Re: REQUEST: Neem tree info
Subject: Re: REQUEST: Neem tree info
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Conrad Richter)
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 94 07:45:12 EST
Article: 47116 of rec.gardens
Organization: Richters Herbs
email@example.com (Joan Bradley) writes:
> I am now the proud owner of a neem tree in a one-gallon pot. It was
> a gift. How much water and fertilizer does it need? How big does it get?
> I'm in South Florida. How do they fare in this area? I'd appreciate
> learning about this before I plant it and would hope some of the
> knowledgeable people "out there" could help.
A gift? You what enlightened friends you have. Neem is a fascinating
plant with some pretty remarkable medical, insect-inhibiting and other
commercially useful properties. It has been the subject of a lot of
research in the last few decades.
This summer I collected seeds in Ghana where it has become naturalized
as it has in much of the tropics. It is very hardy -- ethnic East Indians
tell me it is almost weedy in its disposition, and indeed the USDA has
some concerns over its potential to become the next _Schinus_ in Florida.
(I say they need not have much concern for while it is agressive I have
never seen it become a nuisance.)
I understand that there are people trying to develop strains that are
frost tolerant, but as far as I know nothing significant has come of the
efforts yet. So, for now, assume that it will suffer badly if it gets
hit by frost. Indeed, it doesn't even like temperatures below 60F -- in
our greenhouses they suffer badly during the winter months when our
greenhouses drop to 50F nightly.
Neem will grow in full or partial shade, needs heavy feeding (high N) and
doesn't mind copious water if it can get it. I have the notion to promote
neem as a house plant, since it seems to do very well in bright windows.
Would require the occasional heavy pruning, but otherwise it requires little
care. And it has its own pest defense system...
There is a book out on neem put out by the National Research Council
called _Neem: A Tree for Solving Global Problems_ (1992). (We are planning
to list it in our next catalogue. Sorry, Adam, I couldn't help myself,
but at least I avoided mentioning the price.)
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Tel +1-905-640-6677 Fax 640-6641 | Conrad Richter: firstname.lastname@example.org