One of my favorite plants for the last 5 years have been the Moringa. The main reason is because of the nutritional value. This plant/tree is also called the Wonder Tree because it can eliminate nutritional deficiency and is used in a lot of projects combating hunger. For example ‘The Hunger project’ creates projects in different countries for creating nutrition as well as a way of creating an income. This program includes sharing knowledge how to grow, harvest and how to use the leaves, to support the cultivation and stimulate Moringa is part of daily nutrition, especially for mothers and young children.
So, before I share more about my adventures with this plant, I want to tell you some more about what’s so special about Moringa. Moringa contains many healthful compounds, like vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C and calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and potasium.
You can use it for:
- Protecting and nourishing skin and hair, protecting the liver, treating stomach complaints, fighting against bacterial diseases, making bones healthier, treating mood disorders, and preventing the cardiovascular system. More detailed information here.
I bought my first Moringa plant at Moringa finest in the Netherlands in 2017. I started with a one year old plant and some very young plants. Because this is a tropical plant, it usually don’t grow that well outside in the Netherlands, but I had a great spot in our house: a big window where the sun shines nearly all day. From March till October I could eat the leaves nearly every day. Somewhere in October the plant stops growing, then is the time to cut off all the leaves and don’t give any water, until there is some sign of the first growth of new branches. Then I start watering it again.
During the growing season I give it water nearly every day, not too much, but enough and every time branches are getting too high, after eating all the leaves, I cut the branch very short and the whole process of growing branches and leaves, starts again.
In tropical areas this plant can become a very large big tree, but as long as you keep on cutting it short, it stays small.
Last year august, 2020, when we moved to Spain, I took with me 2 plants and they did very well, until the end of november. One I had put in my herbal area, but I made a mistake by spreading some rucola seeds near the plant. At that time I thought it was a good idea, but I wont do that again. The Rucola became so big, I don’t think it was so good for the Moringa plant.
This spring I started far too early and I dont have a such a nice window as I used to have in Rotterdam, so some very small Moringa plants, which I cultivated from seeds, where having a hard time in the cold, wet and windy spring here in Spain, so they nearly all died. except one. And when I tried to put it in a bigger pot, I damages all the small roots. So it took a few weeks for the plant to recover.
In June I thought I better focus on my other wonderful plants and let the Moringa go. But somewhere in the last week of June , one started to sprout. Becoming enthusiast once more, I decided to put some seeds in the ground and that went very well as well. The other one started half of July.
So it looks like , growing outside, in Spain, is possible, but the season starts later then I was hoping for.
At the moment I have 19 plants and I don’t have to keep them all. So if you are in the neighbourhoud, you are welcome to pick one up. In the meantime I will take good care of them. The older they get, the better they grow. I don’t know yet for how many years, but maybe I will find out, maybe not.
If you would like to start growing your own, you can buy a plant online or you can start from seeds, but be aware that it needs attention and a good spot in the house, or if you are living in a more warmer climate, somewhere outside. If you don’t want to grow yourself, there are lots of opportunities online to buy Moringa powder, tablets, seeds and oil. I didn’t mention the oil yet, but Moringa oil is very good for your skin. The smell and touch is very nice and I use it, together with other oils, for my face skin.
During the period when I can’t eat the leaves, I eat three seeds a day. I eat them just before I brush my teeth, because although there is nothing wrong with the taste, the after taste I don’t like at all: very sweet and it keeps on being sweet for a couple of hours, so everything tastes sweet. But beneficial as well. More info here.