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Growing Curry Leaf Plant from Seeds:

  1. Collecting Seeds: The seeds of the curry leaf plant are contained within small, black berries. When the berries turn black, they are ripe and can be harvested. To collect the seeds, simply remove the berries from the plant and remove the seeds from the berries.
  2. Preparing Seeds: Once the seeds have been collected, they should be planted as soon as possible. Fresh seeds have a higher germination rate than older seeds, and the longer seeds are stored, the lower their viability. If you are unable to plant the seeds immediately, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short period of time. However, it is important to keep in mind that the longer the seeds are stored, the lower the germination rate will be.
  3. Sowing Seeds: To sow the seeds, fill a seed tray or pot – https://amzn.to/3NthAfe with a well-draining potting mix – https://amzn.to/41XQnpr. Make small holes in the soil, and place the seeds in the holes. Cover the seeds lightly with soil, and water the soil.
  4. Germinating Seeds: Curry leaf seeds can take anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks to germinate, depending on the conditions. To increase the chances of successful germination, keep the soil consistently moist and warm. You can also cover the seed tray or pot with plastic wrap to create a humid environment.
  5. Transplanting Seedlings: Once the seedlings have grown a few inches tall, they can be transplanted into individual pots. When transplanting, be careful not to disturb the roots too much. The seedlings can be grown indoors in a sunny spot, or outdoors in a warm, sunny location.
  6. Caring for Curry Leaf Plant: Curry leaf plants require regular watering and fertilization. They prefer full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. Pruning the plant regularly will also encourage bushier growth and a fuller plant. The plant can also be propagated through stem cuttings.

If you are growing the plant indoors – a growing light will certainly help.

Remember that growing curry leaf plant from seeds requires patience and consistent care, but the reward of having your own fresh curry leaves is worth the effort.

Growing Curry Leaf from Saplings:

  1. Buy Curry Leaf Saplings: You can purchase curry leaf saplings from a local nursery or online. Look for saplings that are healthy, disease-free, and have a well-developed root system.
  2. Prepare the Soil: Curry leaf plants prefer well-drained, fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Mix compost or well-rotted manure into the soil to improve its fertility.
  3. Plant the Saplings: Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of the sapling. Place the sapling in the hole and cover the roots with soil. Water the sapling thoroughly.
  4. Water and Care: Water the sapling regularly and keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. Mulch around the sapling to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. Fertilize the sapling with a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 months.

Other Methods of Growing Curry Leaf:

  1. Rooting Cuttings: You can propagate curry leaf plants by taking stem cuttings from a mature plant. Place the cuttings in a pot filled with moist soil and keep them in a warm, sunny location. The cuttings should root within 2-4 weeks.
  2. Air Layering: Air layering is a method of propagating a plant by inducing roots to grow on a stem that is still attached to the parent plant. To air layer a curry leaf plant, make a small cut in the stem and wrap it with moist sphagnum moss. Cover the moss with plastic wrap and wait for roots to form. Once the roots have formed, the stem can be cut and planted in a pot or in the ground.

Fertilizers

Fertilizer that supplies nitrogen N:  Curry leaf plants will grow without supplemental fertilizer applications.  It does better when supplied with any nitrogenous fertilizer.  Nitrogen is a very mobile nutrient.  It moves with water as you irrigate, once dissolved, it can move with the water through the profile of the soil also.  When granules of fertilizer is sprinkled on the surface of the pot or soil, it dissolves in water, then moves through the soil layers and reaches the roots.  Example Urea, Ammonium sulfate.  There are three different kinds of fertilizers available in the market.  The first category is conventional fertilizer, second is controlled release or slow-release fertilizer.  The last is organic fertilizer.  Conventional fertilizer releases all nutrients to the plant as soon as the granules dissolve in water.  Any portion of the fertilizer that is not used by the plant will be lost to either by leaching (nutrient moving into deeper layers of the soil, deeper than the roots), or de-nitrification (microbes converting them into elemental nitrogen, lost to the atmosphere).  The second form of fertilizer that is coated with polymers or proprietary compounds, makes the granules dissolve at a much slower rate, thereby making the nutrient available to the plants for a sustained period.  Controlled release fertilizers are always expensive.  The last one on the list is organic fertilizers, these are made up of a variety of parts of fish, bone, feathers, blood meal etc; some are even plant derived like alfalfa pellets for example.  The drawback is that they supply a very low % of nutrients and they are bulky.  For instance, when 100 grams of Urea is applied to a pot, it dissolves and supplies 46 grams of nitrogen to the soil.  When 100 grams of fish meal is applied it supplies about 9 grams of nitrogen.  Relatively feather meal that contains hair and wool has the highest % of nitrogen among the organic fertilizers at 14 grams for every 100 grams of product applied.  

Fertilizer that supplies Phosphorus P:  Phosphorus is an important nutrient for plants.  Though not many folks have conducted replicated experiments to test the importance of P in curry leaf plants, circumstantial evidence suggests that it will be helpful.  Many experiments in the desert South-west on a variety of produce like Spinach, Iceberg lettuce, Romaine lettuce, Celery etc. had shown that they all respond very well to Phosphorus application.  Even alfalfa responds well to P.  (You would have seen large rectangular green blocks of baled alfalfa, as you drove around. This is used to feed dairy cattle.)  As a general rule, if it is a green leaf that is marketable then Phosphorus will likely help to improve growth and yield.

Unlike Nitrogen, Phosphorus is very immobile.  It stays where you had applied, so it is not very wise to apply phosphatic fertilizer on the surface of potting mix or soil.  You must mix or incorporate Phosphorus into the growing medium, be it potting mix or soil.  Though we don’t have experiments to prove this, applying a couple of spoons of phosphatic fertilizer followed by thorough mixing, before you place the curry leaf plant in the pot or soil, will be the best.  As the roots grow into the soil, it will reach the pocket/s of Phosphorus that is deep inside.  

Potassium or Potash fertilizer K:  If you live in the desert South-west Potassium is not a nutrient that you should be overly concerned about.  As a nutrient Potassium is ‘somewhat mobile’.  It can move in the soil profile when it is wet, becomes immobile when the soil is dry.  Why do folks in the desert South-west shouldn’t be worried about Potash? because the soils in this part of USA are derived from Mica and Feldspar.  Over millions of years of weathering and denudation resulted in soils that are high in Potassium, as the parent rocks were high to begin with.  If you lived in Florida, curry leaf plants will respond to Potash applications.  Again, the evidence here is circumstantial, as a variety of crops respond well to K applications in that part of the country.  

Conclusion:

Growing curry leaf can be a rewarding experience, and with a little care and attention, you can enjoy fresh, aromatic leaves in your own kitchen. Whether you choose to grow curry leaf from seed, sapling, or other methods, it is important to provide the plant with the right conditions to thrive.