I’ve been growing moringa trees for almost four years now. I’ve grown most of mine from seeds since those seem to be stronger than the ones I started from cuttings; however, there’s a problem.
My moringa won’t make pods.
I planted PKM1, which is supposedly the best type for quick pod production, yet I’m still not getting anything. I’ve wondered if the issue is pollination, since they do bloom, but I don’t know. They’ll flower every year, sporadically, then the blooms will fall without giving me any pods.
The same thing has happened with the moringa trees down in The Great South Florida Food Forest Project. Who knows?
I’ve asked around about this problem and have seen something interesting: folks are getting pods from them even up here in North Florida, but I’m not. On further inquiry, most of the success stories I’m hearing about involve pods being produced on trees that are either growing in stressed conditions or in containers. My guess is that the restricted root development/tough surroundings are pushing the trees to produce seeds.
This makes sense. Stress induces a race to reproduce in quite a few species, including our own.
Ticking biological clocks = OMIGOODNESSINEEDABABYNOW!!!
I think I need to try keeping some moringas in pots to see if this theory is correct. I’m also going to plant more seeds in the spring from alternate seed lines. I have some seeds from Thailand (thank you, ebay) and some from Jamaica (thank you, Rycamor). I also have some from my friend Cathy. Here’s a pod she brought over to share the other night:
Though moringas look like they’d be a nitrogen-fixing tree from the bean and pea family, they’re not. They’re the own thing, as you can tell from the differently shaped pods and seeds.
Anyone have any good tips on getting moringas to set seed?
Even though moringa isn't a nitrogen fixer, isn't it still a good chop and drop because of its dynamic accumulator abilities?
Yes – definitely. I use it for that. I'm actually testing it right now as the sole fertilizer for a bed of hot peppers. When I planted them I mulched with fresh chopped moringa branches and leaves. Thus far the peppers are quite happy.
I think my moringas go into pod-making mode only when they're stressed by the drought. When there is plenty of water they just grow leaves and branches.
Yes – that meshes with what I've been hearing. The tree that produced for a friend of a friend was located in fast-draining scrubland sand. Probably a bit water starved, unlike the heavily mulched ones I have growing in rich sandy loam…
I have had Moringa oleifera growing about 6 years now and mine will flower and not produce pods. I also have irrigation and alot of other things that need it. I am thinking about Gibberellic acid spray. What do you think?
Hmm… good point about the drought. When I got those seeds in Jamaica there had been a drought for several weeks. To the point where most lawns were turning brown due to water restrictions. The Moringa we got your seeds from was growing in the back yard of an industrial property that was mostly dust and scrub grass. Another Moringa I saw was one of the few lush, green things on a residential lawn that was mostly brown. It as literally covered in flowers and seed pods.
And of course, we've had an insanely wet few months here. One of our Moringas is literally 20' tall, but growing straight up like a pine tree, rather than spread out like the ones I saw in Jamaica.
BTW, I also noticed that aJamaican soil is distinctly reddish, probably full of iron and minerals. I think the whole island was once a volcano, as most of the rocks have that volcanic look.
Thanks for the observations. Dust and scrub grass – that's probably the key.
I think you're right on Jamaica's soil. From what I've heard, the reason "Blue Mountain" coffee is supposedly so good: minerals.
I've got a 3 year old Moringa that has flowered the past two years but will not produce pods either. Very disappointing. I have a new Moringa started that I'm going to pinch off at 3 to 4 feet and see if continual pinching will force it to produce seeds. And based on this info I'll try planting one in a pot with some sandy soil, no amendments, just at the edge of the sprinkler so it will get a touch of water for a fun experiment! Great post David!
Do it and let me know!
I have a 2 and a half year moringa. First year, lots of flowers, no pods. Second year, tons of flowers, one pod! I let you know what’s the tally this year. What I read is that plants regularly harvested for leaves rarely give pods. If you prune them, you won’t get pods. It has some sense, the only tree with pods in my neighborhood is an unpruned 35-ish foot tree
Might be the case!
I’m in Ft Myers and have nine young trees. No flower or pods the first year but they all flowered and some made pods (maybe half of them?) the second year. I have two that were good sized cuttings I got from my neighbor that both gave pods the first year. One is in a pot and one went in the ground. The one in the pot made more pods than it’s sibling.
I have read that moringa were a nitrogen fixing legume so now I’m cornfoozed. 😉
Anybody have any luck with pods from their moringa stenopetala
my plant is at least 6 yrs old till no pods. Up until now the flowers are few but this year the flowers are plenty but yet to see a pod – the tree is tall and the bark is 4 inch diameter.
Thank,you all for valuable info re moringa.
I am in SC, zone 7B, first time growing moringas, all of them are in large pots. One out of 6 plants (from seed) profusely blossomed in just under 6 months. The flowers were all borne on “sucker” like branchlets which are absent in non-flowering plants.
All my plants are watered regularly and have received a fist full of 10-10-10 twice, at the end of 3rd and 5th month.
I have a 10 year old Moringa tree that grew higher than the rain gutters on my house. Healthy looking but no flowers or pods. Finally cut it down to about 3 ft. tall. Now growing great again but no flowers or pods. I guess I’ll just save the leaves.???
Planted 2 Moringa seeds 6 years ago an 3 years ago they produced pods and I harvested them.
Then nothing for 2 years (I live in zone 9A). This mid June pods came on and then I waited to
harvest them until they started to crack open. I had 12 pods of which I harvested 8 so far.
Now a week ago more pods started and it is was Oct 25, 2022. Now they are 2 1/2 feet long
bright green and growing. I can feel the seeds inside. Do Moringa get 2 pod seasons a year?
Will they die when we go into winter in Jan 2023? Is there a way to protect the pods for the 6 weeks of winter we get? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you