Pigeon pea is cultivated from seed. It is frequently inter cropped with sorghum, groundnuts, sesame, cotton, millet, or maize. Pigeon pea shows little response to nitrogen fertilizer. Flowering can occur as early as 100 to as late as 430 days, depending on location and sowing date. Pigeon peas do not generally need much fertilization, however it responds well to sulfur on soils that lack this element.
Pigeon pea plants are adapted to a broad range of soil conditions and types. They however prefer well-drained, medium-heavy, loamy soils and do not tolerate waterlogged ground. .
Pigeon pea is drought-resistant and can grow in areas with less than 650mm of annual rainfall. It grows best at between temperatures of 18 and 29 °C. It is sensitive to water logging and frost. The soil temperature can influence the germination of pigeon pea. If sown directly into the ground, pigeon peas will germinate at soil temperature of 60°F within two weeks.