Monday, February 24, 2014

I Bought a Moringa Tree from a Greenhouse and It Died Soon After Purchase. Why? Container Do's and Don'ts

I just answered an email from a customer who said their Moringa seedlings grown from seed I had sent them,  died after two weeks of great growth. I wrote him back asking him several questions.  He answered that he was raising them in small plastic cups.  The tap root was hitting the bottom of the cups.  

He was killing the trees with the container.
This is not at our present house but shows the containers and the light they need. These were then taken to pots that were 20 to 33 gallons in size. 

Raised in 33 gal trash cans with drainage holes added. Containers very heavy and hard to move.  You can wheel them around outside to give them a better environment to live in. They were quite happy until winter hit. They were too heavy and tall to get through the door of the house with all the steps.  They did not survive in the unheated shed.  It was just too cold without being in the house.
In Stagecoach, our next home, they were raised in the house. Getting them out was not fun. It was 33 degrees as a high, 1 degree at night the week we moved with snow.  The moving truck would not start. It took them until the next day to fix it. The trees and other stock  froze in the moving truck stuck in the driveway.  Nevada is not the place for Moringa trees.

What Kind of Containers Should I Use for the Moringa Trees:

Once the seedlings have roots, they need warmth, indirect sunlight,  well draining, organic rich soil, and room to grow!

I take my rooted seedlings and put them in 32 ounce cups at the least with drainage holes in the bottom. If they are going outside, they go into one gallons. Mine are all in the house on two tables so put them in 32 ounce containers to get more on the table. 

They will go into larger containers in two weeks when the weather is more stable. The nights here are cold, the days hot, some days cool, and the trees are not happy. They like it hot and stable. They love it once it gets hot and stays that way. They love the summer.  

They will go outside when the temperature is stable and warm, not to a green house. They will be adapted to the real world before I sell them.

My seedlings are not growing quickly because they are not being raised in a heated green house.  I have them on tables in the living room by the huge windows. They are not under grow lights, as in the past, because of the electric bill. I may put them under lights now that we have determined what was creating a $400 bill. It was electric heaters in my father-in-law's bedroom.  I was afraid to add grow lights until we could bring our usage down. You can go online and see what your usage is. Then you try and solve the problem such as getting rid of the electric heaters. Then you go back a few days later and see the results. We also got rid of the electric dryer and got a used gas dryer. We cut our usage by $200 bucks this bill.  The next one will even be lower.  I needed to have a usage line so that I could then see if the lights are too expensive to use.  The sun in the living room is great some days, not so great on days like today that are cloudy. We will have 4 days of rain so that will reduce the light again.  I have serious questions about the trees being raised in green house conditions as with other plants.  They often don't do well in the real world.  I am getting calls from people who have bought trees from other sources and this is what they are reporting to me: 

Read on to learn more on this subject with tips on growing them. 

People call me." I bought a tree from a green house, then it died within a month of taking it home. Why?"

How would you like it if you were being raised in a nice heated, stable environment then rudely taken out into a new home which is not heated, not stable, and very shocking. It dies.  That is not even if you replant it as well. That is the problem with green house grown trees.  The real world is not a green house with temperature controlled conditions. That is why they say once you take it, we offer no returns or compensation if the plant dies. 

The Soil and Container Can Kill the Moringa Seedling: 

This is my suggestions for a healthy Moringa Tree:

They start out in a 32 ounce container. 

When they are a six inches tall, they go into one gallons at least or bigger.

When they are two feet high, they go into three gallon containers if they are to be sold and 10 to 20 gallon containers if I am keeping them.  

Moringa trees have a long tap root.  They need ROOM!. They will die when left in small pots.

Make sure the pots do not get water logged or sit in water! They will get root rot.  

Watch the sun.  Plastic containers can get very hot and burn the roots of plants. I had to move my lettuce into an area with less sun. It is like summer here in California.  

Use well draining soil and pots.   Yard soil containing clay holds water, does not allow for tap root growth, and will promote  root rot.  Yard soil often does not work for pots unless you have amended, rich, organic yard soil.

Do not put them in a place where water sits on the ground.  Create a drainage ditch away from the tree.

Seedlings that suddenly die may be suffering from Gnat larvae in the soil.  You may not see them but if you see adult Gnats, there are larvae. The larvae eat the tiny roots of the seedlings and kill them. Rolly bugs, the gray bugs that roll into balls also eat the baby Moringa seedlings.  

Layer your pots with organic potting soil, then a top layer of clean sand about a 1/2 inch thick. That sand helps kill the Gnat eggs and prevents them from hatching.   I just had to do that with mine. 

Do not use Miracle Grow! Do not use harsh fertilizers!  Do not Over-Water!  Do not leave them in small pots!

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

Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut. 

Visit Nature's Sunshine Herbs, Essential Oils, Flower Remedies, and so much more here

Thanks, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin


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