LESSONS FROM THE PHILIPPINES:
If you already have access to moringa trees, growing from cuttings is a very effective and quick way to get new moringa trees. In fact, this is the preferred method in the Philippines.
We can learn a lot from the Filipinos who have been growing and using moringa long, long before any of us heard of it. Moringa (or malunggay, as they call it) is an essential part their diet, and you will find a moringa tree growing in every household garden.
They say that growing moringa from cutting is very simple.
- Get your cutting, but don’t take a little cutting. Instead you cut off a large branch (anything from 1 to 4 inches thick), and trim it to 2 to 6 ft long. Prune the branch just above the node, and trim off all the leaves.
- Dig a hole about 3 ft wide and 3 ft deep.
- Place the branch in the hole and fill up the hole with good soil, sand and rich compost. Keep adding more of the soil mix so that it form a hill.
- Water generously, but do not drown it. Water again when the soil on top feels dry. Once the branch starts shooting new growth, you will know it has rooted. Keep watering until it is established.
- In India, the custom is to put some cow dung on top of the open end of the cutting. This is an excellent way to protect the cutting from pests.
- One Filipino gardener says to take the cuttings from near the tree trunk and not the top branches. Choose a branch that is 4 inches thick. The reason is that these branches are more woody and hardy than the top branches.