Moringa plant leaves

May 14, 2013

Hi all,
I am attaching my drumstick plant picture. Its leaves are turing yellow and kind curly leaves. Is it due to any fungus or nutrient problem

Comments (14)

  • xman


    Moringa's leaves turn yellow for 2 reason, 1) Soil too dry. 2) Soil too moist. Usually yellow leaves are caused by the 2nd reason. I have about 8 of these trees and I have seen that even a little extra water will cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop.

    If you are sure that it is not any of the above 2 reasons, then check to see if you are providing correct nutrition, check pH level of the soil, etc.

    As for the leaves curling, it could be caused by sucking insects, check for aphids, mites, or leaf miners.


  • rajiram

    Thanks xman.
    Could you tell what kind of fertilizer should I apply?
    I don't see any insects in these plants.
    In my second plant, weher leaves are fresh, new sprouting leaves are dropping off . Could that be due to over watering?

  • xman


    I checked my trees this morning and they have a few leaves that are curled or wrinkled little similar to yours.
    So, if there are no insects then you do not have to worry too much about the leaves.

    How is the soil to the touch? is it wet and soggy? Moringa prefer a little dry than wet, I have moringa survive days in extremely dry soil, but even a couple of days with excess water will cause yellow leaves and leaf drop.

    If the leaves are dropping after turning yellow then it could be overwatering, but if green new leaves are dropping without turning yellow, then you have something biting the leaves. I have found small green catepillars on the leaves sometimes. These are really small and thin, so you have to look closely to find them. Since yours is a small plant look under every leaf.

    As far as fertilization, you could use anything, I use fish emulsion and try to stay organic, since I eat the leaves. But a friend of mine uses miracle gro every 2 weeks and has had excellent results. Moringa loves compost rich soil, but be careful with watering as compost retains water.


  • rajiram

    Thanks for your suggestions.
    They were cramped in a small pots. I moved them to bigger pots and added chicken manure. They were overwatered. So stopped watering them .

    I don't see any insects. Anyway I sprayed some neem oil emulsion too.

    Now I have to wait and see

  • Vaibhav

    Hi, Can I get some seeds? thanks - Vaibhav

  • segurelha

    In my experience, moringa leaves become yellow, leaves drop, and then plant dies, mostly because of one reason: spider mites.

    It seems every person I know that it's trying to grow moringa, it grows well for a while, and then declines and dies. Always goes like I described above.

    When I look closely to the leaves, they are dotted, and then they curled, after they are sucked dried by the spider mites.

    The only solution is to grow moringa in sterile soil and containers in another place, where there are no spider mites. But if you grow anything else there, changes are you have spider mites.

    Of course, moringa is also sensitive to watering, and also to root disturbance, so any container growing makes it even harder. The plant becomes weak and has no change against the mites.

    Either that, or you can live in a climate where you plant it out on the ground, and then the moringa will become established, strong and be able to fight the mites.

    Sorry man, the mites are really a nightmare.

  • akripon99

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  • Suzi AKA DesertDance So CA Zone 9b

    I don't know what that link was, but I noticed my Moringas 8' tall, flowering like crazy, all grown from seeds have quite a few yellow leaves, and we had planted some baby succulents in that area. I water those daily to get them established, and gift the Moringa with some extra water too.

    Prior to all the watering, no yellow leaves. I guess I will confine my water only to the succulent area.

    I ate my first raw pod today. It was thin and about 8" long. It tasted like a spicy green bean.

  • KoaL4b3ars

    I have a very similar problem, but it is more severe. My moringa trees are only about 5 weeks after germinating. I live in Seattle, so it has been long, warm days (70-80) and cool nights (60) so I bring the plants indoors. Leaves on old branches at the bottom are yellow while leaves on new branches are curled up on the sides to the extent where the sides are touching.

    Nothing is crunchy or crispy when I touch the leaves, and I was doing thorough waterings every other day from lake water, so I assumed it was over watering. However, 2 out of 3 of the pots were planted in bonzai soil, while the 3rd was planted in a 50/50 potting soil/bonzai soil mix. The 2 pots with bonzai soil drain exceptionally fast and dry out very quickly in the long day so i mulched dry leaves over the soil after the first week. I held off from watering the past couple of days thinking I was over watering, but noticed the soil was bone dry when I dug my finger in there after realizing I was losing turgor pressure in the branches.

    I became worried about spider mites because there are spider webs within branches and leaves, but I assumed it was caused by the small black spider living in the pots. When i flicked the leaves over white paper and observed the undersides of the plants, I found nothing. I also read about the tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) which can inflict moringa olifera and seems to have the same symptoms.

    The symptoms between over and under watering seem to be the exact same and I have no idea which I am doing. Being an arid, sandy-soil tree, I assumed it was over watering, but the soil is telling me under watering.

    I am such an amateur and I have exhausted all of the internet resources. Please help me learn how to fix and care for this plant, or inform me how to do it better the next time around. I read to do thorough waterings every other day until the plant exceeded a foot in height, then cut it back to once a week to prevent root rot. Should I follow these guidelines or should I just pay attention to what the soil is telling me? Is it ok to let it go dry? When I do water, should it be numerous small squirts at the surface whenever the soil gets dry or should i do a fairly thorough watering then hold off?

  • greenman62

    i am thinkijng the pot may be too small ?
    Moringa have ling tap-roots
    and i remember reading if it touches the bottom of the pot
    its bad news.
    i have always had problems keeping them in pots after they get about 2ft tall.

    they are a fast growing tree,, and WANT to grow fast when young.
    fast draining soil is great, but, if you dont have something to keep the moisture in, it means you have to water more often.
    they dont like soggy soil,
    but they do need water.
    so, i would water infrequently. 1 or 2 times a week, but, only if you can keep the soil a little moist.

    Here in New Orleans, it gets very hot and very long sunny days will dry out a potted plant in hours.
    in the winter (less hors of sun) , with temps in the 60s or less, cloudy days, and some mulch/compost on the top, i can go 3 weeks without watering moringa.

    so, its not a schedule you should follow, its soil moisture.

    deeper pots may be needed as well.

  • Calli Jensen

    Hey all I'm having a similar problem I have a bunch of seeds I brought back from Trinidad. And they don't seam to get more than a foot tall. The leaves are turnin

    yellow and falling off. This is my 4th attempt . Any suggestions ? I'm think its over watering . But I ha e started 4 more babies I would like to grow the next ones properly

  • rinercindy196

    Any suggestions of how much to water right after planting 2 ft plant into the ground ?

  • HU-967133848

    sulfate @, soil Epsom magnesium

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