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How to grow a Moringa tree: a Home-School Science Experiment, plus a recipe for Curried Moringa Pods

Updated on September 4, 2017
Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

In addition to being a certified herbalist and aromatherapy consultant, Gina finds the unrelenting allure of gardening very strong.

The moon framed by Moringa leaves
The moon framed by Moringa leaves | Source

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:

Moringa: Tree of life or scam

Materials for the assignment

3-4 Moringa seeds, paper towels, recycled container
3-4 Moringa seeds, paper towels, recycled container | Source
Wet paper towel, then place one seed on top of the wet paper towel.
Wet paper towel, then place one seed on top of the wet paper towel. | Source
Place another piece of paper towel on top of the seed.  Moisten the paper towel.
Place another piece of paper towel on top of the seed. Moisten the paper towel. | Source
Place in a sunny spot and monitor daily.  Spray to moisten, as needed.
Place in a sunny spot and monitor daily. Spray to moisten, as needed. | Source

Materials needed

Materials needed for this project are:

  • 1 clear, clean jar (plastic or glass)
  • 2-3 Moringa seeds
  • paper towels
  • water

Instructions:

  • 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

Leaves and roots are very visible after about 7 days.
Leaves and roots are very visible after about 7 days. | Source

Nicholas removed the seedling from the paper and is preparing it for planting.

Source

Planted Moringa seedling

Nicholas prepared a small pot with soil, dug a hole and placed the seed inside with the roots down.
Nicholas prepared a small pot with soil, dug a hole and placed the seed inside with the roots down. | Source
Nicholas then brushed the soil around the seedling, gently, so as not to break the very tender plant.
Nicholas then brushed the soil around the seedling, gently, so as not to break the very tender plant. | Source
Seedling completely planted
Seedling completely planted | Source
Water the seedling, and place in a nice sunny location.  It will be monitored and transplanted into a bigger pot when needed.
Water the seedling, and place in a nice sunny location. It will be monitored and transplanted into a bigger pot when needed. | Source

Stages of growth from transplant to day 4

Day of transplant into small pot
Day of transplant into small pot | Source
Day 2 of growth
Day 2 of growth | Source
Day 2 of growth
Day 2 of growth | Source
Day 3 of growth
Day 3 of growth | Source
Day 4 of growth This is a very fast growing tree, and it will have to be re-potted in a couple of weeks, if this rate of growth continues.
Day 4 of growth This is a very fast growing tree, and it will have to be re-potted in a couple of weeks, if this rate of growth continues. | Source

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.

Organic Veda - AGF Moringa Oleifera Seeds(Pack of 100)
Organic Veda - AGF Moringa Oleifera Seeds(Pack of 100)

If you're going to grow Moringa, you want to start off with nice, organic seeds. These seeds have a high germination rate. They are also organically grown.e freshly harvested and hand-picked. They are also GMO-free, which is very important to me.

 

One of my prized Moringa specimens

This Moringa tree was planted about 3 years ago.  There are power lines behind it, but they are not as close as they look in the photograph.
This Moringa tree was planted about 3 years ago. There are power lines behind it, but they are not as close as they look in the photograph. | Source

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.

Harvesting some moringa pods or drumsticks for a stir-fry
Harvesting some moringa pods or drumsticks for a stir-fry | Source
Moringa pods or drumsticks collected for a stir-fry
Moringa pods or drumsticks collected for a stir-fry | Source
Moringa leaves to be used as tea as well as in stir-fry
Moringa leaves to be used as tea as well as in stir-fry | Source

How to make Curried Moringa Pods

Moringa Scrambled Eggs with Toasted Sweet Potatoes

We are always trying out new ways of using Moringa leaves as well as the powder.  This was breakfast this morning (September 4th, 2017)
We are always trying out new ways of using Moringa leaves as well as the powder. This was breakfast this morning (September 4th, 2017) | Source

Have you tried growing a Moringa tree?

See results

Updates.....

I will continually update this hub with visuals as the plant grows, and is transplanted.

© 2016 Gina Welds Hulse

Comments

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    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      14 months ago

      I have never heard of Moringa before. I must look to see whether it would grow in a temperate climate but if it needs lots of sunshine, it will be out of luck.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      2 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Yes, Shauna. It's a science project that keeps on giving. He is having fun watching it grow.

      I'm working on a project to educate the community about moringa. It is a tree that I think everyone should have in their yard.

      Glad you stopped by.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm not familiar with moringa. I'll have to check out the article you link to above to learn all about the benefits.

      I'm sure Nicholas got a bang out of this project. It's always cool to see something grow and prosper.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      2 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Hi Ms. Dora. It probably is best to start it in a pot. That's how I started all of mine. I still have on potted, and it has stunted the growth a little but it still blooms and I get great leaves from it. You just have to re-pot as it grows....or put it into the ground. Hope the instructions help. Glad you stopped by.

      Thanks, Dana. How are you? I'm hoping you learnt a little about Moringa. You don't have to grow your own tree. You can purchase the powder, and so many other products made from the Moringa tree. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      I never heard of this tree. The pic's are big and colorful. Nice hub.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      The moringa is a favorite in my neighborhood. I planted one directly into the ground, and it began to grow, but the bug pests overtook it. Thanks very much for your instructions.

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