Growing Curry Plant – Curry leaves are an essential part of the world-famous Indian curry and many other food items. They are used to add that special aroma and flavor in dal or pulses, vegetables, and other such spicy preparations. It also has been used for its medicinal properties as an antidiabetic and antioxidant herb in the ancient Indian system of Ayurvedic medicine.
About curry plant
The scientific name of this plant is Murraya Koenigii. It is commonly known as cudhipatta or limda in certain parts of the country. The three commonly found varieties are regular, dwarf and gamthi. This tropical or sub-tropical plant grows to about 15-20 feet tall and is not all that difficult to grow in your backyard if you follow the tips for growing curry plant given below.
Growing curry plant from seeds
You can use both the seeds as well as the cutting of the plant to grow a new plant. However, growing curry leaf plant from the seed is a bit trickier as the chances of the seeds germinating can be uncertain.
If you do use seeds, sow them in potting soil and provide just the essential amount of water. Make sure to not over-water as it can cause the seed or the sprout to decay.
Removing the hard shell around the seeds or softening it by soaking the seeds in water overnight will facilitate the germination process.
Growing curry leaves plant from cuttings
A better and more certain way of growing a new curry plant is to use an existing curry plant stem or even fresh curry leaves having petioles.
Make sure that the stem you use is at least 3 inches long and has enough leaves. Remove the leaves at the bottom of the plant up to 1 inch and plant it in soil. Dipping the stem in a rooting hormone or even honey will help quicker rooting.
It takes about 3 weeks time for the roots to emerge. Keeping the soil moist and maintaining the right temperature is the key.
Using the right container
Since curry leaves plants to grow fairly quickly, it is best to use a container with adequate space to accommodate the growth. This will save frequently putting the plant in bigger containers as the plant keeps growing. Make sure the container has enough drainage holes.
Provide the right environment and soil
This plant flourishes in a soil that is well-drained. Maintain a temperature of about 20 degree Celsius for better results. Ample sunlight is necessary for the plant to grow well and thick.
This plant is fairly safe from pests and therefore pest control is quite simple. Mites and scales can be a concern. Using an insecticidal soap is an effective remedy for this problem.
Taking care of the plant
Providing fertilizers at regular intervals – ideally, once every five weeks – is important. Pruning the leaves once a year also helps proper nourishment and growth. Don’t let the soil get too wet. It is better to keep it dry during two consecutive watering.