August 30, 2014

Moringa Update Grown in the Ground and Pots

This plant (below) was planted in the ground when it was about 3 feet tall. However, it was accidentally broken to a 3-inch stump. I think that accident was a blessing in disguise because this moringa plant might grow into a tree with branches that can be more easily reached than otherwise.

Moringa plant that regrew from a stump after being chopped down
See where the trunk changes color from a harder woody brown to a softer looking green. This is where the original top broke.


Moringa plant that regrew from a stump after being chopped down
See where the trunk changes color from a harder woody brown to a softer looking green. This is where the original top broke.
Moringa plant that regrew from a stump after being chopped down
Moringa Plant of about 2 feet from above

When I filled this moringa plant pot below, I used a combination of sand, compost and leaves. Unfortunately however, the layer of leaves created an impermeable layer. Consequently, when it rained, water collected around the moringa root and was unable to drain out. Moringa plants do not like wet feet and could die. In fact, the leaves started turning yellow and the plant looked very near to death. 


I wanted to keep the plant out in the hot sun as well as keep the soil dry while the impermeable layer broke down. I therefore covered the soil with plastic. I did this by using clothes pins around the stem of my moringa plant and the plant pot edges. After doing this, the moringa plant suddenly began to thrive. Should I also mention that I also performed Reiki on it?



As a side note, I notice that cupid paint brush grows very well around the base of my moringa plants. I have noticed that it always volunteers and thrives at the base of all my moringa plants while it never did well in very rich soil that I once specially prepared for it in a huge container.





If I were to compare the growth patterns of moringa between direct planting (i.e. in the ground) and in pots, the former wins in terms of speed of growth. However, caring for a smaller moringa plant in containers is always easier because I notice that giant African snails seem to like the plant. 

Here is another of my moringa plants. It began to grow upwards very quickly. To encourage it to grow outwards more than upwards, I chopped of the top leaving only one small branch. To prevent rotting, I cut the branches at a slant. I am not certain whether this was a good decision but I also covered the cut points with a downward turned cup. I removed the cup after the branch appeared to have healed sufficiently. Happy for comments and suggestions. Oddly, the new growth around the higher of the 2 cut points shown below emerged inside the cup.
FYI, Do not confuse the moringa plant with the drift wood I used as a trellis for a small malabar spinach vine. The drift wood appears in at a partly horizontal angle.

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3 comments:

  1. In my short experience growing Moringa, that which it appreciates most of all, in regards to soil qualities/watering, is air.
    If the texture of the soil allows for good areation, which automatically assures drainage, it will resist overwatering and thrive anyway.
    In other words its the lack of air, not so much the presence of water that will harm this miracle tree in watter logged or claycious soil.

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    2. Well said and noted with thanks.

      Yours is a worthwhile perspective because, in reality, when I removed the bag months afterwards, everything was fine as the water no longer collected as previously. I suspect the water did not drain well in the 'pre-bag stage' because of a lot of recently dried leaves in the pot. The bag allowed the leaves to break down better so water can pass freely through the pot.

      I never did anything with the soil after removing the bag. It would have been better if I had used fully broken down / composted material (i.e. as opposed to leaves that were still in tact). BTW, I had also used lots of quarry sand for drainage.

      When it rains endlessly for several days, the plant is still happy despite exposure to all of that water ... because the water drains through the pot. So, indeed, the moringa needs "good draining" and not merely an absence of water.

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