Moringa oleifera is a fast growing tree that can grow very lengthy if not pruned. It normally grows 2.4 meter in 3 months. Moringa belongs to the family Moringaceae where species such as Moringa Arborea Verda, Moringa Boriziana mattei, Moringa Ovalifolia and Moringa Stenopetala, are some of the 14 different species. They grow in different geographic locations. But moringa oleifera is the common tropical tree that is known drumstick or horse radish tree.
You can prune the tree when it is young. This will make the tree to grow bushy. It can be beneficial to keep the usable parts within easy reach, leaves & fruit pods for fresh consumption or for processing of the leaves, seeds and fruits. You can cut them to 1.2 – 1.5m height to get more yields of the tree produce.
It responds well to mulch, water fertilizers moringa leaves that are falling in the ground can be used as green manure. Moringa can thrive in moderately cold climatic regions but cannot withstand frost in winter. It has to be protected in winter seasons and pruned to make covering the plants is simplified. Moringa can recover sending new shoots when climate improves.
They can be also grown from cuttings but seeds provide moringa trees with dense nutrients and excellent growth rate. They make great living fence posts. Moringa is an excellent source of protein & a very low source of fat & carbohydrates. The leaves contain Methionine and Cystine that are not common in other food supplements. The moringa trees leaves contain sulfur containing amino acids. Seeds of moringa oleifera sprout readily in one or two weeks.
Moringa oil is extracted from moringa PKM1 and MSO1 seeds. It is used in cuisine with its beneficial 67.9% unsaturated fatty acid. Moringa tree leaves and pods are used in cooking. People in countries such as India, Philippines and Srilanka have been using these produces in different recipes. Pods and leaves are used in cooking similar to lima beans. Mature moringa pods are roasted and seeds have a nutty taste. Moringa leaf powder, capsules have been found to get rid of malnutrition in developing countries.