Growing and Planting

Getting Started
Noni can be propagated from either seeds or stem cuttings. Seeds have a disadvantage due to the fact that they take 6-12 months or more to germinate while stem cuttings can root within 2 months of being planted. Noni seeds float and are hydrophobic due to an air chamber and a water resistant seed coat. The seed are thick and tough and has a cellophane-like coating.

Notice the light brown bubble toward the rounded end of the seed, this is the air chamber that gives it its buoyant qualities.

The fruit of a noni can store hundreds of seeds. Noni growers will rip the ripe fruit apart and carefully separate the seeds from the flesh of the fruit. Though the seeds can be plant right after seeds are extracted from the fruit, most growers will soak the seeds in water until they germinate before planting the seeds in sterilized soil.
For agricultural purposes the noni need a hot, wet environment to germinate. It can take up to a year for a noni seed to germinate, but cranking up the heat will reduce the time it takes them to germinate. Noni seeds can withstand temperatures up to 38 degrees Centigrade, sometimes higher yet. In nurseries heating pads are used to heat up the potted seed to create a shorter germination period.

These noni are being cultivated in lava rock soil in Hawaii, and are spaced about 6 to 8 feet apart.

Soil and Water
Wild nonis grow in forests and appear to be fine and produce healthy fruit without the benefit of fertilizers, but noni growers are recommended to use a fertilizer program due to the desire of massive fruit production. By adding different amounts of nutrients at different stages of the life cycle, it will encourage noni to grow the large amounts of heath fruit. The plants should be fertilized frequently with only small amounts of fertilizer. Chicken manure, macadamia nut husks and crushed coral are effective organic fertilizers for the noni plant and in some locations it is recommended that a pound of lime per plant yearly will encourage growth. Lava rocks are also use to help promote growth since wild noni can grow in lava fields. In an agricultural setting the soil the noni grow in is sterilized to give the plant's a clean start so the plant's don't have to start fighting pathogens and parasites right away.

Noni tend to grow better in exposed area when protect by a windbreak, such as these ironwood trees.

Since nonis can survive droughts and are used to hot arid conditions, once the noni are mature, the plants only need to be watered once or twice a week. If the plant is older it is recommended to water it even less frequently, and each plant should get about 10 gallons of water each time it's watered. Overwatering can cause root damage caused by root rot and accelerate damage from root-knot nematodes.


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