Is it possible to grow moringa in Spain?

Moringa in Spain is a demanding plant

Image – Flickr/Zone Scott

Moringa is a fast growing tree, which has beautiful flowers as well as many uses. It is therefore normal to wonder whether or not it can be grown in the country where you live, because who would not want to have one in their garden? Corn Before deciding to buy seeds or plants, we must see if a moringa could really live in Spain.

Fortunately, it is a country with a temperate climate, and significant frosts are recorded only in the north of the peninsula. So I tell you in advance that it is not very difficult to have a copy, but it is not easy either.

What does moringa need to live well?

Let’s start by talking about the basic moringa necessities; that is to say what it needs to live well and therefore be an easy plant to grow. And it is that it is a deciduous tree, which reaches 12 meters in height, native to eastern India, specifically the foothills of the Himalayas, in Uttar Pradesh.

Weather

Climograph of the capital of Uttar Pradesh, where moringa lives

Climograph of Vanarasi, capital of Uttar Pradesh (India).

The climate is dry tropical. The rains are monsoon and occur between the months of June and September, but the rest of the year it rains little. Similarly, average temperatures remain between 8°C and 38°C, while the extremes are a minimum of 3 ºC in January and up to 45 ºC in May-June.

Therefore, our protagonist receives a lot of water during the monsoon, but little the rest of the time. When it starts to get cooler, in November/December, it loses its leaves and only has them in February/March.

Ground

Moringa is not an overly demanding plant. It grows without problems in poor soils, although it can also do so in fertile soils.. However, it should never be kept in soil that drains water poorly. If you plant it in very heavy and compact soil, you will have two problems:

  • the roots will not be able to breathe normally, since the air will hardly be able to circulate well between the grains that make up the soil;
  • when it rains or waters, the soil will stay moist much longer, so the plant could drown.

And as if that weren’t enough, it may be necessary to add more water than if the soil was light in order for it to reach the roots well. So, If the land we have is not adequate, we will improve it by installing a drainage system., or make a planting hole about 1 meter deep by 50 centimeters wide. Once we have it, we will fill it with a 40 centimeter layer of volcanic clay which you can buy here, perlite or similar, then universal culture soil mixed with perlite in equal parts.

space to grow

Moringa is a tree that lives in a tropical place

Image – Wikimedia/Dinesh Valke

Although it can be grown in pots provided you prune it, it is best to plant it in the ground as soon as possible so that it can develop well and become a magnificent tree. But how much space do you need? Let’s talk first about the domain of moringa. These are very long; In reality They can measure up to 30 meters..

They serve to keep it attached to the ground, but also hydrated, since they are in charge of going in search of humidity. Plus, they’re swivel, so tend to push downexcept the secondary rootlets which do it horizontally.

Another thing that we must take into account is the width that its crown occupies once it has finished growing; In this way we will know at what distance from the wall or from a plant we must plant it. For this reason, it is important for you to know that his drink looks like an umbrella open; that is, it has a wide base, but it narrows as it gains height. This base can reach about 4 metersas long as it grows as an isolated specimen.

Moreover, it is a very fast growing tree when the weather is nice, and it can even flower the first year. Unfortunately, in tropical and subtropical regions, their life expectancy is short, about 20 years. When the weather is mild, its growth slows down and it can therefore live longer if it is protected from frost.

Can it be grown in Spain?

Moringa is difficult in Spain

Image – Wikimedia/Micha089

And now we are going to see whether or not it is possible to grow a Moringa in Spain. Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that if you live in a frosty place and you have a greenhouse with heating, it’s possible, but if you want to have it outside… things get complicated. In reality, You can only have it if these conditions are met:

  • Temperatures are maintained between 3°C and 45°C. Or at least the winters are mild and the summers very hot.
  • On cold days, the maximum temperature exceeds 10 ºC.
  • There are one or two seasons when it rains little, and two others when it rains frequently.
  • The soil is deep and well drained.

This means that it can grow in much of the Canary Islands (except in the high peaks), as well as in sheltered sites on the Mediterranean coast. For example, where I live, in the extreme south of the island of Majorca, it is possible to have it if it is planted -1 or 2 meters high- in an area protected from the wind. The lowest temperature we have is -1.5 ºC, but if the cold air does not give it, it can last. And the same would happen in some points of the Valencian Community and Murcia.

But I insist, moringa does not withstand frost. If it’s available in your area, it’s best to keep it indoors until spring returns. Once it reaches about 2 meters high, you can leave it outside in a sheltered place if the frosts are very, very light and short-lived.

Hope this was helpful to you.

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