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Agriscaping Week 32 - The Easiest Way to Grow Moringa, the Tree of Life


Moringa!

What a wonderful tree.

The nutritional benefits are unmatched by most any plant (high in complete protein, vitamins C, A, calcium, potassium, as well as anti-inflammatory properties, etc.). Nearly every part of the tree is edible, too, including leaves, seed pods (better when young), and flowers.

What’s even better than all that for an edible backyard (or front yard, in our case), is the fact that this awesome tree is an incredibly fast grower that loves Phoenix heat and tolerates the cold, so it’s easy to use anywhere to create microclimates of shade quickly in your yard under which to grow other more sensitive trees. It loves full sun, and will take as much water as you give it, but doesn’t actually need much to survive. A very flexible, wonderful, useful tree!


We played around with the best way to start moringa trees. Our neighbor one street over has a well-established tree (about 4 years old), so he let us have seeds and cuttings to experiment with. Here’s his tree:

We found that seeds in pots don’t do that great. They’re too fast-growing, and so they outgrow their pot too quickly and unless given a larger pot very regularly, they get leggy and don’t do well when planted! So I wouldn’t recommend buying a moringa that’s been grown in a pot, unless it’s under a few weeks old. The ones we seeded this way didn’t survive once planted (but the chickens sure did love eating their baby leaves!).


So the next time, we tried a crazier method. Just take a big stick, and put it in the ground. They said it would grow, so we thought, nothing to lose! As you can see in the video, we took a fairly large (5’) cutting from our neighbor’s tree, walked it home, cut off the excess branches, scoured the bottom and put some rooting powder on it. We didn’t know what to expect (our success growing plants this way hadn’t been that great in the past).


But low and behold, the few remaining leaves on the sticks we planted didn’t die! And pretty soon, real new leaves had sprouted! Here’s the one we planted in the backyard after a month or so…


And then with the summer heat and monsoon rains, the unbelievable happened. Those sticks turned into full-blown TREES in less than a year! This is the one in the front yard after only 10 months:


We also planted a couple by seed into the ground at the same time as we did the stick method, and they grew well too, but not quite as large as the cuttings. It also greatly depended on where they were planted and how much sun they got, how fast they grew. The ones in the full sun definitely grew the fastest and the tallest.


The other thing that we learned is that season seems to be key. We tried planting a couple of sticks this same way in the fall/winter months, and they died. So if you’re going to grow moringa via cutting, spring in Phoenix is the best time to get them rooted. They like the heat, so having a nice hot summer and lots of water, and they will take and grow very quickly!


Happy planting, and if you’re in the Phoenix area and need a cutting, drop us a line and we can help you out (Abodyofwisdom1@gmail.com).


Keywords: Planting a moringa in Phoenix, how to plant moringa, moringa from cuttings, the tree of life, fast growing trees in Arizona, Moringa from seed vs. cutting, best edible tree for Phoenix

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