Growing and Using Moringa, Comfrey, and Healing Herbs

Learn how to grow and use Moringa Trees, Comfrey, medicinal herbs, adaptogen herbs such as Jiaogulan, and herbal medicine to create vibrant health and an enriched life style. There are a number of herbs you can grown at home which is fun and great for your health. Learn Tips on feeding your pets and livestock naturally with organic greens such as Comfrey, Kudzu, plantain, and Moringa. Get back to your roots in a healthy way.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Steps to Grow A Dwarf Moringa Tree

The problem with Moringa Trees is that they do not grow well in most of the United States except for California, Florida, Hawaii, some parts of Texas, and a few other areas that have mild winters with no frosts.   They die when they freeze. They are a tree that loves heat and grows leaves prolifically  when the temperature rises above 75 degrees. They don't do well in areas of high winds and no humidity.   So most people cannot grow the trees outside. So those of us in the business who love Moringa trees are working on the best technique for growing a dwarf tree. Then more people can have the benefits of the fresh leaves for their salads or tea.

The past year, I have been growing trees in the house.  In Nevada, if it isn't the cold, its the winds.  We have frost up until the end of April always.  So the only way I can grow my beloved trees is in the house.  This area gets hot enough in the summer, but the fierce winds dry out the leaves or blow them off.  We got 50 to 60 mile an hour winds for days last year...with gusts up to 70 miles per hour. It turned the leaves black, like they were burned on the lilac bush in the front yard.

What I have learned so far is that our living room is too hard to heat and too expensive. All the trees in the living room did not survive.  I moved most of them into our back room that serves as a laundry room, tool room, and Moringa nursery. That is the warmest of all the rooms, with the most sun available. Using the dryer also helps to warm the room as well. 

 I have my Moringa trees growing in 20 gal containers, 10 gallon, and in 4 -33 gal containers.  I will post a picture.  I lost several but came out with about 10 trees that survived.  8 of those trees are doing well and two are a question.  They all went dormant but stayed green and are beginning to get leaves at this point.  Using the heater in there ran the electric bill up by 60 dollars.  So we turned it off.  Our wall heater keeps it warm enough so they don't die...about 60 degrees.  Even with the heater off, they are sprouting some leaves on several of them.

You can grow 3-5 dwarf Moringa seedlings in a 20 gal or 33 gal black plastic container. You can also buy beautiful large decorator plant containers as well.  You want the trees to be about 4 feet tall in the end with lots of branches which will give you lots of leaves. You may not get flowers or pods on them growing them as a dwarf tree.  

Notice how it has branches coming out from the trunk.

I grow them in 10 gal or 20 gallon pots.  The 33 gallons are hard to manage and move.  I do have 4 of those but they are difficult.  We had to pay two strong teens to move them from the old house and pay to have them moved into this one. I paid 10 dollars a piece for the hard plastic saucers that they sit in.  Then there is the cost of the potting mix.  The trees can be allowed to get much larger in the 33 gallon trash cans. You have to drill drainage holes in the bottom as well.  They can be decorated with paint to make them look more attractive. I did not bother.

Use organic, loose potting soil intended for containers.  DO NOT use miracle grow potting mix. Do not use soil meant for plants planted directly into the ground. 

Make sure the pot has adequate drain holes. You don't want your seedling root to rot.  One sure way to kill them is leaving their root with soggy soil.  Always keep the the area well drained of water.  

Plant the seeds 3/4 to 1 inch deep. Space them far apart.  Then cover them lightly with soil.
Water the soil well.  Keep them in a warm room.  They should sprout within 10 days.
When the seedlings have two tiers of branches, pinch the top back.  The leaves sprout at the tops or at the crotch of the branches.   

When they are 24 inches high, chop the branches off  to half their length. The tree will then send out growth along the trunk.  The trunks will be green when young, 'woody' and brown when older.  Keep pinching the tops off and pruning the branches back.  

If you have them in a 20 gal or 33 gal you can let them get 4 feet high before you pinch them back.  In a 10 gallon pot, I would pinch them back at 18 to 24 inches.

The worst problem I have had with the trees has been gnats and aphids.  Two tablespoons of Neem oil dissolved in  a gallon of water works well against the aphids.  We kept the gnats killed with those hanging sticky traps. Those worked very well. 

All for tonight. Hope you had a great weekend.   

Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin


I do not sell Moringa products as of Sept, 2016. I am working on a project that demands an unbiased viewpoint. 

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