Gardens
Plants
Journals
Forums
Questions
Seed Swaps

Pigeonpea       

Cajanus cajan

  • 10 plantings
  • 0 for swap
  • 1 wanted
  • 16 stashed

Pigeonpea is part of the Cajanus genus and its scientific name is Cajanus cajan.

Pigeon peas are a food crop which is used as food since it is a source of protein. They can be used as green peas and dried just like any dry peas, beans or lentils. They can be sprouted or ground into flour. The plants can be used as trellises for climbers. They serve as shelter for young and delicate plants. Their powerful tap root can improve the soil structure.2 It also brings nutrients from the subsoil to the surface. The wood makes good firewood. They can be grown as a hedge for and as windbreaker.1

There are at least four varieties of pigeonpea: A red colored variety, a light green variety that has 3 to five peas per pod, a green and pink variety and a green variety that has six to nine peas per pod. These last ones are the biggest peas also.

This variety typically blooms in the following colours:   Cadmium yellow and   Amaranth. The mature flowers take a funnel form, with an approximate petal count of 2. This variety typically produces fruit in the following colours:   Fern green and   Dark pastel red. The leaves of this particular variety normally show as   Forest green (web) and   Office Green

It is a flowering edible legume / vegetable that typically grows as a perennial, which is defined as a plant that matures and completes its lifecycle over the course of three years or more.

Pigeonpea is known for growing to a height of approximately 5.85 feet (that's 1.80 metres in metric) with a shrub-like habit. This plant tends to bloom in early winter, followed by first harvests in late autumn.

This plant is a great attractor for bees, so if you are looking to attract wildlife Pigeonpea is a great choice.

India is believed to be where Pigeonpea originates from.

Pigeonpea is great for inexperienced gardeners and those that like low maintainance gardens.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Pigeonpea have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Pigeonpea

  • Full Sun

    OR
  • Partial Sun

  • Low

- Pigeon pea is a perennial shrub that grows 5 to 7 ft tall.
- Select a location that receives at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day.
- Plant pigeon pea seeds 1 inch deep and 12 inch apart after danger of frost is gone.
Pigeon peas can also be started indoors in a pot and then taken outside once the weather has warmed up.
- Seeds germinate in about 15-20 days. Plants will flower in about 10-15 weeks.

Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun / partial sun and remember to apply water fairly sparingly. Pigeonpea requires a soil ph of 4.5 - 8.4 meaning it does best in moderately acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil. Keep in mind when planting that Pigeonpea is thought of as tender, so it is imperative to wait until temperatures are mild before planting out of doors.

See our list of companion Plants for Pigeonpea to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Pigeonpea from seed

- Select a location that receives at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day.
- Plant pigeon pea seeds 1 inch deep and 12 inch apart after danger of frost is gone. Pigeon peas can also be started indoors in a pot and then taken outside once the weather has warmed up.
- Seeds germinate in about 15-20 days. Plants will flower in about 10-15 weeks.
- Pods grow in big clusters at the end of branches in about 15 to 20 weeks.
- Pick the pods green for fresh peas or leave them on the plant to dry.

Ensure a distance of 11.7 inches (30.0 cm) between seeds when sowing - look to sow at a depth of approximately 1.17 inches (3.0 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 18°C / 64°F to ensure good germination.

Transplanting Pigeonpea

Sow seeds 1.5 inches deep on 1 to 3 foot rows at 8 to 10 lb per acre. Drill the seed in a weed-free seedbed or transplant seedlings on 6 foot rows if grown as intercrop. Seedlings will emerge within 3 weeks, but will grow slowly, so it is important to closely manage weeds for the first 6 weeks after seedling emergence.3

Ensure that temperatures are mild (minimum night temperatures should be around 4°C / 39°F) and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Pigeonpea is a tender plant.

Harvesting Pigeonpea

-Pods grow in big clusters at the end of branches in about 15 to 20 weeks.
-Pick the pods green for fresh peas or leave them on the plant to dry.
-Keep threshed material as fodder for sheep.2
-The seeds should not be eaten raw.2

How long does Pigeonpea take to grow?

These estimates for how long Pigeonpea takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Pigeonpea to germinate?
17 days

Average 17 days | Min days | Max days (0)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Pigeonpea?
+ 42 days

Average 42 days | Min days | Max days (0)

Days to Maturity How long until Pigeonpea is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 145 days

Average 145 days | Min days | Max days (0)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Pigeonpea?
= 204 days

Other names for Pigeonpea

Pigeon pea, Cajano, Krante

Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.

Misspellings: Pidgeon Pea, pigeon pea, Angola pea, Congo pea, dhal, no-eye pea, gungo pea, and red gram

Footnotes

1 Tropical Permaculture

2 USDA plant guide PDF

3 “(Cook et al., 2005)”

Popular varieties of Pigeonpea

More varieties of Pigeonpea »

Pigeonpea Forums

No groups yet - why not start a new one?