Fenugreek may aid in increasing breast milk production, boosting testosterone levels, and regulating blood sugar. [courtesy]

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a plant that typically reaches a height of two to three feet (60 to 90 centimeters).

For years, fenugreek, also known as methi, has been utilized in alternative medicine to address skin conditions and various ailments, as well as for its culinary applications.

According to healthline.com, fenugreek may aid in increasing breastmilk production, boosting testosterone levels, and regulating blood sugar. While it has been associated with other health benefits, further research is necessary.

Peter Kamau, from Nyandarua, highlights fenugreek’s versatility as an herb that can be cultivated in gardens or containers, making it suitable for those with limited space. He offers fenugreek in the form of leaves, seeds, and powder.

“Fenugreek is an intriguing herb with diverse uses and potential health benefits, including fiber, protein, carbohydrates, iron, manganese, and magnesium,” says Kamau.

Here’s how you can cultivate fenugreek:

Choose the right location

Fenugreek thrives in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Ensure the chosen location has well-draining soil.

Prepare the soil

Fenugreek prefers well-drained soil with good fertility. While it can grow in various soil types, including sandy, loamy, or clay soils, it performs best in loamy soils with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. 

Planting seeds

Fenugreek is typically propagated from seeds. Plant the seeds directly into the soil about a quarter to half an inch deep, spacing them four to six inches apart either in rows or scattered .


Maintain consistently moist soil without waterlogging. Water regularly, particularly during dry spells, but avoid overwatering as fenugreek is susceptible to waterlogged conditions.

“Once established, fenugreek can tolerate moderate drought but performs best with consistent moisture,” adds Kamau.


After fenugreek seedlings emerge, thin them to ensure adequate spacing. Leave about four to six inches between each plant to facilitate proper growth.


Fenugreek typically does not require heavy fertilisation if the soil is adequately prepared initially.

“However, if your soil is deficient, you can fertilize with a balanced fertilizer once or twice during the growing season,” says Kamau.

Weed control

Keep the area surrounding fenugreek plants weed-free to prevent competition for nutrients and water.


Fenugreek leaves can be harvested once plants reach approximately six inches in height. Leaves can be picked individually or the entire plant can be cut about an inch above the soil. Fenugreek seeds are harvested when pods turn yellow-brown and begin to crack open. 


Fresh fenugreek leaves can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for several days. Fenugreek seeds should be stored in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.


A 100-gram pack of powdered methi is priced at Sh200, while a kilo of seedlings goes for Sh1,200.