How to Grow Pongamia Pinnata in India

Pongamia Pinnata is an easy-to-grow specimen that can be a great addition to your garden, thanks to its evergreen nature!

Pongamia Pinnata

Pongamia pinnata is quite a useful specimen as the tree is popular for its oil. However, you can also grow it in the garde, thanks to its beautiful foliage. Let’s have a look how!

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Pongamia Pinnata Information 

Pongamia Pinnata, also popular as the Indian beech or Karanja tree, or Pongame Oiltree, is a species of flowering plant in the pea family. It is native to India but has been introduced to other tropical and subtropical regions around the world. 

The tree grows up to 15-25 meters tall and has a wide crown. The leaves are compound, with three to five leaflets that are 10-20 cm long. The flowers are white or pink-purple and are borne in racemes that are up to 25 cm long. The fruit is a flat, oblong pod that is 5-10 cm long and contains one to four seeds. 

Pongamia pinnata is a versatile and useful tree with many potential applications in agriculture, energy production, and medicine. 

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How to Propagate Pongamia pinnata


Propagation by Seeds: 

  • Firstly, collect mature seeds from Pongamia pinnata tree. 
  • Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours to soften the seed coat. 
  • Sow the seeds in a well-draining potting mix or directly in the ground. 
  • Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. 
  • Water the soil to keep it moist but not waterlogged. 
  • Keep the soil warm and in a bright location but protected from direct sunlight. 
  • Lastly, germination should occur within two to three weeks. 

Propagation by Cuttings: 

  • Firstly, take 6 to 8 inches long stem cuttings from a healthy Pongamia pinnata tree.
  • Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone powder to promote root development. 
  • Insert the cuttings in a well-draining potting mix or directly in the ground. 
  • Water the soil to keep it moist but not waterlogged. 
  • Cover the cuttings with a plastic bag or clear plastic container to retain moisture and humidity. 
  • Keep the cuttings in a bright but shaded location. 
  • Lastly, rooting should occur within four to six weeks. 

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Requirements to Grow Pongamia Pinnata 

Pongamia Pinnata 2


Pongamia pinnata requires full sun to grow and develop properly. It can tolerate partial shade, but for maximum growth and oil production, it is best to plant it in a location that receives full sun for at least 6-8 hours per day. 

Additionally, in areas with hot and dry climates, it is recommended to provide some shade during the hottest parts of the day, especially during the summer months. This can be achieved by planting Pongamia pinnata near other trees that provide partial shade or by using shade cloth or other shading materials. 


Pongamia pinnata grows well in a range of soil types, but it prefers well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter. The soil should be slightly acidic to neutral such as a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. It can tolerate a wide range of soil textures, from sandy loam to clay loam, but it prefers loamy soil that is well-aerated. 

In general, the soil should be fertile and nutrient-rich, with adequate amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. If the soil is deficient in nutrients, it is recommended to amend it with organic fertilizers or compost. 


Pongamia pinnata is drought-tolerant once established, but it requires regular watering during the first few years of growth to establish its root system. During this period, it is important to provide enough water to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

Overwatering can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases, so it is important to ensure that the soil dries out slightly between waterings. 


Pongamia pinnata is a tropical tree that thrives in warm temperatures. It can tolerate a range of temperatures, from 20°C to 40°C (68°F to 104°F), but it grows best in temperatures between 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F). 

In areas with cooler temperatures, Pongamia pinnata may grow more slowly or go dormant during the winter months. It is also important to note that Pongame Oiltree is sensitive to strong winds, which can damage the tree and reduce oil production. Therefore, it is recommended to plant Pongamia pinnata in a sheltered location, away from strong winds and storm damage. 

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Pongamia pinnata Care 



Pongamia pinnata is a nitrogen-fixing tree, which means it can extract nitrogen from the air and convert it into a form that can be used by the plant. Therefore, it does not require a lot of nitrogen fertilizer. 

However, Pongame Oiltree can benefit from the addition of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers, especially during the early stages of growth.

It is recommended to apply a balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during the first year of growth and then switch to a phosphorus-rich fertilizer (such as 5-20-5) during subsequent years. 

Organic fertilizers such as compost, manure, or bone meal can also be used to provide nutrients to the soil and promote healthy growth. 


Pongamia pinnata does not require much pruning, but occasional pruning can help promote healthy growth and improve the structure of the tree. It is recommended to prune the tree during the dormant season (winter) to remove any dead or diseased wood. 

Pest and Disease  

Pongame Oiltree is generally a hardy tree that is not susceptible to many pests or diseases. However, Pongamia pinnata can be affected by certain pests such as mealybugs, scale insects, and caterpillars, as well as fungal diseases such as leaf spot and root rot. 

To prevent pest and disease problems, it is important to maintain good hygiene and sanitation practices, such as removing fallen leaves and debris from around the base of the tree and avoiding overwatering or waterlogging the soil. Insecticidal soaps or oils can be used to control insect pests, while fungicides can be used to control fungal diseases. 

It is also important to monitor the tree regularly for any signs of pest or disease problems and take appropriate action as needed to prevent the spread of the problem. 

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Pongamia pinnata Uses 

Pongamia pinnata has many uses. The oil extracted from the seeds is used for a variety of purposes, including as a biofuel, as a lubricant, and in traditional medicine. The tree is also used for shade and as a windbreak, and the leaves are used as fodder for livestock.

The tree has been shown to have the potential for phytoremediation, as it can absorb heavy metals from contaminated soil. 

In traditional Indian medicine, Pongamia pinnata has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including skin diseases, leprosy, rheumatism, and diabetes. Some studies have suggested that the plant has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may have potential as a treatment for certain types of cancer. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings. 

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