Curry leaves are a staple in Indian cooking and are prized for their distinct flavour, which is reminiscent of cumin, menthol, and herbs. Antioxidants and blood sugar stabilisation are also claimed to be benefits of the leaves. Curry leaf plants can be grown in your own yard for your own use, although you can always purchase them online or at Indian grocery stores. All you need to start growing curry leaf plants is some seeds, potting soil, and a tiny container. You can pick the leaves as your plant gets taller and use them in your own recipes!
How to Plant a Curry
- Compost and potting soil together should be placed in a tiny container. To start your curry leaf plant, look for a tiny pot that is 3–4 inches broad and 4-6 inches tall.
- To ensure that your plant receives enough nutrients as it grows, use a potting mixture that is 60% potting soil and 40% compost. Mix the dirt and compost together completely until they are well-combined.
- To be sure it doesn’t contain any harmful bacteria, use potting soil from the shop rather than soil from your garden.
- You can plant your curry leaf plant straight in the ground if you live in a climate zone 9–12 region or if the outside temperature doesn’t drop below 32 °F. You ensure that the soil contains the right nutrients, make sure to adjust it.
- Prepare several pots for each extra plant you wish to cultivate if you wish to grow more than one curry leaf plant.
Plant a curry leaf seed 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) deep into the potting soil.
- Make a 12 inch (1.3 cm) deep hole in the earth by pressing your thumb into the middle of it. Put a single curry leaf plant seed into the hole you just created. In order to press the potting mix against the seed, slightly compact it after pushing part of it back into the hole to cover the seed.
- Curry leaf plant seeds are available online or at Indian grocery stores. For the greatest likelihood that your seeds will sprout, get the freshest ones you can.
Till you see the soil emerging from the drainage holes, thoroughly water the soil.
- Use a watering can to moisten the soil after you’ve planted the seed so that the roots may begin to grow. Wait for the soil to absorb the water if it is sitting on top of the soil before adding more. Stop watering the plant as soon as the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot begin to fill with water.
- So that the soil can soak up any water that leaks out of the bottom of the pot, keep it inside a shallow container.
- Don’t overwater the seeds as they might not sprout or grow properly if you do.
Place the pot in a location with at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
- After watering your seeds, place them close to a south-facing window so they can receive sunlight all day. You can also leave the pot outside for the plant to thrive if the temperature is higher than 32 °F. Make sure the plant receives 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day; otherwise, it won’t grow robust shoots or leaves.
- You might notice your curry leaf plants emerging from the ground after around 7 days.
- Keep your plant outside during the day and bring it inside at night if it doesn’t get below 32 °F until the evening so it doesn’t freeze and perish.
Maintaining the Plant
- When the soil is dry 12 in (1.3 cm) down, water your curry plant. Every other day, feel the soil in the pot where your curry leaf plant is growing to see if it seems dry to the touch. Use your watering can to water the plant until the drainage holes at the bottom of the container fill with water if the soil doesn’t feel moist when you stick your finger 12 inch (1.3 cm) into it.
- Avoid overwatering your plants because this could weaken them and cause them to produce fewer leaves.
Keep the plant in a sunny spot all day long.
Place the plant in a location that receives full sun all day long, which should be 6 to 8 hours every day. If the temperature rises above 32 °F (0 °C), you may either move the pot outside or keep it close to a south-facing window where it can continue to thrive. Allow the plant to receive direct sunshine so that it can grow strong leaves.
- Your plant may loose some of its leaves and become weak if it doesn’t receive full sun all day. If you continue to water the plant, the leaves can regrow the next year.
Trim the plant’s top 3–4 inches annually.
- After you have planted your plant, check on it in the spring and take note of any tall vertical growths that don’t have many leaves sprouting from them. The top 3 inches immediately below one of the nodes where the leaves link should be cut off using a pair of gardening snips. To prevent your plant’s stem from beginning to decay, make your cut at a 45-degree angle.
- In addition to helping your plant maintain a manageable size, pruning encourages healthy leaf growth on the stems you decide to leave attached.
- Remove any stems that are weak, damaged, or wilted as well so that your plant may focus its energy on developing strong leaves.
Every year, repot the plant to encourage healthy growth.
- Curry leaf plants need to exchange pots every year because they grow continually to fill their container. Take hold of the plant’s stem base and slowly remove it from the pot. Choose a container that is twice as broad as the root ball of the plant, and half-fill it with a potting mixture that contains 60% potting soil and 40% compost. Set the plant into its new pot after breaking up any dirt clumps around the roots. It has to be well watered and the earth around it filled in to prevent shock.
- Use a shovel or trowel to work around the pot’s edge if the plant is trapped in the container.