Sunday, April 12, 2020

'Miracle' tree

Just above net, when first planted

Happy Easter! And what an apt time to write about the Miracle tree. Or Moringa oleifera. I've been on the hunt for this tree, for a while. As I'd often heard it referred to, as the "Miracle" tree. Why would it be called that? Well, first I had to track one down! It proved to be difficult to find in my area, although many backyard nurseries were selling it on the Sunshine Coast. I eventually found a seed supplier, and was excited when several of them germinated. Unfortunately the two-year drought hit, and all died in my shade-house, except one! The tree you see above.

It's reputation for being a hardy, vigorous tree, was no exaggeration. Although my tree has been in the pot for many years - we only received enough rain this year, to put it in the ground. It has nearly tripped in size, in just a matter of months! Which makes me happy, because it means they can become established quickly. An absolute must, for our semi-arid climate..

With a reliable specimen in the ground, I went looking for specific information, on how to use it. I found a short (but very informative) documentary:

Approximately 17 minutes

It was very brief in details of how to use it, but the information about medicinal qualities, made me so grateful mine survived the drought. It's somewhat of a multi-vitamin, for essential nutrients which western diets, traditionally lack.  Especially vitamin "A", which Sally Fallon mentioned briefly, in the interview I posted recently. It's important for healthy immunity.

If there's one tree you should be growing in your backyard, as a natural multi-vitamin, it's the Moringa tree. Fortunately, Moringa can tolerate light frosts, so even temperate climates can grow them - I'm sure they would be benefited, by growing near a brick wall, paving or pile of rocks though.

On our north facing slope (southern hemisphere) we shouldn't have issues with frost. I'm looking forward to this quick grower, establishing, so I can experiment with how to use it.


  1. Bill Mollison always raved about the Moringa. I gave it a miss as I always assumed it was tropical, but I've just Googled and there are people growing it in Melbourne, although mainly as a pot specimen. Many said it died back over winter and produced new leaves in summer. Some were growing it indoors, so I think I'll try and get some seeds and give it a go. The video was interesting and informative. Yours looks very healthy. Have you used any part of it in cooking yet?

    1. I know of a guy in South Florida who grew Moringa as chop and drop for his sandy soil. It died back every winter too, and came back with vigorous growth in the spring. So a light frost might cut it back, but won't kill it. I haven't tried cooking it yet. It's just starting to flower now, and wondering if I should see if I can get seeds to grow, or pinch the blooms back. On one hand, I have no experience growing Moringa here, so not sure if it will produce seeds at this time of year (or will they fall off). On the other hand, do I want to sacrifice the blooms, so it can put all that energy back into it's roots?

      I'll see how quickly the pods start developing to determine if I should remove them. I'm looking forward to learning more about this tree - and from you, if you attempt to give it a go in your temperate climate. I'm thinking if it can survive Florida winters, it can survive Melbourne ones. :)

  2. I am hoping my Moringa trees take off. I have lost one, and one is looking poorly, but the rest are starting to get new growth. We don't get heavy frosts so I am hoping they will be established enough before the firsts ones hit. I will be covering them while they are small.

    I learned about this miracle tree from Geoff Lawton {greening the desert} a few years back and purchased some seeds. I didn't try to grow them until we got bees, as I learned that they love the flowers. I planted nine seeds, and eight grew, so that was a great result.

    Your tree is looking very healthy where you have planted it. I hope to get the same result to provide shade and all the other benefits.


  3. I'll join you in hoping the seedlings you have, get some size on them too. I don't have a lot of experience with Moringa, so we'll have to learn about them together. I think if you give them too much water, or their feet get waterlogged, the tubers at the bottom start to rot. I was surprised of the 3 which germinated, only one made it through the drought. But it's the one I neglected the most! So wondering if I loved on the other two, too much? Of course, there's always more to learn about plants though!


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