Table of contents:
Moringov family. Homeland Africa, India, Malaysia. In nature, 13 species are common.
All species can be divided into three groups: caudex forms (bottle trees), whose homeland is mainly the island of Madagascar. They have thickened trunks (Moringa drouhardii, Moringa hildebrandtii, Moringa ovalifolia, Moringa stenopetala). Ordinary trees - have underdeveloped tuberous thickenings on the roots (Moringa concanensis, Moringa oleifera, Moringa peregrina), originally from Arabia and India (foothills of the Himalayas at an altitude of 1400 m). Tuberous trees and shrubs - have mainly underground or semi-underground tubers (Moringa arborea, Moringa borziana, etc.) common in Somalia and Kenya. The origin of each species also dictates the conditions for keeping the plant as a room culture.
- Moringa borziana Moringa borziana is a bushy plant, originally from Kenya, 2-3 m high. Caudex is semi-underground, brown, divided, the thickness of each thickening reaches 15 cm in diameter and about 1 m in length. Leaves are alternately arranged, compound odd-pinnate. Each leaf is obovate, green. The flowers are five-petal, bisexual, with a sugary sweetish aroma. Sepals are greenish at the base, reddish at the end, bent back. The petals are greenish cream. The fruit is a pod capsule.
- Moringa oleifera Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing, evergreen, well-branching tree, reaching a height of 10 m in nature. The trunk diameter is 60-70 cm. They have underground tubers (about 20 cm in diameter). When grown as a houseplant, tubers are not buried but raised above the ground. The roots smell like horseradish. The leaves are alternately arranged, complex, pinnate (7-11 leaves), drooping. The petioles and the lower part of the leaves are covered with grayish pubescence. Leaflets are broadly ovate, green, notched at the apex, 1-2.4 cm long. Inflorescences racemose, up to 30 cm long. The flowers are white, less often cream, about 2.5 cm in diameter, fragrant. The petals are lanceolate, 1.5 cm long and 5-6 mm wide. Sepals of the same color and shape as the petals, with a green base, slightly pubescent.
Temperature: Normal in summer, optimally 20-28 ° C, cool in winter, within 12-13 ° C, not lower than + 10 ° C, with dry content, avoiding complete dryness. Moringa loves fresh air, is resistant to drafts, but not in winter.
Lighting: Sunny place. Shading may be required during the hottest hours of summer, it is necessary to preserve the decorative effect of the leaves. Moringa will grow well on any window except the north one.
Watering: Abundant in spring and summer, during the dormant period (at low temperatures) watering is very limited. Moringa is distinguished by good drought resistance, but when dry and in heat it loses its leaves. Its roots are powerful, in nature, even in the driest periods reach groundwater. After establishing normal watering and humidity, it releases new shoots. Try to avoid watering with hard water, which will leave salt deposits on the soil surface. Loosen the soil in the pots periodically.
Attention: Plants with caudex, regardless of their thickness, water them in the same way as any other succulents
Fertilizer: From April to August, they are fed once every 2-3 weeks with liquid mineral fertilizer. It is better to alternate fertilizers universal, for example, "Pocon" universal (NPK 7 + 3 + 7), with fertilizers for flowering plants, for example, "Bona-forte" (NPK 5 + 10 + 5).
Humidity: Moringa likes high humidity. Most species in nature grow near the ocean (for example, Moringa borziana not further than 100m from the coast), and therefore need high humidity of 80-85%. Plants are sprayed and placed on a tray with water.
Transfer: Annually in the spring. Soil mixture: 1 part turf land, 1 part leafy soil, 1 part fine gravel (2-3 m), 1/2 part washed and sieved sand. At the bottom of the pot, drainage is made about 2-3 cm high. Moringa is not very demanding on the acidity of the soil, some species grow on slightly acidic, others even on calcareous (Madagascar species), but in nature, when growing at home, choose soil with a pH of 5.5.
Reproduction: Seeds and cuttings. Seeds quickly lose their germination, after 3 months of storage in a warm place, it is only about 10%, but the seeds are much better kept cool. It is sown in spring, after preliminary soaking for 2 hours in warm water, into a mixture of peat and vermiculite, dropping by 1-2 cm and maintaining good substrate moisture.
Seeds sprout about 7-30 days. Moringa blooms at an early age, possibly within a year after planting. Young seedlings and rooted cuttings are very sensitive to drying out, but with age, you need to be careful with watering.