Urgent Curry Leaf Plant help needed

dubai, United Arab Emirates

Hi, I just planted a few stems of the curry leaf plant today Evening but within a few hours the leaves have started to wilt. Pls see pic. I've used a mix of gravel and potting soil. Any idea what I am doing wrong. This is my first curryleaf plant.

Thumbnail by vanita79
Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Were they rooted before planting, or just cut stems?

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

I too would need to know IF the plants had roots before you stuck them into the soil mix.
The added gravel to the compost is correct as these plants like well drained soil,
IF the plants were rooted, then you probably made the mistake of planting them into too large a pot,this requires more water and it can defeat the purpose of adding gravel to help drainage and then leave the plant in a large amount of wet soil.

Next, IF rooted, all newly transplanted plants normally go into shock, it's called transplant shock, as the plants look sad a droop for several days before they deside to perk up again as the recovery takes place.

For new transplanted plants it is a mistake to have them sitting in hot sun especially at a window as the glass makes the sun magnified and it can exhaust the new plant when it's trying to settle into it's new environment.

I see you have used a plastic container to grow your plant which is good (recycled)
BUT have you made holes in the bottom to allow water to drain away after watering.and don't leave plants sitting in a container with water still left in the bottom.

IF you don't have ROOTED stems and you planted them into the container, then they need to be re-potted into a much smaller pot with well draining soil, I would also snip half the length off the plant and insert the top part of the stemms to allow them to root.

Hope this is of some help to you and you can rectify the problem IF it's more than just transplant shock and that should be helped by allowing the plant ROOTED, to recover after a few days to a week.

Best Regards. WeeNel.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

hehehe…What WeeNel said! Ditto all of it! Don't think I can add a thing!

dubai, United Arab Emirates

Hi, this one in the pot is without any roots. Just stem as he instructions said. Though I did soak another stem in water in a bottle for the roots to grow. Nothing so far. I am experimenting but do u think. its worth it growing in soil without roots? And yes all my herb gardening happens in recycled plastic containers. This container is actually only 4 inches deep and temporary for this shrub once it starts growing. I've read this plant usually grows quicly and will outgrow every container (when plante chose d in containers) so I a 4inch container. I have ready another 2and half gallon container ready for transplanting it whenever its ready. Its recycled again. :-). I think the soil was a little too tightly packed so I loosened it up a bit, but it does drain the excess water out from the holes I made at the bottom. Any idea how long it takes to root? And I have placed it in a shaded area of my balcony, do u think that will help it?

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

The shaded area you have placed the plant in should help it cool at the soil.

There is no answer to how long a palnt takes to root as it really all depends on soil, the type pf plant you are trying to root AND most important, the plant material you have uses to try get roots from.
I would imagine the soil should have some small gravel / grit added to help with drainage as most of these types of plants and herbs need soil that is well drained and will only hold onto enough moisture and I would also CUT the un-rooted stems by half as your trying to root this LONG length of plant material, it is too long for the un-rooted plant to support AND make roots, shorter length means less loss of moisture from leaves ect therefore the stems will be more inclined to make roots better.

Dont give feed or any form of nutrients until you have good roots growing, the nutrients will cause the stems to collapse as they are unable to take up the richness of the nutrients.
other that what advice you already have I don't think there is anything else to add except be patient and hope it all works out, there are those who say that for every 10 cuttings someone tries to root, about 3 will be good enough to grow on, I guess more experienced gardener's may have better results but I'm trying to tell you that rooting cuttings for the first time can be tricky so try again IF it is not a good start.
Best Regards WeeNel.

dubai, United Arab Emirates

Thanks weenel, I took your earlier advice and transplanted the stem cuttings, which still had a strong smell of the curry leaf in them , to a smaller pot, a 2.5 by 2.5 inch paper pot. I've also ensured the soil is not too moist. I've also cut the stem cuttings in half. Would u by any chance be able to give a rough idea of how much water it would need in order to develop good roots. I think they take around 3 weeks or so to develop roots.

Thumbnail by vanita79
Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

In your climate vanita, it is difficult for me to give a proper assessment of what is enough water as here where I live, on the West Coast of Scotland, I always have toooooo much water because we have such a lt of rainfall and compaired to your area, or where you live, I bet there will be many times you would love rain.

All I can say about watering, only give enough water to save the cuttings from dying, in other words, sprinkle a little water when you stick your finger into the soil and it feels dry, if the soil feels damp, leave watering for another day or two.
I am more inclind to just give a MIST SPRAY onto the foliage of cuttings to prevent them falling over BUT please be aware thatin your kind of heat and humidity, this could cause mould (grey) to take hold and then you have a problem.
Other than that, vanita, it is just luck and learning as you go along that gives us confidence to grow more cuttings, once we have achieved it, you just want to go out and gather more plants for more cuttings to give to friends or family. It soon becomes a fun thing to do once we get good results.

Hope you have good luck and less stress will also help, the plants need anything from 2 weeks to 6 weeks to grow decent roots so have patience and keep an eye on the cuttings to see how they survive.
Best Regards, WeeNel.

dubai, United Arab Emirates

Hi weenel, I tried propagating one more curryleaf stem . This time I put it in a smaller glass and tied it in plastic to maintain humidity and moisture. And look what I have got coming up between the branches. I think it is growing but the soil was pretty loose and I tried pulling out the stem to check for roots but so far nothing. Any advice on what could probably be happening here?

Thumbnail by vanita79
Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Vanita, well done, I think you have success, there must be roots IF you gave a GENTLY tug and the plant did not come out the soil, the leaves look healthy and growing fast too,
Once the plant fills the small container with roots, then it's time to put it into a larger pot, use the same LOOSE soil mix for now as most plants when new / young, don't like a lot of disturbances and transplanting is difficult enough, when you pot the plant into a larger pot, don't use too large pot, too much soil around little roots is NOT good as the larger amount of soil needs more water and the plants don't like sitting in too wet soil, also dont sit the pot in Bright sun or the plant will go into shock and just fall over at the stems, just every few months IF required, go up a pot size till the plant has reached final maturity like it's parents.

Have fun, now you have the hang of taking cuttings, there will be no end to the different plants you can grow for little outlay in cost.
Best regards. WeeNel.

dubai, United Arab Emirates

Thanks a lot Weenel for the encouragi g words. I really need that as I've been trying it for months now. The bad news actually is I tried pulling out the stem and it came out very easily and there were no roots visible at the end of the stem. But the good news is that the little new leafgrowth I saw between the branches isstill green healthy and growing. Also those big leaves were there on the original stem I planted and they too have not dried yet. I have left it in the soil and hope it will get some roots someday. BTW any idea what should the ideal soil temperature be for rooting to take place.

dubai, United Arab Emirates

Hi Weenel,

The cutting never survived and I gave it up. :-(

But I decided to buy a fresh plant from the nursery and I shall try to root a fresh branch at some stage in the future when this plant is more like a tre.

I would appreciate any advice from anyone on how exactly should this plant be pruned inorder to encourage more growth and make the stem stronger.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

you shouldnt trim til you have 1/3 of the plants total ht grown, prune when the plant looks like it is growing its best. I have a Spice Island rosemary cutting that sat in water 3mo before finally rooting-outside on the front porch thru a really horrid summer. Some things choose their own times to kick in-and you are getting these from a nursery that maximizes their efforts to keep showy plants, be patient and let the plant you get rest a bit, The best time is to recognize its growing zone for comfort and allow it to be a seasonal plant while young. Do not spin the plant -if one side faces east when you get it, keep it faced east, never let it stand in water, and let the top inch or two of soil dry before watering sparsely until summer heat increases. Time it takes to survive will age the plant into a stronger plant. Keep an eye open for tiny horrid little bugs that can sap its strength as well, and good luck.

Keaau, HI

To propagate the Curry Tree, I've had the most success with seeds and root suckers.

Cuttings work best that are about 3 in. / 7 cm long and pencil thin / thick; half in well drained medium, half out. At least one bud tip under the soil surface, at least one bud tip above soil surface. Keep moist and out of the sun.



Remove the leaves from the cutting.

This message was edited Oct 30, 2013 9:49 AM

dubai, United Arab Emirates

Thanku kitriana and metrosidoris,

The plant doesn't seem to be growing much right now. Its almost a 3.5-4ft tallwith the pot. I want it to be a little bushier, not very tall as its going to live in a pot. I've plucked quite a few branches but I don't see any suckers growing. Any idea what I can do to enourage a more bushier plant? Should I just pinch the top end? Its only a single stem so, I'm wondering if it will stop growing completely if I disturb it. I only see new growth at the top. Its very slow.

Thumbnail by vanita79
Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

What season is it for you? Our plants slo and go dormant in the late fall here and growth wont spurt til spring. That little plant simply needs some light and growing time before anything else happens with it. Be patient.

dubai, United Arab Emirates

The season is supposed to be fall/winter but the fall here is as good as a summer any place else. Today for example the avg. temperature has been 28°C (with highs of 31°C). I guess I'll just be a little more patient and watch.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

To get a plant to grow more side shoots / bushier, you need to use finger & thumb to nip off the very top / tip of the one stem you have or every branch / stem you have, by doing this, you then encourage the plant to make new side buds that form into branches / shoots.

whenever I try to strike new cuttings, I always remove the growing tip from the main stem or shorten main & side shoots IF the side shoots are long, the reason is- the least amount of top growth you use for your cuttings the quicker they root, they use their energy for making roots rather fighting to make side shoots AND roots, that really confuses the plants growing pattern and one lot of growth will be far stronger in production than the other.

Of-course it will all depend on the type of plants / shrubs your trying to propagate but as a general rule, the best advice would be to remove the growing tip and this helps produce the bushier side shoots,
Hope this helps clear some things up for you, Good luck.
Kindest Regards.

Herndon, VA(Zone 6b)

Ah see, I learn something new on here all the time!
I did not know curry plants needed such a big place to grow! :o My little one must be very unhappy with me right about now as it got stuck in a 5:1 planted along with some other herbs!

I'll move him to a bigger pot once our weather settles into something that resembles spring. >.> I'm afraid to move him until then because he's just getting over the "OMG! What have you done to me?" look, that all plants get when you transplant them.

:P Thanks for the original post, I did not mean to hijack your thread, but I found it amusing to know I had messed up so badly. Umm, my plant looks nothing like the one pictured! Oh no, did the nursery mislabel it? I hope not, that would be a bummer and a half!

This message was edited Apr 26, 2014 7:42 AM

Herndon, VA(Zone 6b)

Yes, yes they did. The one I have is not the same used in Indian food cooking. UGH!

Logan, UT

First; a little wilting is normal. Second; you have to have stems, not leaves. Your photo is not clear enough, but it looks like at least one of the 'stems' is actually a leaf, maybe they all are. These plants have compound leaves with around 20 leaflets. You may think these are individual leaves on stems, but they are like ash or sumac leaves = compound. The stems are the parts where the leaflets come off. On this plant they are quite large. You want at least two nodes (areas where leaves come off) for each cutting. You can trim the leaves when rooting so they are more manageable. Use pearlite or vermiculite so you have lots of aeration as the rooting medium. Use rooting hormone like Rootone, but not too much - just a little and shake it off so only a small amount sticks. Make sure it's warm - and I mean warm. Best if it's about 80 - 85 F or even a little more in the rooting medium - so bottom heat is really helpful. Lastly you need to have high humidity - so cover the pot with a plastic bag or other clear material - but don't keep it air tight! Oh and the plant needs light - though you don't need full sun for rooting - but you can't root it on a counter away from any light. This is the same procedure with most species for rooting - so you can use any guide (use a good source - if Internet - one where they have repeated the procedure many times - but I would use something like the Extension Service or other reliable sources). These plants root much like citrus, so look how commercial growers root citrus, - just make sure you are dealing with true stems/branches and not petioles (leaflet stems). Lastly root many in one pot at a time - for yours I would put in 10-15 stems. You won't get 100% so you will then get some success. Growing them from cuttings saves a couple years compared to seeds to get them up to good leaf production. Oh and the method of putting stems in water only works for some species - and is not used for most professional vegetative propagation - it's really more of a grade-school project sort of thing. Most plants will rot.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Cicca, there are always some confusion about certain plants, there is the soft leaf curry plants, there are curry plants that are actually shrubs (hard wood stems) and there are Curry tree's, both the latter have pods eventually and the seeds are crushed to make the curry flavours, the softer type you have (I think ) it is the lush soft leaf that is chopped into your food when cooking, to give a much milder flavour like we would use mint etc.
I could be wrong BUT that's how we use the different types of curry flavourings. though in my climate here in UK, a curry tree would be a NO NO as our climate is way too cold.
Hope this helps and maybe someone from your area can come in and help you further.
Just enjoy your gardening and dont be hard on yourself, we all have to learn as we go along, I've been gardening now for around 50 years and believe me, I'm always learning new stuff here on this site, that's what's good about it.
Just keep asking your questions and someone can usually point you in the right direction.
Kindest Regards.

Valencia, Spain


I am actually living in Valencia Spain and last September i bought a curry leaf plant from Reunion island on a visit and it is about 10 inches tall.Since January it has lost its leaves and now its small branches too first the leaves becoming yellowish then a bit dark or brownish.Now i only have the stem ( small trunk) in photo nș 1

I also brought couple of small pants uprooted from a garden and i planted then in a pot and one started to shoot as can be seen in PHOTO Nș 2.About 3 inches high and then it lost its leaves and now even the stem is drying from the top.

is it possible for you to answer both questions or shall i write the second one in a different post?

What can it be?i tried to see if there were bugs etc but could not find any.What could it be? what treatment can i use to help it or any treatment which could be generic for any kind of bugs.Thank you very much for your time and help .


Thumbnail by mic_ps Thumbnail by mic_ps
Logan, UT

WeeNel - This topic is only about the curry leaf or curry tree - Murraya koenigii or Bergera koenigii - The other species - Helichrysum italicum, a shrub (though rarely achieving that status unless grown in a mild climate where it can overwinter) is bitter and smells a bit like curry powder - though I suspect it's not called that where it's native (I know it's called "tears of the virgin" in Greece). It's only used a bit in cooking (I suspect some people buy it and think it's used to make curry powder!) - but only sparingly - and it does not really taste like curry powder.

But neither is the curry tree or curry leaf - really 'curry' flavored. It's a bit muddled; but curry is really a word adopted by the British (and to some extent other Europeans and even Americans) for dishes in India - especially highly flavored 'stew-like' dishes. When trying to replicate these dishes the British made them at home with curry powder - a mixture of many spices (not curry leaves of any kind). Now in India, they use the word curry to mean some of the dishes with mixtures of spices as well (English being a lingua franca there). But curry leaves taste like citrus and other aromatics that really have no comparison with anything else - and are added to dishes usually whole (usually though not always near the end of cooking). They are sometimes fried a bit (tempered), to bring out other flavors and aromas as well. Most of these dishes are Southern Indian - but their use is sometimes found throughout the region, especially in modern dishes.

And from other posts you can grow Murraya koenigii in the UK - but you need to bring it inside like I do. One of the suppliers here in the US of plants is in New Jersey - where they are overwintered in a greenhouse.

mic_ps - Questions like this are nearly impossible to answer with accuracy, as it could be so many things.

These plants are semi-deciduous - so be patient.

Bugs (insects, mites, etc.) are not likely - you would see them.

All the things plants need could be either lacking or too abundant. - So light, water, warmth, etc. Any of these could cause a problem.

I suspect too much light - leaves will burn and die if they are put in direct sunlight after being out of direct sunlight. If the plant was small and growing in the shade of other plants, or if you did not get it into sunlight immediately, and left it in low light for awhile then you need to acclimate it to sunlight. Usually the leaves will grow back.

Too much water - these plants do not like to be in wet soil, especially when small. Root rot occurs. You could carefully pour the soil from the pot and carefully examine the roots. Brown soft spots will indicate rot - (I'm not sure what color healthy roots for this plant are but likely lighter brown or tan and not soft!). Mold is also not a good sign. If this has happened there is little you can do. I would start again. If you don't have root rot just be patient. Since there are no leaves the water situation is harder to maintain - as there is nearly no transpiration - so keep the soil on the dryer side.

Not sure what soil you are using but this can be an issue. For larger plants sterile soil is not usually an issue, but you never know. Native soils can carry some bad fungi like verticillium or fusarium - or bacterial wilt species that could cause sudden death. There are ways to tell if you have these, but with your situation there is no cure anyway - it's only important so you can prevent other plants from getting it. Use a 'soiless' mix - with a good amount of course material like perlite, vermiculite, or other aggregate in it. Look up mixes in which to grow citrus in containers and follow that.

Don't overdo it with nutrients either, start slowly, then follow recommendations for citrus when it's growing well. Overdoing any nutrient can cause problems. Too much nitrogen can burn the roots - kill them really - and recovery is difficult - and requires flushing the soil or repotting.

Uprooting a plant and putting it in a pot can be quite traumatic and some plants just die - but this species can be transplanted. I had a problem with my first one - it was too sunny here! I live at relatively high elevation with long summer days. I found that many full-sun tropical and sub-tropical species prefer partial shade here. The tropics are much more humid, have more clouds, and the days are shorter, so many species like a little less sun than you would think. The exception are tropical desert species. This is not the case in other parts of the US - like the East Coast where full-sun-tropicals can take all the sun you can get naturally. Not sure about Valencia?

Valencia, Spain


Sorry for the late reply.Thank you very much for your time and for the explanation.I will keep this in mind and i will be patient and see if it starts to shoot in Spring.next time i buy a new curry plant i will be more careful and will follow these helpful instructions.
many thanks


Santa Clara, CA

I bought a 4 ft tall curry leaf plant (murraya koenigii ). for two days it was doing good but then the leaves started drooping and now all leaves are drooping down.
Please any suggestions?

Thumbnail by user2997
Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I suggest you start another thread, for your particular issue. It will be seen by more people. Good Luck!

Hii.. I want to know about pruning of curry leaf plant during summer. I am staying in dubai. Here it going to be summer.. is it ok to prune the plant.. it has only one stem..

dubai, United Arab Emirates

Ridha, summer is the time u get lots of leaves.. I did just pick what I need n let the plant grow more leaves. U want it to branch out just try pinching the top... if there aren't new leaves or buds there.

Lake Zurich, IL

I need some help with my curry leaf plant which I started growing from seeds, since I know it's slow growing plant, this summer I kept outside on my deck getting east sun exposure, it grew nicely but in October I took it indoor because of Chicago weather change, still was fine but for last one week I have notice that leaves & as well as stem is falling off. I hope it's not dyeing on me. If it's normal please advise on watering this plant as how often I should? Thx

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