The seedlings we have available range from 1 to 4 inches in height (from the trunk to the leaf tops). The root grows down through the growing media, which is peat moss or cocoa coir. When you get your seedling home, you leave the media on the root to plant. It will dissolve over time. This lessens the chance of root damage during shipping and transplanting. We will soon have older trees available.
Moringa oleifera trees are tropical natured trees that grow best with lots of sun exposure and minimal water. In the PNW, they are best grown in pots so they can be brought indoors during cold months. They also like growing lights for those that live in colder climates (especially in winter months). They thrive in greenhouses and warm sunny window spaces too. Once the outside temperature hits 35 degrees the trunk and root of the tree must be protected from the cold. If this is done, your Moringa tree typically will come back year after year, growing very quickly with great leaf production each time. They will tend to drop their leaves when temperatures drop below 55 degrees, but will grow back within days once it warms up.
The Moringa Tree can grow up to 20 feet in the first year. To keep the size manageable, you can pinch off the leaves and branches at the top which will make the branches grow lower on the tree and grow out instead of up. At Fresh From The Farm we manage our trees for 2 outcomes. Some are kept clipped at about 1 ½’ – 3’ tall, and the foliage is harvested once every 35 days. Others are kept at a maximum height of 6 feet tall and are managed for seed and foliage production. For those trees we typically cut them 2 to 3 times a year for the best reach of leaves.
The trees love sun so plant them or place the pot where they can receive plenty of it. Only minimal watering is required. Yellow leaves usually mean too much water. Leaves that are curled in indicate that they need water. They grow best planted in sandy soil to help the water drain away from the root once the tree has gathered what it needs. When you plant your moringa, you can use potting mx or native soil. Moringa oleifera thrives in many soil types, as long as it can drain. If your native soil does not drain, add sand at about 1/3 the volume in the mix.
How to use moringa oleifera :
- Raw leaves can be eaten right off the tree (washing first is always a good idea). Add fresh picked leaves to salads, or in sandwiches raw. Add to smoothies, soups or stews and hot dishes and in cooked eggs.
- Leaves can be frozen and can be dried.
- Dried leaves can be crushed and added to any cooked dish and in sauces or gravies. Dried leaves can be used in teas, smoothies, juice.
You can find example recipes on how to incorporate moringa oleifera in your family’s diet.
Because it grows extremely fast, it makes a viable and reliable feed source which is sustainable and highly nutritious fodder crop for livestock:
Chickens, fish, quail, ducks, goats, sheep, cows, horses, rabbits……etc…
more information on how to manage moringa oleifera for livestock feed to follow shortly.