Neem tree is beautifully shaped and is great as a shade tree (see photo below).
Neem is propagated by seeds (photo below) and will grow in pots, protected from frost in colder climates. However, its seeds are only viable for about thirty days or so which means that fresh seeds are a must.
Another word of warning for potted plants: they will only grow as big as their space in pots allows them. So, choose the biggest planter you can still handle for your neem tree.
Although in nature Azadirachta indica handles easily a wide range of growing conditions - from extra dry in Sahara Desert to extra humid and salty of Florida Keys - neem prefers the following when grown in pots:
- humus from your compost pile or premium potting soil mix from the nursery
- perfect drainage
- fish emulsion weekly
- balanced organic fertilizer monthly during the growth period
- as much natural light as possible during the day and artificial light during winter or your tree will stop growing
- there are only two things that could trouble your neem plant but they are both related to overwatering: slugs and root rot
More amazing facts about the neem tree:
- in optimal growing conditions it will grow up to ten feet per year
- it is hardy enough to survive without natural light for months
- sculpturers know that neem wood is rodent-proof, termite-proof and great to work with
- in U.S. or internationally you can purchase Neem Tree seeds, seedlings or two-year-old plants online (click the link)
- in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan neem twigs are used daily for tooth-brushing which is probably one of the earliest and one of the most effective forms of dental care
A Cornerstone of the Ayurvedic Tradition
- antidote for snake bites
- natural pesticide, equally effective in repelling pests that affect plants and humans - repells about 200 pests!
Photo above: neem blossom
Photo below: neem fruit, filled with sweet liquid
Learn more about neem in this amazing video below.
Find out more on how to use neem oil as an insect repeller HERE (opens a new window).
Photo above: beautiful neem sunset