Moringa or drumstick tree for gardens, try to grow the miracle tree which is the wonderful source of nutrients. Definitely you can grow the plant, either in the backyard or along with other ornamental trees in your garden.
If there is no sufficient space in your garden, you can use terracotta pots for growing moringa plant.
Always remember to keep the pots in sunny locations. In addition, pruning at regular intervals is essential to maintain the size of the potted moringa plant.
It will be really awesome to have finely maintained moringa plants along with a few bonsai trees.
Surprisingly almost all parts of the plant are useful to us, in one way or the other. In addition to the fruits, we can use the leaves, flowers and bark of of the plant.
Moringa or drumstick tree for gardens – a general picture.
The moringa or drumstick tree belongs to the family moringaecae, in which there are different species of plants. But we use moringa oliefera, the edible one that is commonly known as the drumstick tree.
Truly it is a fast growing plant with soft trunk, drooping branches and feathery leaves.
In tropical as well as sub tropical regions, it is very easy to grow this plant. Normally, this drought resistant plant cannot survive in frosty areas.
How to grow the moringa or drumstick tree ?
Propagation of moringa or drumstick tree for gardens
Through stem cuttings we can propagate the drumstick plants.
For this, use cuttings with a length of about two feet and diameter of four inches.
Usually the plant can thrive in places, where sunlight is available throughout the day.
Like other garden plants, there is no need to water the moringa trees on a regular basis. Because the root system of the plant is designed in such a way to absorb water from far below the ground. For this reason they can remain healthy even during the hot summer days.
If the trees are established once, they can remain as such for years to come. Generally the moringa trees are resistant to common diseases, and are not affected by pests.
Also we can propagate the drumstick plants through the germination of mature seeds. But it is necessary to prune the straight growing plant to keep it bushy.
Usually most of the moringa plants that we grow from seeds, are short lived. For these plants, the life span never exceeds a maximum period of two or three years.
Medicinal properties of moringa or drumstick trees
We can use different parts of the plant as effective remedies for a number of ailments.
For instance, the extract and powder of the bark is useful for the treatment of hypertension, stomach problems, respiratory disorders etc.
Consuming a handful of the moringa leaves regularly, can prevent anaemia as well as certain life style diseases.
In addition, the oil extracted from dried seeds, is an important ingredient for making cosmetics. Preferably skin protecting creams and hair care products.
Moringa or drumstick trees in Kerala
Kerala, like other south Indian states, is one of the most suitable places for growing the moringa trees.
In Kerala we use different parts of the plant for making tasty dishes. For example, Avial, sambar etc. are popular dishes, in which the moringa fruit is one of the main ingredients.
Avial is as a tasty side dish for sadya, the feast we serve on a cut banana leaf on special occasions. For making this, we cook different types of vegetables together with a paste of coconut and some other spices.
Garnishing finally with fresh coconut oil and curry leaves, gives the special aroma and flavor to the dish.
Likewise, sambar is the tasty combination for idli, the famous south indian breakfast.
However, my favourite dish is the drumstick-prawn theeyal. It is really the delicious dish we prepare with prawns, drumsticks and raw mangoes.
I will share with you the simple recipe for the dish.
1. Medium sized prawn ( peeled and cleaned ) 100 gm
2. Drumsticks 2 nos ( cut into 2″ pieces )
3. Raw mango 1 cut into 1″ cubes
4. Shallots 50 gm ( chopped )
5. Green chillies 2 ( split )
6. Grated coconut 2 cups
7. Chilli powder 2 tsp
Coriander powder 1tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek powder a pinch
8. Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
9. Curry leaves 2 sprigs
10. Salt to taste
11. Water as needed
12. Coconut oil as needed
How to prepare:
First heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds add chopped shallots green chillies and curry leaves. Then saute the above till the colour of shallots turn translucent.
After that add prawns, cubed mango and drumstick pieces. Further add salt, water and cook on a medium flame till the prawns become tender.
Meanwhile fry the grated coconut in a medium flame to golden brown. Add ingredients 6 and fry for a few more seconds.
Make a fine paste with the fried coconut mixture.
Finally dilute the above paste with a little water, and add to the cooked prawns. Cook for a few minutes till the gravy thickens.
Our delicious prawn drumstick theeyal is ready. You can have it hot with boiled rice, tapioca or chappathis.
Leaves of moringa or drumstick trees
In Kerala we use the leaves of the moringa tree for making different dishes. Especially by adding coconut, that makes it really delicious as well as healthy.
Moreover it is an important source of vitamins and other nutrients. It is a common practice to add the powder of dried leaves to soups, smoothies and salads.
However Ayurveda, prevents consuming moringa leaves during the month of karkidakam, that falls in the mid July.
The yellowish white flowers of the moringa trees, are also fine for making dishes.
In certain parts of the world, people use the roots of moringa plant as flavoring agents. Preferably due to its pungent taste that resemble the horse radish. This is the reason why the plant has got the name the ‘horse radish tree’.