Moringa Tree Diseases and Problems, Moringa Tree Care

Read below how to care for moringa tree and cure for moringa tree diseases and problems like leaves turning yellow or white, holes in leaves, root rot problems, moringa not growing or producing flowers and dying moringa tree; and moringa care instructions on how to tackle these moringa problems and their management.

Moringa Tree in a Pot
Moringa Tree Growing in a Pot

Moringa is a hardy plant in places with hot climate. It is resistant to most insects, pests and diseases, but aphids, spider termites, leaf miners, caterpillars and whiteflies can occur in case of over-watering or standing water in soil, and also due to water stress during dry weather and cool weather. There are about 12 diseases affecting moringa [1] including leaf spots, powdery mildew, root rot, wilt, fruit rot, dieback, canker, rust and anthracnose. These diseases affect both the quality and quantity resulting to yield loss.

The waterlogged soil of moringa plant can cause a fungal diplodia disease, which can cause severe damage to the plant and may cause the death of the plant.

Video on Moringa tree Diseases and Treatment

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Moringa Leaves Turn Yellow

Moringa Tree Yellow Leaves
Moringa Tree Yellow Leaves
  1. The moringa leaves turning yellow may be due to overwatering or under-watering or poor nutrients in your soil. Insert your index finger in the soil, if you feel dry soil at 1 inch below, then water deeply. If the soil is too wet, it means that you are putting too much water on your moringa plant, do not water until the soil gets dry.
  2. All the leaves turning yellow indicates water stress or lack of nutrients in soil or poor light. Fertilize your moringa plant and move the plant in direct sun light or a brighter location.
  3. Mite during cool weather can also lead to yellowing of moringa leaves, but plants usually recover as the temperature rises.
  4. In young moringa plants the bottom leaves turn yellow by a natural plant behavior prioritizing stronger upper leaves, remove them.
Yellow moringa leaves are edible, you can use moringa leaves that have started to turn yellow if they do not have any mold or bad smell. But keep in mind, fresh young green leaves contain more nutrients than older or yellow leaves.  So it is better to use fresh moringa leaves, as they are packed with lots of vitamins and minerals.

Moringa Leaves Turning White

  1. If your moringa leaves turning white, it means Powdery mildew may be the problem. Make a baking soda spray and spray on the tree.
  2. Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 ml pest oil and a few drops of dish washing soap in 1 liter water and spray for a few days until the problem is resolved.

Holes in Moringa Leaves and Defoliation of the Tree

  1. Sometimes, you may see holes in the leaves or flower buds and flowers. Caterpillars are eating up the leaves. The moringa tree can be attacked by different types of caterpillars like bark-eating, hairy or the green leaf caterpillars. You can see their eggs and larva on leaves, trunk or bark or in soil. The damage due to caterpillars are:
  2. Leaves become like papery structures if the larva feeds on leaves.
  3. The hairy caterpillar feed on trunk and bark, and their severe infestation can cause defoliation of moringa tree.

Caterpillar Management on Moringa Tree

  1. Collect and destroy eggs, larva and adults.
  2. Remove the damaged and infected parts of the tree.
  3. Spray an insecticide. Neem oil is an effective natural pesticide for controlling caterpillars in the garden. Just mix 1 ml neem oil and a few drops of dishwashing liquid soap in 1 litre water and spray on the leaves, branches and the trunk.
  4. Apply a thick layer of mulch on the soil, leaving 6 inch from the trunk.

How To Revive Dying Moringa Tree

You can save or revive a dying moringa tree.
  1. The main reason your moringa is dying is the type of soil. If your soil gets saturated with water because it holds water, then water surrounding the tap root causes moringa root rot quite fast, killing the tree within a few days.
  2. The moringa waterlogged soil can cause a fungal diplodia disease, which can cause severe damage to the plant and may cause the death of the plant. Improve the soil drainage. 
  3. If your soil drains less than 1 inch per hour, then you need to amend the soil to increase drainage. Mix coarse river sand in the soil to increase drainage.

Moringa Tree Not Growing or Flowering, Poor Moringa Growth

  1. If you notice that your moringa tree is not growing or growing slowly, then improper light, temperature and humidity may be the reasons.
  2. Your moringa tree should get at least 6 hours of direct sun light. if you cannot provide direct sun light, then at least provide maximum possible bright light.
  3. Time to time pruning will encourage the tree to produce multiple branches, making the tree bushy and of low height. Prune moringa tree in winter when it grows to a height of 3 feet tall, allowing 3 to 5 branches up to 2 feet above the ground level. This will encourage more leaves and flowers and more pods.
  4. Lack of nutrients in soil may be the reason of the poor growth of your moringa tree. Amend the soil by adding fertilizer and compost in soil.

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1. Gatan, Mary Grace, Diseases of Moringa and their Management (April 22, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3582292