A step by step guide for growing curry leaf plant from the cuttings, seeds
Today, we go through the topic of curry leaf plant growing from cutting and seed. We also cover propagation of curry leaf plants from stem, cuttings or seeds. Other facts we talk about are curry leaf plant care, curry leaf seed germination, etc.
Curry leaf (Murraya koenigii) is a very important perennial tree vegetable. Its leaves are used mostly to improve the taste and flavor of foods. Its leaves are slightly pungent and retain their flavor even after drying. Ground curry leaf with mature coconut kernel and spices forms a superb preserve.
Curry leaf plants are a section of the Indian seasoning called curry. Curry leaf seasoning is a compilation of many herbs and spices, whose flavor can sometimes come from curry leaf plants.
About curry leaf tree:
The curry leaf tree is a small bush or tree that grows 13 to just under 20 feet in height. The curry leaf plant is tropical to sub-tropical and produces small fragrant white flowers that become small, black, berry-like fruits. The fruit is edible, but the seed is poisonous and should be removed prior to use. The foliage is the real standout and is arranged alternately on the stem, pinnate and comprised of several leaflets. The aromatic scent is spicy and heady and best when the curry leaves are fresh.
Other names of curry leaves:
The scientific name of the curry leaf tree is Murraya koenigii. Other names of curry leaf tree are curry tree; curry leaves tree, curry plant, sweet neem, and meethi neem or kadhi patta.
Different varieties of curry leaf:
Different varieties of curry leaves are;
(1) Regular: these grow tall and fast and look most like the curry leaf buy at the grocery store;
(2) Dwarf: these do not grow as tall and the leaves are lighter in color and longer than the ones you generally buy at the store;
(3) Gamthi: Gamthi is the most fragrant, has thick leaves, and grows the slowest of the three.
There are two improved varieties of curry leaf – DWD 1 and DWD 2. Both types of these have a good aroma. They have an oil content percentage of 5.22% and 4.09% respectively. They are mostly cultivated in Karnataka. DWD 1 is sensitive to the winter season. During winter its development is poor, whereas DWD 2 is winter insensitive. This type gives a higher yield than DWD 1. ‘Senkaampu’ is a local cultivar developed in many parts of Tamil Nadu.
Climate and soil requirements:
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Curry leaf can be cultivated in a wide range of soils. Red sandy loam soil is ideal for curry leaf cultivation. It can tolerate a temperature range up to 37°C. But below 16°C, its leaves growth is affected.
Propagation of the curry leaf plant:
Let us discuss propagation methods in curry leaves;
Curry leaf propagation is mainly through cuttings or seeds. For raising seedlings, well-ripe fruits are collected from high-yielding curry leaf plants. The seeds are sown either in nursery or polybags filled with a mixture of 1:1:1 sand, soil and farmyard manure or FYM. Seeds germinate in three weeks. One-year-old seedlings are planted in the major field. It can also be propagated by root suckers process. There are a number of root suckers close to its plants. They are separated from the main plant during the rainy season and planted instantly in the main field
Remove hard outer shell before sowing for faster germination rate. Use fresh curry leaf seeds for high germination rate. Sow them in excellent quality potting soil. If the temperature is not warm around 65°F (20°C), layer it with polyethylene or keep it in the greenhouse since the seeds germinate in warm temperature.
The seed is the pit of the fruit and can either be cleaned or the entire fruit can be sown. Fresh seed shows the greatest germination rate. Sow the seeds in potting soil and maintain them damp but not wet. They will want a warm area of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20°C.) to germinate. Growing curry leaf tree from seed is not an easy task because the germination process is fickle. Other methods of germination are more consistent.
The best season of sowing curry leaf plants:
The major season of availability of curry leaf fruits is July – August. Within 3 to 4 days of collection of fruits, the seeds should be pulped and sown in nursery beds or poly bags.
One-year-old seedlings are appropriate for planting. One seedling is planted at the center of the pit.
Curry leaf planting method:
Planting in the main field is done during the monsoon period. The major field is plowed thoroughly. Pits of 30cm × 30cm size are dug at a spacing of 4m × 4m. Farmyard manure @10kg/pit is applied.
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Growing curry leaf plant from seeds:
Seed germination of curry leaves
A new curry leaf plant can be easily developed from curry leaf plant seeds. The seed germinates at temperature range around 21°C (70°F).
The process of growing curry leaves plants from seeds are explained below;
- Pick curry leaf berries when they are almost ripe, becoming black color.
- You can sow the whole ripe berry, but the germination process will be slow and the success may be limited.
- It is improved to squeeze the seed out of the fruit pulp and sow them in seed raising mix.
- Placing the curry leaf plant seeds in a moist paper towel for a few days before putting them in the soil will speed up the germination process.
- Cover the curry leaf seeds with soil and place in a warm place. The seeds will germinate in about 10 to 15 days. Note that it can take longer to root if the temperature is low.
- It is pointed out that fresh seeds will germinate simply in a few days, whereas old seeds or dried seeds may not germinate or take a very long time. To speed up the germination of curry plant seeds, soak the seeds in water for one day before sowing.
Growing curry leaf plant from cuttings:
Let us discuss how to grow curry leaf plant from cuttings;
The steps for growing curry leaves from cuttings are given below:
- Fill a small pot with the rooting mix, which is a mixture of peat and sand, and water well before planting.
- Insert a pencil into the soil of the pot reaching up to one inch above the base. Take out the pencil.
- Then, take the curry plant cuttings. Select a branch or stem of the curry leaf tree which is neither flexible or nor stiff, means semi-hard.
- From this branch take a cutting of pencil thickness about 5 mm diameter and about 5 inches long with 4 to 5 leaf sets.
- Cut directly above the highest bud and a slant cut below the lowest bud. Remove the lower set of leaves leaving top 2 to 3 sets. Cut each of the upper curry leaves into half or less.
- Put the lower element of the curry leaf stem cutting into the rooting hormone powder and shake off the extra powder. Push the curry leaf cutting into the hole in the pot and firm it. Do not water it again.
- Put the pot in a polythene bag or zip-lock bag and tie the top end and place it in shade. In about ten days, you will see your cutting to grow new buds. Maintain the pot in shade for a few weeks until you find that the stick has become quite firm in the soil, indicating the root growth.
Preparation of soil for planting curry leaf seedlings:
The field is plowed 3 to 4 times to get a fine tilth. Before the last plowing, well-decomposed farmyard manure is applied @ 20 t/ha. Pit size of 30 x30x30 cm is dug 1 to 2 months before planting at a spacing of 1.2 to 1.5 m.
Water requirement for growing curry leaf plant:
Immediately after planting process, the pits are irrigated. On the third day, the second irrigation process is given and then the irrigation is given once in a week.
Pruning of curry leaf plants:
It is very important that you start pruning curry leaf plant early in its growth stage. Plants that are older and have an open shape can be pruned early in the period just as growth starts and they will still flower later in the year. We recommend pruning annually to keep plant tight, compact and producing the greatest amount of tasty foliage.
This curry leaf 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 for pruning. Within a few weeks, the plant will generate side shoots and fill out into a mini-grove of numerous bushy stalks with pointed leaves. That is a sign that your curry leaf plants are healthy and thriving.
Manuring and fertilization of curry leaf plants:
Generally, the curry leaf plant is not given inorganic fertilizers. But for higher yields, its plant can be given 10kg farmyard manure and NPK @ 60:80:40g/plant/year. The fertilizers can be applied at the onset of the monsoon.
The pit must be irrigated if there is no rain. The plant must be irrigated at 3-day intervals if there are no rains. The field must be kept weed free. The plants must be trained and pruned to maintain a height of 1m. The plant terminal buds are removed to encourage lateral branching. A minimum of 5 to 6 branches are kept per plant.
Curry Leaf tree care and plant protection
Citrus butterfly: Hand picking and destruction of the larvae and spray Malathion @ 1 ml/ lit.
Psyllid bug and scale: Psyllid bug and scales can be controlled by spraying Dimethoate @ 1 ml/lit.
Leaf spot disease can be controlled by spraying Carbendazim @ 1 g/lit of water. Spraying Sulphur compounds should be avoided.
Harvesting and Post-harvest management:
Curry leaves are picked or harvested 15 months after planting. Commercial harvest can be started from three-year-old plants. With good management, normal yield can be obtained up to the age of 20 to 25 years. The curry leaves can be harvested at two and a half to three months intervals, the average yield is about 20–25 tonnes/ha
The yield of the curry leaf plant:
Fully developed curry tree can yield nearly 100 kg of leaves each year curry leaves are picked 15 months after planting. Commercial harvest process can be started from 3-year-old plants. With good management, normal yield can be obtained up to the age of 20 to 25 years. The leaves can be harvested at two-and-a-half to three months intervals, the average yield is 20 to 25 tonnes/ha.
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Some facts about growing curry leaves:
- The curry leaf tree should be grown in rich, well-drained soil in full sunlight or partial shade. It does well when developed in a pot. If it is grown outdoors, it must be located in an area that does not receive a lot of wind.
- Fresh curry leaves are being completely banned in the UK, Uday Dholakia, Chairman of the National Asian Business Association has revealed. Neither has it been possible to identify alternative import requirements, which could consistently ensure freedom from the pathogen and its vectors in curry leaves.
- During the winter season, curry plant’s leaves might turn yellow. This generally means that the plant is about to go dormant and might lose its’ leaves.
- Native to warmer countries, curry leaf plants develop best indoors in the UK. Choose a bright windowsill away from any draughts or radiators where the temperature range stays above at least 12°C.
- You can keep curry leaves in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze them. While dried curry leaves are also obtainable, they have less aroma and flavor.
- Curry leaves can be grown indoors in pots. They can be grown in the balcony, on the terrace, backyard.
- As an indoor plant in temperate areas, curry leaf develops and flowers from spring through fall. In the north, it can experience a resting phase during the winter months when the days are short.
- Curry leaf is a restricted item because it is recognized to harbor pests associated with citrus diseases. This citrus disease has cost the U.S. citrus industry billions in lost revenue.
That’s all folks about growing curry leaf plant from the stem, and seeds. Keep growing curry leaves!.
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