Growing Curry Leaf Trees – Murraya Koenigii

Its Thursday and I feel like I should be doing a recipe but I haven’t photographed a meal recently that I’ve written down quantities and methods for.  We did have a lovely chicken curry on Tuesday (which I should really have phtoographed….) which included curry leaves, so I thought I would write about the plant instead.

One of my favourite plants in my garden is my curry leave tree (Murraya Koenigii).  I am including the scientific name here because there are other plants which are referred to as curry plants but the one I am talking about is the specific type of tree from which curry leaves are harvested to use in Indian and some South East Asian cookery.  Its leaves look like this:

Curry leaves are used a lot in Indian, particularly South Indian cookery.  Generally they are tempered in hot oil to release their flavour at either the start of the cooking process or as an additional flavouring at the end.  They get their name because they taste a bit like ‘curry’ I guess. As a flavour I personally find it quite addictive.  I also think its one that particularly compliments vegetables although they are used in meat dishes as well.

Whilst curry leaf trees don’t neccessarily look that happy during Melbourne winters they do generally survive and come back happily in Spring.  In the colder parts of Melbourne they sometimes loose all their leaves during winter to regain them in Spring.  The leaves on mine tend to stay on the tree but yellow a bit and generally look a bit miserable.  By late Spring though you wouldn’t know it had been unhappy and is generally thriving and full of new growth.  This is my tree in July – mid winter.

Curry Leaf Tree in July 2011

I bought my tree as a very weedy looking seedling from a nursery about 2 years ago.  Since then I have potted it up yearly and feed it monthly during Spring & Summer with Fish emulsion fertiliser.  It does seem to like being fed and watered – but then who doesn’t?  I suspect that if I fed it more (or indeed potted it up twice yearly) it would have grown a bit quicker but as I am now at the point of being able to harvest from it freely I am more than happy with its size.  I also think it would be happier in full sun but as I’m unable to give it that it will have to make do with what it gets – which is about 5-6 hours per day during summer and a bit less in winter although I do move its pot around a bit to try and make sure it gets a decent amount.  Until I included both the above and below photo in my post I didn’t realise quite how much the tree has actually grown in the past 6 months.

Curry Leaf Tree in Feb 2012

To harvest the leaves I either remove a few single leaves if I only want a couple or I harvest whole stems if I need more.  I’m hoping that in doing this I’m encouraging the plant to branch, as pruning often does, but frankly I’m not too sure how successful I’m being.  I haven’t encountered any problems with the tree to date, it seems generally happy and pest free (touchwood).  Curry leaves freeze well and retain a reasonable amount of flavour when preserved in that way.  Harvesting enough in late autumn and freezing them enables me to leave the tree alone to cope with winter and I resume harvesting once I see that it is happily growing again in Spring.

Although I bought this plant as a seedling I believe that curry leaf trees can be successfully propagated from seeds, as you can see in the first picture I am leaving the berries on to form seeds and I will give it a try.

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119 Responses to Growing Curry Leaf Trees – Murraya Koenigii

  1. L says:

    I keep meaning to buy one. They seem to be pretty cheap on ebay.

    • Liz says:

      Have you bought plants on ebay before? I haven’t but thinking about it I guess theres no reason not to.

      • L says:

        I’ve bought seeds, but I guess that’s not the same thing, is it? I’ve ordered plenty via mail order, so I think the process is the same as long as you trust the seller.

  2. I’ve never come across this before interesting.

  3. Becky says:

    I have never heard of this before either. How interesting!

  4. Michelle says:

    I love curry leaf, but I managed to nearly kill off my tree when I tried to overwinter it indoors a couple years ago and it still hasn’t recovered. There are signs of life though, it’s getting through the winter outdoors this year in a protected spot under a cloche, even growing a bit after I gave it some liquid fish fertilizer. A few years ago it produced berries and I got some of them to germinate and grow some before I killed them. I had read that only freshly harvested seeds will germinate. I’m not sure if that is true but it worked for me. I hope that I can nurse my little tree back to health, I miss that flavor.

    • Liz says:

      Ahhh Thats good advice regarding the seeds. My tree does look pretty unhappy in winter but so far has survived OK.

      • Gazzag says:

        Curry Leaf will grow successfully in Melbourne.But, you need to find the right position.
        Mine has grown fantastically, we have it planted in an East – West Running Narrow Garden about a metre away from the Hot water and Ducted heating units ( I think this might be protecting it during winter).
        My tree is about 8 years and had grown to about 14 feet high from which I pruned about 8 feet about 2 months ago and within a couple of weeks it started to develop multiple branches where I cut.
        Seeds don’t like to be disturbed from where they drop.
        My tree produces about 50 – 80 seedlings each year by letting them shoot and grow to about 4 -6 inches before Digging and putting

        • Liz says:

          Hi Gazza, My plant is doing really well this year too – it is still in a pot but it grew heaps during the course of the year. Thats really interesting about the seeds – I tried to germinate a couple with no success but perhaps they didn’t like my taking the jelly away from the seed. It also may have cooled down too much for then to germinate. I will try again though. 50-80 seedlings is a lot – what do you do with them all?

        • Vivian lynch says:

          Hi – have just read your blog with great interest. I am also in melbourne and have had a curry leaf tree in a pot for approx. three plus years. It was very spindly but has gone ok – grown in height and more branches at the top. This year it produced berries. I was really excited and read everything I could – nothing definitive though!! I have tried several methods with the seeds and am pleased to say I have at least a 95% success rate. Very happy to date – especially it as it is now the middle of winter in melbourne.
          With my seeds, I did remove the pulp surrounding the seeds – some planted immediately, others washed and outside membrane on seed removed. Both worked well, although possibly 6+ weeks before germination was seen.
          The quickest way I found was cleaning the seeds and putting in damp paper towel in a plastic bag – the seed produced tap roots within 10 days and I then p,anted into a seedling tray covering lightly – from there about 2 weeks before breaking through. I am loving it!!!!

          • Liz says:

            Fabulous advice! I have a good stock of berries on my tree at the moment so I will give your method a go.

        • John says:

          Mmmmm would like one of those seedlings, canyou post to Tassie?

  5. Mark Willis says:

    I don’t think a Curry leaf tree would do well here. It wouldn’t be warm enough. We can buy dried leaves in the Asian shops, so we have to make do with that.
    Just for fun I looked up the word “curry” on Wikipedia. It led to all sorts of fascinating “facts” – A very interesting source of info for anyone unfamiliar with Asian / Indian cuisines.

  6. Hi Liz,
    How spooky-I was thinking of doing a post on the Curry Leaf plant myself as I’m not doing much in the garden at present and it is one of my favourites!
    I love using curry leaves in cooking especially in Thai dishes and agree its easy to freeze. The Asian greengrocers sell it fresh and there is a good one near to Euston station in London which sells huge bag for 80p which I then pop in the freezer on my return home. I have two small plants which live on my kitchen windowsill in the Winter and in the greenhouse in the Summer. As they are still small I try not to take too many leaves off of them-mine are 3 years old but no where near the size of yours. Unfortunately my cats also love them and often have a crafty nibble which I can tell because there is then a waft of curry plant!!
    Better think of another idea now for a post…

    • Liz says:

      I used to work in Hounslow in West London and the shops there sold fresh curry leaves, along with Thai Basil and Kaffir Lime leaves – in fact all sorts of exotic leaves – it was great, now its lovely living in a climate where I can grow them myself.

  7. Leanne says:

    I might have to get one of these.

  8. leduesorelle says:

    I’ve always been confused about curry leaves, now I understand that it can be used for flavoring much like bay leaves are. I don’t know how well they’ll do here, but I’m definitely investigating!

  9. KL says:

    That tree looks so healthy. I am longing to buy a curry-plant and a bay-plant and both have to be grown indoor here during winter at least.

  10. Norma Chang says:

    Your curry plant is so healthy looking. It will have to be grown as a potted plant in our area.

  11. kitsapFG says:

    What an interesting plant and I bet I would love it since I like a good curry. Thanks for sharing information about it.

  12. Lilian says:

    Yup – got one in the garden. I get lots of plantlets from the seeds that drop on the ground. They grow quite readily here in Sydney. And yes it does seem to like the attention. I love the smell of the leaves… just makes me think of curry. We usually add a sprig or two (just the leaves) to our curries. The kids don’t like having to pick them out of the curry but that’s a small price to pay for the flavour!

    • Liz says:

      That bodes well for my seeds – looking forwarding to propagating some.

    • Bob Lodge says:

      What sort of light does it like, Full sun, partial shade or full shade. Just been given one as i usually buy the leaves but don’t know where best to place it.

      • Liz says:

        Mine is in partial shade. It gets about 5-6 hours sun a day in Summer, more like 4 in winter and is doing well. I would try and avoid full shade but suspect full sun should be OK but not having grown it in those conditions I couldn’t say for sure.

      • nick abbat says:

        well I had my plants in my backyard for a very long time they are very close to a mango tree under the full sun and the seeds drop on they own and more trees coming out and they look very healthy and I live in south-east Queensland

    • Nel Desilva says:

      The leaves have health benefits so u can cut them finely and add to your curry. 🙂 in SE Asia they now add the leaves to normal crackers for the benefits.

  13. Wilderness says:

    What does the curry leaf taste like. The only curry I am familiar with is a spice blend. Everything looks great by the way.

    • Liz says:

      Kind of like a spicy bay leaf. Its hard to describe, a bit like aspects of the powder but a taste all of its own really.

    • Mic says:

      The curry leaf mainly gives the aroma than the taste. If you crush couple of leaves and smell it, you would notice the curry smell it will produce. When you use dried leaves , you have kill the aroma. The leaves need to be used fresh and green.

  14. Louise says:

    I planted a small curry leaf tree seedling a couple of years ago at the front of my unit in Melbourne. It is now nearly two meters tall and thriving. I have not dOne anything special to it. It does well in winter, probably as it is in a position near a brick wall and gets lots of winter and summer sun. Give growing one a try they are hardy and the leaves are beautiful so much nicer fresh in cooking then dry ones.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment Louise – I absolutely agree with you – that sounds like a great position for it and I’m pleased yours is doing so well.

  15. Pat says:

    Surprise!! We imported 2 curry leaf seedlings into Tampere, Finland from the UK last October. We were really worried as they were tiny, about 6 cms high and looked rather weak.

    After re-potting them into larger pots with well drained potting mix we placed them on a south facing window sill in our house. Surprisingly we had a few new shoots before winter set in.

    During winter we kept them on the window sill where the temperature was about 12 -16C during the winter. Outside temperatures ranged from -8C to -30C. We watered them lightly about once every 2 weeks. Despite the darkness they survived reasonably well.

    From early march we started watering them about twice a week, not soaking the soil, and only re watering when the soil is reasonably dry. They look very happy at the moment and have stared shooting rather vigorously. Currently one is about 10cms high and getting bushy (has 2 branches) while the other is about 13cms high and shooting new leaves almost ever week.

    Growing seeds may be tricky but as plant they seem to be a fairly hardy species.

    • Liz says:

      Wow – thanks for sharing that story. I’m really glad your plants are doing so well. 12-16C are our outside winter temps so it makes sense that yours would have got through if the temperatures were kept at about that. I have a berry on my plant that looks ripe so I will plant it and see what happens – not the best time of year to be planting – heading into winter but my understanding is that you need to plant the seed really fresh.

  16. graphicsguy says:

    I am fascinated to find that other posters are surprised and disappointed that seeds from their SOLITARY curry leaf tree consistently fail to germinate. Clearly, the old birds-and-bees message hasn’t sunk in yet with horticulturists down under.

    I’m afraid you will continue to be disappointed unless you (or your neighbours) buy another curry leaf tree with which your tree can play ladies-and-gentlemen and thereby produce viable seeds.

    In order to hear the patter of tiny seeds falling onto your compost, you need to inject a little romance into the life of your curry leaf tree.

    Good luck!

    • Liz says:

      Actually I’m not so sure that you do need two trees – I have only one and my seeds have occasionally germinated, but after quite an extended period – about 2 months after sowing. I have to admit that the last time one germinated I managed to kill it by not watering it as I assumed nothing was happening in the pot but it did definitely shoot. Its possible my neighbours have one – but if they do its fairly distant – ie not in any of the adjoining properties. I haven’t been able to find any other references to curry leaf trees needing another to fertilise but perhaps you are right.

      • Ani says:


        I only have one curry leaf tree and last summer I managed to pick a few of the seeds. My tree produced some small berries and then larger ones, I noticed only the larger berries germinated. I took the flesh off as per Google search and planted them in a pot and left them on my kitchen window sill. When nothing happened after a month I dug up the seeds to check on them and found they had sprouted. Must admit it sure took a long time. I now have three left and the one is only 10cm tall and the other has only just broken through the soil while my last one has not broken through the soil yet.

        It is now summer time here which means it is a year later for them to germinate.

        • Liz says:

          Wow, that is slow. Mine were slow too but not quite that slow. I sowed the berries/seeds in about 5 pots but let most of them dry out when I thought they weren’t going to germinate. Eventually i did as you did and checked and noticed they had in fact germinated but were struggling up to the surface. It eventually did reach the top and is now about 5cm tall. Now I know how long they take I will be a lot more patient next year and hopefully manage to propagate a few more. I didn’t take the flesh off mine and it didn’t seem to make any difference.

        • Soj says:

          They need soil temps of 80F to germinate. Use bottom heat – like from a seedling heat mat, with thermostat if possible. Mine started germinating in about a week to 10 days after planting, and kept germinating for about a month. I think I had about 50% germination after 2 weeks. Then I thought I had killed the rest and took it off the mat – they kept germinating but more slowly. I surmise that I’d have had faster germination from the later seedlings had I kept it on the mat for a few more days.

  17. Peter says:

    If you want seeds just go to your local botanical garden during August. Remove the pulp and plant the seed in a pot. I got one tree out of five seeds.

    • Liz says:

      Great idea. I’m not sure I’ll need to though – my plant has heaps of flowers on it but for people that don’t have a plant at home this is a brilliant idea.

  18. Jane says:

    Hi Liz, thanks for the information, can you tell me what time of year you re potted your curry leaf plant. I live in Melbourne, and have been told only to re pot in either Spring or Autumn, as this plant does not take too kindly to re potting, is this correct. Thanks Jane

    • Liz says:

      I haven’t had an issue repotting mine but I’ve always done it in Spring so perhaps I’ve just been lucky. Most plants that resent repotting do so because they don’t like their roots disturbed so with that in mind I would perhaps try it before the plant gets too root bound. I would definitely make sure you give it lots of water and some seaweed (or similar) fertiliser when you do repot and I think you should be fine. I wouldn’t do it too far into Autumn though because any new growth you get as a result of repotting will be killed off by our winter.

  19. Marg says:

    My curry tree is growing really well and is currently covered in fruit which look appetising BUT I haven’t been game to use them as the birds are leaving them alone also. I’ve read that the seeds are poisonous – does that mean I’d have to remove seeds before I used the fruit? Can anyone give me any pointers on using the fruit?

    • Liz says:

      I haven’t done anything with my fruit either other than wait for the berries to develop and then sow them. This link suggests that tthey aren’t poisonous but not very palatable either but they may be in larger quantities. Most of the fruit i’ve picked is seed, the berries are small and then seeds quite large on my tree so I’m not sure how much flesh there would be to use. Please let me know if you find how to use them through any other sources – I would be most interested!

  20. Trevor says:

    I live in South Africa anf my curry leaf tree is almost 2meters tall.The problem i have is that the leafs has got allot of ”pimples” and you cannot see any insects.How to i treat it?

  21. Vernon says:

    Great discussion! I just brought 2 tiny plants (3 cm) to London from Malaysia in tiny pots. Repotted them with potting compost in larger pots. They are still green and have remained so after 1 week. Watering them generously for the moment and it being still winter, placed them on a South facing window sill; I bring them into the room, away from the window, for the night. Should I do anything else?

    I also purchased 2 small packs of seeds/berries (pin head size and pink in color) for the equivalent of 10p a pack. Shall be trying to sow/germinate them in the usual way. I have noted the comments on just how it can take! Any comments on how best to sow indoors? Flat tray with soaking cotton woo, kept in the darkl?

    A lot of fresh curry leaves are a must for almost any good curry. Yes, you can buy the dried ones or the fresh ones from many supermarkets in London (even Tescos!) but there is no substitute for being able to pluck them fresh off a plant! The aroma from the moment you put them into the cooking pan is wonderful and throughout the process the curry smalls special, and the taste authentic and refreshing! Happy days!

    • Liz says:

      I hope they do really well for you. As for the seeds/berries I have only tried germinating them in potting mix in small pots – one seed to a pot. Whilst this worked I couldn’t really tell you if its the best method. i have a heap of berries on my plant at the moment which I am hoping to use trialling a few different techniques. Unfortunately that doesn’t help you much at the moment as it will be a few months before I have any results. I love how you can smell the plant just by brushing against it.

    • Bebek says:

      I’ve grown the fresh berries successfuly indoors. Picked the biggest seeds, removed the outside covering/gel and planted into potting mix. Then placed them onto heating pad (pinched it from the cat), covered top with wrap and kept them moist. I planted 12 seeds – 10 sprouted over a period of 4 – 8 wks. I also planted 6 outdoors (autumn – winter)- none germinated after 2 mths so threw them out.

      • Liz says:

        I have planted heaps this year – so far I’ve left them outside as it has been relatively mild but I think I will have to bring them in soon, none have germinated yet but it is early days. 10 out of 12 is a great germination rate if I had a cat I would have pinched their heat mat too.

  22. Anjana says:

    Hi I am a very keen gardener in melbourne.I try to grow anything and every thing in my garden.I am very sure that curry leaf tree can be grown from seed . It is like magic when you try to grow things and finally you succeed.At present I have successfully grown custard apple from seeds and RASVARI in Hindi or Chinese gooseberry from seeds.I was really very excited to read your comments.Thanks a lot.Anjana

    • Liz says:

      Really interesting to know that you grow custard apple from seed, I hadn’t considered it before but would love to try – I will have to do a bit of research – sounds like a very interesting thing to try though. Has your custard apple fruited yet? And how big is it?

  23. Ly says:

    Hi. I find this blogpost and the comments in it very informational. I’ve got two questions.

    1) I’ve got a young murraya koenigii of about 15cm and repotted it into a pot that’s slightly bigger than the small plastic pot it came in. Should I put the plant in a big pot in hopes that it grows into a big plant or do I gradually repot it each year?

    2) I left it out in a small greenhouse since it’s still a young plant and also since melbourne is going into winter. How often do I water and fertilize the plant?

    • Liz says:

      I would repot it gradually. Perhaps go up a size or two this Spring and then another couple of sizes the following Spring. That’s what I have done and it has been really successful. I haven’t tried moving straight up into a large pot, you could try but not having tried it myself I’m not sure how it would cope. As for watering and fertilising; I would leave fertilising until Spring as any new growth will probably not like our cold winter anyway. Regarding water I would just ensure it doesn’t dry out over winter and then when it starts growing in Spring keep it well fed and watered. I water mine pretty much every day during Spring/Summer/Autumn.

  24. Dirtgirl says:

    I live in Sydney and have had a curry tree in my veg patch for a couple of years now and find the leaves so useful not only in actual curry dishes, but often pop them into the slow cooker with various meats/poultry to add a bit of flavour. I moved mine from one veg bed to another last year, gave it a good hair cut and it just bounced back.,only feed it got was alpaca manure, plus we went through a scorching summer and it sailed through with flying colours!
    I would definitely recommend this tree, as once established it is easy care and great having the leaves on hand, rather than buying packs from the local Indian store.

    • Liz says:

      Good to know it came through the move well. I have to admit to only having used them in Indian dishes but I really should start branching out a bit.

  25. bharti says:

    I am in Toronto Canada and would like to know how to grow curry leaf plant indoors.
    Currently I do have a pot which contains about 5 small plants should I separate them or leave them as is.

    • Liz says:

      I haven’t tried growing it indoors. I think if I was going to I would ensure it has decent levels of light though. I would be tempted to separate them as each plant could potentially become quite large. The only hesitation I have is that I’m not sure how they would handle being separated. I pot mine up regularly but the root disturbance is fairly minimal so I don’t really know how they’d react to the level of root disturbance you would get when separating them. Perhaps another reader could give some advice?

  26. Gleyse Fidelis says:

    Hi there from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!! I came across this site while trying to know about sapling curry trees. I have two beautiful curry trees in huge pots once I have no garden or backyard. They live majestic along with other plants in my balcony where I cultivate a small urban garden in pots. I have Italian parsley, mint, chives, cilantro, basil, sage, capsicum, okra, oregano and cherry tomatoes. I wonder how the seedlings currytrees. Would it be only through the berries? My trees never showed berries! Can you help me?

    • Liz says:

      Hi Gleyse and welcome. The first thing I would ask is are you sure they are Murraya Koenigii? There are other plants also called curry trees which aren’t the same thing and they don’t produce berries. I have only ever propagated from the seeds/berries so I’m not sure how difficult they are to propagate from cuttings – I should really give it a go. Odd that yours hasn’t produced berries (assuming it is a curry leaf tree) – how old are they?

  27. Peter Wann says:

    My curry leaf tree in Perth didn’t do much for a couple of years, but then took off and is about 3 metres tall. Gets a bit limp in late winter (dont really have winters here any more). Makes a beautiful Sri Lankan fish curry.

  28. John Hulls says:

    Hi Liz,
    This is my first time on your blog, and after reading everyone’s comments, I want to point out that Wikipedia says the seeds of the berries are poisonous but the fruit is edible. (Don’t know if I’d take the chance). My tree is about a metre high but all the leaves are in the top 30cm. Is there a way of getting it to sprout lower down?

    • Liz says:

      When you take out the seed there isn’t much of the fruit left anyway so I think you have succinctly answered my question. The only way I can think of getting it to sprout lower is to prune it but that is far from an exact science and not having pruned one before I’m not entirely sure how it would respond. To get it to sprout lower you’d have to prune it pretty hard and I think the growing habit of the tree would continue to produce leaves at the top anyway.

  29. Cherry says:

    Few days ago I got about 1 feet “stems” from the big curry tree.
    I just learned that….. to place the bottom of these stems into the water bucket
    until the roots come out. Is it true?
    Do I need to put “mix repellent” into that water-bucket so as to grow faster?
    If so, how often to put that repellent and the measurement of repellent?
    (How long should I do this .?)

    I’ll be waiting to hear your answer. Thanks much !

    • Liz says:

      A lot of plants will root in a water bucket but I’m not sure about curry leaf tree never having tried it before. I have to admit I don’t know what you mean by a mix repellent. Does it have another name, or perhaps it is not something I’ve used before?

  30. Ashwini says:

    I have a curry leaf plant which i leave indoors during winter. I have moved it outside now as it is nice and sunny. this year i am seeing flowers and fruits(green balls slightly bigger than mustard seeds) growing at the top.

    I am not well versed in maintaining and growing plants but am very interested in sowing the seeds to grow more plants. Are the small green bulbs that i see, are the fruits of the plant and that the seed needs to be picked out from them? There are small white flowers around them. When is the best time to pick out the fruits? Could you provide more details on when and how to get it out? is there any website you can provide which will help me with this?


    • Liz says:

      Those small green bulbs (or berries) will grow into fruits. I usually find that most flowers set into berries. Each berry contains one large seed. The berries will eventually turn black when ripe at which point you can pick them and sow them. You can either sow them whole or remove the soft berry stuff around the seed before sowing it. It is easy to remove the seed – just squish the berry. They do need a bit of warmth to germinate and germination can take quite a while – a couple of months in some cases.

  31. Tracey says:

    Hi Liz
    Living in Northern New South Wales and I have a small curry tree growing in my garden it is now about 1 metre tall. I need to move it as I have just realized it will grow into a tree and there is not enough room where it is. Do you have any tips to help successfully do this?

    • Liz says:

      I would love to advise but I’ve only ever grown curry leaf trees in pots. I will post your question on my next Monday Harvest posts (they generally get good reader numbers) and hopefully someone else will know what to do.

  32. Can Desi says:

    Many in Canada have curry leaft plants that they grow indoors because of the severe winters. They give small baby plants but most folks are such shmucks that they would rather sell than share. I on the other hand cut and grow plants (not curry leaf) and then give away. That gives me joy.
    So those of your here who mother plants gives babies or seeds, PLEASE do share.
    There is no other South Asian plant that has so much discussion as Curry Leaf. The aroma is nostalgic.

    • Liz says:

      Personally I enjoy sharing plants too. Having said that my parents run a very small scale native Australian plant nursery and I also recognise that some people need to charge for the plants they propagate. Its an interesting area of discussion.

  33. Pingback: Saturday Spotlight – Propagating Curry Leaf Tree – Murraya Koenigii | Suburban Tomato

  34. Michael Vo says:

    I bought a house in Corona,ca.,
    In the backyard i found a tree about 14′ tall.
    I think it’s a curry tree.but not sure? can anyone send me a picture.

  35. Peter says:

    I have a curry leaf tree and it looks very miserable I have in a pot and under my pergola I have not had any leaves from it and I wonder what I have done wrong I bought it from an indian shop in Dandenong. Can anyone help

    • Liz says:

      When you say miserable what do you mean? Mine has just started putting on new leaves after being pretty dormant over winter. Could yours need food? A bigger pot? More water? Less water? If you describe its condition in a bit more detail then perhaps either I or someone else can offer more ideas.

  36. Maree says:

    Bought one of these a few weeks ago and am preparing to plant. Really handy having all this feedback to read and come up with a strategy and some decisions when planting out. Thanks.

  37. Brian says:

    hi all, we have a healthy 1,5 meter curry leaf tree thriving (close to the house) which, from what I am reading seems to be a good place. I really enjoy using the fresh leaves in all sorts of dishes, you can be very adventurous with this amazing flavour, everyone compliments our roasts, stews and curries.
    What I want to share here is recently a friend told me their curry leaf is better, and I have the (so called) common tree. Having since compared the scent of the two different leaves, I tend to agree and consider their tree superior in aroma ant taste.
    If you are a red wine lover my tree is like a Pinotage in it’s sharper strong flavour and the other one has a more robust fuller mellow flavour of a Cabernet Sauvignion or Shiraz, I am now waiting for my seeds from their tree to germinate and will plant them on the other side of my house . . . . . . . . . .

    • Liz says:

      How interesting. I wasn’t aware there were different varieties. Does you friend live in a similar climate to yours? I hope the new tree does as well as your established one.

  38. Sandy says:

    Is anyone interested in selling the curry leaves plant??

  39. My curry leaf tree, lost one of two branches in high winds, Will it branch out , or must I cut the top off!? it is 75 cm tall ,I want it to bush out, it is in a pot. Can I use the top as a cutting. Les.F.

    • Liz says:

      I think it will probably branch out. Mine has even without losing a limb to encourage it. I’ve never attempted to strike cuttings from mine so I’m not sure of success rate but perhaps someelse reading this will know.

  40. Daniel says:

    I recently (during winter here in Canada) transplanted my curry plant (2 1/2 ‘) tall from a 12″ plastic pot into a 12″ Clay pot. However, the soil fell away from the root while I was transferring it and as a result even though I feed it with fish emulsion and watered well to allow the soil to settle around the root. All but one branch has fallen off (I suspect shock) and moved to a warmer location; however, I am afraid of losing it (growing for 5 years now.) It has small green buds at the old branch nodes but I don’t know what else to do to save it. Any suggestions please?

    • Liz says:

      I think you’ve done everything I would have done Daniel. I find that plants generally are fairly straight forward in their requirements – wanting food, water and a suitable climate. It sounds like the you’ve got the food and water part sorted out and have covered at least part of the climate part. I would ensure it is protected from strong winds but otherwise there’s not much else that I can think of. In future I would probably recommend transplanting curry leaf plants in Spring if possible.

      • Daniel says:

        Hi Liz, thanks for the feedback. The plant is indoors. The last branch just fell off and the buds while still green have not emerged. It is still winter like conditions outside as spring hasn’t quite arrived yet. At this time it is essentially a branch stuck in soil like it started five years ago.. If I tend it correctly and leave it in the warm window does it stand a chance of re developing the fine roots from the main tap root? I don’t have much experience with these plants?

  41. Mij Turnbull says:

    I have a Curry Leaf plant which is about 12 years old. It has had several prunings over the years and has always come back to life. I did this today in fact. Cut off all the branches, repotted it with fresh compost mixed with grit and I placed it in a black plastic bag with four sticks in the pot to hold the bag up. I closed the top, placed it in my utility room (warm and dry) and said a prayer!!
    I took these drastic steps because for no reason all the leaves on the branches withered and drooped downwards. I checked the stems and they were covered in scale insects. I had failed to notice this earlier.
    So ….. I am hoping that it will recover. The plant is very old and has a huge root bulb almost but hardly any proper roots as such.
    Any ideas? Suggestions? Can I keep this plant outside? Summer in the UK can be quite erratic…. guess I will have to keep playing around with it until I find a solution. I am from Sri Lanka and these trees grow wild everywhere!! Essential to Asian curries. Luckily I have frozen some to use. The best way to freeze is to make sure they are thoroughly dry and just pop them into a tupperware. That way you can just take out what you want. They seem to retain their flavour and colour but nothing like the fresh.

    • Liz says:

      You could keep it outside in an English summer – I keep mine outside in Melbourne winter and your summer is certainly warmer than that.

  42. Peter Smith says:

    I have a curry leaf plant that is about 15cm high that a friend at work gave me – I’m in Melbourne and it’s starting to get cold now – can I pick the leaves or should I leave it alone until spring- the plant is healthy and a lovely dark green.

    • Liz says:

      Sorry for the delay in responding Peter – yes you can pick them, I would leave a few on the plant – not sure why it just seems like the right thing to do. I find mine stay green until about now and then gradually yellow over winter so I can happily harvest pretty much all year round – but then my garden is fairly mild – I know some trees lose all their leaves when the cold weather hits.

  43. will says:

    curry leaf trees are not called that because they taste like curry they are called that because they are an important ingredient in the making of curries in many countries

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Will, I do think the they kind of taste of curry though, but then maybe that’s because they are used in curry so often….a chicken and egg scenario perhaps?

  44. tina says:

    Jerry warns that “this is not a low maintenance tree and if you want to be environmentally responsible, you’re going to have to remove all of the flowers and seeds.” In Brisbane the Curry Leaf Tree flowers during the warm seasons and birds adore the seed, spreading them far and wide in their droppings, meaning the tree has significant weed potential.

  45. Stuart Carlin says:

    In the 90s I was with the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, there were two of these trees outside the kiosk which were pretty weedy looking. The chief used the leaves in cooking, So behold I took to them with my pruners and got told off for the amount I cut back, six months later perfect looked like two standard bushes approx. 1 to 1 1/2 mtrs high.
    Now I have found them will try to buy and grow south of Perth.

  46. Pingback: Tomato Balls Trees That Grow In Water

  47. Tania says:

    My curry leaf plants are not doing well. One seems to be ok and coming back to life with near leaves but the other one is dried up and not a leaf in sight and branches just looks all dead and dried .what am I doing . Wrong ?should I be giving lots of fertilizer ?
    Any advice would be welcome . Does anyone know where I can get a good health y curry leafy plant in melbourne northern suburbs .

    • Liz says:

      Hi Tania,

      A little fertiliser would be a good idea I think. My curry leaf plant has only just started putting out new leaves so perhaps there is hope for yours. They do like a reasonable amount of water – could they have dried out? As for places selling them I would try CERES or Bulleen Art & Garden as my first port of call.

  48. vijaya says:

    I planted my curry leaf plant on april 5th this far i didnt see anny new leaf,Am just worried about it.Pls let me know


    • Liz says:

      Hi Vijaya,

      You don’t say where you are but assuming you are in Melbourne or somewhere else in the Southern hemisphere I wouldn’t be too worried – I find the plant goes dormant over winter and they don’t really start growing until Spring starts to warm up in about October. If you live somewhere warmer it might just be that its taking awhile to establish itself – some plants do when they are replanted.

  49. Lani says:

    How is your curry plant looking now, three years since this post? Any updated photos to share? I am thinking of trying one myself.
    Is yours still potted?

  50. Srilekha says:

    Good discussions !! I just wan to know that can I grow curry leaves plant from stem??

  51. Annette says:

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks for this very useful post. I’m in Perth and I’ve tried to grown curry leaf plants over the years with little success.
    However I persevered and bought another plant about 8 months ago. It was doing quite well, but for the past few months the leaf tips have turned brown and the plant itself has yellowed. From reading your post I now know that it is usual for the leaves to go yellow in the colder months, but do you have any idea about the brown tips? It hasn’t affected the taste but it doesn’t look healthy.

    I should mention that I have thyme growing in the bottom of the pot. Would this be having any impact? It’s not like it’s a massive plant, and the thyme mostly spills out and grows over the side of the post. The pot sits on the edge of my patio and gets full sun.

    I have a friend who has a massive bushy curry leaf tree, and various herbs growing down the side of her house. This is a sheltered spot with a small amount of sunlight. Her chilli trees are amazing! There are just hundreds of red chillis on the trees. I don’t have spot like this and have to make do with herbs in pots. I took a cutting of mint from her a few months and it started to take off really well – I came outside one morning and found that some little critters had eaten all the leaves 🙁

  52. SK says:

    Live in Glasgow, managed not to kill 2 curry leaf plants. Got them in June this year and touchwood, they are thriving. I read on a website they need frequent doses of iron to help them grow. Anyone has any idea how much to give them. Both are about 10 – 15 cm tall & still throwing out new shoots. Thanks

    • Liz says:

      I don’t add iron to mine – but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be. I will post a list of all the curry leaf tree questions in the next couple of weeks to try and get a response.

  53. susanna says:

    Hi, I live in Rome, Italy and I have been growing a beautiful murraya koenigii from berries since more than ten years. Every two years it makes berries from which I have grown another plant. This year it has produced an enormous quantity of berries and with a friend of mine we will try to have a higher percentage of germinating as I have collected them really ripe! I will let you know. In winter I prune it completely and protect it. In spring it sprouts and all summer it is beautiful!

  54. Karen says:

    Hi Liz, how do you keep your plants from looking leggy? I harvest the older bottom leaves first so the plant looks very leggy. I can’t prune much either as all the new growth are on the top. When you harvest, do you break the whole stem of leaves off the branch or do you cut it off leaving some stem or do you just pick leaf by leaf? Which way will stimulate more new growth?

    • Liz says:

      Hi Karen, I usually harvest from the top of the plant and do so by chopping off the whole stem. I think this probably stimulates new growth. Harvesting leaf by leaf is unlikely to stimulate much but I think harvesting sections should. It may also help with the bushyness.

  55. Megha says:

    Hi there, I live in Melbourne and I do have curry plant that is miserable and need some help. I have it for about 2 years now. My curry plant looks like it leaves turn yellow, thin and limp. Some leaves has black patch on them. Cod you please tell me what it is and how to help my plant. Thank you

  56. Penelope says:

    I have a 3 metre curry leaf tree that has just turned up its toes and is dying stem still green but all leaves are dead . What could cause that I live in Perth and it has been such a healthy tree .. help

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