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PlantFiles: Curry Tree, Curry Leaf Tree, Curryleaf Tree, Sweet Nim
Murraya koenigii

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Family: Rutaceae (roo-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Murraya (mer-RAY-yuh) (Info)
Species: koenigii (ko-NIG-ee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Bergera koenigii

One vendor has this plant for sale.

36 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Trees

Height:
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Spacing:
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Evergreen
Aromatic

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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By Dinu
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There are a total of 22 photos.
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Profile:

12 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive ZenSojourner On Oct 11, 2014, ZenSojourner from Fairborn, OH (Zone 8a) wrote:

I got 24 seeds from Hawaii, promptly mishandled them, and 21 came up ANYWAY. They are mostly 2" to 3" tall roughly 3 weeks after planting.

Germination started about 10 days after planting. I kept them on a heat mat @80F, but it struggled to keep the heat up at night. I covered with a dome at night, mostly to keep the heat in.

They were removed from the heat mat after about 2 weeks because I thought I had "killed" the remaining ungerminated seeds. At that time I had germination in 11 or 12 of the cells. They were placed under lights (4 - T8 6500k 2750 lumen Phillips Daylight Deluxe bulbs available from Home Despot for under $35 per box of 10, in 2 fixtures, hung an inch above the tallest plant, with a cheap oscillating fan to provide air circulation).

They have continued to germinate even without the bottom heat and I now have 21 plants ranging from just barely poking a green tip above the soil surface to 3" tall with several true leaf petioles, roughly 3.5 weeks after initial sowing. I have uploaded a picture of one of the seedlings.

They were planted in Miracle Gro Moisture Control potting mix basically because they arrived earlier than expected and that was what I had on hand. They are in deep root paks with about 4" of soil in each cell, approx 2" in diameter per cell. I expect to start transplanting out of the paks and into 4" or 5" pots (per grower's instructions) when the plants reach 5" tall.

It is recommended that curry leaf plants in pots be flushed every month or two to remove salt buildup. That's actually probably a good idea for anything that's going to be in a container for more than a single summer growing season.

They require more than the usual amounts of iron and magnesium. I was advised to start fertilizing them with a "good citrus, hibiscus, or palm fertilizer with micronutrients" after potting up.

A few are showing some signs of yellowing - not from overwatering - and I will be watering with a tiny 1/4th strength application of Grow More Iron Chelate (roughly .3g in a quart of water). After repotting I am planning to use Foliage Pro.

I have not grown these past seedling stage yet so I don't have a tested recommendation for up-potting. I intend to try 3 mixes - 1:1:1 pumice-peat-pine fines; 1:1 pumice-peat; and 2:1:1 pumice-peat-pine fines. Assuming I don't kill them off before I get that far. So far, so good.

They will be kept under lights here until daytime temps reach the 80s again in the spring, then I will harden them off (bringing in at night) until nightime temps are in the 60s, then I will leave them outside 24/7.

For those with specific questions about this plant, there are MANY threads on the Asian Vegetable Forum at gardenweb.com. This is, btw, a member of the citrus family.

@raas - I am sorry but the only supplier I know of who sells specific species of curry leaf plant is Bhatia.

Keep in mind that curry leaf plant requires a LOT of light - if you buy a plant in winter you will need fluorescents to over winter it, or a VERY VERY bright south facing window that gets 6 to 8 hours of full sun per day. The further north you are the more you will need to supplement with fluorescents as the sun is at a lower angle and the light is not as good.

In winter, indoors, it should be watered lightly and allowed to dry out between waterings. Not totally, but (if its in a 4" to 5" pot) the top inch or so should be dry-ish before watering. Still with some moisture - not bone dry - but definitely on the dry side.

If it were me I would repot the plant soon after receiving it. I have not purchased a plant from Bhatia, but the one I bought from Logee's came in a high-peat blend that was difficult to rewet if allowed to partially dry. This is not good for these plants.

Keep the plant evenly moist for a couple of weeks, under good strong lighting indoors - you need fluorescents such as I listed above, minimum 4 bulbs, more is better - or in dappled shade outdoors (if warm enough), or in a VERY sunny south facing window that gets at least 6 hours of sun per day, for about 2 weeks, and if its still doing well at the end of that time, go ahead and repot.

Get a pot just slightly larger than the pot it was shipped in and fill with a 50/50 mix of a good bagged orchid mix and a grit (turface, scoria, pumice, perlite, calcined DE). Not sand, and perlite is my absolute last choice for this.

Pumice - find it at feed stores as Dry Stall. It is crushed natural pumice, very dusty, must be rinsed well. A quick and dirty sieve can be made of the window screen used to line a cheap kitchen sieve. Horticultural pumice will be in better shape and might be available through a nursery or greenhouse in some areas. The Dry Stall is about 1/8" in size, which is a little small, but I wouldn't want it bigger than about 1/4" for this purpose. Horticultural pumice can come in quite large sizes. The large sizes are generally used for hydroponics or decoratively.

It is DRY STALL and not Stall Dry. One is crushed pumice, the other is mixed clays. Be sure which one you are getting.

Scoria (another kind of lava rock) is also suitable, probably only to be found in a good nursery or greenhouse in some parts of the country, and should also be sought in a smaller size for this purpose.

You can probably find calcined DE at a local Napa Auto Parts as Floor Dry #8822 - only that stock number, it is the ONLY one that is calcined DE, the rest are like kitty litter. This is probably the easiest gritty component to find.

Get coarse horticultural perlite if that is all you can find - not the medium grade stuff generally sold in the big box stores. This stuff is CHUNKY. A greenhouse or nursery should have it. I don't like it because it is hard to find the coarse grade, and it tends to float up out of the mix, but sometimes you just have to use what you can find.

Have this ready (it should be moist or damp but not sopping wet) and in the pot you will be potting up to before taking the next step. Just fill the pot about 2/3rds with the mixture and do not firm it yet. Tap it a little to settle it.

Gently rinse the peat mix out of the root ball. Take a clean bucket (eg one never used to mop the floor), fill it with tepid water (just barely lukewarm), remove the plant from its pot, hold it in your cupped hand and lower it into the water. Slosh it around gently and a lot of the mix should just crumble away into the water.

Now take the plant and place it into the prepared pot and pour more potting mix around the stem. Don't plant it deeper than it was in the shipping pot. Tap the pot to settle, holding the stem in place, then top water until water runs out the bottom to move soil into any air spaces and to settle the plant.

This type of mix has a totally different characteristic than a peat based mix. It will tend to dry more evenly, and will probably need to be watered sooner. However when you do water it, you can safely water until water pours out the bottom. The gritty component will help to preserve aeration and won't contribute to water-logging.

Ultimately you would want to pot up into something better, but this should help with a purchased plant in a peaty mix. You need good water retention AND excellent drainage - and peaty mixes are not good for that. They are very lightweight and moisture retentive for shipping purposes though.

Hopefully making sure lighting needs are met and getting it into a better mix as soon as the plant has recovered from shipping shock will help you keep it alive.

Neutral raas On Jun 24, 2012, raas from new castle, DE wrote:

can anyone tell where can i get dwarf curry leaf plant or seed , not bhatia please , its very expensive and tiny, delicate. i bought one and died.

Positive doc3 On Jun 7, 2012, doc3 from PLAYA DEL REY, CA wrote:

I have a small tree in its third growth season that is about 3 ft tall. I live about half a mile from the beach in Southern California and I keep the plant inside all year. It seems to do best when it is in full sun with a shaded root ball. It flowered this spring and set about 50 berries which now range in size from 3mm to 9mm. It was growing as a single stem until flowering and the new growth is branching from below where the berries are ripening. Now that the berries are turning black I have picked a few to see what the seeds are like. What appears to be the seed seems to be only about 1 to 2 mm in diameter and I am wondering if this is characteristic of mature seed or if the tree will bear fruit with non-viable seeds?

Neutral Curtiosity On Dec 2, 2011, Curtiosity from Sewanee, TN wrote:

I live on a mountain in SE Tennessee. I bought my curry tree last fall by mail from a grower in Texas. I almost lost the young tree early last spring (while it was still indoors) to scale and white flies - even though this plant supposedly is not attractive to these pests. According to plan, I bring the tree in during winter and put it outside when night temps exceed 60 degrees. This summer the tree flourished - a deer gave it a difficult time once, but it bounced back. Right now the plant is in my bathroom, having received a shower to wash off the sticky sweet honeydew I associate with white flies, and a thorough going over with cotton swabs and tweezers to remove the scale that was beginning to attack. What can I do, organically, to discourage scale and white flies? I want the leaves of this plant for culinary purposes. I have already thrown away other plants with a white fly history that winter indoors .

Positive juku On Aug 20, 2011, juku from York Point, NS (Zone 5a) wrote:

I'm obsessed (:>) with this plant - don't seem to have enough.
I have 8 plants from 12" to 36", and 3 of them flowered this past spring, but the fruit dropped out prematurely.
My consolation: the largest plant sent out suckers and I was able to extract 2 seedlings. Presently, it just sent out another 3 suckers. I'll try to get more seedlings.

Because I use their leaves for cooking, I need larger (6'+) plants. If anyone has some idea where I may be able to acquire large them, I'd be so delighted.

Happy gardening & be excellent to each other!

Positive ummh On Aug 27, 2010, ummh from Crosswicks, NJ wrote:

Hey Namratab20000 , do you have any seeds this year???
Coz u can actually propogate this tree from seed as well. There's a technique to it coz these seeds are viable.

Positive namratab20000 On Oct 10, 2009, namratab20000 from Sunnyvale, CA wrote:

We inherited a small plant when we bought our house.
It has grown to be 8+ feet tall and lots of our firends come over to get leaves.

Question: Its currently seeding and I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to grow seedlings,etc..

Positive evr On Aug 17, 2008, evr from Toronto, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

VERY HARD to propagate from stem cuttings. It's hard to get this plant in Canada, so I decided to buy the leaves with the stem still attached to it (only cost me $1.00 teehhee =D). within a day or two the leaves start to drop. I was lucky enough that one stem without much leaves was buried 2 inches down. I just checked today and it had new sprouts of leaves =D. I'm just lucky...not an experienced gardener lol.

Now I check them like 5 times a day and mist them and cover them with a plastic bottle. They're like diamonds to me hehehhe. Have to wait 2-3 years until I can use them *sighs*.

Positive bigthicket On Jun 27, 2008, bigthicket from Houston, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

An Indian friend has a big one growing by her patio here...taller than the roof! When it's in bloom the butterflies swarm it. The leaves are a very typical South Indian flavoring; which I've experienced firsthand in Kerala. (Curry powders aim to imitate this flavor). I'm growing a little plant now, which sprouted from seed under my friend's plant. It doesn't like freezes, but survives here in zone 9a.

Neutral gardenfolk On Jan 20, 2007, gardenfolk from Lake Hughes, CA wrote:

Hello. We bought our curry tree this last summer and it more than doubled in size in about 4-5 months time. As the weather started cooling off it started dropping many of it's leaves. Additionally, the leaves that remained started getting these hideous brown spots and getting this yellow veining in the leaves. It looks so hideous now. I've tried numerous things to help it to no avail. Any ideas out there? If need be, I can submit a picture of the poor thing. Thanks.

Positive FloridaGrower On Feb 27, 2006, FloridaGrower from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I am currently working for a Indian wholesale shop selling Indian sweets, and was given a specimen of this most cherished bush, and haved enjoyed its easy growth. I actually enjoy eating this occasionally raw, just washed a little. This spice makes certain dishes what they are. It is fairly easy to grow, I will say that it enjoys constant waterings, especially if its in a container, and likes soil that drains well. It likes soil rich in compost, and maybe the occasional fertilizer. Got to understand Indian food, culture, religion to really appreciate this bush.

Positive rekha_sharma On Aug 21, 2004, rekha_sharma from Nottingham
United Kingdom wrote:

I bought three seedlings from Old Hall Nurseries, and they have been growing well upto now. BUT, on one of them the apical bud is not opening; I snipped the second one's apical bud in the hope that I could make it bushy, but it is failing to respond; the third one is fine. I am hoping to propogate one by putting cuttings in gel2root. Has anyone tried this?

Positive tnmc On Jul 2, 2004, tnmc from Coventry
United Kingdom wrote:

I live in the English Midlands and so for me this is a windowsill pot at the moment. I've had it for about a year and it's grown about 3-4 inches or so, so it's now about a foot tall, but very slender, so I have it staked as it'll just fall over if it gets wet!

Anyway, the reason I'm writing about it is that since a few months in, there has started a build-up of a kind of sticky resin on some of the leaves, almost reminiscent of the sap stains left by aphids, but there are no aphids on the plant. These stains are also on the window next to the pot! Very strange.

Further, all up the stem and on all the older leaves along the central vein is a buildup of little splotches of a kind of yellow-ish/brown resin. It wipes off the stem easily enough, but kind of needs to be scraped off the leaves.

Is this only me that has this? Perhaps it's a reaction to the plant being in my kitchen? It can't be grease...I very seldom fry and it's not on any of my other plants, such as my windowsill chilli plants!

It seems to be thriving despite this, but I can find no mention of anything like this in any description of the plant, and it's not on any photo of it I've seen!

Very strange...can anyone comment please? Many thanks.../Taras

Positive jaxpatart On Apr 29, 2004, jaxpatart from Jacksonville, FL wrote:

4/29/04 - Report from Jacksonville, FL: My curry plant looks like Dinu's so I won't send a photo. Mine was a gift from an Indian friend after I commented about the lovely flavor in a dish she had made. For cooking, I nip off a "branch" and put it in the pot when the oil is hot to get the max flavor. Am amazed that this plant grows so tall - probably not in NE Florida, however. Mine is only 14 inches. Still it has survived 3 winters here and is looking healthy. A branch or two wrapped in damp paper towel and put in a plastic bag makes a great and unusual house gift for friends who like to cook.

Neutral Dinu On Jun 11, 2003, Dinu from Mysore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

Here in India, it grows almost without care! When the tree is old enough, the more often it is pruned, the better the quality of leaves. Last year, a particular pest - I have posted a picture of it in one of my threads, completely destroyed all the leaves. I had three of them, but I retained one. The pest was so stubborn. Since the leaves of it are edible, I did not use any chemical sprays. These pests attack only in the rainy season. Overall, it is a very useful plant/tree to have in every garden. The leaves, aside from its flavour, has good medicinal properties. The blakish berries are a favourite of the Koels, which also disperse the seeds. I have found seedlings esp. under the trees - the koels' droppings with the seeds grow new plants.

Positive dziyone On Jun 11, 2003, dziyone wrote:

When you add curry leaves to cooking you get a deep weak bitter yet subtle flavour

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Grenoble,
Phoenix, Arizona
Playa Del Rey, California
Sunnyvale, California
Vista, California
Arcadia, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Oscar, Louisiana
Reno, Nevada
Bridgehampton, New York
Kingston, New York
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Sewanee, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Houston, Texas
Madison, Wisconsin



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