Growing Curry Leaves Plant | How to Grow Curry Tree

Learn how to grow curry tree or curry leaves plant. Growing curry plant is easy though you need to fulfill a few basic requirements.

curry tree growing

Curry leaves plant is native to the Indian subcontinent and is often mixed with Helichrysum Italicum (which is also called curry plant in confusion). Its leaves are aromatic— sweet and pungent, which releases mouthwatering brisk odor akin to no other plant. A must add herb in curry recipes prepared in South Asia; it’s a good choice for gardeners who love to grow exotic plants.

Other Names

Murraya koenigii (scientific name), curry tree, curry leaves tree, curry plant, sweet neem, meethi neem or kadhi patta.

Growing Conditions

Curry tree plant loves the warm, humid surroundings and loves subtropical and tropical heat. There, it is easy to grow even for a beginner. It needs full sun and moderate watering to thrive.

Planting Curry Tree

Planting curry tree in warmer regions

If you’re living in USDA Zone 9-11, grow it outside. Plant it in the sunniest spot in your garden, do regular watering in the next two months and pinch off its white flowers in the first two years to appreciate healthy growth. Once settled, it’ll start to grow up quickly.

Planting curry tree in cooler areas

Gardeners below USDA Zone 9 or where winters are harsh should grow it in a container. Spring is the best season for planting. Plant this in a 5-gallon container and upgrade the size of it as the growth progresses. It can tolerate mild freezing temperature but needs a lot of care in winter, in too much cold it shed its leaves and goes dormant until spring and start a new growth again.

Propagation

Propagate it from cuttings (suckers of the plant) or seeds— remove hard outer shell before sowing for faster germination. Use fresh seeds for high germination rate. Sow them in good quality potting soil. If your temperature is not warm around 65 F (20 C), layer it with polyethylene or keep it in the greenhouse because the seeds germinate in warm temperature.

curry leaves plant how to grow

Caring

In the beginning, it’s a slow grower and reaches a height of 6-10 inches in a year (depending on the climate and growing conditions), so give it its time to settle.
In the natural tropical conditions, this plant is hardy when matured and doesn’t die even in the severest of conditions like drought, extreme temperatures, and infertile soil.
Regular pruning or picking of leaves is essential to promote the fresh foliage growth. Use nitrogen rich fertilizer in a month or two to boost the growth (don’t fertilize in dormant stage of the plant, which occurs in the winter in cooler areas).

Varieties and Types

There are three varieties of curry tree: Regular, which is a common variety grown everywhere and tallest of all. A dwarf variety, which is good for container though less aromatic and third variety is called ‘gamthi’, which is the highly aromatic and pungent variety in all the three.

Additional Tips

  • Don’t overwater it, especially in winter.
  • Let the soil dry out during water spells as it likes well-drained dry soil.
  • Plant it in a small container and then regularly update the size of the container to the next one as the plant progress its growth.
  • Place it (colder zones) indoors or in a greenhouse in winter.
  • Use compost and good quality nitrogen rich fertilizer for lush green foliage.
  • Don’t plant it in the windy spot as it grows upright and have weak limbs and trunk.

Harvesting

Pick fresh leaves when you need it, harvesting encourages new growth in curry plant.

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Learn how to grow curry tree or curry leaves plant. Growing curry plant is easy though you need to fulfill a few basic requirements.



10 COMMENTS

  1. Hi as i want to grow curry plant i want to know that what should j plant in mud its whole branch?? And at one place in a pot of 4 to 5 branches at few inches gaps like pudhina ( mint ).

    • Hi Ayesha, are you asking about “How to Propagate Curry Tree from Cuttings“? If so, yes you can. But don’t plant them together, instead plant them separately in each container as curry plant is difficult to transplant. Please read this.

  2. My curry plant is about 2 ft. tall and about 3 yrs old. We live in zone 9 and it is planted in the ground on a slightly raised bed. The leaves do not grow big as in proper curry leaves. They stay small and remain tender and some become darker and then dry and fall off. Why aren’t my leaves growing bigger? What can I do organically to grow it?
    Thank you.

    • One thing left off this article is that it requires an acid soil. I have a 5 year old one that is about 5 feet tall and very healthy, in a 30 gallon container and…seriously, I mix the nutrient solution I give it every few weeks at pH 5.2-5.5. Being as the tap water is pH 8.2, that’s a pretty big difference. You will see a few sites refer to needing a lot of supplemental iron. That’s a symptom of too high a pH in this one, as the Fe is only available at lower pH’s. It doesn’t tolerate weather below 35F, so I have to bring it in on the few freezing days in the winter (Texas).

      I’m stunned by the comment about avoiding the wind. My experience- and it’s just how plants work- is that more wind makes the stems stronger. Mine is certainly very strong and easily tolerates squalls that have 1/4″ oak twigs snapping off left and right.

  3. After pruning the curry bush the new growth is growing from the bottom and sideways along the ground. Why is this happening? Should it be staked to encourage upward growth?

  4. I have recently moved into a new compound in Bangalore, India, where there is an old curry leaf tree about 7ft tall planted in the ground. However, the tree appears woody and dry, most of the branches are empty without leaves and there are very few shoots which have small and curling leaves. Kindly advise on how the tree can be pruned and what needs to be done to revive it.

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