Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan)

Pigeon Pea Vegetable garden

Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) is a perennial legume, the woody small shrub that can grow up to 1–2 m high with tetrarch taproots. The erect and ribbed stem is 15 cm in diameter. The Leaves are trifoliate, alternate in dark green shading above and silvery underneath. The plant yields yellow to red blossoms which are 1.2 – 1.7 cm in diameter that turns into the fruit as seed pods. The pods are linear-oblong, green or red, 2–13 cm long and 0.5–1.7 cm wide. Each pod contains about 4 to 7 seeds which are a subglobose ellipsoid or squarish in shape having 5 mm as a diameter. The seeds are white, cream, brown, purplish to black in color. Pigeon peas have a slightly acrid taste, which is mainly because of the seed coat. After this has been removed, the flavor improves. They are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber.

Scientific Name: Cajanus cajan
Common Name: Pigeon pea
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Cajanus
Kingdom: Plantae

Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan)

How to care and grow Pigeon pea?


Cajanus cajan Prefers full sun. Keep your plant at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day.


Cajanus cajan grows well in a well-drained soil. It prefers the soil pH level to be in the range of 5.0-7.0


Cajanus cajan does best in normal temperature for growth is between 18º-30º C but it can also grow well in temperatures above 35º C.


Cajanus cajan will grow well with regular water. It has a deep taproot that can access water from deeper soil depths. It can survive rain every day but not waterlogged conditions. Tolerates salinity.


Apply any organic fertilizer. But fertilization is not necessary as the plant can grow well in soils with low phosphorus levels.


Pigeon pea can be propagated by seed. Seeds germinate in about 15-20 days. Plants will flower in about 10-15 weeks.


Cajanus cajan can begin flowering within a few months. Harvest the green peas when they begin to swell in the pods or wait until the pods turn brown and dry on the plant for dried beans. Remove the pods by hand picking process and leave them in the sun in a bag and they should split open, but you’ll have to split many by hand to remove the seeds.

Pests and Diseases:

Cajanus cajan generally is resistant to root-knot nematodes. The caterpillars of several months can cause pod and seed damage.

Advantages of Pigeon pea:

It is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, Cajanus cajan contains less amount of copper, zinc, and magnesium and a good amount of selenium and iron. A fine paste made of Cajanus cajan when applied regularly helps to treat bald patches. Juice prepared from its leaves with a pinch of salt is said to an effective remedy in jaundice treatment.

Last updated on July 14th, 2021

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