Planting Oha: See How To Plant Oha

planting oha

Oha (Pterocarpus mildbraedii) is a vegetable used for food and medicinal purposes in Nigeria. 

The crop is grown majorly for its leaves.

In this article you’ll learn how to grow oha.

Description of Oha Plant

Oha is a perennial hardwood tree plant, 

The plant is a semi – deciduous or semi – evergreen plant meaning it sheds its leaves during the dry season.

That can grow up to a height about 3 m (10 ft)  or more,

The tree has a smooth bark

Young leaves are light green in colour and as the leaves mature the green colour darkens.

The leaves are oval in shape, It’s pointed at the top and rounded at the base.

It has woody branches that bear the leaves. 

The branches can be about 1 m (3 ft) long.

Planting Season for Oha

Oha can be planted at any time of the year as long as it is watered properly

But the common practice is to plant it during the rainy season which is between April – October. 

Planting Oha

Step 1: Choose a Location 

Oha is a tall and shady plant select a location that has enough space to accommodate it 

Avoid planting it too close to a building

Avoid waterlogged area 

Oha can grow well in different types of soil but sandy loamy soil is best for growing the plant.

Step 2:  Land Clearing and Preparation 

Clear the chosen location in preparation for planting,

Remove grasses and shrubs 

Till the soil and apply manure or compost.

Step 3: Means of Propagation and Seed Selection

Oha is propagated through the stem or branch

Cut a stem about 30 cm (1 ft) – 60 cm (2 ft) long from a matured oha plant.

Seedlings and stems can also be purchased from garden or farm stores.

Decide on the variety to grow in Nigeria 

There are three varieties:

  • Oha ocha
  • Oha oji
  • Nturukpa

Oha ocha and oha oji are the most common and abundant variety.

Oha ocha is preferred because it’s lighter in colour and tastes better.

Step 4: Planting

Make a hole about 3 cm (1.3 in) – 5 cm (2 in) deep,

Pour water into the hole,

Place the stem into the hole and ensure the stem is standing upright.

Cover the hole with soil to hold the stem firm.

Use a wire mesh to surround the stem to protect it from humans and animals.

For a family one oha tree is more than enough except you intend growing it for commerce.

Allow for 3 m (10 ft) between each plant.

Step 5: Water

Water the plant immediately after planting and water regularly

Maturity and Harvest

One month after planting the stem begins to sprout and leaves begin to show up,

Within six months it will develop much leaves enough to cook a small pot of soup,

Within the space of 2 – 3 years the plant would have grown into a fully mature tree.

The new leaves are tender and are used for cooking, this should be harvested early before the leaves get hard.


Oha tree shades off its leaves by itself during the harmattan season usually between November – January.

This can be done manually, to help the plant get rid of old leaves and produce new leaves in the new growing season.

The branches can also be cut from time to time.

Pest and Disease Control 

  • Avoid over watering
  • Use disease resistant plants
  • Weed regularly 
  • Avoid dense planting
  • Destroy affected plants

Hope this article was helpful?

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