I have posted on Curry Leaf Tree before. In fact it is my most commented on post. Given the level of interest I thought it would be worth posting on it again. It also worth checking the original post, in particular the comments, which detail a range of people’s experiences with this plant.
Despite curry leaf tree being a tropical/sub-tropical plant Murraya Koenigii grows pretty well in my Melbourne (admittedly frost free) garden. At this time of the year the plant is looking a little sad as Melbourne’s winters get a little colder than the tree would really like. It should recover pretty quickly once we have slightly longer periods of warm weather.
I grow my plant in a large (40cm diameter) pot which seems adequate. I imagine that the plant’s growth would be quicker in the ground but it is quick enough to keep up with the rate I use the leaves.
Curry Leaf Trees propagate easily, but slowly, from seed. The seed needs to be sown fresh – I have tried drying it before sowing but as yet I haven’t managed to germinate a dried seed. I have germinated many fresh seeds though. The seeds sit inside the berries. Each berry contains one large seed. You can see the unripe berries in the above photo. When ripe the seed turns black (see below). You can sow ripe berries whole or remove the fleshy part prior to sowing – I haven’t been able to discern any great difference in results between the two methods.
I find that the seeds take a couple of months to germinate. The seeds ripen in later Autumn in Melbourne so have to sown over winter. I have tried germinating them inside in my laundry and outside in a cold frame and they eventually germinated in both locations. The seeds may well germinate more quickly in milder climates but in Melbourne 2 months seems to be the norm. You can probably also propagate curry leaf trees from cuttings but I have yet to attempt it. I would love some feedback from anyone who has tried.
Annoyingly I find that the seedlings are particularly attractive to slugs and snails. I lost heaps of mine this year.
Recently I had a curry leaf tree question from a reader – Are there any tricks to moving a curry leaf tree? I have never tried as I grow mine in a pot so I’m not sure how they respond to root disturbance. If you have tried moving a curry leaf tree I would love to know how you got on.