How to Grow Terminalia Chebula | Myrobalan Care

Terminalia chebula, with its distinct appearance and cultural significance, is a valuable tree with diverse uses!

Terminalia chebula

Commonly known as Haritaki or Indian Gallnut, Terminalia chebula is native to the Indian subcontinent and other parts of Southeast Asia. Here is all about growing Myrobalan Tree.

Terminalia Chebula Information

Myrobalan Tree is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 60 to 80 feet (18 to 24 meters). It has a rounded crown with spreading branches. The trunk is straight and cylindrical, with a grayish-brown bark that becomes rough and fissured with age. The leaves of Terminalia chebula are leathery and have a glossy, dark green color on the upper surface and a pale green color on the lower surface.

Terminalia chebula produces small, inconspicuous flowers that are pale yellowish-green in color. The flowers are borne in clusters or spikes at the end of branches. They have a pleasant, mild fragrance and attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Terminalia chebula is well-known for its fruit, which is a drupe.

Terminalia chebula has a long history of use in traditional medicine, particularly in Ayurveda. It is considered a potent medicinal plant and is highly valued for its therapeutic properties. The fruit, bark, leaves, and seeds are used in various preparations for treating digestive disorders, respiratory ailments, skin conditions and as a general tonic.

The fruit of Terminalia chebula is rich in multiple bioactive compounds, including tannins, flavonoids, and polyphenols. It also contains vitamin C, minerals like iron and calcium, and antioxidants. These constituents contribute to the plant’s medicinal properties and potential health benefits.

Terminalia chebula holds significant cultural and religious importance in various Asian traditions. It is considered a sacred tree often associated with longevity, wisdom, and spiritual purification. Myrobalan Tree is common in religious ceremonies and rituals to symbolize divinity and healing. Its deep root system helps prevent soil erosion and improves soil structure.

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How to Grow Terminalia Chebula?

Growing Terminalia chebula from seeds requires patience and consistent care. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  • Obtain fresh Terminalia chebula seeds from a reputable source or collect them from mature, ripe fruits. The fruits should be fully grown and have a yellowish or reddish-brown color. Remove the seeds from the fruits and clean off any pulp or debris.
  • Terminalia chebula seeds have a hard outer shell that can hinder germination. To enhance germination, gently scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the outer shell. Alternatively, soak the seeds in water for 24 to 48 hours to soften the outer shell.
  • Prepare a well-draining potting mix of equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and compost. Fill small pots or seed trays with the prepared mixture. Terminalia chebula prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil pH (around 6.0 to 7.5).
  • Place the scarified or soaked Terminalia chebula seeds onto the soil surface. Press them lightly into the soil without burying them. Space the seeds a few inches apart to allow for individual growth.
  • Water the soil gently to moisten it evenly. Avoid overwatering, as excess moisture can cause the seeds to rot. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Use a spray bottle or a fine mist setting on a watering can to water gently.
  • Terminalia chebula seeds can slowly germinate, which may take several weeks to months. Keep the pots or trays in a warm location with a temperature around 75 to 85°F (24 to 29°C). Provide bright, indirect sunlight or use fluorescent grow lights for adequate lighting.
  • Once the Terminalia chebula seedlings have developed a few sets of true leaves and are large enough to handle, they can be transplanted into larger pots or containers.

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Requirements to Grow Terminalia Chebula

Terminalia chebula 2


Terminalia chebula thrives in full sun to partial shade. It prefers a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. However, Myrobalan Tree can tolerate some shade, especially in hot climates or during the hottest part of the day.

Providing adequate sunlight promotes healthy growth and development.


Myrobalan Tree prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Terminalia chebula can tolerate various soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay. However, it is essential to ensure good drainage to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.

Adding organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, during soil preparation helps improve soil fertility, moisture retention, and drainage.

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Terminalia chebula requires regular watering, especially during dry periods. Water deeply and thoroughly, ensuring the soil is evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.

Allow the top layer of soil to dry slightly between waterings, but do not let it dry out completely. Adjust the frequency of watering based on the weather conditions and the soil’s moisture retention.


Myrobalan Tree is native to tropical and subtropical regions and thrives in warm climates. It prefers temperatures ranging from 60 to 85°F (15 to 29°C). Terminalia chebula can tolerate moderate cold, but it is sensitive to frost.

Protect young Terminalia chebula plants from freezing temperatures and provide shelter or move them indoors during winter in colder regions.

Terminalia Chebula Care



Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilizers, as they can promote excessive foliage growth at the expense of fruiting. Terminalia chebula generally does not require excessive fertilization, especially if the soil is already fertile.

However, you can apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring to provide additional nutrients. Opt for a balanced NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) fertilizer ratio. Follow the package instructions for the appropriate dosage and application method.


Pruning Terminalia chebula is usually minimal. However, you can prune the tree to maintain its shape, remove dead or diseased branches, or improve its structure. Pruning is best done during the dormant season before new growth begins in spring.

Use clean, sharp tools and make clean cuts to minimize the risk of diseases.

Pests and Diseases

Myrobalan Tree is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, it can occasionally be affected by common garden pests such as aphids, scales, or caterpillars.

Regularly inspect Terminalia chebula for any signs of pest infestations and take appropriate measures, such as using organic insecticides or introducing beneficial insects, to control the pests.

Terminalia chebula can also be susceptible to fungal diseases, including root rot and leaf spot, particularly in poorly drained soils. Avoid overwatering and provide good air circulation to prevent these issues.

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