The scientific name of the neem tree is Azadirachta indica. Neem is evergreen and extraordinary tree that is a native of the Indian subcontinent. This is a fast-growing tree that can survive drought and grow well even in poor soil.
This shade tree commonly grows 50 to 75 feet tall. The life of this tree can be 200 years which is a long time. Interestingly, this tree contains antiviral, antifungal, and anti-bacterial properties which makes it different from other trees.
All the parts such as bark, leaves, seeds, and stems can be used in cosmetic, medicinal, and insecticidal products.
In this article, we are going to discuss how to grow neem trees without seeds. Here we will discuss with you two ways of propagating neem plants without using seeds. There are two ways of propagating some of them are
- Growing neem tree from cuttings
- Growing neem by air layering
We will give you all the detailed information about the above two ways, one by one.
1- Growing Neem Tree From Cuttings
It is not difficult to grow a neem tree without seeds. The propagation of the neem trees can be done with the help of their branches. You can get a softwood or hardwood branch from any neem tree and grow this beneficial tree in your garden.
The question that arises in your mind is that what is softwood and what is hardwood. The branches of the year-old tree are called hardwood cuttings on the other hand softwood cuttings mean the growing tip of the branch. Here are simple steps of growing neem trees from cuttings.
Step 1: Select The Cuttings
You should select healthy and newly growing tips for 1-year-old branches. The length of the cuttings should be about 7 to 8 inches. Each cutting should be as thick as a pencil.
After choosing the cutting now place them in clean water. A few days later your cuttings will be ready for planting.
Step 2: Rooting Media
For best propagation, you need free-draining propagating media. 3 parts of washed coarse river sand with 1 part of potting mix. This mixture is best for your plants.
Step 3: Selection Of Pot
If you are planting a single Neem cutting then you need a small pot for this purpose. Drainage holes are very important for the healthy growth of any plant so make sure that your path has many drains it hole at the bottom.
If you are planning to grow 4 to 5 cuttings together then you should use a large pot.
Step 4: Filling Of Pot
Now your pot is ready for filling. When you fill your pot with the rooting media and water thoroughly. During the watering process turn the soil to make it possible that water reaches all places.
At this stage, keep your pet in the shade for half an hour. This will help to drain all excess water from the soil.
Step 6: Prepare And Plant Neem Cuttings
- Take all the cuttings which you choose for planting. Now remove the bottom leaves from the cuttings. Only top leaves should be left on the cutting.
- For fast growth, you can apply rooting hormone at the lower part of the cutting. Only one inch at the end of each cutting should be dipped into the rooting hormone. Commercial rooting hormones are very effective but you can also use homemade hormones. You can make homemade hormones by using honey, aspirin, or cinnamon.
- For making holes in the soil of the pot you can use a stick. Insert the stick in the soil for making the hole. The hole must be 1 inch deep.
- Now your hole is ready for planting the cutting. Insert the cutting in the hole and press the soil around it. In the same way, you can plant all the cutting.
- Now your cutting doesn’t need any water. You can use a polythene bag for putting the pot in it. As you are using a small pot then you can tie it at the top. This will help retain the moisture within the soil and provide a humid environment necessary for rooting.
- Direct sunlight is not good for your newly planted cuttings. You can place your pot in bright light but not in direct sunlight.
- Every 10 days you can open the bag and mist soil. After that, close the bag again. If you protect your cuttings from rot then you should avoid giving excess water. As your cuttings have no roots that’s why it needs no water.
- After 3 to 6 weeks, you will see the new growth emerge from the cuttings. At this stage, open the bag and just tuck the cutting with your hand. If you see that it offers resistance, it shows that the roots are there. If you don’t feel any resistance then tie the bag again and wait for the roots.
- If you see some new leaves on the cuttings, open the bag for half-day for the next 3 days. After 3 days, there is no need to tie the bag and you can place the pot in partial shade.
2- Growing Neem By Air Layering
This is another method for growing neem trees without using seeds. In this method, the new growth of roots is stimulated from a stem.
- During this process, the stem is still attached to the parent plant. For this purpose, you need a 1 to 2-inch thick branch.
- If you find a bark layer around the stem then remove it.
- Now cover the stem with moist sphagnum and after that wrap a plastic sheet around it. It will help to seal the moisture.
- Within 2 to 3 months, you will see the new roots and growth will be formed.
- Now the stem is ready so just cut it below the roots and transplant it in your garden.
Planting Neem Cuttings In Final Place
Whether you are growing neem tree from cuttings or by a layering method. The next step is to transplant them in their final place. At the start, the cuttings need to be kept in partial shade for 2 to 3 months.
It is better to keep the cuttings in a small pot for this period. After 3 months, you can expose your plant to full sun. When your plant is 1 meter tall you can transplant it into a permanent place.
When you grow a neem tree from seeds It will not be just like the parent plant. If you use a cutting or layering method then you will get a plant similar to the parent plant.
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Care For A Neem Tree
The tropical climate is best for growing Neem trees. The subtropical climate is also good for your neem tree plants. The following factors are very important in the growth of neem trees.
Neem trees like to grow in hot weather. The best temperature for the growth of neem trees is 50 degrees centigrade or 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature should not fall below 5 degrees centigrade or 35 degrees Fahrenheit because this plant can’t tolerate cold weather.
Trees are more sensitive to cold climates so you should be careful. The leaves of the neem tree will drop in the winter season. The growth of neem trees is very high in hot weather.
If you are growing your neem tree in a pot then it will grow according to the size of the pot.
You can check the soil if you feel it is dry then Water Your plant. You can check the dryness of the soil with the help of your finger. If you are growing a neem tree in a pot then you should keep in mind that the soil in the pot will drain very quickly.
In that case, your plant needs more water. You should increase the frequency of the water in hot weather. Overwatering is also dangerous for your plant’s health because it will result in fungus and root rot.
Light is a very important factor in the growth of neem trees so keep the pot at that location where it gets maximum sunlight. If you are growing your neem plants indoors then you should keep an eye on the temperature of the house. It is suggested that you should mist the leaves frequently for better results.
4- GROWING NEEM TREE IN A POT
If you are growing a neem tree in a pot then you should use a large pot. If you use a small pot then it will restrict the growth of the tree. You can also re-pot the tree when it grows taller or you see the roots are coming out from drainage holes.
5- CARE IN WINTER
This tree doesn’t like cold climates because it can’t tolerate low temperatures. In this situation, you can save the tree by shifting indoors if it is growing in a pot. In the winter season, neem trees need less water than hot days.
If the neem tree is planted in the ground then you can cover it with an old blanket. This will provide warmth to the tree. The other way of providing warmth is by putting Christmas lights around the tree branches.
6- NEEM TREE GROWTH RATE
The growth of the neem tree during the first air is very slow but if you provide required conditions such as light and temperature then it will grow very fast.
Every plant needs basic nutrients for its healthy growth. In the same way, neem trees also need good quality fertilizer. You can also use diluted fish emulsion or a dilute solution of water-soluble fertilizer. Fertilize your neem plants once a month in Spring and summer.
8- NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES
Zinc and potassium are very important in the growth of neem trees. If you see chlorosis of the leaf tips and leaf margins. It means that zinc is deficient in the soil. In this situation, the older leaves fall off and shoot exude a lot of resin. Potassium deficiency will result in the death of your plant.
9- NEEM TREE FLOWERING AND FRUITING
- Neem trees will start producing fruit after 3 to 5 years.
- The leaf growth of the neem tree will start from May to November after dropping the leaves.
- The flowers of the neem tree will bloom from March to May.
- The fruiting of the neem tree will start in May or June.
- You will get mature fruit in June.