How to grow a Moringa tree: a Home-School Science Experiment, plus a recipe for Curried Moringa Pods
Hands-on complementing book learning
Science projects can be an exciting. Nicholas loves to do science classes outside because of the hands -on nature that he can experience for many of the lessons. He loves to explore the wonders of nature as he is learning it in a book. It helps me, as his homeschool guide/teacher because it is a great time to explain the many natural processes that occur around us.
One of the assignments that was given in the science text book was a very simple science project that dealt with the process of growing a Lima bean seed.
Well, we didn't have any Lima beans, mainly because we really don't like Lima beans. So we decided to see what other beans we had.
I happen to have hundreds of Moringa seeds. I have several trees growing, in addition to having some of the leaves drying to use as tea. So we decided to substitute a Moringa seed for the Lima bean to use for this project. The beauty of this, also, is that we can use the leaves of the tree and the pods once the tree gets older.
So in this project, you’ll learn how to start the growth of a Moringa seed and monitor its process.
I've written an extensive article on Moringa and all its benefits, so I won't go into too much detail here, but you can read all about it here:
Materials for the assignment
Materials needed for this project are:
- 1 clear, clean jar (plastic or glass)
- 2-3 Moringa seeds
- paper towels
- Clean the jar thoroughly with mild soap and water. Let dry or wipe dry completely. Set aside. Tip: if using a glass jar, place in a safe place in case of breakage.
- Select 2-3 Moringa bean seeds. Set aside.
- Dampen a piece of paper towel and line the bottom of the container.
- Insert the Moringa seed. We only used one seed per jar, but you can use 2 if you like.
- Place another piece of paper towel on top of the seed.
- Spray the paper towel with water. Avoid soaking the paper towel. Tip: To retain moisture in the jar, slightly cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap. We just used the top part of the plastic bottle that we cut off.
- Place in a sunny area but avoid excessive heat or cold.
- Water every day.
- Monitor the seed growth each day and record in your science journal.
The most amazing part of growing any plant is to display them. Once the science project is done, you can plant them into potting soil.
The Moringa seed had roots after 5 days, and leaves after 7 days
Nicholas removed the seedling from the paper and is preparing it for planting.
Planted Moringa seedling
Stages of growth from transplant to day 4
Where can you get Moringa seeds?
I have many seeds that I collected from pods that fell. However, if you do not have access to a Moringa tree to get the dry pods, then you can get the seeds from many sources that sell them.
There are several varieties, but the seeds of Moringa oleiferaand Moringa stenopetala are the easiest to obtain.
In the photo, the Moringa oleifera seeds are the brown, winged seeds in the photo; on the left hand side. These are the ones that I personally plant.
For a fast-growing tree that will bear leaves, blossoms and seed pods, called drumsticks, the first year, choose Moringa Oleifera.
This is the best Moringa seed product that you will find.
One of my prized Moringa specimens
Where should you plant your Moringa tree?
So it's been a few weeks and your Moringa plant is ready to go into the ground.
Decide where you would like to grow your Moringa tree.
Keep in mind that Moringa trees can grow over 20 feet (6.1 m) tall, their first year. The average growth is about 15 feet (4.6 m), however, in optimum conditions, they can grow much taller. Because the branches will grow, on the average, to about three to four feet wide the first year, you will need to consider whether you want to plant your Moringa tree close to any existing structures. Moringas need much sunlight, warmth, and water, to thrive, so think about where your tree will obtain the best exposure to the sun.
Moringa trees do not like heavy, clay-like soil or vermiculite. They will grow in poor soil, sandy soil, and depleted soil, but they do not like their roots getting wet. Bear this in mind, and if necessary, purchase sand to add to the potting soil mixture, or use whatever soil is available in your area, and add coconut coir, peat moss, perlite, or sand to loosen it. This gives the roots of the Moringa tree room to go deep, and drain well. Moringa has a taproot, which means a single root that goes straight down like a carrot. It has small feeder roots but does not have branching roots. Plant where the taproot has lots of room to go down. If planting in a container, find the deepest one you can. Moringa can be grow as a solitary tree, in rows, or as a hedge.
I will be sharing some great recipes for the Moringa pods or drumsticks, so keep checking back.
How to make Curried Moringa Pods
Moringa Scrambled Eggs with Toasted Sweet Potatoes
Have you tried growing a Moringa tree?
I will continually update this hub with visuals as the plant grows, and is transplanted.
© 2016 Gina Welds Hulse