Growing Methi Leaves In Pots (Fenugreek):
The below information is about Growing Methi Leaves In Pots.
Fenugreek/Methi (TrigonellaFoenum-Graecum) is an annual growing herbal plant, Fenugreek is native to the Mediterranean and Asia regions. Growing Fenugreek leaves from seeds is very easy process, you can grow in Pots or in the garden bed. The Fenugreek/Methi is an all-purpose plant. Methi Seeds are used as spice, dried leaves as herb and fresh small leaves as vegetables. This article will give you complete information about growing Methi/Fenugreek plants in Pots. The fresh Fenugreek leaves (Methi greens) are used for culinary mainly in Indian dishes and Fenugreek/Methiseeds are used as spice powders. Even the dried Fenugreek/Methi leaves are used in cooking as a spice. The dried Fenugreek/Methi leaves are known as KasuriMethi or kastoori Methi. India is the largest producer of Fenugreek. And both the greens and seeds of Fenugreek plants have many health benefits.
Fenugreek or ‘Methi’ is widely grown in Asian countries for many decades and is widely cultivated for its medicinal and culinary purposes. It tastes of these seeds and green will be like spinach or even much better.
Growing Fenugreek in a container is very easy process, Methi grows well in all regions, sub-tropical or tropical, temperate or colder regions. You can grow them easily on windowsills in small pots, on a balcony or terrace.
Growing green leafy vegetables and herbs in Pots is the very easy and successful gardening when compared to all other vegetable gardening experiences, because as they grow very fast – and the harvesting period will be less 30 days even if you grow from seeds. And they don’t even need more care or feed, just need good quality soil, water with suitable growing environment. The Methi/Fenugreek grows well in USDA Zones: 8b – 11, can be grown below Zone 8 in summer. Methi/Fenugreek plants grow well in spring and summer season and if growing in tropical region you can grow Methi/Fenugreek round the year.
The Fenugreek/Methi plant can grow up to 60 cm height. It has three-lobed triangular leaves, hence the generic name trigonell. The plant also produces yellow flowers which produce beans containing Fenugreek seeds. The Fenugreek/Methi grows very quickly.
- Scientific Name for Fenugreek/Methi: TrigonellaFoenum-Graecum
- Common Names for Fenugreek/Methi:Trigonellafoenum-graecum (botanical name), Methi, Samudra,shanbalile, abesh, hilbeh, hilba, helba, halbaMethi, Greek Hay, Foenugreek, Fenigreek, Bird’s Foot, Hilba, Trigonella, Cow’s Horn, and Goat’s Horn, etc.
- Methi/Fenugreek belongs to the family of: TrigonellaFoenum-Graecum.
Basis Requirements and care for Growing Methi Leaves In Pots
- An organic fertile, well-drained soil with a pH level around 6 – 7. And location you place the container should receive at least 4 hours of sun with shade in the afternoon. Water the plant at regular intervals and dry out the soil between the watering sessions and don’t over water the plant which leads to root rot. The Fenugreek plant doesn’t require fertilizer, but enriching the potting mix with manure or compost in soil while planting will increase the growth of leaves.
Season for Growing Methi Leaves In Pots:
- Fenugreek is warm crop and grows well in spring to early autumn seasons when the soil temperature is warm. Ideal temperature for growing Fenugreek/Methi should range between 10 to 30°C (50 to 90 °F).
- In colder regions, you can start Methi/Fenugreek seeds in indoors 5 weeks before the last frost of the season.
- Ideal Season for growing Methi in Pots: June – July and October – November.
Location for Growing Methi Leaves In Pots:
- Fenugreek plant thrives well in full sun to part shade.
- Fenugreek prefers a warm, moist spot in partial shade, and grows well in full sun.
- Fenugreek/Methi can be grown in balconies, back yards, front yards and on terrace garden.
- Fenugreek plants grow well in indoor, place them near a window where you receive good amount of light.
Suitable Climate for Growing Methi Leaves In Pots:
- Fenugreek is a warm crop and loves the warm and hot climate, and the temperature should range from 10°C to 32°C.
- If you are planning to grow Fenugreek from seed, spring is the ideal season for germination.
- If you are growing Methi to use as a vegetable or herb, then you can sow the seeds anytime between spring to mid fall.
- In USDA zone 9-11, these plants can be grown round the year.
Soil For Growing Methi Leaves In Pots:
- Methi thrives well in a neutral to slightly acid (pH 6.0-7.0) soil.
- If using gardening soil for growing, mix the soil with river sand to increase its draining capability.
- Enrich the soil with lots of organic material like compost (composting) and well-rotted manure to make the soil fertile.
- Using good quality commercial potting soil, instead of gardening soil.
How to Grow Fenugreek in Pots or Ground?
You can grow Fenugreek/Methiin Pots and ground. The main advantage of growing Methi in a container is that it can be easily moved to indoors in the case of frost.
Suitable Container for Growing Methi Leaves In Pots:
- The Fenugreek/Methi needs a large sized container for growing. The Methi plants grow vigorously, and most of them grow by their own.
- Don’t use shallow container, the roots of the plant may spread out from the bottom of the container. Shallow container can weaken plants or cause uneven root spread.
- For growing Methi/Fenugreek the size of the container should be 8 inches or more in diameter and depth of the container should be 10 to 12 inches, Fenugreek/Methiplants need enough space to expand.
- The container should have 2 to 3 draining holes. And sterile the container with warm water and antiseptic soap before using. And fill the bottom layer of the container with a thin layer of gravel.
- And place a saucer under the container to control the water overflow and to maintain soil temperature.
- Use the Pots made of clay, terracotta, plastic or wood for growing methi.
Propagating Methods for Growing Methi Leaves In Pots:
Fenugreek/methods can be propagated from seed and growing from transplants is not a successful process. Sow the seeds directly in the potting soil to a depth of 1–2 cm (0.4–0.8 inches) allowing 7.5 cm (3 in) between individual plants and 20–45 cm (8–18 in) between rows.
Sowing steps for Growing Methi Leaves In Pots:
- Fenugreek/Methi plants don’t like transplanting they may die if you disturb their roots. Sow the seeds directly into the desired container.
- Buy good quality seeds from a garden shop or nursery centers, use the seeds from your previous crop. Even you can grow them from the Fenugreek/Methi seeds you get from the Indian grocery shop.
- Soak the Fenugreek/Methi seeds overnight before planting them. Soaking the seeds overnight before planting will fasten the seed germination and also increases the success rate of germination.
- Fill a glass bowl/glass with warm temperature and soak the seeds and leave them there overnight. Next day, drain the water, before planting and place them on paper towel.
- Fill the container with commercial potting soil enriched with compost and well-rotted manure, leave 2 to 3 inch space between the soil surface and rim of the container.
- Now sprinkle seeds on the surface of the potting soil. The seeds don’t need sown evenly or perfectly spaced, just sprinkle them. Spacing between the plants is not required.
- And Cover the seeds with the potting soil. The Fenugreek/Methi seeds need not to be buried very deep in the soil. Just cover the seeds with a thin layer of potting soil make sure that the seeds get air and light.
- Water the seeds deeply. For the seeds to germinate you need to water at regular intervals. Make sure that the potting soil is evenly moist.
- Over watering can drain away the seeds, keep the soil well misted throughout the germination process.
- The seeds start sprouting in 6 to 7 days after sowing, depending on the climate.
- In frost regions, start the seeds in indoors 5 weeks prior to the last frost of the season. And the seedlings can be transplanted outdoors when the soil temperature is around 15°C.
Water requirement for Growing Methi Leaves In Pots:
- Keep the soil moist, but do not over-water.
- Fenugreek/Methi plants need lots of water to survive. Maintain a constant moisture level in the potting soil.
- Check the moisture levels regularly, Insert the finger 2-inch-deep into the soil. If you feel the soil is dry, water to the plants. If the soil is wet don’t water the plants.
- In hot and dry weathers, methi plant should be watered several times in a day. In winter water the plants as per the moisture levels in the soil.
- The plants die, if soil is kept dry for longer intervals
- Over watering or under watering may turn the Methi leaves bitter.
Fertilizer requirement for Growing Methi Leaves In Pots Pots:
- Feed the Fenugreek plants with fish emulsion spray regularly.
- Side dress the surface of the soil with compost of tea or vegetable composts for the healthy growth of leaves.
- You can fertilize the plant with all-purpose mild organic fertilizer to fasten the growth of the plant.
Sunlight requirement for Growing Methi Leaves In Pots:
- Methi plants grow well in full sun to partial shade.
- Provide 5 to 6 hours of sunlight during growing season.
- Mid sun in heavy summer seasons can harm the plants, during high summers place the container in the shade.
- If grown in indoors, plants need full light for growing. Place them near windows or growing lights.
Pests and Diseases in Growing Methi Leaves In Pots:
Fenugreek plants are less affected to pests and diseases. Common pests that attacks plants are aphids and spider mites and diseases that affect are powdery mildew, charcoal rot and root rot. You can use organic pesticides regularly and watering regularly to protect the plant from these problems
Diseases the affect Fenugreek/Methi plants are:
- Cercospora leaf spot. It is a fungal disease; the symptoms are circular skin lesions with some holes on the leaves of the plant. This disease discolored the pods. This can be caused to poor quality seeds, use some organic fungicides to protect from this disease.
- Charcoal rot: it is fungal diseases, the symptoms are discoloring of vines and cankers on the stems. And these diseases make leaf wilt and causes leaf drop. Use commercial organic potting soil along with well-rotted manure or Neem cake to protect the plant for these fungal diseases.
- Powdery mildew: White, powdery spots under the leaves and stems which spread over times, sometime yellow spots are also visible under the leaves. This is cause to insufficient sunlight and shady conditions and poor air circulation
- To protect the plants from disease, avoid the stress plants with adequate irrigation and fertilizer; overcrowding can also cause stress in plants.
Harvesting of Methi Leaves:
- Harvesting period of Methi leaves 30-35 days. Just pick the Fenugreek leaves on the top of the plants whenever you need. Regular picking will encourage growth of new leaves, harvesting fresh leaves for every 2 weeks.
- Harvesting Fenugreek Seeds: for harvesting seeds, continue watering and fertilizing plants till they die. The plants produce blooms after that they produce seed pods. And collect these seed pods and dry them to extract the seeds. Dry the seed pods in sun for 10 to 15 days. Store these pods for sowing the seeds for next time.
- Store these Methi seeds in an airtight container and keep in a dry, dark spot.
How to store fresh Methi Leaves for a long time:
- Fenugreek leaves can be stored fresh for many months, they stay fresh as new one, without change in their color, taste or flavor.
The method for storing Methi leaves is given below:
- Harvest fresh Fenugreek leaves of your plants.
- Now Chop the leaves roughly and wrap in aluminum foil lightly. Make 2-3 such packets.
- And place these packets in a Ziplock bag and freeze it.
- For usage just take out a packet, open it and wash and use.
- Don’t wash leaves after harvesting. As the moisture in the leaves will cause rot in steams. To reduce moisture in the leaves, don’t wash them before chopping.
Making Fenugreek Sprouts
Sprouting the Methi seeds at home is not a tough process. It’s very simple, just fill a glass with clean water and put Methi seeds in it after 2 to 3 min, Drain the water and cover seeds with a muslin cloth or paper towel and leave in a dark place. The seeds start to sprout in 2-3 days.