Monday, January 4, 2016

Is Your Moringa Tree Dead or Just In Winter Hibernation?

How do you tell if your Moringa tree is dead or just dormant?   

In winter, after losing their leaves, Moringa trees look dead when they are dormant, so it is hard to tell at times.  If the trees suffer a light frost,  they may revive from the root itself in the spring, but more often they don't.  

If your area experiences more than an occasional light frost and temps hovering at 32 degrees or colder, don't count on your tree surviving. Remember they are a tree that loves Florida type weather and climate. 

Does mulching work like with berries?

If you mulch them, as you do other plants, they will succumb to root rot.  The mulch retains water, becomes saturated,  which kills them.  

If you could prevent the mulch from becoming wet and staying wet, that would probably help.  The mulch must remain dry to protect the root from the cold but not cause it to rot.

Wrapping them with Christmas trees lights might help. They are a real challenge to keep alive in the winter.

Steps to determine if your tree is dead: 

  • Check the trunk itself first. If the trunk does not feel firm and hard, it is probably frozen and will not live.  

  • Check the main root and see if it is firm.  The root will be soft and squishy if the root has rotted.  

  • If the trunk is not firm in the soil, then root rot probably got it.

In the winter unless you have a sunny, warm room with good natural light, your soil will not dry out sufficiently to avoid root rot.  My trees were outside in 20 gallon containers when we received a surprise drenching rain.  I brought them inside but too late. It was cloudy for days and the soil never did dried out.  They succumbed to root rot.   The Neem seedlings in the same conditions did not die although they did not thrive. They have proved tougher than the Moringa seedlings.

Your trees to survive in the house must have a warm room with  good natural  sunlight.  Otherwise, the only answer is strong grow lights over them.   

If you have a greenhouse, it would have to be heated for them to survive.  This is for the majority of states that do get freezing temperatures in winter.  Here in Tennessee we have less snow than most but the temperature has been hovering every night and morning at below 30 degrees.  Even the back room of our house is too cold without heat for the plants.  

The quality and type of potting mix is extremely important. 

Avoid potting soil with moisture retention ingredients. In the winter it will kill your plants that need to dry out between watering.  When we moved here last January, there were so soil choices just miracle grow here in this area.  I could not believe how few options I had to pick from.  That soil which normally I would never buy was the only thing available.  That choice was the downfall of my Moringa and several other plants.   

I hope this helps you prevent root rot with your plants.  It seems here, that we will be mixing our own potting soil for this year.  That is all for today.

We have exceptional Organic certified Moringa products available in the store right now. Visit the store here   

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