Grow Neem Tree in Your Garden – Native to the Indian sub-continent, neem is a tropical or subtropical evergreen tree that is being grown in India for almost 4,500 years. One of the toughest of herbs, Ayurveda describes neem as “one tree pharmacy” and has mentioned many healing benefits of its leaves and bark including its antifungal and antiseptic qualities, strengthening of hair-roots and promoting hair growth, use in skin conditions like dryness, itching, acne, etc. It is also beneficial in dental health, digestive disorders, ulcers and maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar. Learning how to grow neem tree in your garden will be a great way to promote health in your family.
Hot climate is ideal for the neem tree
Neem tree thrives in hot climatic regions around the world, particularly Asia and Africa. A temperature of around 48 degree Celsius is ideal. The tree can handle a drop of around 5 degree Celsius in temperature. However, a colder weather than that will result in the tree shedding its leaves. A longer exposure to such climate can cause permanent damage to the tree.
Offer plenty of Sunlight
One thing a neem tree cannot survive without is plenty of natural sunlight. It is, therefore, important to make sure that the container of your neem tree is kept outdoors or near windows for long hours so that the tree gets ample sun throughout its growing stages. However, avoid too much exposure to the sun while the tree is very young.
Any soil is a good soil
One peculiarity of the neem tree is that it is not too choosy about the soil. It can thrive in almost any type of soil available, provided it has enough nutrients to support its growth. Even the pH of the soil doesn’t matter in the case of this tree. In fact, neem tree improves the pH of an acidic soil and improves quality and water-holding capacity of the soil. Therefore, whether you use sandy, rocky, clayey or saline soil, it doesn’t really matter as long as it is enriched with nourishment in the form of organic manure and fertilizers.
Nourish the soil with organic fertilizers
Although neem is tough enough to survive in the most adverse of conditions and barren of soils, it is best to offer nourishment to your potted neem plant by spraying an organic fertilizer like liquid fish emulsion once a week.
Planting the tree
Growing neem tree from the seeds is by far the best and easiest method though growing through roots and cuttings has been successful as well. Purchase seeds or saplings from a trusted nursery for planting in your home garden containers. Pots are good for germination. However, letting the plants grow in small pots can damage the roots as well as the growth. Once the plants are big enough, shifting them to the ground is the ideal move. Water the soil just enough to keep it moist.
Pruning to manage growth
Neem trees can grow to several feet high and it is good to prune the tips of the young plant for branching in all sides. This will restrict vertical growth and you will get a thicker, bushy neem tree.
Growing neem tree in your garden is easier than most other plants as it is one of the hardiest and fast growing herbs you can grow. Follow the above tips and you will have the “one tree pharmacy” right in your home garden.