Scientific name: Azadirachta indica A. Juss. Name in different languages:- English: Neem Tree, Indian lilac, Margosa tree, Nim tree, Nimbay, Pichumarda. Arabic: Neeb, Azad-darakhul-hind, Shajarat Alnnim. French: Azadirac de l’Inde, margosier, margousier. German: Indischer zedrach, Grossblaettiger zedrach. Portuguese: Nimbo, Margosa, Amargoseira. Persian: Azad Darakth e hind, neeb, nib. Sinhala: Kohomba (කොහොඹ). Thai: Sadao (สะเดา). Sanskrit: Arishta, Pakvakrita, Nimbaka (निंबक). Hindi: Neem. Assamese: Neem (নীম). Bengali: Nim (নিম). Gujarati: Dhanujhada (ધનુજઝાડ), Limba. Marathi: Kadunimba (कडुनिंब). Punjabi: Nimm (ਨਿੱਮ). Telugu: Vepa (వేప). Tamil: Veppai (வேப்பை), Sengumaru. Kannada: Bevu (ಬೇವು). Malayalam: Ariyaveppu,Veppu.
Neem tree can be cultivated in all types of soil and it grows depending on the rainfall. There are 2 types of Neem trees: Nimba and Mahanimba. Nimba has the feature of shedding leaves during summer season and this continues for a period of three months. They grow up to 15 meters high and has a longer life. The Mahanimba has a life of only 2 to 3 years. So it can be grown only at homes, while Nimba is ideal for cultivation.
The seeds for propagation of Neem should be collected from the mother tree which is 5 years old. The dried seeds should be dried in shade for 6 days and kept aside for 10 days. After this, the seeds are wrapped in a sack and smoke is passed through it. The seeds then are soaked in water prior to sowing. These soaked seeds can be sown in polythene covers which are filled with dried cow dung and soil. 2 seeds are sown in a cover and the healthy sapling can be selected.
The healthy Neem sapling, when attained 5 leaved stage is ready to be replanted. A pit is made 50 cm deep,& filled with powdered cow dung and top soil. The Neem sapling is removed from the cover and planted in this. For the first two years, fertilizer can be provided as needed and watering can also be done. Support should be given to the sapling at this time and during monsoon season, dried cow dung (3 kg) and 150gm bone meal can be added to each plant. Fertilizer can be provided only once in an year. Since the base is covered with dry leaves all through, the moisture content is retained throughout. Thus Neem can be cultivated successfully