This plant mostly grows in rain forest areas because of this, it is mostly found in the eastern part of the country. They value it very much. Bitter leaf plant can be planted using the stem. That makes it easy to get as many plants as you want from few number of stems available to you.
You can grow this plant to sell the leaves very costly especially in the northern part of the country and in big cities like Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Makurdi Abuja etc when washed traditionally by hand or using machine to reduce the bitterness. You can also export to other countries when dried thoroughly and grounded to make your profit. The steps in growing the plant are every easy and short also.
STEPS IN GROWING BITTER LEAF PLANT
1. Get bitter leaf plant stems: You can get these stems from a neigbour if you stay in the eastern part of the country. You can also buy them from any farmers’ market. The stems are not costly as much. If you are planning to grow only 50 stands you can go for about 6 stems that above 5ft by length. Check to see that the stems are still alive. You can check this buy thwarting the bark of the stem using your finger nail or any other sharp object. If it is greenish and you see/ feel little water, you know that it is alive and fresh.
2. Clear and till the land: Clear the land where you will plant them. Make sure it will have good sun shine. Till the land very well or you make a good bed for them.
3. Planting the stem: I don’t advice you to cut the stems beforehand because you might plant them upside down if you don’t well structure of the plant and they will dry up. So, cut and plant one at a go so you still recognize the end to put in the soil. Cut the size of about 6” (6 inches). You will only cut and plant the matured part of the stem. The matured part is greenish-brown in colour while the one not matured is green in colour and it is towards the tip of the plant. Once you have about 4” – 6” before the part not matured, plant with the rest of the part not matured.
4. Caring for the plant: These plants can survive with little care. Just make sure the termites don’t eat up the shoot. Check that animal and other pest don’t eat up the stem. Also, water the plants if necessary. Then watch your bitter leaf plant grow and bear the wonderful leaves.
5. Harvesting the leaves. You can just cut the leaves from the stem but not cutting the stem. Then wait to see it grow out another leaves.