Gardening Questions And Answers
Condition: Sooty mold. Organism: Sooty mold is caused by a ubiquitous, airborne fungus that lands on the noni leaves and uses the sugary exudates produced by sap-feeding insects as a food source. Thus, the presence of high populations of sap-feeding insects is necessary for the formation of sooty mold.
Avoid locations where other crops have been planted recently, due to the susceptibility of noni to root-knot nematodes. Select a site in full or partial sun with well drained, well aerated soil. Avoid heavy soils, compacted areas, and flood-prone sites. Prepare a hole about the size of the pot and transplant carefully.
Morinda citrifolia (noni or Indian mulberry) is native to the area from South East Asia to northern Australia. Noni is believed to be among the original plants that Pacific islanders brought with them in their voyaging canoes. They valued the plant for its medicine and dyes. It is now grown throughout the tropics.
Noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) is a tropical plant belonging to the family, Rubiaceae. It is a small evergreen tree or shrub growing to a height of 3 to 6 m. Fruits are multiple, oblong, 5 to 7 cm long, soft, watery with a cheesy aroma. Fruits contain more than 150 compounds having nutraceutical properties.
Fresh noni seeds can be planted immediately after extraction from the fruit. Some growers soak the seeds until they start to germinate, then plant them in containers, while others plant fresh seeds without presoaking treatment. Some growers just plant fruit fragments containing seeds directly into the field soil.
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.
Climate Concerns. As a tropical plant, the noni will not tolerate low temperatures over an extended period of time. Year-round outdoor growing is only possible in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 11 and 12, although you can grow it in a pot and bring it indoors during the winter.