Ultimate Guide to Curry Leaves Farming

Welcome to the wonderful world of curry leaves farming! In this ultimate guide, we’ll take you on through the ins and outs of cultivating these fragrant leaves. Whether you have a green thumb or love the idea of growing your curry leaves, this blog is for you. We’ll share easy tips, tricks, and expert advice to help you nurture these aromatic wonders right in your backyard.

Ultimate Guide to Curry Leaves Farming

Introduction to Curry Leaves Farming

Curry leaves, known for their pivotal role in enriching the flavors of South Indian cuisine, are a staple condiment in the culinary landscape. Cultivated on a large scale in various regions, including Coimbatore, Periyar, Madurai, Salem, and Trichy districts of Tamil Nadu, as well as Dharwad, Belgaum, and Uttara Kannada in Karnataka State, curry leaf farming has deep roots in the southern Indian agricultural tradition. 

Botanically identified as Murrya koenigii Spreng and belonging to the Rutaceae family, these aromatic leaves bring a distinct essence to traditional dishes, making them a cherished component of South Indian culinary heritage. Through this guide, we will delve into the art of curry leaf cultivation, uncovering the secrets to successfully growing and nurturing these prized leaves.

Varieties of Curry Leaves

Farmers’ preference for local varieties with a distinctive pink midrib underscores the significance of indigenous strains in curry leaf cultivation. Notably, the recent release of two cultivars, DWD-1 and DWD-2, by the University of Agricultural Science, Dharwad, has garnered attention. These cultivars boast impressive oil content, with DWD-1 and DWD-2 exhibiting 5.22% and 4.09%, respectively. Both varieties are renowned for their robust aroma, further enhancing their appeal to farmers and enthusiasts alike.

Soil Requirements

Curry leaf cultivation thrives even in dry climates. However, when the minimum temperature drops below 13°C, the shoot’s growth may be slightly affected. While curry leaves can be cultivated in various soil types, they flourish particularly well in light-textured red soils. This versatility allows for cultivation in diverse environmental conditions, making it an accessible and resilient crop for farmers.

Climatic Conditions

The climatic requirements for curry leaf farming are notably adaptable, as the plant can thrive in various conditions. Originating from Southern India and Sri Lanka, where hot and humid climates prevail, the curry leaf plant demonstrates a preference for such environments, enabling it to flourish as a full-grown shrub or small tree. While it can withstand dry climates, temperatures below 13°C may slightly impede shoot growth. Additionally, the plant exhibits a strong affinity for light-textured red soils, further enhancing its adaptability to diverse soil types.

Propagation Methods

Curry leaf farming primarily employs two key propagation methods: seeds and stem cuttings. Seed propagation involves planting fresh seeds in well-prepared soil, ensuring adequate moisture and warmth for germination. Stem cuttings, on the other hand, involve taking 6-8 inch cuttings from mature, disease-free plants and planting them in a well-drained, prepared bed. Both methods require regular watering and protection from direct sunlight during the initial stages of growth. While seed propagation offers genetic diversity, stem cuttings ensure the replication of desirable traits from the parent plant.

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Curry Leaves

Planting Guidelines

Curry leaf farming typically follows a spacing of 90 to 120cm on either side, facilitating adequate growth and access for maintenance. One month before planting, pits of 30 x 30 x 30cm dimensions are dug and filled with topsoil mixed with well-decomposed farmyard manure. Healthy seedlings are then planted in the center of the pits, with long furrows connecting all the pits to facilitate irrigation.

Irrigation and Fertilizer Application

After planting, regular irrigation is crucial, with seedlings requiring watering once every five to seven days for the initial three years and subsequently once every 15 days. Additionally, diligent weed management is essential to ensure unhindered growth and development of the curry leaf plants. Farmers typically refrain from using inorganic fertilizers; however, for enhanced growth and yield, each plant may be fertilized with 20kg of farmyard manure, along with specific quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash per year.

Pest and Disease Management

Aphids pose a threat to curry leaf plants, particularly during the vegetative stage. To combat this, spraying dimethoate at a rate of 2ml per liter of water is recommended. However, it’s crucial to avoid harvesting leaves from plants treated with dimethoate for at least ten days to prevent any residual toxicity. Additionally, leaf spots may occasionally occur, for which spraying carbendazim at a rate of one gram per liter is advised. These measures help mitigate the impact of aphids and leaf spots, safeguarding the health and vitality of the curry leaf plants. 

The control of aphids can also be achieved through various methods, such as using soapy water, diatomaceous earth, and natural predators like ladybird beetles. Additionally, the use of insecticidal soaps, fatty acid salts, and systemic insecticides can effectively manage aphid populations. It’s important to note that the application of pesticides should be done with caution, considering impact on beneficial insects and the environment.

Pruning and Maintenance

Pruning is essential for promoting bushier growth and increasing leaf production. It is recommended to prune the branches of curry leaf plants to encourage the development of multiple branches, ultimately resulting in a denser and bushier plant. This practice should be carried out during the spring, and it involves removing old, yellow leaves and stems that have lost their leaves.

Additionally, making clean diagonal cuts with sharp pruners, at least one-third from the top of the plant, is crucial to contain the plant’s size and stimulate bushier growth. Pruning prevent the plant from becoming leggy and encourages the production of more leaves for harvesting.

Growth Monitoring

Regularly inspect the plants for signs of nutrient deficiencies or excessive growth. Pruning plays a vital role in promoting robust growth. Proper pruning encourages bushier growth and increased leaf production, ultimately leading to a denser and more productive plant. Additionally, monitoring the plant for signs of pests and diseases to maintain its health and vitality. Regular harvesting of leaves not only provides a constant supply for culinary use but also stimulates the plant’s continuous growth.

Harvesting Techniques

In curry leaf farming, the first harvest typically occurs at the end of the first year, with subsequent yields increasing as the plants mature. The expected yield from one hectare varies with the age of the plantation. In the first year, the yield is around 400 kg/ha, while in the second and third years, it ranges from 2000 to 2200 kg/ha. By the fourth year, the yield increases to 2500 kg/ha, and from the fifth year onwards, it ranges from 3500 to 5000 kg/ha. 

It’s important to note that the plantation can be maintained for 20 to 25 years, depending on the management practices followed. Harvesting techniques involve carefully plucking the mature leaves without damaging the plant. Proper timing and gentle handling during harvesting are crucial to ensuring the sustained growth and productivity of the curry leaf plants.

Post-Harvest Processing

Post-harvest processing of curry leaves is essential to maintain their flavor and quality. Freshly harvested leaves can be used immediately in various culinary applications, such as flavoring fish and beef stews, adding depth to chutneys and pickles, and featuring in yogurt drinks. However, if not used immediately, there are several methods for preserving the leaves. One approach is freezing the leaves for later use, while another involves drying the leaves and crushing them for use. 

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Curry Leaves

When drying the leaves, it’s important to store them in a glass jar away from light and use them within a couple of months to retain their flavor. Additionally, the leaves can be used in various recipes, such as relishes, and as a seasoning in Indian dishes. By employing these post-harvest processing techniques, the flavor and aroma of curry leaves can be preserved, ensuring their availability for culinary use over an extended period.

Market Opportunities

Curry leaves, also known as curry patta, present significant market opportunities due to their high demand and versatile applications. India, largest producer and consumer of curry leaves, sets the stage for lucrative ventures in this domain. With a prevailing sale price of Rs 30 per kg, curry leaves offer promising returns for growers. Beyond their culinary appeal, curry leaves boast substantial health benefits, enriched with vitamins A, B, C, and B2, along with iron and calcium.

Their inclusion in various dishes not only enhances flavor but also contributes to overall well-being, promoting hair growth and radiant skin and possessing anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and potentially anti-cancer properties. The global market for curry leaves, valued at USD 5.5 billion in 2018, indicates a robust growth trajectory, particularly during peak demand months such as July and August.

This growth trend signifies ample opportunities for producers for both domestic, international markets. To tap into this burgeoning market, sellers can leverage online platforms such as IndiaMart.com, ExportsIndia.com, and BigBasket.com.

Financial Analysis

Cost of Production
  • Initial investment includes land acquisition, equipment, and seeds.
  • Operational costs encompass labor, irrigation, fertilizers, and pest control.
  • Overheads involve utilities, transportation, and marketing expenses.
  • Revenue generated from the sale of curry leaves, typically priced at Rs 30 per kg.
  • Yield per acre determines the total output, with an average production of 10 tons annually.
  • Market fluctuations and demand dynamics influence sales volumes and pricing.
  • Gross profit is subtracting the total cost of production from the revenue generated.
  • Net profit further deducts overheads and miscellaneous expenses.
  • Profit margins vary based on factors such as productivity, market conditions, and operational efficiency.
  • Initial Investment: Rs 5 lakh
  • Annual Revenue: Rs 3 lakh (10 tons x Rs 30/kg)
  • Annual Cost of Production: Rs 2 lakh
  • Gross Profit: Rs 1 lakh (Revenue – Cost of Production)
  • Net Profit: Rs 80,000 (Gross Profit – Overheads)
  • Profit Margin: 16% (Net Profit / Revenue)

Sustainability Practices

When growing curry leaves, sustainable methods use a comprehensive strategy that includes choosing the right types, managing the soil, conserving water, and controlling pests. The first stage in sustainable farming is selecting the appropriate curry leaf variety that fits the soil and climate of the area. Curry leaves normally grow in somewhat acidic to neutral soils, hence the soil should be well-drained, rich in organic matter, and kept at a pH level appropriate for them. 

Herbicides and regular watering are less necessary when organic mulching helps to keep soil wet and control weeds. By water straight to the plant roots, water conservation methods like drip irrigation reduce waste and evaporation. Using neem-based solutions, pheromone traps, and natural predators are by Integrated pest management techniques that may help keep pests under control. Frequent cutting and picking not only promotes bushier growth and more yield but also helps to ward against illness. 

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Curry Leaves

Using organic fertilizers, like compost or manure, gives the plants vital nutrients and gradually improves soil fertility as well. Pest infestations are less likely and soil depletion may be avoided by crop rotation and intercropping with other species. Farmers may improve the quantity and caliber of their curry leaves as well as the ecology’s and their community’s health by using these sustainable techniques. Such steps guarantee that curry leaf cultivation will continue to be lucrative and feasible for future generations.

Curry leaves farming presents a lucrative opportunity for growers, offering a blend of culinary significance, health benefits, and financial rewards. With India’s vast market demand and global potential, coupled with strategic planning and adherence to best practices, it promises to be a rewarding venture for aspiring entrepreneurs.


  1. I want to know exact details how to sow curry leaves seeds, what’s the procedure? How to pulp the seeds and is it necessary to remove pulp.

  2. I sowed curry seeds from Andhra Pradesh, Rajmandri, last year June last week (2018) but still unable to harvest,,, as my soil is sand mixed, well water drainage, depth is with hard gravel (1 1/2 ‘ft),,,

  3. Veereshgaru you must use good amount of well composted fym and coupled with good quality VAM , PsB , AZATO and KmB – or else Arka Microbial Consortium to get good plant growth under your soil types.
    Good luck.

  4. We want to start curry leaf farming in Telangana near Siddipet. Can you suggest the best source of good plants or seeds for planting?



  5. Hello. I am from Pune but working in Malaysia in a spice company. We produce curry powder and curry leaves are one of the ingredients. Do you think you can export curry leaves flakes (dry and make flakes)? Probably monthly we will import other ingradients such dry as turmeric, coriander seeds, bay leaves etc so curry leaves flakes can go into the same container.

  6. What are the commercial avenues n benefits if I wish to grow them commercially…who wld be the potential buyers??


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