Used in tea and salads, the leaf of the moringa is versatile and tasty. Growing the moringa indoors in a greenhouse isn't too difficult and makes it easier to own this diverse tree. Going from seed to full-grown in just under a year, the moringa oleifera is utilised as a medicinal supplement by those who believe in its healing properties.
Whether to make tea to potentially lower blood pressure, or just for fun, growing the moringa oleifera in a greenhouse is a matter of following a set process.
- Skill level:
Things you need
Germinate the seeds by placing them in grow bags in the greenhouse in moist soil. The bags should be 5 by 8 inches (12.5 by 20 cm) with a maximum of 3 seeds in each bag. Make the soil mixture 3 parts potting soil and 1 part sand and push the seeds in about 1 inch (2.5 cm) under the soil.
Water but do not soak the seeds, keeping them warm until germination occurs, anywhere from 1-2 weeks. When the two initial shoots pop through the soil the seeds are ready for distribution.
Remove all but one seedling from each grow bag to ensure enough room for full and healthy growth. The extra seedlings can be planted in their own soil sack using the same soil mixture.
Fertilise Moringa plants with organic fertiliser such as home made compost or manure. Fertiliser isn't necessary but can improve the health and look of the plant.
Prevent pests by placing ashes at the base of young plants. Although moringa grown in the greenhouse doesn't have too many bugs to worry about, termites are a common problem among the species. The ashes seem to dissuade the termites.
Transfer seedlings from bags to pots when they outgrow their starter bags to ensure full and healthy growth. Plastic pots are acceptable but be sure to mix the original soil with a fair amount of quality potting soil.
Allow the seedlings to grow to a height of 35 inches (89 cm) before considering removal from the greenhouse to outside. At 35 inches (89 cm), Moringa plants that will stay in the greenhouse should be replanted in larger pots. Be sure to cut a hole in the potting soil bag so roots can expand in new pot. Moringa plants should be kept in the greenhouse for at least the first 8 weeks of their life.
Harvest leaves when still young for oils and teas, older for dry mixtures. Pods should be picked when still young and small to be most effective.
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