Growing Moringa in the Northeast?

I saw a video recently of a guy that grows Moringa in Austin. He planted his in ground from seed and every fall he cuts it back at the base and covers it with mulch. Every spring it comes back from the base and grows quite large because it’s such an amazingly fast grower.

I’m wondering if I could do the same thing here in zone 6/7. You think I’ll get pods every year?

There’s also the possibility of growing them in containers and overwintering them indoors. Has anyone tried that route? Baker Creek sells some seeds that are supposedly a dwarf variety:

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Got to wonder how much of this has been varified:


Moringa is used for “tired blood” (anemia); arthritis and other joint pain (rheumatism); asthma; cancer; constipation; diabetes; diarrhea; epilepsy; stomach pain; stomach and intestinal ulcers; intestinal spasms; headache; heart problems; high blood pressure; kidney stones; fluid retention; thyroid disorders; and bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections.

Moringa is also used to reduce swelling, increase sex drive (as an aphrodisiac), prevent pregnancy, boost the immune system, and increase breast milk production. Some people use it as a nutritional supplement or tonic.

Moringa is sometimes applied directly to the skin as a germ-killer or drying agent (astringent). It is also used topically for treating pockets of infection (abscesses), athlete’s foot, dandruff, gum disease (gingivitis), snakebites, warts, and wounds.

I have one tree in the ground near Houston and whack off the trunks at about 4 ft before the first big freeze. The lower 3 ft is surrounded by a 3 ft tall wire fence ring about 18" diameter, as well as a second wire fence ring about 3 ft diameter. Dry leaves are stuffed between the 2 rings for insulation, and when a freeze comes a plastic sheeting “teepee” is wrapped around everything. The plastic gets removed when the freeze ends. If a big time cold front was coming here, I would also stuff the inner area full of dry leaves to the top and then put the teepee in place. As long as the leaves are kept very dry, I don’t worry that the trunks’ very thin skin/bark rotting away. In Spring, the inner leaves can be removed (if not already removed), and the outer leaf ring gradually decomposes to nourish the tree and soil. I also have several growing in 5 gallon pots that go in the garage when cold is heading this way. Because they all grow too tall/skinny with only a few leafy twigs on top, I whack off tall branches every now and then, tape the whacked top to seal it so it won’t rot downward, and fertilize the trees. They soon sprout multiple new side shoots/branches that will make twigs/leaves for an easier, more bountiful harvest. The compact size is easy to get in and out of the garage door. Once the potted trees are stuck inside for a few days, they will begin dropping leaves quickly. I have not tried to use a grow light to see if that will help the leaf loss issue. Because these are not allowed to grow freely fully to their destined size, I get no pods. Not an issue here. An easy way to handle potted movable Moringas is to plant them in 5 gallon paint buckets with the handle tied upright, drain holes drilled around the bottom of the side, and fill them with lightweight potting mix. It is easy on the back to grab the handles and walk them in or out, especially with the runted dimensions. If the pots are not draining well, the weight increases, so it is time to poke a long screwdriver in the many 1/4" diameter drain holes around the base. I chose 1/4" so that less soil mix would fall out when watering, as well as to keep out larger slugs from using it as a condo

Moringa is a centuries-old snake-oil treatment for just about everything. If you eat enough, it does have laxative effect. Otherwise double-blind clinical tests have repeatedly shown a small response for the placebo and nil clinical response for the plant material and extracts. However, a few pharmaceutical compounds have been developed (read: human-designed chemicals) based on the plant. This latter fact has led many a “used car salesperson” to sell the powder and everything else from the plant as the same treatment for the clinical drugs. A great demand has been created for Moringa plants and products in “natural lifestyle” publications. Certainly there is profit to be had by those who propagate it.


Well, I never did insert a few Moringa leaves into the lawn tractor fuel tank to see if that might get the motor to crank, but maybe it could be sprinkled on bridges to keep off the “angry demonstrators” trying to block it, or maybe even mailing a few leaves to the County Tax Appraisal District would get them to lower the annual inflated tax bill. But even if not, eating green, leafy veggies that also taste good can be beneficial. How much should be eaten to make a “theraputic dose”? Probably more than the quantities used in limited clinical trials. And for a longer period of time. Like sellers of jogging stuff that depend on folks believing that jogging is “good for your health”. How much jogging? How long a period of time? Hard to quantify and give a guarantee of finite benefits. Anyway, if folks buy their food only based on very thorough, unbiased, big-time clinical studies, then there are just about zero restaurant menu items that will be sold. Or grocery store items. But I would bet a Big Mac HB that the workers doing the clinical studies on Moringa probably eat more junk food than those who try to eat their home grown fruit, Moringa, 'maters, peppers, beans, etc.

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i have my doubts about any of those being verified.
i think the only thing that is verifiable there is the nutritional value of moringa leaves. Easily one of the most nutritious and fast-growing leafy vegetables out there. At par with taro greens(sans oxalates), so still really worth growing if you have the right climate or if you can provide it enough warmth in winter.

and the leaves are quite palatable too(has a mild, nutty flavor when cooked), something kids can learn to eat with little resistance, compared to brussels sprouts :grin:

and speaking of which, @ross, there is a chance you could grow your own pods from potted moringas, but if not too productive the first couple of years, especially with short growing seasons, you could opt to just grow them for the leaves. The pictured ‘dwarf’ moringas do not look any different from the regular moringas, but then again, it is probably not what anyone might want, especially if growing them for greens, so we want them to be growing vigorously.
and if you’re worried about your specimens getting too big and leggy for winter, you could simply chop the “tree” into a manageable 2 -3 ’ trunk, and it will grow back quickly next spring. I have seen moringas getting chopped down into stubby stumps, and they seem to have adventitious nodes all over them which start rousing ‘from the dead’.

you may also use the butchered wood as cuttings. Those will strike easily as cuttings in warm conditions.

and speaking of exotic vegies, i have a few extra pods of egyptian spinach and sponge gourd seeds, good for two people who might want to try them. First two to pm me gets them for free :slight_smile:

There is no therapeutic dose contained within the plant, regardless of the extraction or distillation method. The pharmaceutically inspired drugs do not occur within the plant.





… you’re a great salesperson for this product :slight_smile:



No. It is a tree.

Yes. I use it in some of my cooking.

Now wait a minute … I grew up eating fresh brussel sprouts out of the garden I never had an objection to them! :slight_smile:

Are you (@jujubemulberry) growing one or more trees of Moringa?

i grow them as annuals. Too cold in this side of town apparently.
my mom grows them in phx outdoors with no problems.
btw, curious which fast-growing leafy vegie you know might be moringa’s peer

and yes, it is a tree, and it is eaten as a leafy vegetable.

Oh the drumstick tree! Brings back fond memories of my childhood!

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Many, if you wish to compare independent lab tests vs. advertiser’s results (which have all been copied from each other).

Further, there is no one healthiest vegetable, fruit, etc. Most all of them have something useful to offer, and all are missing one or more components offered by another.


yeah, it is not ok to post claims from *.com .

so here’s a *.gov report

“No other plant, whose nutritional profile compares favorably with that of M. oleifera, appears able to match its combination of overall utility, micro- and macronutrient composition, rapid growth habit, high yield leaf production, and survival in harsh climates. This strongly suggests that M. oleifera is a unique pan-tropical dietary plant.”

sure! but you’ll have to wait till summer

Sure! In supplement to what? Burger King?? The data you are quoting is from gross sales, not specific uses. And certainly the “natural foods marketing” has produced increased consumption of this crop.

From the source you quoted:
“Despite the fact that no rigorous clinical trial has tested its efficacy for treating under-nutrition”

gross sales?! not really sure what you’re talking about.

of course, it will not be effective in under-nutrition. It is a leaf, it is simply better than most other leaves as food.

Although the site you referenced is a U.S. government site, it was listed there as a reference to a non-governmental, non-peer-reviewed article and thus the results are questionable and likely to be promoting a crop local to the invenstigators:

then post something that is a peer of moringa, and something not questionable, since you say there are many

Here’s what you might be missing:

Roots rotting when too wet. Glug…glug…glug. This last Spring a local flood 100% submerged for a full week several of the 5 gallon black pots with 2+ year old Moringas growing quite well in them. Each tree lost all submerged leaves and twigs. About 3 weeks later all but one of the 2" thick X 1 foot tall trunk stubs started to bust out with tiny side shoots to replace the dead leaves/twigs. Happy. To cultivate them as 1’ stub trunks sporting multiple side branches that grow upward and grow multiple leafing branches/twigs works better than just 1 very tall, slim weak pole with a few leaf structures at the top. Although I did clip tall trunks off, wax the ends of 18" long sections, and pot them during Summer, most may have used stored energy to sprout out a set of leaves…but only a few made a set of roots with the limited stored fuel. They ranged from 5/8" thick to 1" thick. Starting new plants from cut trunk sections probably works better with tropical climates and thicker cuttings. The trunks are a fibrous material much lighter than sugar cane and without the tough, glossy covering on the cane, so they can start rotting instead of rooting very quickly. Once the cuttings get partially buried, the clock is running…and the soil fungi/bacteria are ready to eat them up.