Introduction to Growing Organic Curry Leaves at Home (Kadi Patta)
Curry leaf is one of the most popular herbs and it is an easy to grow herb in your garden. It originates from the Indian subcontinent where it is widely used in several dishes. Curry leaf is a delicious herb that adds a unique aroma and flavor to your cooking. Curry leaves are the main ingredient in Indian dishes, known for their unique flavor. Curry leaves are also said to have antioxidants and help stabilize blood sugar. You can always buy Curry leaves online or from grocery stores, also you can grow Curry leaf plants in your backyard. Curry leaf plants are low maintenance plants, and make sure you need to start some seeds, potting mix, and a small pot. In this article we also discuss the below points about Curry leaf plants;
- How do you repot a Curry leaf plant?
- Is rice water good for the Curry leaf plant?
- Protect the Curry leaf plant from pests
- Does Curry leave plant needs full sun?
- How to prune Curry leaf plant
- Best natural fertilizer for Curry leaf plant
- How to grow Curry leaves from seeds
- Transplanting Curry leaf plant
- Best pot or container size for Curry leaf
A Step By Step Guide to Growing Organic Curry Leaves from Seeds and Cuttings
Hello friends, today we go throgh a process of growing organic curry leaves. The following information may be useful for growing organic curry leaf plant in the home garden, pots, containers, backyard, terrace, even in the balcony.
Varieties and Types of Curry Leaf Plants to Grow (Kadi Patta) from Seeds and Cuttings
Curry leaves the plant is mainly three different varieties or types. They are;
Regular Curry Leaf Plant – This plant grows tall and fast. It looks like the Curry leaves available at the grocery store.
Dwarf Curry Leaf Plant – It does not grow as tall as the normal tree.
Gamthi Curry Leaf Plant – It is the most fragrant, grows slowly, and has thick but smaller leaves.
Organic Soil for Growing Curry Leaves
The Curry leaf plant likes a slightly acidic pH level between 5.6 to 6, loose, and well-drained soil. After watering the plant, the access water should run away from the drainage hole below the pot to prevent roots from rotting. When it comes to growing Curry leaf plant, it will do best in well-drained soil that is mildly acidic. This plant will not do well with adapting to other types of soil, so if you need to create a quality mixture, you can add sand or manure to the soil.
Any kind of potting mix will work for the Curry leaf plant. Make sure to buy the ‘Potting Mix,’ not the ‘Potting Soil.’ Add about 1/2 amount of compost or cow manure to the potting mix for the best growth. Normally, mix the potting mix and cow manure well before planting the Curry leaf plant.
Sunlight Requirement for Growing Organic Curry Leaves
Curry leaf plant grows best in about 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. Then, you want to place the Curry leaf plant that has good airflow and direct sunlight for the majority of the day. During the hot months of summer, the Curry leaf plant must be moved in the part sun area.
Keep the Curry leaf plant in a sunny area throughout the day. Put the plant in an area that gets full sun throughout the day, this should be around 6 to 8 hours daily. You can either put the pot outside if the temperature is above 0°C, or you can keep it near a south-facing window so it can continue to grow. Let the Curry leaf plant get direct sunlight so it can create healthy growth and leaves. If your Curry leaf plant doesn’t get full sun throughout the day, it may drop some of its leaves and grow weak. As long as you keep watering the plant, the leaves can grow back during the next season.
Choosing an Adequate Container for Growing Organic Curry Leaves
For growing Curry leaf plants, it is better to use containers rather than gardens. Most Curry leaf seedlings and cuttings grow faster and thrive better when they are planted in pots or containers. Also, planting Curry leaf in pots allows you to change its position to meet the growth needs.
Keep in mind that you should select a deep wide container otherwise, you will need to transplant your herbs into bigger containers once they grow. This plant will need at least a 30-gallon container when it is 10 years old. Any ceramic, resin, or terracotta plastic container work well for growing the Curry leaf plant. Choosing the right size container for the Curry leaf plant is essential.
Conditions for Growing Organic Curry Leaves
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- Generally, Curry leaf plants may be grown from cuttings or seed. Fresh seed shows the greatest rate of seed germination. Then, sow the seeds in potting soil and keep them damp but not wet. They will need a warm area of at least 20°C to germinate.
- Growing Curry leaf plants from seed is not an easy task because germination is fickle. Other methods are more consistent. Also, you can use fresh Curry leaves with petiole or stem and start a plant. Growing Curry leaves to produce a new plant is the easiest way of propagation.
- Growing Curry leaf plant in the home garden is only advisable in areas without freezes. Curry leaf plant is frost tender but it can be grown indoors in pots. Plant the tree in a well-drained pot with a good potting mix and then place in a sunny area. Feed it weekly with a diluted solution of seaweed fertilizer and then trim the leaves as needed.
- Watch the Curry leaf plant for mites and scale. Use insecticidal soap to control the pests. Curry leaf plant care is easy and even suitable for a beginner.
How to Grow Curry Leaves From Seeds
- Growing plants from seed is a great way to planting Curry leaves. Sow the seed in 4-inch plastic pots filled with seed-starting compost. Sow it at a depth equal to its diameter, which is about 1/3 inch. Then, cover the seed completely and firm the soil well.
- Place the seeds an inch below the soil, cover them up, and place them in a warm place. The seeds must germinate in about 10 days.
- Place the pot in a warm and lightly shaded location with bright light. Warm the pot to 21°C using a heating coil or propagation mat. Cover the pot with clear plastic sheeting or a propagation dome to hold warmth and humidity around the seed.
How to Grow Curry Leaf Plants From Stems or Cuttings
- First, prepare your potting mix with 1 part sand, 1 part compost, and water it well.
- Find a healthy branch from the Curry leaf plant that is pencil-thick, not too flexible or too stiff. Slant cut the branch that is about 5 inches long with about 4 to 5 leaf stems.
- Remove the last couple of leaf stems and then place the cut end into the soil.
- Then, firm the soil around the cut branch and don’t water it again.
- You can place a polythene bag over the pot, tie the top end, and keep it in the shade for 10 days. The cutting will start giving out new shoots in 10 days.
- Keep the pot in the shade for a few more weeks until the Curry leaf plant looks stronger.
Best Organic Fertilizers for Curry Leaf Plants
Apply blood meal to the top layer of soil at the beginning of the spring season. Curry leaf plants grow well for regular feedings of fertilizers higher in Nitrogen (N) value. Then, apply one application of blood meal in the spring season, followed by monthly applications of seaweed or fish fertilizer. Curry leaf plants grow well to homemade fertilizers like buttermilk, rice water, and eggshells, which can be applied weekly.
Curry leaf plant growing in-ground doesn’t need a lot of fertilizers. That’s why you should follow a fertilizer schedule to make Curry leaf plant healthier, bushier, and grow faster. Fish emulsion is an organic fertilizer that has a high nitrogen value but also contains some amount of Phosphorus and Potassium. Apply seaweed fertilizer every 15 days to make Curry leaf plants grow faster.
Blood meal helps Curry leaf plants grow more leaves. So, it is best to supplement it with liquid fertilizers to provide both long-term nourishment and quickly accessible nutrients for optimum plant growth.
Best Homemade Fertilizers for Curry Leaf Plant
Buttermilk – Usually, there are multiple reasons why buttermilk is an excellent homemade fertilizer for a Curry leaf plant. Buttermilk helps the Curry leaf plant fight fungal infections like black spots and powdery mildew.
How to Apply Buttermilk for Curry Leaf Plant?
- Let the soil dry out a little before the buttermilk application.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of sour yogurt into 1 gallon of water.
- Then, pour the mixture at the base of the Curry leaf plant.
- Apply weekly.
Rice Water – Gardeners in India give washed rice liquid to the Curry leaf plant. Because, the unpolished rice contains a high level of Vitamin B, which stimulates new root growth.
How to Apply?
- When washing rice for cooking, save the water.
- Then, pour the water at the base of the plant.
- Apply rice water to the plant instead of regular watering.
Eggshells – Crushed eggshell provides Calcium and one of the critical nutrients for the plant’s well-being. Calcium promotes vigorous plant growth as well as green foliage and a robust root system. Eggshells are one of the best homemade fertilizers for growing Curry leaf plant.
How to Apply?
- First, save 2 to 3 eggshells in a Zip-lock bag.
- Crush the eggshells and sprinkle the eggshells on the surface of the soil.
- Mix the top 1 to 2 inches of soil carefully, making sure not to damage the roots.
- It can be applied every 2 to 3 weeks.
Water Requirement for Growing Curry Leaf Plants
The Curry leaf plant requires regular watering during spring and other milder seasons. It is enough to water the Curry leaf plant once a week. Though this plant loves warmth and heat, it does not tolerate drought. Therefore, during the summer season, make sure that you water your plant twice daily if needed.
Check out the soil to see if it is completely dry before you water otherwise you will cause roots’ rot and reduce watering to the minimum during the winter season when the plant is dormant. You will know that your plant is dormant when its leaves turn a yellow color and start falling. As it grows bigger and older, its water needs to grow with it and watering it more frequently. Curry leaf plant needs the basic skills of gardening to grow. So, it is an ideal choice for beginner gardeners.
When to Transplant or Re-pot a Curry Leaf Plant
Early spring season is the best time to transplant a Curry leaf plant into a new container. If for some reason the middle of the year transplant is required, and make sure to do it on a cloudy day during morning hours. The plant doesn’t like its roots disturbed too frequently. It is best to transplant a plant only when needed.
- To transfer a baby plant from a starter pot to a bigger container.
- To change the current container soil of a mature plant- every 2 years is recommended.
- When you see the plant roots coming out of the drainage hole of the container- a bigger pot is needed.
Pruning of Curry Leaf Plant
Pruning helps the plant to maintain plants health and produce a heavy amount of leaves. You should prune the plant once a year during the spring season. Pinching the tips of the branches is an excellent method to ensure that your plant will give you many leaves. If your Curry leaf plant grows up to 5 meters tall, you should prune it several times every year. Pinch the tips of the branches when they are young to have multiple-branches that will encourage the plant to grow leaves faster and you will have more leaves for harvesting.
You must start pruning your Curry leaf plant early in its growth stage. This plant is about 12 inches in height, leave about 3 to 4 inches from the top and then prune it right there. Make sure you make a nice sharp cut. After a few weeks, the plant will produce side shoots and gives numerous bushy stalks with pointed leaves. Then, that is a sign that your Curry leaf plants are healthy and thriving.
Curry Leaf Plant Problems
- Curry leaf plant manages to keep insect pests and diseases away due to its strong scent, the. It grows without being infected. Though, depending on your climate, there are some pests and diseases that may cause you problems.
- Knowing your plant is infected is easy; you will notice some white, brown, or black color spots on Curry leaf leaves and stem. When the leaves become sticky or curly that also means that plant is infected. These diseases are caused by Aphids, Scales, Citrus Mealybugs, and Psyllids.
- Normally, the Curry plant is free of pests and diseases. The Curry leaves have a strong smell that deters many pests and disease keeps away. Though, depending on the weather, some pests create problems for the plant.
- Scales, aphids, and citrus mealybugs are responsible for white, black, brown spots, and white fungus on the leaves and stems. Also sometimes the Curry leaves turn curly or become sticky.
- Spraying neem oil regularly on the Curry leaf plant to control the diseases and problems. Sprinkle salt water on the Curry plant leaves once in 2 weeks to keep them healthy.
- As new growth starts to appear on the Curry leaf plant, insects like scales and aphids are attracted to the plant. They love sucking and snacking on the new plant leaves and branches. It is easier to proactively prevent these bug infestations in plants than getting rid of them once they arrive.
- Start applying neem oil spray every 2 weeks interval. Neem oil helps control harmful insects and protects the Curry leaf plant from fungal and bacterial infections.
When and How to Harvest Curry Leaves
Wait until your Curry leaf plant is at least 1 to 2 years old before taking any leaves. New plants don’t have enough leaves to harvest and continue growing while they’re young, so wait until your plant is at least 1 year old. If your plant is still thin or only has a few stems with leaves on them after a year, let it keep growing until it’s filled out. If you planted a Curry leaf plant from a cutting, then it can be full enough after a few months to harvest some of the leaves.
Pull the base of the leaf stem from the Curry leaf plant when you’re ready to harvest. Don’t pull off the leaves individually as it leaves a lot of empty growth on the plant. Instead, look where the long stem that connects multiple leaves attaches to the main body of the Curry leaf plant. Only harvest what you immediately need so the Curry leaf plant can continue growing. You can harvest up to 30% of the leaves. If you harvest more, the plant could not grow as well the following year.
Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Curry Leaf Plants
How much time does it take for a Curry leaf plant to grow?
The Curry leaf plant doesn’t require a lot of attention once they established. However, young plants take 2 years to become fully established.
What are the reasons for Curry leaves turning yellow?
During the winter season, your Curry leaves might turn yellow. If your plant goes dormant or loses its’ leaves, cut back on the water to prevent root rot.
Why do Curry leaves turn brown?
A lack of humidity is often the culprit of browning tips and edges in Curry leaves. You should see the plant leaves return to their normal color within a few weeks. Do not spray excessively and you only want to dampen the leaves.
How big do Curry leaf trees grow?
The Curry leaf plant is a large shrub to small tree, which grows to 2 to 3 m in height.
How much sun does Curry leaf plants need?
Curry leaves plant grows best in 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. Make sure the area has good airflow and direct sunlight for the majority of the day.
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