HomeContainer HerbsGrowing Curry Leaves Plant | How to Grow Curry Tree

Growing Curry Leaves Plant | How to Grow Curry Tree

Growing Curry Leaves Plant is easy when you know all the right tips and tricks. Here’s everything you need to know and more!

Curry leaves 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 the mouthwatering fragrance and used in cooking. Keep reading this article to learn Growing Curry Leaves Plant!

Botanical Name: Murraya koenigii

Other Names: Curry tree, Curry leaves tree, Curry plant, Sweet neem, Meethi neem, Kadhi patta.

USDA Zones: 9-12

Best Varieties of Curry Leaves

Growing Curry Leaves Plant

Curry leaf plant comes in three distinct varieties with their own set of pros and cons – Regular, Dwarf, and Gamthi. 

  • Regular Curry Tree: It grows up very fast and reaches a height of 6-15 feet and a width of 4-12 feet. The leaves of this plant are commonly found in the grocery stores and the most widely cultivated out of the three available options.
  • Dwarf Variety: Helichrysum angustifolium ‘Nana’ is a short version. It is an excellent choice for a houseplant or to grow in containers to decorate your patio that could also be placed indoors during winters.
  • Gamthi: It is even smaller than the dwarf variety and reaches 6-8 inches in height on full maturity. Though it does not spread as quickly but makes up for it by producing the most fragrant leaves of all curry plants.

Curry Leaves Propagation

Propagate it from cuttings (suckers of the plant) or seeds — remove the hard outer shell before sowing for faster germination. Use fresh seeds for a 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 at warm temperatures.

Planting Curry Tree


Planting a 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. Pinch off its white flowers in the first two years to appreciate healthy growth. Once settled, it’ll start to grow up quickly.

Planting a 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.

Requirements for Growing Curry Leaves Plant


Native to India, the tree loves full sun and grows best in it. While the plant is in the growing stage, avoid exposing it to the harsh afternoon sun for a longer duration of time. Once established, you don’t have to worry much about it.


Curry leaves plant is not at all fussy when it comes to soil requirements and will flourish in any type of soil. For best growth, plant it in a well-draining and fertile medium.


While the plant is in the growing stage, you have to water it regularly. After 3-4 months, water only when the topsoil feels a bit dry to touch. Once the plant attains maturity, you don’t have to worry about watering much.

Curry Leaves Plant Care

Growing Curry Leaves Plant 2

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.


Curry leaves don’t require a regular dosage of fertilizer. Use nitrogen-rich fertilizer in a month or two to boost growth. Also, don’t fertilize in the dormant stage of the plant, which occurs in the winter in cooler areas.


Regular pruning or picking of leaves is essential to promote fresh foliage growth. Cut off dead leaves and branches from the curry leaf plant to maintain it.

Pests and Diseases

Though the scent of curry leaves repels various insects, there are many pests that can hinder the growth of the plant. These include scales, aphids, mealybugs, and psyllids.


Growing Curry Leaves Plant 3

The harvesting of curry leaves is easy and improves the future growth of the plant. Once it has grown you can pluck off the leaves. You can use these fresh aromatic leaves to flavor delicious stews and soups.

Additional Tips

In the natural tropical conditions, the curry leaf plant is hardy when matured and doesn’t die even in the severest of conditions like drought, extreme temperatures, and infertile soil. Here are some additional tips for growing curry leaves.

  • 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 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 when the plant is young, as it grows upright and has weak limbs and trunk.

Uses of Curry Leaves


They are often used to add flavor to chutneys, rice, soups, stews, dals, curries, vegetable dishes, chicken dishes, and so much more. For best flavor, it is most suggested that curry leaves should be fried first in oil. Then, you can add the sauteed leaves to the dish while other ingredients are cooking for taste. 

It also offers many health benefits, mainly because of its potent plant compounds. 

  • May Help Reduce the Risk factor for Heart Diseases
  • Helpful to Control Blood Sugar Levels
  • Contains Anti-Inflammatory Compounds
  • Provides Anti-Bacterial Properties
  • Helps in Relieving Pain
  • Contains Neuroprotective Components


  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.

    • Curry leaf plants can be grown from seeds. You can plant ripe(deep red to black) berries and they are not difficult to grow in warm tropical climate conditions. But if you live in a country with severe cold climates, make sure they are kept indoors in warmer conditions. They grow well in good sunlight conditions, but can survive in winter conditions indoors until they can be put outside when the warmer days arrive.

  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.

        • Hi Gwen,
          Many indian stores have small curry leaf plants, mostly in summer. In Southern California, may be in Artesia, you can find it in atleast some stores around April-June.
          Hope you get it

        • Hi. I am in Phoenix and got my first seeds and plants from another gardener in a Facebook gardening group. Look for your local gardening groups on Facebook, then post that you are in search of (ISO) a curry leaf plant.

  5. You can find curry leaf plants on ebay.. or local nurseries (eg in Austin or Florida), OR get curry plant seeds fresh from India ($20 for 50 seeds). Avoid old dried up seeds from Sri Lanka or Hawaii.. they never germinate. Germinate indoors with a heated mat .. and transplant without disturbing roots outdoors. Get the best soil (coir based) and let grow in early summer to late fall.. bring indoors unless in CA or south TX or south FL over winter. Best option is to get nursery grown 6 to 12″ shrubs.. transplant and prune tips in summer for bushy branches to grow. Invest in the best aerated soil and containers (mesh trash cans from Bed Bath work great). Harvest leaves properly to stimulate growth. The plants rae very fragile.. and bad soil kills them quick. Grow in full sun and water often. Enjoy fried fresh curry leaves with nuts or meats or veggies!

    • 12 hrs of sunlight with warm room temperatures should be fine but watch out for small scale insects that can weave a fine web.. they can simply be washed away. The soil and too much or too little water are things to watch for.. make sure the container is large enough (5 gallons), with potting mix that holds/drains water.. too much water or no nutrients and the saplings will shrivel away in a day.. once established, in 2 years.. you can take risks like fertilizer or transplanting..

  6. Hi
    I bought my curry leave plant from local grocery store . its in a balcony and getting 4 hours of sun ,i am watering twice a week, i am in atlanta in 7B zone, actully the plant is growing v slowly and the leaves seems to be v small and the plants and leaves look v dull and life less ,I got cow manure mix soil, still no improvement, any suggetions? thanks.

  7. My curry tree is multiplying! My neighbour had one tree about 6-8′ tall near the fence and suddenly 3-4 plants popped up on my side of the fence in the lawn. My gardener not realising how special they are ‘mowed’ them – however they recovered and I now have at least a dozen small plants – some up to 5 yds away from the host. Can i dig up some of the small plants and pot them without risking the others? is this normal behaviour for this plant

    • Hi Jo, that would be typical for a curry leaf tree in the right growing climate, they grow and spread like weeds, …..enjoy:)

    • Don’t remove them too quickly from the motherplant as it’s still depending on the root system of the motherplant in the beginning. The suckers needs to be established for a couple of months so they have developped their own root system.

  8. South Africa what zone are we in I am battling to get my curry leave tree to grow please advise ( Estelle)

  9. Please advise how to eradicate mites, tiny white spiders, and fungus with a home made spray and not chemicals harmful to eat.

  10. Hi,
    Last winter my 2 ft tall curry leaf plant continued new growth, including flowering which is not normal in NY area.
    But then in spring/summer it stopped growing, some leaves are curling, leaf size is also short and I don’t see any visible bug or disease. So not sure what is wrong.
    Please suggest something

  11. Curry plant in my home which is planted in soil was healthy and full of leaves,. Suddenly the leaves started withering. On careful examination I noticed growth of parasitic plant on the stem of mother plant. Can you give me some idea of how to contain such stem parasites.

  12. My curry plant lives on the windowsill in the kitchen. Lots of sun but when I pick leaves they dont grow back in the same place. They grow from the top so I have quite a long trunk with no leaves.
    Also it seems to be struggling at the moment, could it be because it’s winter and even though its in the kitchen and gets sun, it’s not as warm as the summer

  13. Queria comprar dos o tres ÁRBOL DE CURRY – MURRAYA KOENIGII, lo cual, poderia diserme lo precio onde comprar y informacion completa. gracias

  14. @Martin Wisbey, you should pick the whole petiole. Leaves don’t grow back once you pick them, but you can get new petioles. When you leave the petioles on the stem of the curry leaf plant, the plant is wasting energy on those empty petioles.

  15. Thanks for the article! I am tired of driving to the store every time I need curry leaves, so I m looking forward to growing my own.


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