Native to the foothills of the Himalayas in North Eastern India, Moringa oleifera is widely grown in tropical to sub tropical climates.
The leaves are eaten both raw and cooked and it regarded as being nutrient rich as well as having medicinal quantities.
Easily grown from seed, in warm climates it is evergreen and is grown as a small tree. In cooler climates it will be deciduous, and will also be much smaller growing.
In its natural habitat it can reach 10 – 12 metres in height (30 ft plus),in cultivation it is usually pruned back to around 2 metres (6ft)
How to grow Moringa oleifera
A humus rich soil, well drained and slightly acid soil is best. If growing in containers use a Camellia and Rhododendron potting mix.
Seeds can be planted indoors in late winter. Pot them up into individual pots when they reach around 10 cm in height.
Grow young plants on for 12 months before planting into the garden.
Choose a sunny position with some protection from hot afternoon sun in warmer climates.
Water regularly if grown in containers and in the ground provide adequate moisture through dry summer periods.
Prune back in late winter to around 2 meters (6 ft) in height.
Fertilise in spring using a slow release type fertiliser or try a Camellia fertiliser. Fertilise again in early summer and once more in late summer.
Used widely in India where is used in curries, stews and dahl. It is the Drumsticks or seed pods that are sought after and used although the leaves are used as well.
Also known as the Horseradish Tree and Tree of Life