Introduction to Growing Curry Leaf Plant in Pots
The Curry Leaves plant is native to India and its Botanical name is Bergera Koenigii. This plant grows well in full to partial sunlight, but it can also be grown in a balcony where you get direct sunlight for a few good hours. It requires a slightly acidic soil that is well-drained with a good mix of cow dung and river sand for good growth. Curry Leaf Plants are low maintenance and easy to care for. Its leaves are used mainly to improve the taste and flavour of foods. In this article we also discuss the below topics;
- How can I make Curry Leaves grow faster
- Which fertilizer is best for Curry Leaves
- Can we grow Curry Leaves plant from a stem
- How do you take care of a Curry Leaf Plant
- How long does Curry Leaf Plant take to grow
- Growing Curry Leaf Plant in containers
- Curry Leaf Plants growing tips
A Step by Step Guide to Growing Curry Leaf Plant in Pots
Types of Curry Leaf Plants
Curry Leaves plant is of three different varieties.
Regular Curry Leaf Plant – It 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 plant leaves are longer.
Gamthi Curry Leaf Plant – The most fragrant, grows slowly and has thick but smaller leaves.
Best Potting Mix for Growing Curry Leaf Plant in Pots
The Curry Leaf Plant mostly likes slightly acidic (Soil pH between 5.6 to 6), loose, and well-drained soil. After watering, the access water should run away from the drainage hole below the pot to prevent plant roots from rotting. Any kind of potting mix available in the big box stores will work for this plant. Add about 1/2 amount of compost or cow manure to the potting mix for the best growth. Then, mix the potting mix and cow manure well before planting the Curry Leaf Plant.
What Size of Pots are the best for growing Curry Leaf Plant?
For growing Curry Leaf Plant, it is better to use containers rather than gardens. Most Curry leaf seedling and cuttings grow faster and thrive better when they are planted in pots. Besides, planting curry leaves in pots allows you to change its position to meet the growth needs. Keep in mind that you should choose a deep wide container otherwise, you will need to transplant herbs into bigger containers once they grow. This herb will need at least a 30-gallon container when it is 10 years old.
Any ceramic, resin, or terracotta plastic container would work for growing Curry Leaf Plant. Whatever the material you select for the container, make sure it has an adequate amount of drainage hole in the bottom of the container. Selecting the right size container for the Curry Leaf Plant is essential. You do not want a huge container for a small Curry Leaf Plant.
Curry Leaf Plant Propagation for Growing in Pots
Curry leaf propagation is mainly cuttings (suckers of the plant) or seeds. Use fresh seeds for a high germination rate. Sow them in good quality potting soil. If your temperature is not warm around 20°C, layer it with polyethylene because the seeds germinate in warm temperature.
How to Grow Curry Leaves from Seeds
Step 1) Curry Leaf Plants can be grown from cuttings or seed. The seed is the pit of the fruit and can either be cleaned or the entire fruit may be sown. Fresh seed shows the greatest rate of germination.
Step 2) The seed of the Curry Leaf Plant is an actual pit of the fruit, which can be peeled and cleaned. Sow your seeds in regular potting soil and keep the conditions moist, but not wet. The seeds will need the watering to remain consistent and evenly distributed, as well as a temperature of at least 20°C to germinate. Amend the soil to improve drainage if necessary. The success rate for seed germination is not high, so try not to get discouraged if you don’t succeed right off the bat. Growing Curry Leaf Plant from seed is not an easy task because germination is fickle. Other methods are more consistent. You can sow it as is, but seed germination may take longer. Instead, squeeze out the seed from the ripened berry and place them in a moist paper towel for a couple of days before sowing the seed. This will speed up the germination process.
Step 3) Place the seeds an inch below the soil, cover them up and place in a warm place. The seeds should germinate in about 10 days.
How to Grow Curry Leaves from Cuttings
Propagating Curry Leaf Plant cuttings allows you to harvest the leaves much sooner than germinating a Curry Leaf Plant from seed.
Step 1) First, you’ll need a healthy Curry Leaf Plant from which to take a cutting. If you do not already have a curry plant available for this task, you can be able to purchase curry plant cuttings or find a Curry Leaf Plant for sale from grocery stores.
Step 2) Avoid choosing an overly woody stem; the younger semi-hardwood stems are ideal for propagating a Curry Leaf Plant. About 2 inches below the third or fourth leaf node, cut your chosen stem off the main plant with a pair of sharp and clean scissors.
Step 3) Cut any additional leaves below the third or fourth node so that the bottom 2 inches of cutting are left bare. Next, use a sharp and clean knife to peel off the top layer of this 2-inch area all the way around, much like peeling a carrot. Then, place the cutting in a cup of water to prevent it from drying out while you prepare the pot.
Step 4) Fill the pot with potting soil to within about half an inch of the pot’s edge. Do not use heavy and clay-based soils because these will not allow water to drain fast enough and may encourage root rot. Carefully moisten the soil with water before planting the curry leaf cutting. Push your finger down into the center of the soil until you create a hole about 2 to 3 inches deep and wide enough for the cutting to enter without pushing against the soil.
Step 5) Remove the cutting from the cup and shake off any excess water. Then, fill the hole with potting soil and press firmly on the soil around the curry stem to ensure it stays in place. Once you’ve prepared and planted Curry Leaf Plant cutting, you’ll need to give it the proper growing conditions to help it form strong roots.
Watering Curry Leaf Plant
- Allow the plant to dry out completely between watering.
- Curry Leaf Plant benefits with warm water feeding.
- In winter when the plant goes dormant, reduce watering to prevent root rot. Watering the plants with fermented rice water is an excellent remedy for this. Dilute the fermented rice water with a double the amount of normal water and spray it on the plant leaves to eliminate the pests. Then, the rice water helps in the growth of tender leaves.
- Do not allow water to puddle up below the Curry Leaf Plants. Though the plant requires adequate moisture, the roots may begin to decay if water gets puddled up. This may even destroy the entire plant. Sprinkle some ash below the Curry Leaf Plant to prevent the discoloration of the leaves and to improve the health of the plant.
How to Fertilize Curry Leaf Plant growing in Pots
There is no need for heavy fertilizing the young Curry Leaf Plant as we have already mixed a fair share of compost in the pit. Feed your Curry Leaf Plant every 15 days any other organic fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen for leafy growth.
Curry Leaf Plant benefits from regular feedings of fertilizers higher in Nitrogen (N) value. Apply one application of Blood Meal in the spring season, followed by monthly applications of Seaweed or Fish fertilizer. Curry Leaf Plant also responds positively to homemade fertilizers such as Buttermilk, Rice water, Asafoetida, and eggshells, which can be applied weekly.
- You can add vermicompost or other compost as they are rich in Nitrogen.
- Dig the top inch of the soil and add around a cup of vermicomposting to it.
- Mix the soil and the compost then water.
Buttermilk for Curry Leaf Plant
Buttermilk (diluted curd, yogurt) is said to be the best homemade fertilizer for this plant. Curry Leaves have a ton of vitamin-C and so they require acidity to grow. Buttermilk gives them thee acidity they need. Note that the buttermilk has to be fermented a lot too much.
- 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
- 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.
For growing Curry Leaves faster – Dissolve about 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) in 1-liter water and feed to the Curry Leaf Plant when it is dry. Give Epsom salt every 3 months. Therefore, your Curry Leaf Plant will grow faster and very well. The plant will grow green leaves throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
Curry Leaf Plant Pruning
Pruning helps the plant to maintain its health and produce a heavy amount of plant leaves. You must prune the plant once a year during spring. Pinching the tips of the branches is an excellent way to ensure that plant will give you many leaves. If your Curry Leaf Plant grows up to 5 meters tall, you m prune it several times every year.
Curry Leaf Plant Care
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The Curry Leaf Plant is normally free of pests and diseases. The Curry Leaves have a strong smell that deters insect pests and keeps the disease away. However, depending on the weather, some pests create problems to the Curry Leaf Plant.
You can see white spots, black spots, brown spots, and white fungus, etc on the Curry Leaves and stems. Also sometimes the leaves 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 Curry Leaf Plant sap which lay hundreds of eggs on the surface of the leaf, hatching into yellow nymphs. The most common problem is the formation of white spots in plant leaves and the burning of leaves at tips.
Solutions for these 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. Sprinkle salt water on the leaves once in two weeks to keep it healthy.
- You can spray Amirtha Karaisal or Panchagavya every month. This not only helps in repelling insects but also promotes plant growth.
- For treating leaf spots use buttermilk that is fermented for 3 to 5 days. Mix it with 9 times of water and then spray it weekly.
- The burning of leaf tips is due to a lack of potassium. This can be treated by adding wood ash or by adding ground banana skin. You can even mix both and use them.
When and How to Harvest Curry Leaves
Harvesting the curry leaf encourages the growth of new leaves; you could harvest the leaves whenever you want to. Pick the leaves from the herb and use it for adding flavor to your cooking. Fresh leaves have a stronger taste than dried leaves. These steps offer you the ultimate way to successfully grow the Curry Leaf Plant. Follow these steps and you will enjoy the benefits of this healthy herb.
Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Curry Leaf Plant in Pots
Why is Curry Leaf Plant not growing?
The Curry Leaf Plant is one that can lack iron, so you can also add a teaspoon of iron sulfate to the soil once a month as well. This will help boost the growth of the plant leaves and give your plant better-looking foliage.
How often to water a Curry Leaf Plant?
The Curry Leaf Plant does not like to be over-watered. If the plant gets too much water, the plant roots will start rotting. It is best to water the plant infrequently but deeply. Water the plant when you see the topsoil is dry to touch.
Does Curry Leaf Plant need sunlight?
The Curry Leaf Plant should be grown in rich, well-drained soil in full sunlight or partial shade. It does well when grown in a pot.
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