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.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sprouted Moringa Oleifera Seed Questions Answered,,,,,,,,Growing Moringa Seeds Questions

What does a sprouted Moringa Oleifera seed look like? I am confused? What is the white tail? When do you put the seeds into the water? Do you have to soak the seeds? Why soak the seeds? 


A sprouted Moringa seed has two shoots coming out of it initially. One is the tap root and the second shoot is the main tree shoot.  The white root shoot or tail pointing to the south, downward, should be planted into the soil. The other shoot growing upward is the main little tree shoot. 


The white tap root shoot usually emerges first, with the main tree shoot coming out next. The second shoot may emerge a day to three days later.  If the second shoot does not emerge after a few days, the seed has problems.  Be patient before you give up on the seed. 


The white tap root cannot be broken or it kills the tree. They are very fragile. You pick them up carefully with either tweezers or hold the seed with your thumb and forefinger on the sides...not touching the shoots. Make a hole with a pen or other tool deep enough so you don't break the tap root off.  Then gently move in the dirt to encircle the white root shoot.  Don't cover too deeply or tap the soil too hard.  On these seeds you can see the tap roots. The main shoot has not emerged on these yet.

You  will not go through this process with un-sprouted seeds planted directly into the pot or ground.

Plant sprouted seeds with White tap root facing down into the soil.
Sprouted Seeds: The first emerging white one is the tap root. A second shoot will emerge from the seed which is the main tree shoot. Plant them when both shoots have emerged ..keep moist...but...not lying in excess water.  The bag should have enough moisture until the second shoot appears. They need a home with soil when they have two shoots. Well draining soil and containers only!

This seed shows the green tipped main tree shoot and the white tap root shoot. They both emerge from the same point in the seed.

You can spout them in a plastic  cake carrier or a plastic baggie. If you use the cake carrier, leave the cover on. I took the cover off so you could see the sprouts. Buy it at the Dollar store. You spray the paper towel under the sprouted seeds to keep the sprouted seeds moist until planted.I let them get this big so you could see them better. I plant them before this point.

These are new seedlings...then the leaves fan out later

The leaves begin to fan out
As they grow, they develop more white roots.

I am confused on when you put the seeds in water?

This is the answer to a readers question.

Clarifying the question on when you put the seed into water during the sprouting steps:

It is a step to sprout them.......the first step if you choose to do that.

You don't have to put them in water.

You can put them directly into the ground or a pot without soaking them.

Soaking them makes it easier for the seed to spout. It speeds up the process of sprouting.

Soaking them for more than a day can rot them. 

The next step is to drain the water off the seeds.  They do not need additional water.

Next Step:

You take them and either plant them directly into the ground or pot    OR

You can also put the soaked seeds them in a sandwich bag...... after you drain the water off.   Close the bag and put into a warm oven for a few days. Watch them closely for mold.  Putting the seeds into the bag so they don't touch each other also helps. 

Once they have two shoots, they need to be planted. If you put them in water they will rot.

In the pot or ground, the seeds should be planted about 3/4 of an inch under the soil.

Do not put in so much water, the soil is boggy or too wet. That will rot them. 

If it is still cold, they will die or grow slowly. If its too cold, the seeds may not sprout.  They like it warm.

You can use a heated seed mat underneath the pots to help them grow faster or a grow light.

They need warmth such as a window with sun or a grow light.

They will not grow much if your house is kept cold.

They will not live outside if it gets too cold or freezes where you live.

They are a TROPICAL plant  that loves 70 degrees or higher.

If you can grow citrus in your yard, you can probably grow the trees outside. Citrus can take an occasional freeze, Moringa trees do not do well.   Now saying that I have had readers write me that their tree died back but came back in Spring....growing up from ground level.  That does not happen in most cases.

With too much moisture, the roots rot as well. All that rain in the Philippines this month did not help any Moringa trees growing there.  Most farmers have drainage programs so that the roots don't stand in flooded waters. I know one man in Honduras who lost thousands of trees when his land flooded. He put in drainage ditches and replanted...costing thousands of dollars and time. 

I hope this answers the readers question on the seeds.   Again soaking the seeds for a day, helps them to sprout easier. The shell softens. You can also prick the shell gently with your fingernail after it is softened. Moringa seeds because of their high protein content tend to mold on you or rot. 

Kate Freer

Update: We are now located in Indian Mound, TN as of 1-15-2015