FAQ

FAQ’s Frequently Asked Questions

Every day we get calls with technical questions about Moringa, so we decided to take the best questions and post them with answers in this section.

Here you will find answers to questions such as how best to grow Moringa, what to do during winter, etc.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Is your Moringa powder certified organic?

We have both conventional and Certified Organic.

Our conventional Moringa is grown, shade dried, ground, and packed In India. But the final processing, including encapsulating, bagging and labeling, is completed here in the USA, to ensure that this meets with our highest level of phytosanitary protocols.

Our Certified Organic Moringa comes from Mexico. We chose Mexico, because the United States Department of Agriculture has field offices there, and not in many other foreign countries.

How can I become a Distributor ? I would like wholesale information on your Moringa products. Thank you.

Please contact us for our wholesale price list. The minimum order is 10 lbs for powder; and 2,000 units for capsules. The leaf powder is packed in foil bags of 8 oz or 16 oz (1 lb), and have a two-year shelf life.

As a distributor, you may choose to have your own label on the products.

NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES

Hi. Can you tell me the nutritional information per serving of the Moringa Powder?

Click here for the nutritional info. It shows the typical analysis for fresh leaf, fresh pods and dried leaf powder. For additional information, please go to our library/resource section.

CONTRA INDICATIONS

Are there any known side effects when taking the Moringa products (i.e., leaf, seeds or pods)?

There may be instances where you should not take Moringa.

Moringa is relatively high in potassium and calcium. If you are under medical care for certain conditions and your doctor recommends that you avoid certain minerals such as potassium and calcium and any food that is high in these minerals, then Moringa is not right for you.

If you have kidney problems or are undergoing dialysis, you should also avoid Moringa.

Moringa is also high in iron, which could be problematic for some.

Check with your doctor to see if Moringa is right for you.

GROWING MORINGA  (growing techniques, fertilizing, processing the leaf, etc.)

What is the best way to grow Moringa: traditionally, tree by tree… or intensively, with hundreds or thousands of seeds in a limited area?

It really depends on your objectives. Do you want to harvest the pods and seeds, or leaf and pods, or just the leaf?

The Intensive Method

The most productive method for producing Moringa here in the United States is the intensive method, where you plant a lot of seeds in a raised bed, and harvest several times a year.

The single-spaced tree method works well for a family or a small community, but not for mass production.

The picture below shows an intensive planting we did in Mexico in 2008. We used a plastic liner to inhibit
weeds from growing.

MOR-08-051-300x225

The next picture shows a typical raised bed, which provides sufficient Moringa for a single family. This bed has 12-inch sides and is 4′ wide by 8′ long. Growth is rapid, as the box is filled with composted soil, allowing new roots to penetrate easily, compared with compacted soil.

It was located near a water source. The bed can be covered in cold weather conditions, giving it a better chance of survival in winter.

Keep the soil continuously moist until the seeds sprout, which should be in about 3 to 7 days. Then water occasionally.

Let the Moringa grow for a month or two, and then harvest the shoots 8 inches above ground.

Wait till the Moringa grows back another 8 inches, and harvest again.

With this method, you should be able to get several harvests a year.

IMG_0769

The Spaced Tree Method

If your intention is to grow pods for seed stock and food vegetable, then you must space the trees.
Some years ago, Lowell Fuglie, a Moringa pioneer and often referred to as the “Johnny Appleseed of Moringa,” (some information on Lowell, or link to video) suggested to me to space the trees about 10 feet (3 meters) apart.

Doing so would provide about 400 trees to an acre.

The trees would have adequate sun and ensure sufficient space when harvesting the pods.

But you should not plan on harvesting the trees for both the pods and the leaf, as that will stress the tree.

It is best to decide what resource you want — leaf or pod — and harvest just that.

IMG_2032

This photo is of our Moringa plants in Arizona at about 6 months. Note how we spaced the trees. Unfortunately, we lost all the plants in December 2014, during a freak ice storm with high winds that blew in and froze the field.

This is why my advice is to grow Moringa intensively only if you can maintain more control over the crop.

How big will Moringa get?

Depending on temperature and soil conditions, Moringa will grow anywhere from 10 to 20 feet a year.

Here is a picture of our Moringa trees (at the 8-month mark) in Michoacan in Western Mexico, which has ideal growing conditions. We called it La Reina, the Queen. It was 20 ft high in just 8 months.

IMG_1227

Should I soak the seeds before planting?

Yes, Moringa should be soaked for at least 24 hours before planting.

Some Moringa growers suggest cracking (or removing) the shell to facilitate absorption. I do not think this is necessary, but it is a matter of personal preference, as some micro climates may encourage one method over the other. We do not crack the shell; we just soak and plant the moringa seeds.

You should keep the seeds continually moist during and after germination. You may ease off on the watering once they reach a foot high.

How deep should I plant the seeds?

The seeds should be planted at about ¾ inch below the surface, and not any deeper. Planting too deep causes the base of the radical to dry out, which could affect the first stem emerging from the seed.

How should I germinate the seeds after soaking?

You can buy starter pellets from any nursery or Home Depot or Lowe’s. These Jiffy pellets are sold in trays with a clear plastic lid to retain moisture. Any peat pellet would also work, although Jiffy 7 pellets are preferred.

Put your seed just below the surface.

Water and keep it covered until they germinate and grow a couple of inches.

Transplant to a pot about a gallon in size or larger, or put in the ground if you are in the planting season. Moringa will always thrive better in the ground.

Moringa Saplings

Can I grow Moringa indoors?

Yes. But it needs to be in a room with a southern or western exposure, to take advantage of the sunlight. You can also use artificial light with 250-500 watt bulbs. You would need at least a 5-gallon pot or larger; the bigger the pot, the bigger the tree.

You will find additional information in our library section on how to plant Moringa.

I live in Zone 9. Will Moringa grow here?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Hardiness Zones (hyperlink to USDA) divides the U.S. and Canada into 11 separate zones, each about 10 deg F warmer or colder than the next.

Click to see a http://www.burpee.com/gardening/content/gygg/growing-zone-information/growingzoneinfo.html

This helps gardeners and growers determine the best times to plant.

Zone 9 covers southern parts of California, Texas and Louisiana (please check if this is correct).

Moringa will grow anywhere, as long as you meet its needs, which are all-day sunlight, temperatures at 85 deg F (about 30 deg C) and above — it cannot be less than 50 deg F (10 deg C) — and a modest amount of water.

Moringa plants typically prefer sandy, loamy soil, but has done well in clay loam in desert climates.

There really is not an ideal region in the U.S. for growing Moringa year-round, but you can produce quite a bit for 6 to 9 months of the year.

Moringa will go dormant in cold weather, and you must cover or bring the plant indoors to protect it from freezing.

It can withstand a little chilly weather, but three continuous days of freezing will kill the plant.

What can I use to treat/fertilize these trees and saplings?  I would like to purchase a tree or sapling.   How are the seeds bred? I have to be sure to avoid all toxins and GMO’s for my child.

The fertilizer we use is bio-dynamic compost tea we brew ourselves. It is a complex material of nutrients, minerals and friendly soil bacteria that enriches the soil thus allowing the plant to thrive. When the soil thrives, so does the plant, that is the idea behind bio-dynamics.   We sell a homeowner version called Compost Tea in Box and it makes 20 gallons, you can make yourself;  just stir it up in a bucket. Check out the products section of our site.  Another good fertilizer you can get at a local nursery is Fox Farm Grow Big.  We also use gro pal sea minerals which you can get from www.seamineral.com

There are many uses for the Compost Tea in Box:

Compost Pile Inoculate:

Dilute 1 gallon of concentrate into enough water to saturate the pile completely, repeat monthly.

Hose End Sprayers:

Fill with concentrate and set sprayer to the highest dilution and apply weekly.

Foliar Feeding: 

Mix 1 gallon of concentrate to 4 gallons of water and apply weekly.

Seed Soak:

After soaking Moringa seeds for 12 hours, soak in the concentrate for one hour only.

Houseplants:

Use 1 cup of concentrate per gallon of water.

Diseased Plants:

Spray plant with undiluted compost tea until healed.

 

Is your Moringa GMO?

There is no GMO Moringa in the market yet.

It costs about $200 million for a GMO application to wend its way through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture to get approval for a genetically modified organism.

Moringa is safe — for now.

Do you grow Moringa fresh?

Yes. We had tremendous success with the Moringa we planted last summer.   The plants grew to approximately …. feet high within (8 weeks??).

This photo shows our Moringa at about two months. Man in field

We cut them all down in December 2014 and covered them with “Plankets,” which we will remove soon as the spring weather permits (in late March 2015).

Moringa trees do not produce much in the winter.

We advise that you cover the plants or move them into a greenhouse or protected area for the winter.

This is a subtropical tree, so appropriate care should be given.

How are your Moringa leaves dried?

Our Moringa is dried indoors on mesh screens at room temperature.

The whole frond is placed in thin layers on trays in a drying room.

Properly dried moringa is loosely layered on screens separated by about six inches to ensure adequate air flow both above and below.

The layer must be thin, so the material does not compact while drying.

After drying, we shake the leaf loose from the petiole and grind to a fine powder, usually 80 to 100 mesh particle in size.  Some processors try to speed up the process by drying the leaves in the sun.

We do not recommend doing so, as sun drying can discolor the leaf and alter its nutritional content.

 How long have you been in operation?

I was inspired by Mark Fritz’s article (hyperlink to article) on Moringa in the LA Times on February 9, 2000.

It led me to look deeper into the application and benefits of Moringa, and I did a ton of research on it.

Within a year, our website up and running.

Is Moringa Tree the same as Malunggay Tree in the Philippines?

Yes. Malunggay is the Philippine name for Moringa oleifera. There are over 150 names in several languages for Moringa. Check out www.treesforlife.org for information on that.

When is the best time to buy a live tree, so it will not die?

The best time to plant Moringa is in the spring. You can plant in the summer, but it will not be as mature as that planted in the spring. In the U.S., it is best to plant between May and September.

In California, Moringa generally grows well until November, when the first chill arrives.

Moringa is deciduous, so it loses its leaves with the change of seasons, although I have had green leaves through many mild winters here.

Normally, though, the trees start to lose its leaves when the cold season arrives, and stops producing new leaves.

This usually lasts till March/April, when they start new growth again.

If you have a controlled environment such as a greenhouse, or indoors with plenty of light, your Moringa will grow all year, even in cold weather.

At what age does this tree need to be before the seed pods form?

Pods can form as early as a few months, although this is rare. Usually it takes 1 to 2 years for the pods to form. Thereafter, you have pods for years to come.

I recently moved from Saskatchewan in Canada to Vancouver Island, Cowachin Valley area.  Will these trees survive here outside of a greenhouse, as we do get temperatures just below zero in December and January?

No, the Moringa will not survive in that cold environment.

It would have to be grown in a double wall greenhouse with heat, in order for it to survive.

The trees can take 40 deg F (approximately 4.4 deg C) temperatures and a day or two of freezing, but not much colder or much longer than that, or they will die.

Usually, Moringa plants do fine from spring until the first frost in late Fall.

 

Please explain the intensive method of growing Moringa.

Intensive growing is simply planting many Moringa seeds in a limited amount of space, usually in a raised bed planter in, or above, ground.

This could be in an area of 2 to 8 square feet — or 3 feet wide and 50 feet long, if you have the space.

If you are using a planter, you could choose a simple window sill planter, 8 inches deep and 24 inches wide.

You would fill the planter with good soil and compost, and plant Moringa seeds spaced 1 to 2 inches apart, then cover with an inch of organic potting soil. (Show pics)

In the library section (hyperlink), we have an article on how this is done commercially in Nicaragua.

 

I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Will the tree grow here? Is it evergreen or does it lose its leaves? I am very curious about this plant.

Yes, Moringa trees are fine in the heat.

It is the cold they cannot handle, so you have to greenhouse it in the winter, which is fairly easy to do.

You would cut down the tree and round tunnel them with greenhouse clear cover.

They lose their leaves when it gets cold. (Insert Pic)

 

How much should I water?

Moringa is drought-tolerant, so you do not need to water it as much as you would other plants.

If you see a young tree wilting in high heat, you should give it some water.

Research has shown that young plants that are deprived of water in their early growth period become far more drought-tolerant when they become full-grown plants.

 

How can I tell if I water too much?

The leaves turn yellow from too much water.

 

What should I feed my Moringa trees?

Initially, we suggest a foliar spray such as Fox Farm Grow Big, available at most nurseries.

Compost tea such as our popular Compost Tea in a Box is excellent, because it fertilizes the soil with the appropriate bacteria that breaks down the organic matter in the soil so that the plant can better absorb the minerals. You should always include organic compost, worm castings or a kelp-based product.

Avoid chemical fertilizers, as they destroy microbial activity in the soil.

Pure minerals, such as the sea mineral concentrate Grow Pal, Potassium Sulfate and Wollastonite (a naturally occurring mineral source of silicon), are also acceptable.

Check out www.mountaingrow.com as a source for silicon.

 

PROCESSING FRESH LEAF

How does your company produce the Moringa Powder?

 

Do you have large packaging available?

 

Do you ship outside the US? Insert Pic of Pods Pic of Leaf on trays

 

?????? (don’t have to give too many details, otherwise you’d be educating your competitors.) Suggest deleting the “how” question for now.

 

Do I have to pay sales tax on Moringa products?

In California and many other U.S. states, there is no sales tax on Moringa because it is a food, not a supplement. This goes for the other Moringa plant parts, live plants and even the fertilizer used to nourish it.

Return policy

We bought two trees on April 2 and it is May now, and one is doing fine and the other one seems dead. Can we get a replacement or refund?

Not a problem. Send me your address, and I will send you a replacement tree.