If you’re anything like me, you’re probably the type of person who skips the end credits of Netflix shows to get to the next episode, because waiting thirty seconds is too hard when you can find out what happens next right now.
If you’re anything like me, you’re also probably the type of person who waits breathlessly for their plants to grow.
The time it takes for that first green shoot to emerge from the soil always feels like it takes years. So when you’re planting a new type of tree-like Moringa, you might wonder how fast Moringa actually grows.
How Fast Does Moringa Grow?
Moringa trees are remarkably fast-growing. The seedlings will start to emerge from the soil within a few days, and after a week they might be an inch tall. After two weeks, they might be 2-4 inches. Within the month, they’ll probably be about 5 inches tall. After that point, they start to grow about 1-2 feet per month, and within 6 months they’ll likely be between 5-10 feet tall, depending on sun, water, and soil conditions.
That’s a basic overview. But let’s talk about the sun, water, and soil conditions. How fast do most Moringa trees grow, and how can you optimize their growing conditions to bring out the best in your tree? More information about how fast moringa grows is below.
More reading can be found here, at Morningarden’s famous Moringa post:
When Can I Expect Moringa Growth Milestones?
Moringa is one of the most fast-growing plants in existence. Its seedling stage lasts the longest; it can take a month or two before it finally passes the 1-foot mark, and the seeds themselves can take 1 or 2 weeks to fully germinate.
It will likely take another month or two before it finally hits about 2-feet, which is about the latest we would recommend transplanting it into the ground if you intend to do so.
Moringa seedlings grow relatively quickly; 2 feet of growth within 3-4 months is pretty remarkable, even for a fast-growing plant. However, after your Moringa hits that 2-foot point, it’s probably going to start shooting up even quicker.
Assuming a warm climate, sandy loam soil, and appropriate watering, Moringa trees grow about 1-2 feet per month. Within 8-10 months, it’ll probably reach about 10-12 feet or between 3-4 meters. By the time your tree has grown for a full year, it will likely be between 12-15 feet tall.
We don’t actually recommend letting Moringa trees grow that large if you have any intention of harvesting the leaves.
The taller they get, the more difficult it becomes to prune, so we recommend trimming the leaves before they get to that point.
If you’re using your Moringa trees for shade or a windbreak or for another similar reason and you would like them to continue growing, however, a fully-grown Moringa tree can reach between 30 and 40 feet tall, and about 2 feet in diameter at breast height.
If you leave a Moringa tree alone, it’s going to grow pretty tall, and very quickly. How should you go about nurturing your tree if you want it to grow as fast as possible, though?
How to Maximize Growing Conditions
Moringa trees grow best in Zones 8-11: warm climates that rarely dip below freezing temperatures, even in winters. This makes sense; Moringa originated in northern India, where even during the coldest parts of the year the weather rarely dips below 40 degrees.
If you live in a warm environment, you’re already at an advantage; Moringa thrives in higher temperatures. But what else can you do to make sure your Moringa are as healthy and fast-growing as possible?
Step One: Make Sure to Give Your Moringa A Good Chance of Germinating
There are a number of ways you can germinate seeds (stay tuned! We’ll be linking to our germination guide here within the next few weeks), but we’ve found that soaking them and letting them germinate indoors works best.
A helpful tip: we’ve found that planting your Moringa seeds works best in early spring, especially if you plan to grow them in pots before transplanting. Wait until the threat of frost is over.
Then start germinating. If you start at this time, your trees will be ready to take advantage of the summer heat just in time for their growth spurts.
First: take your Moringa seeds and soak them in water for 24 hours. \
Once a day has passed, remove them from the water and place them on a paper towel.
Carefully pat them dry. Don’t be rough with the seeds while drying them, and don’t squeeze them.
Next, place your seeds in a Ziploc bag. Store that bag in a dark location, like the inside of a closet. If at all possible, try to keep the temperature in this location warm; absolutely no cooler than 70 degrees F.
Most of your Moringa seeds will germinate within 3-7 days, though they can sometimes take as long as a week. Check on your seeds daily. Moringa shoots are delicate, and if they grow too much while in the bag, the shoots will sometimes break. Remove the seeds the day you start to see them germinate.
Step Two: Use Sandy Loam Soil
Moringa is hardy; it can grow in extremely high weather, it can last through drought, and it’ll grow even in poor soil conditions. But Moringa prefers loam soil, and it’ll grow much more quickly if that’s what you give it.
Sandy loam soil is made up of three elements: silt, sand, and clay. The clay gives your Moringa roots a solid foundation, while the sand provides quality drainage and the silt lets the clay and sand mix together.
Fill up your Moringa container two-thirds of the way up with sandy loam soil. You can use different containers: plant pots, paper cups, and mugs.
However, the container you choose should be at least 6 inches tall, and taller if possible.
Moringa roots grow deeply, and if they’re not able to grow properly due to a shallow container, your tree’s growth might be stunted even if you do eventually transplant it.
Use your finger to dig a hole about an inch deep and one to two inches wide. Place your Moringa seed here.
Important note: when your Moringa seeds start germinating, you’ll probably see two shoots emerge, not one.
One of those shoots will have what look like tiny leaves or frills at the very end. This shoot will eventually become the trunk of your Moringa tree. The other shoot will become the roots.
Please your Moringa seed in the soil root-side down, and lightly cover it back up with your soil.
Step Three: Give it Sun
It doesn’t matter whether you’re keeping your Moringa tree indoors or outside: make sure it gets direct sunlight.
If you’re growing Moringa indoors, place it next to the west- or south-facing window where it’ll soak up the sun. Keep your blinds open as much as you can.
If growing Moringa outdoors, keep it in an area where it’ll get as much sun as possible.
Make sure its sunlight isn’t blocked by larger trees or buildings, and make sure it gets sun, especially in the afternoons and evenings.
Step Four: Water Your Tree More Frequently When It’s Young
The nice thing about Moringa is that it’s hardy enough to survive droughts. However, one of the biggest downsides of sandy loam soil is that because it drains so well, you need to irrigate it frequently.
Now, you will not need to water your Moringa as often as you’d water most other plants, even with sandy soil. You will want to take more care of it in its first months of life, though.
Keeping the soil nice and moist for its first month. We’d recommend watering it once a day; enough to dampen the soil, but not enough to waterlog it.
If water accumulates at the top and doesn’t drain within 5-10 seconds, you’ve watered it too much; try less tomorrow.
After it’s grown about a foot, decrease the amount of water used. Water it enough to dampen the soil, but not so much that water accumulates. We’d still recommend watering it every day or so, but don’t worry if you forget a day; just water it again, as usual, the next day.
Once the tree has grown about 2-3 feet, its trunk will start to harden. If you intend on transplanting it outside, do so no later than this point. We recommend transplanting your Moringa trees when the trunk is still supple, typically sometime in month 2.
After month three, you can start decreasing your watering to twice a week; less if you get rain at least 2-3 times a month.
Keep doing this until month four. At this point, your Moringa tree will likely be at least 3-4 feet tall, its trunk will have begun to harden, and it will be well on its way to self-sufficiency.
Moringa Tree Height
Knowing how tall your tree is supposed to be is crucial, and a good checkpoint during each step to make sure you’re on the right track.
The Moringa Tree Height should be about 2 feet at 4 months, 12 feet by a year, and over 20 feet by year 2.
If your Moringa tree is not hitting these checkpoints, make sure your Moringa tree is getting enough sunlight and nutrition.
A 4-month Moringa tree is one very capable of surviving on its own with whatever rainfall it gets. It’ll grow in its own time.
But by giving it the care, water, sun, and soil it needs as a seedling, you’ll have provided your Moringa tree with the best growing conditions possible, thereby ensuring that it continues growing quickly all the way into adulthood.
Please comment below if you have questions, and continue exploring the website for further information!