Want your own curry leaf supply but don’t know where to start? Here’s a complete guide on how to grow curry leaf plant at home!
The curry leaf plant is also known as murraya koenigii or sweet neem plant. It has a woody stem and produces green leaves.
The aromatic leaves of the plant are known as kadi patta in India, curry leaves globally or as sweet neem leaves. It is native to the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka.
While you can buy curry leaves at grocery stores or used stored fresh curry leaves, it is nice to have a plant on hand to use right away!
Growing a kitchen essential might seem daunting, but it’s actually a fairly easy process if you know what you’re doing. This post was created for that very reason! In this post, we’re going to be doing a complete rundown on everything you need to know to grow the curry leaf plant at home!
How to Grow Curry Leaf Plant
The first thing you need to keep in mind when you’re trying to grow any plant at home is how you start. Some plants need to be grown from seeds; others can only be grown from cuttings. The curry leaf plant can be grown in either of the two ways!
Growing From Seeds
Obtain your curry leaf seeds, and place them on a moist paper towel. Place the paper towel inside a Ziplock bag where the humidity would be easily trapped. Leave the ziplock near a window for 15-20 days until you see the seeds germinate.
When they’ve germinated, you can take the seeds and sow them in moist soil. Water it frequently, and the plant should start growing in the next couple of weeks!
Curry Leaf Plant Flowers
If you are looking for fresh seeds, this is where you can find them! After 2+ years, a curry leaf plant will produce small white flowers.
While these flowers will produce seeds, cutting them will encourage new growth. Letting the flowers blossom reduces growth in the plant. So, keep an eye out for this!
Growing From Curry Leaf Plant Cuttings
Cuttings are the easier way to grow the curry plant at home. Use a vibrant curry plant, and find a stem that’s semi-flexible. It shouldn’t be crisp enough that it just snaps off, but not so flexible that you can’t break it. Look for one that’s in the middle.
Then, add some growth hormone to the base of the plant and then place it in a pot with potting mix in it. Press it firmly into the pot, water it only once, and cover it with a plastic bag.
The plastic will create a mini greenhouse effect. Keep the plant in the shade covered up like that for ten days to 2 weeks. Within this time, the cutting will sprout into a new bud, the roots will begin to grow, and with it, you’ll have your very own young curry leaf plant!
Curry Leaf Plant Propagation Tips
Propagation is essential to help the curry leaf plant grow to its full potential. Below are some of the things you need to keep in mind when propagating the curry leaf plant.
- Always use sharp gardening sheers. The cleaner your cut, the healthier your plant will be!
- Take the leaves off. The bottom of your propagated stem should be bare. So, take off the leaves from the section you will be repotting.
- Make sure to never over water the soil. Even though this plant prefers the soil to be damp, it doesn’t appreciate too much water. So, find that balance where the soil is well hydrated without being too wet and you’ll be just fine.
How to Make Curry Leaf Plant Grow Faster
Even though the curry leaf plant isn’t exactly the slowest in terms of growth, there are certain things that you can do to speed up the growth even more! Here are some of the best ways you can make your curry leaf plant grow even faster!
- One of the best ways to boost curry leaf plant growth is by adding seaweed fertilizer to the soil every two weeks until the growth gets better. This is a great growth stimulant. Along with growth hormones that can make your plant go from dormant, to thriving in no time.
The curry leaf plant is among the easiest to take care of. Just make sure you keep all of its growing requirements in check, and it should grow tall in no time!
Below are some of the main things you need to do to care for your curry leaf plant the right way!
Here’s where most people get it wrong. It’s important that you start on the right foot. In this case, the right soil conditions. The curry leaf plant thrives in tropical climates, where there’s lots of rain. That means that it prefers the soil to be wet and mildly acidic. Any ordinary potting mix that drains well would do just fine here.
Even though we’ve already been over its sensitivity to excess water, it’s important to talk about it in detail. It’s essential that the plant gets ample amount of water, as long as the roots don’t end up holding the water and being at risk of water logging.
Generally, you’re looking at a weekly watering in cooler temperatures and 2-3 times a week in warmer temperatures.
Just insert a finger into the soil and make sure it feels slightly dry. If it does, you’re good to go. If it’s still very wet to the touch, wait another day or two before watering.
Tip: If your curry leaf plant isn’t as green as you’d want it, add Magnesium Sulfate to it. Add about one teaspoon in a gallon of water and water the soil, it’ll help the material seep into the soil immediately. As it works its way through, it will slowly increase chlorophyll production and make the leaves brighter and greener from within! You can use this once a month in the summertime, it should be enough to boost greener growth!
Curry plants thrive in the sunlight, but in moderation. Ease the plant into the routine of getting enough sunlight throughout its life, and make sure to never leave it in the direct sunlight if the temperatures are going above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do, you might expose it to a risk of burning.
Temperature and Humidity
Because the curry leaf plant hails from India, it does well in temperatures that are nearest to the local temperatures in the country. For best growth, keep it in the 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit range. Warmer than that is okay upto around 95 degrees, but anything colder than 50 degrees might harm the plant.
Some curry leaf plants can be iron deficient. If that’s the case, add one teaspoon of iron sulfate to the soil every 30 to 45 days, and the plant should grow just fine! If you want, you can also add some fertilizer every 50-60 days, but it’s not really a major requirement.
Growing Curry Leaf Plant — Indoor Plant vs. Outdoors Plant
The curry leaf tree grows outdoors best in the United States in zones 8-12. I have relatives in Texas who have nurtured it from a small plant into a curry tree outdoors!
The curry leaf plants like the warmer, humid days. That’s what makes this an indoor and outdoor plant. You can leave it out to soak in all of the benefits of the warm temperatures of the summer months, and as soon as the temperatures start to drop and the surroundings become drier, bring it inside so you can control the temperatures and humidity levels to keep the plant thriving through the winter as well!
When you bring it in though, make sure the soil and the pot are well draining. That way, even if it isn’t drying very fast indoors, it’ll stay safe from water logging.
Tip: A pot with a drainage hole is very important!
Young plants can grow easily indoors but as they grow into small trees ensure you transfer it to bigger containers.
Tips on harvesting curry leaves
Instead of going to the plant with your plant sheers, use your hands! Just pinch the buds and remove the number of leaves you need at the time. You can just wash the leaves and use them immediately.
You can harvest the leaves in a larger quantity too, but to store fresh leaves, wrap them in paper and only wash them right before you need to use them. They will last a few days that way.
All Set to Grow Curry Leaf Plant!
Throughout the article above, we have gone over every little detail that you need to know to grow your very own curry leaf plant at home! This plant might seem like a handful when you first start out, but as long as you make sure to provide it with all of the basic necessities it needs, the plant will grow just fine, and you’ll have an unlimited supply of curry leaves for whenever the recipe calls for it!