Effect of Plant Population Density on Growth and Leaf Yield of Moringa Oleifera Lam.



Moringa (Moringa oleifera), a fast growing tree that originated from India is extensively promoted worldwide for nutrition supplement as it is rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. Currently, studies on Moringa seem to be focusing more on its nutritional and medicinal values, than its agronomy as a cultivated crop. Hence, this study was conducted to assess the influence of different plant population density on growth and leaf yield of Moringa for sustainable dry matter production. The experiment was established at the nursery of the Department of Agronomy, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. It was a Completely Randomized Design which comprised three plant populations: 1,000,000 plant/ha, 250000 plants/ha and 111,111 plants/ha replicated thrice. Data were collected on the following: emergence percentage, plant height, number of branches, stem girth, number of leaflets, leaf fresh weight, leaf dry matter, shoot fresh weight and shoot dry matter. Results showed significant treatment effect on parameters evaluated at p<0.05. Emergence percentage, number of leaflets, fresh leaf weight and dry leaf weight were highest at 250 000 plants/ha while mean stem girth and stem weight were highest at 111,111plants/ha. Hence, the population density of 250,000 plants/ha could be considered the optimum for sustainable growth and high leaf yield in an intensive mono-cropping system.


Plant population density, Leaf dry matter, Moringa, growth, plant spacing.

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