Retired Senior Chief asks “can you lend any advice on sprouting moringa seeds? I have about a 3% germination rate right now and very frustrated.”
Sprouting moringa seeds is really easy – you just need to know a few things first.
Fresh seeds are needed
Moringa seeds lose viability rapidly in storage.
Make sure you get fresh ones.
Also, it’s probably a good idea to wait until the pods brown on the tree before picking them. A pod picked green may not have finished maturing the seeds – let nature work, then harvest when mature.
Sprouting Moringa Seeds Like Warm Temperatures
Moringa seeds like it warm to hot. Sprouting moringa seeds in a cool winter or spring is a losing proposition. I found this out when I ran my plant nursery. I wanted to get a bunch of seedlings started early so I’d be ready for the early summer plant shows, so in February put a bunch of pots out in the nursery and planted them all with good moringa seed.
Nothing happened for a couple of months. Then, a few seedlings emerged. Most of the seed failed.
This made me get smart.
The next time I planted moringa, I started them in pots on top of a heat mat (like this one).
Even in February, they came up fine and grew well. 80 degree weather is good for germination… 60s and low 70s, not so much.
Watch the Water
Too much water can kill young moringa seeds and trees. Don’t soak them. Plant your seeds, water them well, then water them again when the soil almost dries out.
Sprouting seeds and young seedlings have a high tendency to rot. Overwatering seedlings will often kill them. The trees can take a lot of water once they get taller, but when the wood is still green – watch out.
Moringa seeds take a week or two to sprout. I believe sprouting moringa seeds right in a good-sized pot or in the ground will give you stronger trees than starting them in little trays, as the roots are quite vigorous and like to move downwards.
You’ll find more on moringa in my book Totally Crazy Easy Florida Gardening: The Secret to Growing Piles of Food in the Sunshine State.
Good luck and happy gardening!