Monday, August 8, 2016

Curry leaf plant Propagation, Pruning, Repotting and Harvest

Curry Leaf plant or Curry Leaf tree is an easy to grow herb in your garden. Also known as Murraya Koenigii or Bergera Koenigii, it prefers a hot, sunny location and usually thrives in Southern California weather. The plants produce aromatic pointed leaves which are widely used in Indian, Sri Lankan and other South East Asian cuisines. The leaves are used as spice and they impart a nice flavor to food, just toss a few leaves in hot oil to flavor your soups, curries, stir fry veggies and stew. 

Curry Leaf Plant With Seeds

Propagating Curry Leaf Tree

Curry leaf plants are most commonly propagated from seeds although you can also propagate them by planting the suckers or plants that grow around it. Here you can see a plant that is now producing flowers and buds.

In summer season, the plants start flowering and produce white flowers which soon will turn into seeds.  It usually takes about 2 months from flowering stage to setting seeds.

You should wait for the seeds to mature before harvesting them, when the seeds mature they turn dark, plump and really black in color. Here you can see some seeds that are mature vs the green ones that haven’t matured yet.

Curry Leaf Plant With Seeds

Once you harvest the seeds make sure you remove the black fleshy part around the seed before sowing it. Use a good seed starting mix; do not use any kind of soil especially hard soil as it will prevent good germination of your curry leaf seeds. A good seed starting mix would typically contain 40% coco coir or peat moss, 25% vermiculite to aid in drainage, 25% coarse perlite and 10% worm castings or compost to give that little extra nutrition to the plants while they germinate and grow. Plant one seed per square in this seed starting kit as pictured below.

Starting curry seeds in container

Always keep the soil moist for optimum germination. They usually take around 15 days to germinate, they take a while to germinate but have a decent germination rate of about ninety percent.

Pruning


Pruning Curry Leaf Plant

It is very important that you 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 prune it right there. Make sure you make a nice sharp cut. Within a few weeks the plant will produce side shoots and fill out into a mini grove of numerous bushy stalks with pointed leaves. That is a sign that your plants are healthy and thriving.

Repotting, fertilizing and pruning after repotting.

Repotting Curry Leaf Tree

Make sure you repot your curry leaf tree every year or every two years depending on the size of the container you use. You don’t want the curry leaf plant growing in containers to be root bound, such plants often fail to thrive and the leaves look dull and pale. Here we are transferring a curry leaf tree from a 5 gallon container to a 15 gallon container so it has enough room to grow. While repotting your plant, ensure you remove little soil from the bottom and loosen the dirt a bit; it helps in stimulating new root growth. At this stage it’s probably a good idea to add either a slow release fertilizer or water soluble fertilizer for optimal growth. You could either chose from an all purpose liquid plant food, an all purpose slow release fertilizer, Blood Meal, Fish/Seaweed emulsion, well composted manure or any high nitrogen fertilizer for added nutrition.

Repotting Curry Leaf Tree

Once repotted, make sure you compact the soil around the plant very well to support your plant. Water your plants very well till the soil settles down. It is also recommended at this stage that you prune your curry leaf plant as described above to encourage more growth.  

Harvesting

Curry Leaf Harvest

When harvesting curry leaves a lot of people do the mistake of just harvesting the leaves and leave the skeletons of the branch on the plant. They just harvest from the bottom part of the plant leaving skeletons of the leaflets all over. These skeletons are not good for the plant. Ideally you can either harvest the tops when pruning the tree or follow the method described below. Harvest at the petiole as you see in the diagram here:

Leaflet and petiole


Start from the bottom part of the stems, grab the whole petiole or leaflet and harvest the entire leaflet, so you are not harvesting just the leaves but the entire leaflet.



Curry leaves are rich in fiber, calcium, phosphorus and iron. It contains Vitamin A, B, C and E and helps in fighting infections and in maintaining a good healthy immune system.

Mainly used for flavoring food, curry leaves are also widely used in skin care to maintain a flawless looking skin and also used in hair care to stimulate the growth of hair, reduce hair fall and prevent premature graying. 

For your hair care routine, you can wash, dry few leaves, add them to coconut oil or prepare a hair mask out of it to apply to the scalp to condition and nourish your hair.

Here is a video describing all these processes and more!


Happy Gardening!

12 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Curry leaves are natural flavouring agents with a number of important health benefits, which makes your food both healthy and tasty along with pleasing aroma. They contain various antioxidant properties and have the ability to control diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems such as indigestion, excessive acid secretion, peptic ulcers, dysentery, diabetes and an unhealthy cholesterol balance. They are also believed to have cancer fighting properties and are known to help protect the liver. The scientific name of the curry plant is Murraya Koenigii Spreng and it belongs to the Rutaceae family. The plant is native to India and is usually found in tropical and subtropical regions. It is cultivated in various other countries such as China, Australia, Nigeria and Ceylon. Height of the plant ranges from small to medium. The most useful parts of this plant are the leaves, root and the bark. Make sure they are trimmed and well maintained. A great tree service provider who I can highly recommend is Majestic Tree trimming. They had been doingit for years and they always do a professional job. Their staff are reliable and fast.

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  3. Hi, Your tips are very helpful. Could you please help me with some curry leaf seeds.. satish.naim@gmail.com

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  4. Your video was very helpful. Please let me know if you sell curry leaf seeds at lesleytauro@yahoo.com. Thank you.

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  5. Hi, my name is Dee n a new subscriber on utube. I live in Pa.zone 6. I have a 2-3yrs old curry plant that bloom seeds, black. Fall is around the corner, can I save the seed for next spring n how, pls advice. Tks

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  6. Hi,

    Do you have any curry leaf plant? I am from Santa Clarita and would love to buy if you have any.

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  7. Inspiring blog. I am from New Zealand and we have limited gardening options here . Still it's nice to see your garden n tips. Dont you show updates on your rose plants? Never have I seen anything regarding your rose plant gardening...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Inspiring blog. I am from New Zealand and we have limited gardening options here . Still it's nice to see your garden n tips. Dont you show updates on your rose plants? Never have I seen anything regarding your rose plant gardening...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I Came across your YouTube channel today. Do you have / sell curry plant seeds? Am looking for thuthuvalai (solanum trilobatum) seeds. By any chance do you have them ?
    Thanks

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  10. Hi! I found your blog and youtube channel while searching for curry leaf plants. Do you sell saplings or seeds? I'd love to have a curry leaf plant at my home. I live in NJ - is there a way to ensure this plant survives the harsh winters here?

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  11. Hello, all your videos are very informative and well explained. Do you have any seeds of the curry leaf plant. My email is patmat15@rediffmail.com

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  12. Please email me at beansn2peas@gmail
    .com
    The patmat15@rediffmail is not working
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete