The Peruvian Maca plant is grown at altitudes between 7500 feet to 15,000 feet. It is considered one of the world's most frost-tolerant plants. There is a newer strain that has been harvested in Peru since the latter part of the 20th century and is considered to have all the qualities of the original. Maca has been used by Peruvians since pre-Incan civilisation. It has had documented success in the fertility of animals, curing anaemia, stomach ailments and a host of hormonal imbalances.
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Find a location in your home that will be amenable to growing plants indoors and that will not be in the way of foot traffic coming in and out.
Fill pots ¼ of the way with high-quality potting soil. If you are using a hydroponic medium, moisten it according to the directions on the medium packet.
Plant the seeds in the medium or soil--leaving about 6 inches between each seed. Use a mister to moisten the soil after the seeds are planted.
Place a plant light or a strong fluorescent bulb just above the plants. Keep the light on for about eight to 12 hours a day. If you get strong sunlight through a window, you can use the artificial light less.
Turn the pots every two or three days to expose the plants to the real sunlight coming through the window. Transplant the Maca plants after there is about 5 inches of growth above the soil or hydroponic medium.
Move the plants outdoors as soon as the last frost has passes, although Maca is frost resistant to a large degree. However, after being raised as seedlings in a temperate area, it will not do as well as in its native region, the Andes.
Continue growing Maca indoors if you want. It should take about six to eight months to have a fully grown plant. The medicinal benefits of the Maca do not kick in to the plant until two growing seasons are over.
Tips and warnings
- Check the soil for dryness rather than scheduling days to water.
- Do not take Maca or any other herb until consulting with your doctor.
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