HOW TO GROW BITTER LEAF PLANT

Bitter leaf is one of the wonderful leaves out there, both in nutrition, medication and growth. In Nigeria, this wonderful plant is found mainly in Igbo land or the Eastern part of the country. There this plant is found in almost, if not all compound, this is because of the way it is loved by the Igbo people, why? it is used to prepare one of the most loved soups ( ofe onugbu or ofe olugbu). And some medicinal usefulness of it like cure of stomach problems, reduction of blood sugar level with it’s bitterness. It is also used to feed animals like goat and sheep.

Now back to the topic of this article” how to grow bitter leaf plant”

These are how to grow bitter leaf plant”

Getting the Stems. Clearing Land to plant them, Planting and watering them.

The process of planning this precious leave or plant is very simple and does require any work at all because the plant can take care of it’s self very well and it doesn’t even require fertilizer nor removing of weed regularly.
below are the step by step instructions to follow to successfully plant your bitter leaf plants.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

GETTING/ BUYING THE STEM

CLEARING THE LAND

TALKING CARE OF IT

HARVESTING

USEFULNESS

GETTING/ BUYING THE STEM

The first step to farming bitter leaf plants is getting or Buying the stems. This plant is unlike other plants, the new ones are planted by their stem, instead of seed which other plants are known for, this is extraordinary. The stem are very cheap, you can get them for a as little as 50 naira in large quantity from any market in the east, or better go to your neighborhood and ask them for it, they will gladly give some to you to go and farm. When buying or collecting the stems, it is very important and necessary that you check if they are still alive and good for farming by scratching them with your finger or with any sharp object to see if there is some water inside them, this is a good indication that the stems are alive and can grow if planted.

CLEARING OF LAND

After getting or buying the stems of your bitter leaf you want to plant, the next thing is to clear the land you want to plant it on. This doesn’t require much land, unless you are doing it for commercial purpose. Clear the land with either Hoe or Cutlass and make sure the land is fertile. Although bitter leaf can survive on any type of land and any type of weather, but it is best to be planted on a fertile land to boost it’s healthy life and abundance of harvests

TAKING CARE OF IT

Taking care of bitter leaf is very simple, unlike other crops that require much care, bitter leaf is very simple and easy to get to care for. The Avery care given to bitter leaf plant is just watering it in the time of. dry seasons. ( You can only do this when they are little, if they grow, there is no need for watering). The next is weeding. bitter leaf plants can only require weeding when they are still tender, once they have grown, there is no need for that, hence they can take care of themselves. For a bitter leaf plant to grow into matured sizes, it will take between one to two months. next is harvesting.

HARVESTING

The process of harvesting better leaf plants is very simple, but the process is not once, hence bitter leaf plants grow almost every day. The recommended time for harvesting it for market is to give them a minimum of 2 weeks time, prior to your first harvest. By this their leaves would have grown up and ready to be harvested again.
To harvest this plant, you would need to have a kitchen knife and a bowel. You cut the top of the stem that bears the leaves with knife and put them into the bowel, do this until you are okay with the quantity you have either for market or for personal consumption, then leave it and it will re-grow in the next two weeks.

USEFULNESS

The usefulness of the importance of bitter leaf are numerous. But in this article, am going to give three importance of this wonderful plant to us,
Animal food/Cure: this plant is a good food for animals. In my village, my grand mother who rear all kinds of animal use to give them bitter leaf eat from time to time, and with my observation and research, I found out that this plant is best for goat and sheep. Sometimes she do give this plant to sick animals and to my surprise, they seems to be alright or cured in the next couple of days after taking this plant. ( this is my personal observation, so this can be a cure to animals, but unproven. Goat and sheep are the ones I noticed with this. You can try it if you like).

Food: as I explained earlier above, this plant has a very big fan in my place, or should I say, it is the most eaten leave in my locality, this is for the fact that in every compound you go into, they most have bitter leaf plants in large number, why? Because it can be used to prepare very nice meals of different types and various kinds. Igbo people are known for bitter leaf soup and sauce, courtesy to bitter leaf plant.

Medicine: Also medicine is one of the very important aspect of bitter leaf plant. This plant can cure many types and kinds of illness in human beings. it is a very good traditional cure for malaria, typhoid, and many more including reduction of blood sugar level in human beings. This has been confirmed by me, because when I was a kid, my grandmother have used it for many times to cure me, more especially of malaria and typhoid.

CONCLUSION

With the information above, I hope you have learned more about bitter leaf and how to successfully plant and harvest it and it’s uses. please make sure to share this article on social media.

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