Rudraksha is considered a religious tree in Hindu culture. It can be grown in both tropical and sub-tropical regions. It has been mentioned in various Hindu Puranas and Upanishads. It is said that the plant grew from the tears of Lord Shiva. The name comes from Sanskrit words 'Rudra' meaning Shiva and 'Aksa' meaning teardrops.
Rudraksh Tree does not require much care once established. It is adaptable to most climatic conditions.
The plant can grow in full sun or partial shade. When the plant has just sprouted, it should be protected from direct sun rays. It's best to plant the tree in a sheltered area if you live in a hotter region.
The plant has broad and long evergreen leaves. Flowers are white or yellow coloured and occur in dense racemes. The fruit is oval shaped, violet or blue coloured and acidic in taste. Each face of the Rudraksha bead contains rudraksha seeds inside. They look quite similar to pine nuts but are smaller, darker and slightly curved. Each bead can usually have five seeds inside. Flowering starts in Nov-Dec and fruiting starts in Jan-Feb.
When the plant is in its early growing state or it has just sprouted, it requires daily watering. After that water the plant enough to keep the soil evenly moist throughout but not waterlogged.
The plant does not have specific soil preferences. It should be well-drained. Heavy clayey soils can cause water-logging and should be avoided.
A mature Rudraksha plant can grow up to 30 to 50 feet. As a houseplant they will be considerably smaller.
Use bio-fertilizers made of compost and other organic materials.
No major pests or diseases are known. If you observe holes in leaves or damaged seeds that could be a sign of pest infestation. Use organic pesticides and treat the plant immediately.
The plant has a positive effect on stress, anxiety, depression and lack of concentration. The tree is believed to remove evil eye and sins of the housing environment. The seed is used as prayer beads. They are considered as semi-precious stones in India and Nepal and are used for making organic jewellery and 'malas'. It has medicinal uses too.