So now that I have to start over with my trees, I decided to consult an expert. Here is advise straight from a experienced professional grower.
When the trees reach 12 to 14 inches high, cut off one to two inches off the top. I know that is hard, but is needed to develop a strong tree.
In two more weeks, when it has grown another half foot, cut two inches off the top again.
When you are 10 days from transplanting the young trees into a larger container or into the ground, water it one day, then wait to water it for two days. After this watering, wait for three or four days to water. This will help the trunk to adapt to the transplant process better. The tree will not suffer as much during the change to its new environment.
When it reaches four feet tall, cut the top off, so it will set out branches from the trunk and base. You want more branches with lots of leaves at a level you can pick without a ladder. The tall trees are beautiful but not practical to pick from. Cutting off the top will not hurt the tree. It will then direct its energy into the production of more branches. If you are keeping it in the house, you also need the tree be a height that is manageable to use the leaves.
Use well draining soil, organic fertilizer, and large pots to plant them in or they will get root rot. I don't keep any of my trees in less than 20 gal containers. It is better for long term, to use large trash cans with drainage holes and wheels. You can decorate the trash cans with paint, designs, or other decoration so they are a complement to your living areas. Make sure the room gets plenty of sun light and warmth or they won't grow or product much leaves. You can use grow lights over them if you have no sunny windows. If the temperature of your room dips constantly below 70 degrees, they will lose their leaves and go dormant. They cannot handle freezing temperatures period. They are a tropical tree, that is where they grow best. If they get too much water, and their soil becomes soggy, they will get root rot. Don't over water them folks or they will die.They grow best in states like Florida and Hawaii, where there is lots of warm sunshine, humidity, and mild winters. Southern California is another area where they are more easily grown. You can grow them in other areas, but it can be very difficult in the winter, if they can survive at all. In those harsh winter areas, a heated greenhouse or sunny living room is the only way to keep them alive. I gave it my all in Mina, Nevada but they did not survive my best efforts. We did not have a heated greenhouse, and the shed got down into freezing temps as well. I tried several things to save them, without success.
When planted in the soil, make sure the soil area drains well. Add in organic fertilizer. If water tends to pool in the area, create a drainage ditch for the area. If the soil is heavy clay, add amendments to fix that. Plant the trees where there is a wind break, if high winds frequent your area. High winds burn the leaves, blow them off the tree, and will break the trees. Stake the tree trunk if needed as well. Surround the tree with hard wire, or you will have rabbits dining on your tree. Goats and horses will eat the young trees and leaves too. House cats will devour the young trees and leaves in a flash. Creatures love Moringa leaves. It is one of my rabbit's favorite foods. It will keep them healthy and in top shape. Moringa leaves gives animals, as well as humans, nutrients that are missing in their food.
I have learned a lot since I planted my first Moringa tree. I now have learned and found professional growers, who can give me tips from the trade. No matter how much you know, there are others who know much more than you do. If you are smart, you seek their advice along the way.
Hopefully, I have not left anything out here.....Blessings for all of you.
If you have any tips, I have left out...share them with the readers. We can learn from each other as we go along.
Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin
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