tree?

Seed Variety

Of all the moringa varieties seeds of Moringa oleifera and moringa stenopetala are easy to grow and establish.Choose a seed variety to start growing in pots.

Pot & Soil

Pot size doesn’t matter as you are ready to shift outdoors when the moringa plant grows to a certain height. But for seed starters choose a pot of size 6-8 inches tall. The plant can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions but prefers a neutral to slightly acidic with pH between 6.3 & 7.0. Place the seeds in well-drain sandy or loam soil.

Water & Sunlight

Within 2 weeks the moringa seeds germinate with healthy green leaves. Once they establish roots, branches completely water once or twice a week. Do not overwater the plant, as it results in the plant to absorb more water through roots and may die.

The plant grows best in direct sunlight. So the optimum temperature to grow moringas is 77-95F. They can also tolerate up to 118F in the shade and light frost. during the 1st year, the plant can grow to a height of 5 meters producing flower and fruit. The tree can reach up to 12 meters in height and cut 1 meter from the ground.

Pruning

Pruning is done when the plant is 18 months old. Prune drumstick plants in the winter season when it grows to a height of 3 feet tall. Allow 4-5 branches per tree up to 2 feet above the ground level.This method helps to encourage healthy growth and flowering with high yield.

Pests & Diseases

Pests Diseases
Pod fly Root rot
Budworm Twig canker
Caterpillars Damping off
Red mites Botrytis Blight
Leaf weevils Fusarium rot
White grubs Powdery mildew

Nutrient Deficiency

S.No Element Deficiency Symptom
1 Nitrogen Small and light green leaves
2 Phosphorus Dark green foliage, purplish or yellow color leaves
3 Potassium Mottled leaves, yellow leaf margins, dead leaf tips
4 Iron New upper leaves turn yellow, brown edges
5 Magnesium Lower yellow leaves, curly leaf margins

Fertilizers

Adding too much fertilizer helps to improve the plant growth. Organic compost or manure can be mixed with the soil to improve the soil fertility. You can also use N-P-K fertilizer to encourage root development and leaf growth.  Make sure you do not apply fertilizers during the growing season.

Harvesting

You can harvest drumsticks after 9 months from planting. Harvest when the pods are young and about 1 cm in diameter. Older pods develop a hard texture at outside with white seeds and flesh remains edible. In some cases, it is necessary to cut the branch that holds many pods to prevent from breaking off. Harvest pods before they open up and seeds fall to the ground.  Seeds can be stored in a dry and shady location to grow them in next growing season.

Moringa Tree - Growing, Caring & Health Benefits for the Drumstick tree

Can you Propagate Moringa from Cuttings?

Moringa trees grow easily from cuttings than from seeds as it takes less time to harvest drumsticks. They can grow quickly even in poor soil and bloom after 8 months from planting.  Before planting choose a mature and healthy tree from which you would like to take the cuttings. To propagate drumsticks tree from cuttings, take a stem of size 1 feet tall. Now make a hole in the soil about 15-20 cms depth. Place the cutting in this hole and fill it with a mixture sandy soil and organic compost such as cow dung to protect the cuttings from pests. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Water the plant thoroughly on regular basis. Very soon the cuttings will start sprouting.

How do you Care for Moringa tree?

  • Add mulches at the base of the plant to retain soil moisture levels.
  • Avoid overwatering the moringa plants as it may result in root rot.
  • You can transplant moringa to outdoors when the plant grows to a certain height.
  • Do not wait too long to harvest drumsticks as the skin may become rough and hard.
  • Maintain the soil pH between 6.3 & 7.o to boost the plant quickly by providing nutrients.
  • Make sure the pot or container has holes at the bottom for proper drainage when planted indoors.
  • Keep children and pets away from plants when you use fertilizers in huge amounts for better growth.

Why is moringa called the miracle tree?

Moringa oleifera is called the miracle tree because of its leaves that contain a high nutrient value. It is a tropical growing tree in which the seeds, seed pods are often eaten as the vegetable and for the extraction of oils.

How long does it take for moringa seed to sprout?

Take some moringa seeds and soak them in water for 12 hours.  Sow them in the well-drained soil the very next day and water a little.  After 2 weeks seedlings may appear and continue to grow till you see seed pods.

Can Moringa tree grow in cold climates?

Moringa tree does not grow well in colder climates and loses its leaves when the temperature drops below 70F. The plant will die if it freezes completely but can withstand frost conditions. So the best temperature to grow drumsticks is 75-90F.

What are the medicinal uses of drumsticks? 

Moringa leaves, seeds, roots are edible and used in medicines as a powerful antibiotic, anti-inflammatory properties to treat arthritis, muscle cramps, and sexually transmitted diseases. Seeds are mixed with coconut oil to apply on skin prone to burns, black spots, and allergies.

What are the side effects of eating moringa?

Moringa is possibly safe when taken in small amounts. Seeds, leaves, fruits are safe to eat. Avoid eating roots and its extracts as it contains harmful toxins that can cause paralysis, headache and digestion problems.

Health Benefits

Moringa plant has major health benefits because all parts of the plant are edible and help to treat several health benefits.Here are few health benefits of moringa plants…

Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is a serious cardiovascular issue that leads to heart attacks. Moringa can lower the blood pressure and maintains a healthy lifestyle, diet, and proper supplementation.

Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can cause severe health problems. A survey shows that consuming moringa leaf powder daily for 3 months can reduce the blood sugar levels in women by 13.5% and diabetic-6 patients by 21% due to the presence of isothiocyanates in the leaf powder.

Liver: Liver is responsible for producing bile, detoxifies the blood and for nutrient processing. It contains high concentrations of polyphenols in leaves and flowers that protect the liver against toxicity, oxidation, and damage. Moringa oil also helps to restore enzymes to normal levels and increase the protein content in the liver.

Apart from these health benefits it also helps to cure skin & hair problems, digestion, kidney stones, boosts immune, thyroid disorders, allergies, asthma, headache and cancer cells.

Moringa Tree - Growing, Caring & Health Benefits for the Drumstick tree

Start growing wonderful moringa plant outdoors that brings beauty to your garden and has many health benefits. If you have amazing ideas about growing moringas in your home, please share your experience with us.

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