The Moringa tree (Oleifera) originates from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in India. The seed was brought to South Africa some 160 years ago by the indentured Indian labourers.
Also know as the Miracle Tree ...
Moringa is also known as the Drumstick Tree due to the attractive long seed pod, and Miracle Tree due to the fact that it is so nutritious and beneficial to our health.
How to grow the Moringa
The tree is grown mainly in the warmer areas of South Africa as it’s sensitive to frost, although if the frost is not severe you could try to cover the young plant at the base with a blanket of straw and mulch during cold periods.
It has a bulbous tap root, so will often shoot again from the base if damaged by slight frost.
The soil type is important as the Oleifera doesn’t like clay, so add some sand and compost to the mix and make sure the hole is at least 30cm wide and 30cm deep.
- The Moringa tree may be intercropped, to supply nitrogen to the soil.
- The tree is very fast growing, up to 2m per annum, but because this is a food tree you should prune it regularly to keep it low.
- Prune it back to about 1.5 m in height so that you will be able to harvest the leaves easily.
Ben oil is extracted from the seed to be used in cooking and is also an excellent lubricant. The seed can also be used to deflocculate water but it doesn’t kill all the germs.