How to grow curry leaf

Written by bonnie grant
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How to grow curry leaf
Curry leaf is a main ingredient in traditional Indian and Eastern food. (Valueline/Valueline/Getty Images)

Curry leaf plant, or Murraya koenigii, is a herbal perennial used in cooking. The often confused curry plant is Helichrysum italicum, which is an aromatic herb rather than one that is useful for cooking. Curry leaf plant is easy to grow and has few special requirements. The plants can be grown from seed, root cuttings or the suckers that come up around it's trunk. Most potting mixes are adequate, but some sand or perlite to increase drainage is beneficial. Provide heat, partial shade and water rarely, and the plant will reward you season after season with fresh curry leaves.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pot with good drainage
  • Mature curry tree
  • Potting mix
  • Sand
  • Manure
  • Shovel
  • Hand saw
  • Curry leaf fruit
  • Gloves
  • Seed flats with lids
  • Greenhouse

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Instructions

    Growing From Root Suckers

  1. 1

    Harvest the root suckers. Water a large curry plant well to simulate the end of a monsoon season. The roots will take in extra moisture and be easier to separate from the rest of the plant. Dig out a root carefully and sever it from the rest of the plant, using a hand saw.

  2. 2

    Mix 1 part each of potting mix, sand and manure, and fill the pot. Plant the root cutting in the potting medium with just the roots covered and the shoot sticking out of the soil. Water it until the water runs out of the drainage holes in the pot. Place the curry leaf cutting in a warm semi-sunny location.

  3. 3

    Fertilise the plant every month with a balanced fertiliser, per label instructions. Water no more than once every seven to 10 days, and allow the plant to dry out between watering. Stick a finger in the soil to check for dryness.

    Growing From Seed

  1. 1

    Mix equal parts soil, sand and manure, and fill the seed flats. Separate the seed from the fruit, wearing gloves. The seed has to be fresh to be viable.

  2. 2

    Plant the seed in the potting medium. Lightly cover the seeds with soil. Water until the water runs out of the drainage holes. Place in a light, warm location to germinate. Keep the lid on the flats to conserve moisture. Keep the seeds moist.

  3. 3

    Thin if necessary after germination in three weeks. Continue to keep the plants damp, but move them to a partially shady location for continued growth. When the plants are 5 to 8 inches high, transplant them to larger pots.

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