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Moringa stenopetala germination

Hey guys,

I bought 200 Moringa stenopetala seeds from a company based out of India. I tried starting 50 of the seeds now with no luck. I’ve tried direct planting, plastic bag, pre-treating with vinagar, soaking, not soaking, a read somewhere to put them in the fridge all with no luck. I’ve had issues with mold and rotting (I think). Any and all advice would be helpful.

Thanks,
Justin

Hi Justin,

So I just called our farm maneger who has quite some experience in planting different varieties of Moringa. He told me that the stenopetala variety does not need any pre-treatment. But you need to place the seeds vertically (we plant in tree planting bags and later transplant them) and they need to be placed at a depth similar to the lenght of the seed (so if the seed is 1 cm, plant it 1 cm deep). The tricky part is to know which side of the seed needs to be up and which side needs to be down. It’s not easy to explain but rather something you need to learn by observation. Keep up the good work!

Jeannette

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In trying my best to explain what Jeannette said regarding which side is up and which side is down. I’ve attached a germinated moringa olifera seed. I’m pretty sure the moringa stenopetala seeds will be similiar. If you see the two places where the wings come together you should notice a slight difference. On one side the wings intersect and bypass each other (This is the top). The first picture below shows this really well even though much of the wings have been removed.

On the other side the wings intersect but they do not bypass each other. It’s as if they are legs to a chair.

The other more FUN way to think about it is to look at Saurumon’s Tower from Lord of the Rings. The side that looks like the top of the tower with the more separated, pointed wings with a gap in the middle is where the root will come out and therefore the bottom. Most seeds wont be as pronounced with a big gap, but there will be a small one.
<img src=“http://www.lotrscenerybuilder.org/images_small/Making_Orthanc/Making_Orthanc_1.jpg” width 400" height=“809”>
All that being said I recently planted a packet of Moringa Stenopetala from ECHO and only one of the seeds germinated and the rest rotted. I planted in plastic sacs with compost mixed with sand and rice hulls. I’m wondering maybe it should have been put in more direct sunlight? Mine was in the shade and indirect sun.

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Thank you guys for the help. I have read from other sources that the seeds can be hard to germinate and are prone to rot.

I planted 20 vertical. I think I figured out which way is up. Some are kind of obvious, and some not so much. M. stenopetala is a bit harder to tell which side is which. I’ll keep you updated on what happens.

We want to try them for the increase drought tolerance. I hope it’s worth the effort. Keeping with the theme, in the words of Sarumon, “Though we have long studied this world, and we are now old, there is still much in this world we know nothing about Gandalf, stop picking your nose.”

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Dear all!

Here is a few researches i made to help, because we in Haiti, at SAKALA, we plant a lot of Moringa but as you know in our country it is always hot, we still have great success with the production.

Link : https://treesforlife.org/our-work/our-initiatives/moringa/francais/comment-faire-pousser-le-moringa

Grow from seeds:
The seeds of Moringa
have no period of
dormancy and can be
planted as soon as they are
mature.
In the ground:
It is best to plant the seeds directly where
the tree is expected to grow and not to transplant the young
plant. The seedlings are fragile and can not
often not survive transplanting. To plant the seeds
directly into the earth:

  1. Choose a place with light and with a floor
    sandy, not weighed down by clay, nor gorged with water.
  2. Dig holes of 30 cm2 and 30 cm deep.
    Re-fill the holes with loose soil. Compost
    or fertilizer can help the tree grow even better
    if Moringa can grow in poor soil.
  3. Plant 3 or 5 seeds in each hole, separated by 5
    cm. Do not plant the seeds deeper than three times
    width of the seed (approximately 1.5 cm - the size of
    nail one inch).
  4. Keep the soil moist enough for the surface
    soil does not dry out or hinder the emergent plant, but
    not too wet otherwise the seeds can drown and
    to rot.
  5. When young plants are ten to fifteen centimeters
    height, keep the healthiest plant and remove the rest.
    Termites and nematodes can kill a young plant.
    Take steps to protect the plants from both dangers.

Note: If the soil is heavy, dig a larger hole
more than 90 cm in diameter and 90 cm deep, and then
reload it with 1 part of sand and 2 parts of the soil
original. Adding compost or fertilizer will help.

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So this gets more interesting. I sent a picture to the guy in India. He was very nice, but told me they sent me Moringa pteyrgosperma. He is going to refund me the money and send me the M. stenopetala.

The interesting thing, though, is the best I can find M. pteyrgosperma is synonymous with M. oleifera. The seeds don’t look like oleifera, though. So what kind of seeds do I have?

Picture added

I supplied ECHO with M. stenopetala for years. We would remove the outer hull. Stenopetala can germinate in cool temperatures (4,400 feet in Haiti) but will be better and much faster in hot tropical weather. I can’t see the last photo asking the species. Maybe the seeds were irradiated.

Justin, that’s great that the company is sending you new seeds. The last photo didn’t come through. Can you send it again? Perhaps you could open up the husk and see if they seeds inside are healthy?

In my years of working with moringa, I’ve never pre-treated, dehusked, or planted the seeds in a certain direction to get them to grow. That said, I’ve only worked with M. oleifera and M. stenopetala.

We recently purchased a batch of seeds from India and after 3 separate times of winnowing and sorting out seeds, the germination rate is still below 60%. The husks were very hard but inside the seeds were shriveled up. This was a bad batch and we will just use them for water treatment experiments.

Let us know how it goes!