There are no dishes in our country without Curry Leaves. But did you know? that the curry leaves that we get in market is sprayed with chemicals even until the last day for harvest. There might be numerous reasons given for this. Still chemicals are chemicals right? In order to keep away these chemically grown leaves you can grow them in your garden organically.
Growing curry leaves at home is not difficult and its care is also easy. Get detailed tips on how to grow curry leaves and care for a curry leaf plant at home in ground(I am experimenting on growing this in pot right now. Once that is finished will come back to you with its result.) including how to prune curry leaves tree, fertilizer, curry leaf plant diseases and remedy for curry leaf plant not growing.
Intro(to the obvious):
The Curry Leaves plant is native to India. Its current Botanical name is Bergera Koenigii.
The curry leaf plant is known by different names as Curry leaf plant, Kari patta, Kadi patta, Karivepilai, Curry Patta, Curry Leaf, Karivepalla, Kari patta tree, Karri patta plant, Murraya koenigii spreng, Sweet Neem tree, etc.
How To Grow Curry Leaves at Home (Karivepilai Plant)?
Curry leaf plant is grown in tropical to subtropical to Mediterranean and temperate climates areas where it can grow up to 6(or more) meter tall. In general, the curry leaves tree can grow 4–6 m high with a trunk up to 40 cm diameter.
Varieties and Types of Curry Leaf Tree
Curry leaves plant is of three different varieties or types.
Regular Curry Leaf Plant: Grows tall and fast and looks like the curry leaves available at the grocery store.
Dwarf Curry Leaf Plant: Does not grow as tall the normal tree and the leaves are longer.
Gamthi Curry Leaf Plant: The most fragrant, grows very slowly and has thick but smaller leaves.
I am not sure about these varieties I know about two infamous varieties – Kaattu(Wild) variety and the Naatu(Country) variety. The one we widely use and available comes under the country variety.
Soil For Curry Plant
Use well-drained soil mix(slightly acidic soil).
- This plant grows in red soil.
- Add some compost, cow manure and river sand in the soil to make it fertile and draining.
- If the soil is too water retaining then it may cause root rot also it helps the tender roots of the young plant to grow easily
- Dig a pit in garden where you want to plant the plant. Fill the pit with the soil-compost-drainage mix. This ought to provide the young plant the necessary nutrition and support until the plant is comfortable.
How To Plant a Curry Leaf Tree
- You can grow the curry leaves from seeds or stem cutting. It would take 1-2 years for the seedlings to become established. I would not suggest growing them from seeds as they need lot of patience and are hardly successful.
- It is better to buy a curry leaf plant from a garden shop. Water the plant and tap around the pot. Take out the plant carefully and replant it in the garden.
I will soon have a post on how to grow curry leaves from seeds and from cuttings stay tuned!
Fertilizer For Curry Leaf Plant
There is no need for heavy fertilizing the young curry plant as we have already mixed a fair share of compost in the pit. Feed your curry plant every 15 days any other organic fertilizer that are rich in nitrogen for leafy growth.
- You can add vermi compost (or other compost) as they are rich in Nirtogen.
- Dig the top inch of the soil and add around a cup of vermicompost to it.
- Mix the soil and the compost then water.
Surprisingly enough the waste onion skin we throw away helps this plant a lot.
- Collect the onions skin and the damaged onion that you don’t want
- If there are fleshy part then it is better to grind it in the mixer
- Add some water and Tada! you have cooked your plant yet another nutrition recipe
- You can add this monthly once are twice.
- This boosts the leafy growth of the plant
Neem and Groundnut Cake:
- Add some Neem cake or groundnut cake with water
- Feed this to the plant every month
- This adds all the necessary nitrogen and other nutrition.
- Curry plants need potassium for green growth
- You can add grinded wood ash for this
Buttermilk for curry leaf plant:
Buttermilk (diluted curd, yogurt) is said to be the best homemade fertilizer for curry leaf plant. Curry leaves have a ton of vitamin-C and so they need acidity to grow. Butter milk (Diluted) give them thee acidity they need. Note that the buttermilk has to be fermented a lot too much.
Watering Curry Leaves Plant
- As we discussed earlier curry leaves plant does not love soggy base.
- So it is necessary that you don’t keep on watering it that it might catch up root rot.
- Water when you know it is dry.
- In winter when the plant goes dormant, reduce watering in order to prevent root rot.
Curry Leaves Plant Care and Tips
Small young curry plants do not like direct sun light during hot summer weather. They also don’t like too wet soil(This the older ones too don’t like).
Pruning of Curry Leaf Plant:
- Pinch the tips of the branches when they are young to have multiple- branches that will encourage the plant to grow curry leaves faster and you will have more leaves for harvesting.
- The more you harvest, the bushier the plant will become. Also if you wish it to grow like a huge tree then don’t prune it heavily. I would suggest to keep them within your reach.
Plucking the flower Buds:
- Pluck the flower buds when they appear on the branches of the plant.
- This will conserve plant’s energy to encourage new leaf growth, otherwise the plant will be growing the flowers instead of the leaves.
- Again this is your decision. Let me tell you this, those blossoms have a great aroma. If you want those then you can leave the buds as they are.
Curry Leaves Plant Care During Winter:
This plant is a Tropical one and love sunlight. In winter, the plant goes dormant, leaves turn yellow or pale yellow and loose most of its leaves. The curry leaf tree needs protection from the frost.( This is necessary if you live in a region that is frosting in winter)
Harvesting Curry Leaves:
Usually the plant can be harvested completely for every 2-3 months. This is what they follow in agriculture. Since, we are growing for our own use we can cut harvest it anytime for fresh flavor.
- I’d simply pluck off the leaves as and when it is needed them for cooking.
- The leaves can be dried or frozen for later use.
Curry Leaf Plant Flowers
The flowers develop into black berries, which can be squeezed to extract seeds. These seeds can be used to grow new curry leaf plants. Actually, in many areas, curry leaf tree flowers can spread easily from birds and wind to make it a weed potential. These fruits are edible but we don’t use them as the seeds are extremely poisonous.
Curry Leaf Plant Diseases and pests
The curry plant is normally attracts lots of insects. Some are beneficial like ants which might feed on other insects. Despite the curry leaves having a strong smell that deters many insect pests and keeps the disease away, there are some pests that create problems to the plant
- You can see white spots, black spots, brown spots, white fungus, etc on the curry leaves and stems. Also sometimes the leavers turn curly or become sticky. Aphids, scales, Citrus mealybugs and Psyllids are responsible for these diseases.
- The tiny scales and aphids suck on the leaves that cause the curry leaves to wilt and turn yellow. Ants on the plant are natural predators that will control the problem of scales.
- Citrus mealybugs, the pinkish-white insects feed on plant sap which lay hundreds of eggs on the surface of the leaf, hatching into yellow nymphs.
- Most common problem is formation of white spots in leaves and burning of leaves at tips.
Now, let us see the solution for all these problems.
Solutions for the problems:
- Spraying neem oil (1 ml in 1 liter water), pest oil or horticultural oil along with organic soap water regularly will on the curry leaf plant controls the curry leaf plant diseases and problems. Sprinkle salt water on the curry plant leaves once in two weeks to keep it healthy.
- You can spray Panchagavya or Amirtha Karaisal every month. This not only helps in repelling insects , but also promotes lush growth.
- For treating leaf spots use buttermilk that is fermented for 3-5 days. Mix it with 9 times of water and spray it weekly.
- The burning of leaf tips is due to lack of potassium. As we saw above, this can be treated by adding grinded wood ash or by adding grinded banana skin. You can even mix both and use it.
A few days back a friend of mine who reads my blog approached me for suggestion to solve his never ending problems with pests and diseases in curry leaves plant. This post is the result of that. So thanks Asuthosh for the inspiration.
Do you have another great tip to add? Mention them below in the comments. Have questions? You can contact me through contact page or by clicking the WhatsApp Icon that is on the left side of the screen.
Hope this post is useful to you. If you find this interesting share it with your circle lets spread some Organic Love!
Let us plant together and grow together!
This is a bilingual post. இதனை தமிழில் படிக்க இங்கே கிளிக் செய்யவும்.