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I was looking at rarer plants to grow for natural pesticide purposes and I was wondering how maral root fares. What conditions does this plant need to grow? At what temperature, water amounts, soil conditions, etc. can this plant grow in, is it hardy or highly sensitive? Also, will it interfere with other plants?

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Assuming you mean Rhaponticum carthamoides, which is commonly known as maral or maral root, it does not seem a suitable subject to use as a pesticide; extractions from the root of this plant are used in herbalism in various parts of the world, as a way to build muscle and for various other effects. There is also no information regarding any allelopathic effects it has on other plants when grown nearby, which suggests it has none. Grows easily and well in cool regions (zones 2-4), can be grown up to zone 7 with care, needs fertile soil, doesn't do well in warmer areas, and the root needs complicated processing prior to use as a supplement. Also difficult to get rid of once it establishes itself because it produces thin, wiry roots as well as a taproot; because of the fragility of these roots, if you want to harvest them, best not grown in clay soil. Further information here http://www.floralencounters.com/Seeds/seed_detail.jsp?productid=99540

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  • I was planing on using Maral for its 20-hydroxyecdysone, which should be useful as a pesticide. From wikipedia: "R. carthamoides is high in 20-hydroxyecdysone, one of the most common molting hormones in insects, crabs, and some worms and 20E can disrupt their molting and reproduction."
    – tox123
    Dec 5 '17 at 1:16
  • Yes, I just read something about that in a scientific paper, not on wikipedia (which I don't particularly trust) - but there it said it speeds up molt rate and maturation of insects, acting a bit like a 'steriod for insects', which could just as easily mean it just makes bigger, stronger insects... Unfortunately, most detailed information is in regard to its use as a supplement for humans. You could try some if you have suitable growing conditions
    – Bamboo
    Dec 5 '17 at 1:23

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