Curry tree question (Murraya koenigii)

thebelvidereSeptember 13, 2012

Hello all. I started some curry trees from seed last spring. I have 9 total, all about 6-9 inches tall. I'm planning to get a grow light and move them indoors for the winter. My question is what kind of light would be best, metal halide or high pressure sodium? I have a 250 watt metal halide ballast I picked up at a surplus auction, I was planning to get a reflector and bulb and use that, but if a sodium light would be better I wouldn't mind buying one. I live in Kentucky, so it definitely won't survive outside. I actually had another curry tree a couple of years ago. I brought it in for the winter hoping it would just go dormant and wake back up again in the spring. It didn't.

Any advice regarding the kind of soil these trees like, fertilizer, etc, would all be appreciated.

If anyone is interested, here's my favorite recipe with curry leaves, it's very tasty:

(if the link doesn't post, go to youtube and search for "chicken 65" and go to the one that says "chicken cooked in spicilicious style.")

I'll try to attach a picture of the trees, but here's a link in case it doesn't work:


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Hmm. I have multiple varieties of curry leaf, and the potted ones do exactly what you suggested - they go dormant in the winter and return in the spring. If the winter is cold enough, there is top kill - but the roots always survive. Regardless, I prune to within a few inches of the soil because so much of the bottom leaves have already been harvested. Note, I live in Houston, use very large containers, and keep them in sheltered areas outside.

Don't use an HPS - this can cause the plants to etiolate, and become spindly/weak, especially when young.

The best choice for this application is really multiple cheap, fluorescent tube lights (T8). Go for the four tube work lights, or multiple two tube lights. Get them as close as possible to the plants, they won't burn them. You can use a mixture of warm white and cool white bulbs, but it's mostly irrelevant. Illuminating from the sides as well as the top can also be really helpful in preventing the plant from becoming spindly or trying to grow toward the light, when what you really want is for it to store as much photosynthate as it can for the spring.

The other major obstacle indoors, especially if you have a central heating system, is humidity. Even just a pvc frame with a clear plastic drop cloth thrown over it would help a *lot*.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:54AM
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I have two different varieties of the plant - do not know which ones though. They do like a lot of sun. I have added a link that I think describes plant care in more detail. Although, I do not follow the instructions very meticulously. Just use Foliage Pro and a sort of the gritty mix.

The website says that they like acidic soil and need supplemental iron.

Greentiger, how many varieties do you have and are they distinctly different in shape and flavor?

Here is a link that might be useful: Curry leaf care

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:26AM
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Thanks for the replies and the link, that answers a lot of questions.

I'm not sure which variety I have, I got the seeds from a guy in Australia through ebay. It's kind of hard to tell but I think one of them may have put off a second shoot a few inches away from the main branch, which I've read is a trait that identifies it as one of the distinct varieties or the other. I know nothing about gardening, I put them in pots with regular potting soil mixed with perlite, and I've been feeding them Miracle Grow houseplant food (8-7-6 it says on the bottle) every month or so. I started about 30 seeds total and wound up with 8 that survived. The peet pots got moldy so I had to dig the seeds out and replant them, then it was almost another month before they finally sprouted. It's really a wonder any of them made it.

I'll follow the advice in that link and get some of that cactus soil before replanting the 4 in the smaller pots, which I plan to do in the next couple of days.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:42AM
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Couldn't find any cactus soil, but a guy at a nursery told me the cactus soil he gets is just dirt mixed with lots of sand, so I got got some sand. I'm planning to mix it with regular potting soil and perlite as a substitute. I did find some azalea/camelia food (for acid loving plants), in the form of rocky chunks. I figured I would mix a tiny bit of that in with the soil as well.

It turns out the houseplant food has iron in it, .1% chelated iron (Fe), so I think I'll keep using that on occasion and wait for signs of iron deficiency before trying to add iron.

I found what looks to be a nice reflector on ebay for $55, so I think I'll go ahead and use the metal halide I have. More expensive than florescent but the nursery guy said it would help them grow thicker main stems as well. I'd like them to get a little growing done over the winter. They don't get much sun outside because of the way my apartment buildings are set up, or they'd probably be a lot bigger than they are now. The bulb I'm planning to get is 4000k, which should be about right from what I've been reading. All together the light will be about $100, including the ballast I already have.

Planning to order that stuff tomorrow, it's coming down to the wire. The lows have been in the 40s for the past couple of nights, I've been bringing them inside. I'll keep you updated.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Sand is usually not a great component of container soil. Perlite is OK but I would go with a 50/50 mix of perlite and regular potting soil. If the plants are OK now let it be since this is also not the best time to repot. Summer is a better time for tropical plants for repotting.

You can search for "Gritty Mix" in this forum and learn about it more. That is a far better mix. Many questions/answers by others too. The components are sifted pine bark, turface and granite grit. If you read various posts regarding this you will find more info on proportions, sources and substitutes for those ingredients. Since you will all winter to research on this forum you will learn a lot and you will be better off in the end.

In the winter even under lights they may look a bit miserable, drop leaves, but they come back in spring when you can put it outside. You may also notice spider mites when indoors - mild soap solution gets rid of them.

Back home in India, these grow like weeds without any care whatsoever. We have a 7 feet tree at home with a 5 inch diameter trunk. And here in Pittsburgh I have a 2 feet plant in a pot with half inch trunk for the last several years. What a pain.

Here is a link that might be useful: A very informative article on container soils by Al

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 8:00AM
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TropicofCancer - I have 3 distinct varieties, as described this link -

I never called them by those names though, and didn't get them from that source.

The "Dwarf" is hardly dwarf sized in height or growth rate - the lighter green color and more slender, thin leaflets are the obvious giveaways. Redness in new leaves is obvious and lasts longer. The plant is a little less hardy - it often dies back to the roots and comes up again, especially in pots. Responds really well to fertilizer. Taste/fragrance is lighter and more fruity (citrusy) than the others. Never seems to branch above the ground, just aims for the sky with each shoot. That may be because it never gets old enough to do so though. Works better than the others as a fried garnish for dishes that are served cold, like raita or pachadi. Doesn't stand up to prolonged cooking or frying well. Better suited for pots than the others, because it doesn't have as strong of a tendency to create a deep taproot. Much more sensitive to foliar damage from phytotoxic sprays of any kind, especially oxidants, soaps, and oils.

"Regular" has hardier, stouter stems and branches, and gains girth pretty quickly. Thick, dark green leaflets. The flavor is much stronger and more spicy/savory. Can be used at the start of cooking even for dishes that need a long cooking time or that have a lot of water. Grows slower than "Dwarf".

"Gamthi" is even thicker and what I would have named the dwarf. Grows slow, as Bhatia Nursery suggests. Leaves are even thicker than "regular". Taste is so strong it's almost medicinal. I use this mostly as a medicinal herb, for teas, infused oils for hair, etc. My mom uses it for pickles, which apparently moderates the flavor (I hate Indian pickles).

theBelvidere -

If it's that cold, you run a serious risk of losing them if you repot now. At the same time, overly moist soil while a tropical plant that isn't actively growing is a killer (meaning be very careful about overwatering, try using a wick to draw off excess water from below; Al has a great post about how to mitigate the effects of a poorly drained mix as well).

Honestly, I'd never seen a Murraya absolutely thriving in a pot, until I repotted my "Dwarf" from some sandy mucky who knows what into a very coarse version of 5:1:1. Acidifying the irrigation water and occasional chelated iron/micronutrients has made it incredibly happy.

I suspect the gritty mix would be ideal for Murraya, which also follows both from the native soil it's adapted to (volcanic, iron-rich, acidic, well-drained) and it's relation to citrus. I think the gritty mix is also one of the best ways to deal with the tap root issue, by encouraging a fibrous root system. I don't know much about conifers, but I believe this is part of the reason bonsai conifers do well in gritty mix. Hopefully Al sees this and chimes in.

About the lights - the salesman was right, metal halide lights do produce stout, vegetative growth. But the issue isn't so much the color temperature as it is the amount of light being put out (sometimes given in lumens, or PAR). Light drops off dramatically with distance, and you can't keep metal halide lights very close to plants because of the heat issue. That's why I like using fluorescent tube lights, because they have a good spectrum and can be put right up against plants, even surrounding them on all three sides. Just be aware of these issues as you go ahead, and realize that it's almost impossible to match the light output of the sun. Human eyes are *terrible* at gauging light brightness, because our pupils adapt so well to whatever light is available.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 1:39PM
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It looks like it will be difficult to find the stuff for the gritty mix recipe. I'll keep reading for ideas on improvising, but my first reaction is I could go scoop up some rocks and stuff from a creek bed to substitute for the granite, or maybe just some regular gravel broken up a bit finer and rinsed well. I was really hoping to transplant those 4 in the smaller pots because they're doing worse than the ones I did transplant. I should have already done that. I might try transplanting one of them after they've been inside a while under the light to see how it reacts, but that's a ways down the road.

The reflector I ordered can be air cooled, it's got glass in the bottom and everything, a couple of computer fans might help somewhat with the heat. The bulb is 20,000 lumens, which I imagine is pretty bright.

And thanks again for all the advice and info, I really like this forum. And greentiger, though I'm in awe of your in-depth knowledge of plants, I must take umbrage with your disparagement of Indian pickles. I'm a functioning mango pickle addict myself, when things get bad I can go through 2 jars of it a week easily :)

That first picture is a few weeks old, here's a current one.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 7:02PM
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Hello again all. I've now had the plants inside under the light for about a month. Here are a few pictures.

So far they don't seem to be producing much in the way of new green growth on top, though they are stretching out a bit. I've had the light on 13.5 hours, off 10.5 hours. I don't have a thermometer but I don't think the light is generating too much heat at the distance I've got it. I have a computer-type exhaust fan I might try to attach to the hood to air cool it and then get the light a little closer.

I wired the ballast up inside a couple of meatloaf pans, which seemed to work pretty well. It does get pretty hot after it's been on for a few hours. I opened it up after I'd had it running for a couple of weeks and everything looked fine inside, nothing melting or anything. The transformer is mounted about 3/4 inch off the bottom of meatloaf pan using the brackets that came with it.

One question: I'm thinking about trimming the tops off of a couple of them to try and encourage them to branch out more. Do you think that would be a good idea at this stage, or should I wait until spring?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 6:45PM
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Here's the top of the ballast housing.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 6:46PM
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Here are the plants as of about 2 weeks ago.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 6:48PM
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And here they are as of a few minutes ago.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 6:49PM
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Hi guys;

I have a couple of curry trees. One mother tree and another smaller one in pots with a 511 mix. I've had the big one for 7-8 years now. I am in WV. It has survived coming in every winter and going in a window facing west or north, without supplemental light. It's about 4ft tall with lots of branches. Not sure which variety it is. I received it from a friend. I water periodically and feed with a control release fertilizer and also Foliage Pro with watering.

You have some good looking trees there. I would wait to top them off until they are a couple of feet tall.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 9:33AM
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Also, you should be able to readily find the ingredients to gritty mix or 5:1:1 in many parts of KY. Search out some farm stores.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 9:35AM
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Great looking plants there and a good setup. I would say keep any trimming to a minimum. They should be fine. They are pretty robust plants.

I am off to India for a month leaving today and I will post some pictures of curry plants in their native home.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 8:31AM
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Hello again folks. I seem to have developed a bad case of spider mites. I'm not sure a few of them are going to make it. At first I noticed some little webs on some of them, which I was afraid might spell trouble because they didn't look like spider webs. Eventually whole branches started dying. I shouldn't have let it go so long but it took me forever to figure out what they were and how I should go about trying to kill them. I just hosed them down with some neem oil extract from Lowes. Let's hope that does the trick. Here are a couple more pics. You can see the little bastards in the second one.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:01PM
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The other pic.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:02PM
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naikii(9a / 8b)

Very interesting, and sorry to hear about the spider mites.

I am looking to put my curry under lights this winter as well. In the past I have left them outside over the last two winters, in a small pot. They dies all the way to the ground, and despite being allowed to freeze, and totally dry out several times last winter when I was overseas and they were neglected, I watered what appeared to be a very dead stick, and back to life it came.

I have a couple of growing lights, some CFLs at several different spectrums and a 200W HPS. I think I will keep my curry under the HPS for the extra warmth and lumens.

As for the mites, I have never experienced them, but have heard that once they set up shop it is a very tricky job to destroy them forever…

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:19PM
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I had one previous curry tree that did pretty much that, all the leaves fell off until it was just dead looking. In my case, it was in fact dead.

I guess I'll just keep watching for them to reappear and use more neem oil if they do.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:26PM
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I have two curry trees I have been growing for a client. They have been through a lot, as they spend summers outdoors in our suburban Boston location, and I have learned they do best in partial shade.

They overwinter in a glasshouse, which is very humid. Last winter they got scale, and I treated with hort oil and then hand cleaned, but it was followed by sooty mold. They looked dreadful until they moved back outside and leafed out again.

It was at this point that my client, who does cook with them, told me the flavor was very off. I had been fertilizing them with Neptunes fish and seaweed emulsion and bi-monthly miracle gro to encourage new growth. Then I stopped, having read they disliked ferilizer.

Now, this winter, they are looking really good but she says flavor is still bad. It is hard for me to know what the right flavor is, since the smell and taste is not one I am familiar with.

Has anyone noticed a flavor change and do you have any advice? I want badly to find the correct nutritional supplements and anything else that will help. I am even wondering if I should put them in her garage for a few weeks to see if a period of colder dormancy might revive the flavor.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 6:39PM
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sutremaine(UK S.Wales 9)

Since you have a number of plants, perhaps you could gamble and cut a few of them right back, taking the spider mites off as well. Then isolate the cut ones.

By the way, how much of the room is lit up when those lights are on?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 11:09PM
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I've sprayed them with neem oil twice now, it seems to be working. Two of them only have a few leaves left, they probably won't make it. I have been collecting the leaves when they fall off.

It's pretty bright, I spend most of my time in the other room though so I don't really notice it.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 11:24PM
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sutremaine(UK S.Wales 9)

Try sticking some sheets of white paper to the hood so that the light is funnelled downwards onto the plants instead of outwards into the room.

I'm glad the plants are recovering. It seems like such a waste when you lose food plants...

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 12:59AM
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Spider mites tend to develop under very dry and stagnant (air) conditions. Sort of unavoidable inside a house in winter. For bad cases I put the plants in a wash tub and run a low volume mister over them for 15-20 minutes. Neem is not necessary, a dilute soap solution spray is quite effective to take out most of the plant bugs including aphids, mealy, and other soft bodied bugs. The trick is to repeat it every few days for 3-4 times to get the eggs too. My curry plants seem to do similar things like like losing their leaves but they come back once I get them outside.

Last year I converted my porch to a mini greenhouse of sorts. The plants just love being there with a mixture of natural and supplemental light. It does get cold there - down to 50F when the outside is 10F. The bugs hate that. The plants just stay sort of dormant. But now the they are all perking up since the minimum in there is about 60F. Some plants are flowering and some started new growth. So I started fertilizing some of them a tiny bit at a time to get them going.

I believe that the changing conditions of light, air, humidity, temperature in the greenhouse is proving much better for the plants and bad for the bugs. Curry plant did not lose much leaves and did not grow any new ones. But they look healthy. In the winter months I hold back on the water and in some cases (including curry) I water once a week or less.

Most plants tend to change their "output" depending on the weather. Curry leaves will be much more intense in hot, sunny weather. Hot peppers are hotter in hot weather, etc. It is just seasonal change and nothing much can be done without giving them the proper growing conditions.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 10:38AM
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Have lots of Curry Leaf plants. If you live in Southern California, email me.
I don't ship them out. You have to come and pick them up from my place.

This post was edited by shaanp on Mon, May 13, 13 at 19:32

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 7:29PM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)

I just need one line answers for the following questions.

1. What is the color temperature of the light source you use during winter? (I have only regular CFLs at home and one table lamp with work/white light.)

2. Do you use artificial light all day long or only during the evenings i.e. 3pm to 9pm?

3. What is the humidity level during winter periods?

4. My apartment is maintained at 65F during winter. Is this temperature OK?

Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 5:06PM
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1. I'm not really sure. I got the bulb on ebay for like $20.

2. I would run the light from about 6 pm to 6 am the next day.

3. Whatever is the usual for an apartment in a suburban area I guess.

4. I think anything above 60 F is acceptable.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Here's an updated pic. They didn't fare very well inside over the winter. I wound up treating them for spider mites one more time before putting them outside. I've got most of the stuff to make a kind of gritty mix, just putting off transplanting them out of laziness.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 5:25PM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)

@ theBelvidere,
Any specific reason why all of these were planted in small container? I got a seedling from Bhatia Nursery in NJ and planted in almost 3X pot, bad idea?

Plus, if these are grown from seeds, could please answer my question in Asian Vegetables section. (

Thanks in advance

Here is a link that might be useful: SOS - help with Murraya koenigii

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 5:45PM
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I started them in small pots, the smaller ones in the picture have been transplanted once, the others twice. I'll try and get them transplanted soon, hopefully they'll start doing a little better afterward.

I replied to your other thread. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 6:13PM
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Having read some of the recent questions I will pipe in again to put in my thoughts.

Curry leaf will withstand drought well and does not mind being wet for a while. This is specially true in the ground instead of a container. Containers need special attention so that they do not dry out completely. True for all container plants to a large extent.

If you want the curry plant to be healthy and vigorous, give it a lot of light and have it in the ground, when you can. I have mine in a lighted porch in the winter months but water it very infrequently. I give it a thourough shower once a month if I can. It still suffers but revives in the summer when I bury the pot in the ground.

Having said all that, I have to admit that the plant suffers here badly in the winter months, whereas back home in India it is like a weed - hard to keep up with its growth and baby plants everywhere.

Some specifics: I tend to adjust the size of the pot to the plant. A larger pot is great but then I have to lug it around too at time.
Winter dry months help the spider mites to grow. Occassional drenching with water or soap water helps get rid of them.
Bright articial light is great but as as soon as they are outside they will tend to shed the ones grown under artificial light and grow new ones and vice-vera.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 6:26PM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)

Thank you tropicofcancer.

I don't mind lugging around, I just want to make sure that it does well. If planting it in BIG pot right in the beginning is a BAD IDEA, then I will transplant it in smaller pot right away. It is potted in that pot for 2 days now.

I live in a rented apt in NYC, so access to the soil is not possible It will be sitting in balcony for a while and then indoors.

It is in shadows for 2 days, it will be in shadow for 5 more days and then I will give it a full day sun. I don't want to give plant a shock of indoor nursery to full day sun, so I am going step by step.

Do you crush egg shells in the soil? I saw YouTube video of some Indian ladies (seemed like cooks), they mentioned crushed egg shell for flavor.

Thank you theBelvidere for the reply in other thread.

This post was edited by DocHudson on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 19:25

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 7:24PM
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Large pots save you the trouble of watering frequently. It will be moist for a longer time even if the top looks dry. Bottom will be wet. All it matters is if the roots get their water. A small plant will not have any deep roots so all that it matters is the soil is moist where the roots are. Eventually, the plant will become big and fill the pot with roots.

Large pots keep the root temperatures very stable. Roots do not like rapidly varying temperatures. A small black plastic pot would gain enough heat in the sun to fry the roots and dry the soil out completely. A clay pot breathes well and keeps the soil cool too.

I say leave it there and let it grow first.

I have not heard of the egg shell thing. I usually use them to ward of slugs when in ground. Calcium in the shells will eventually leach into the soil and will be helpful for the plants. But it is pretty slow process. I cannot see instant benefits out of it.

You can add some agricultural lime - that will help. Just a pinch or so is OK. Fertllize when it is growing and hold back water and fertilizer in the winter months when it just stares at you.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 8:30PM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)

Thank you again.

Just to confirm (again). Although the pot I planted the plant in is big, it is not earthen pot. It is plastic one (light brown color) from Home Depot. I hope that is still OK.

I have added a good amount of Perlite in the soil (Less than 50%), hoping that it will keep the soil porous enough for air and water to flow through.

I am curious about Ferrous sulfate (Iron sulfate) as iron source. Is there any fertilizer that is available as a ready mix? I have Miracle - Gro liquid houseplant food ( Contains a little iron (0.01%). I just wonder, if thats enough.
(Or I can just put one of my multivitamin pills once in a while?)

Additional question,
If I can use Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm and Citrus Soil ( for curry leaf plants, since it is fast draining soil. The one I have is Scotts® Moisture Advantage™ Potting Soil ( which does not look like fast draining, so I added Perlite to it. I do not want to take any chance with this plant. Hence, I am willing to get this soil if it needs.

Thanks in advance.

This post was edited by DocHudson on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 21:12

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 9:07PM
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I have no problem of growing Curry leaf plants. Look at this plant with full of flowers and seeds.
I live in Southern California.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 6:31PM
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Very nice! I'm quite jealous. One of my little ones has a in one. It looks odd just sitting there on top of the plant. A few of them did flower before I put them outside.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 7:08PM
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I finally got them all transplanted. I mixed up potting soil, perlite and "marble chips", at about a ratio of about 4-2-1. I also mixed in some crushed walnut shells in the first 3 that I transplanted, until I ran out. The marble chips were pretty big, I was expecting them to be thumbnail-sized, but in fact a lot of them were big enough to put a hurting on you if someone threw one at you. They've been in the new pots for over a week now. So far about half of them are perking up noticeably, the other half not so much. The ones that already looked good before transplanting are the ones that seem to be perking up the most. With the others the leaves are all curled up looking. They all had roots that had grown around and around in the bottom of the pots, I had to yank some of them pretty hard to get the roots free. Here are a couple of pics.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 6:10PM
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This is one that's definitely perking up.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 6:12PM
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New Curry leaf plant.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 10:27PM
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A few new pics. Doing much better now.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:49PM
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Look at all that new growth.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:51PM
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looking good.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:07PM
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Updated pic. Just started moving them inside again at night. I'll have to get the light set up again before long. I hate winter.

I think they've done pretty well since transplanting.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 6:53AM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)


Looking forward to see your lighting setup for winter. It will be great if you can make a detail post on this set up.

Are you located near Louisville? How much are your charging for these plants?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 7:29AM
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Curry leaf plants in my backyard. I live in San Bernardino, California

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 12:08AM
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Just an update. I moved the curry trees outside about 2 weeks ago. I picked the wrong week because it got really hot every day and a bunch of leaves got sunburned. Otherwise they're doing OK. I gave them some fish fertilizer the other day, about one and a half tbsp to one watering can of water, I'd guess about a gallon and a half. So far they look about the same. The plants in the foreground are peppers.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 7:51PM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)

Just curious, if anyone of the experts above have any suggestion for making a seedling. I got 8 seeds and its been more than a month, I sowed them, still nothing!!.

Last year, I sowed about 30 and got one seedling. I made sure that the soil is well drained. The weather was hot enough, between 80-95F, one batch sparingly watered, another well watered (because they grow during monsoon season in India), still nada!!!

Whats the trick?

Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 6:53AM
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Hrm. Where did you get the seeds? Also how fresh are they? From what I understand they won't sprout after they get too dry, you have to germinate them within a month or two of picking them off the plant. I ordered mine from a guy in Australia via ebay. When I got them they still had some soft flesh from the seed berries on them, maybe a little moister than a dehydrated prune.

I put mine in peet pots, those little discs that expand when you soak them, and kept them in a mini-greenhouse with a reptile heater stuck on it. I wound up getting mold on the peet pots, so I wouldn't recommend them. I had to dig the seeds out and re-plant them. If I recall it took about a month for them to break the soil.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 8:38AM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)

Someone I knew got them from India, but she mentioned that they were from last season, so they were dry. I soaked them in water for about 3 to 4 days and then were swollen up a bit. Just like you mention, little moistened prune. I sowed them in a super small cardboard planter I got from Walmart (1.5in x 1.5in).

Last year, I got from an Indian seller on ebay and he shipped them wrapped in moss. By the time, it reached me, they were dry. I soaked them too but I played around last time. Out of 50 or so, only 4 germinated. 3 died and 1 is holding on. I am considering ordering from him again this year.

So a few questions -
- What kind of soil and watering situation do you recommend? Simulate monsoon or water sparingly just like we water the plants?
- Keep them in direct sunlight or behind the glass sunlight or in shade?
- Any fertilizer? You mentioned fish fertilizer. Someone gave me the link in the past but I lost it, can you give me again please.

Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:09AM
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Hi all,

Curry leaf seeds are quite finicky to germinate. Sometimes nothing will sprout. I planted some seeds late last winter and forgot about it. After six months one sprouted.

My plant regularly produces seeds around fall. They are black coffee bean shaped fruit with a soft flesh and a roundish seed inside. I rub the fruit off and wash the seeds and plant them. The flesh is has a much more intense fragrance than the leaves. I wonder if it can be used in cooking.

In india they grow almost everywhere from dry to wet conditions and in rich to pretty bad soil. Here we all struggle to make it survive. Somewhere I read it likes acidic soil and this year I am going to try acidifying a bit with very dilute vinegar. Let us see what happens.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:51AM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)

Mind selling me some seeds this time around?

Thanks in advance

noelmathur @ gmail dot com (pls remove space and add the 'dot')

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 2:12PM
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It's been a while so I don't remember exactly but I think I tried to keep them moist but not wet. The temps were around 85 thanks to the reptile heater. After the mold I re-planted them in new peet pots but tried to get them more air exchange. When I dug them up I noticed a few of them had already split open and had a little sprout. That was after 2-3 weeks. I guess mine were pretty fresh though. The way the guy shipped mine is the seeds were stuck to a piece of duct tape, and that was stuck to a piece of cardboard with more duct tape sealing it down. It seemed to work well.

I used regular potting soil with some extra perlite until transplanting them into big pots, then I used potting soil, perlite, and some rocks for drainage. I talked about it on of my earlier posts. I usually water when the leaves start drooping a bit, until it comes out the bottom of the pot.

I don't know much about fertilizer and such. I think they like high acidity so I got some azalea food. I gave them some of that a few weeks ago, then the fish fertilizer the other day. Here's the stuff I got, Alaka Fish Fertilizer, only a smaller bottle:¤tURL=%3FNtt%3Dfertilizer&facetInfo=

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 5:54PM
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This time around I will try to collect as many and I would be glad to send you some free. I will have to just remember. I have two slightly different varieties. One is regular and the other is more intense and the leaves are a bit more serrated.

BTW, I usually dig my pots into the ground in the summer. That seems to keep them much happier. I do that for most of my tropicals. I will try to post a pic or two later.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 8:06AM
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dochudson(6 / NYC)


If you could drop me a line, I will remind you in mid-August. I will take as many seeds of as many varieties you can afford to share :)

I have only one plant growing, the seed I got from Indian ebay reseller so I don't know the variety but when I went to a nursery in NJ, he mentioned a variety with really small leaves but strong aroma/flavor. He didn't have it in stock then. If thats the one you have, would love to get my hands on them.

Thanks a lot in advance.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 1:37PM
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Where can I buy a dwarf curry tree?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:23AM
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@kris2082 Bhatia Nursery


My seeds were shipped in a ziploc bag with coarse sphagnum to keep them damp. They were shipped already cleaned because of agricultural requirements - you can't ship Murraya Koenigii out of or into certain areas because of a citrus disease for which they are sometimes the carrier. At least not without a lot of expensive fumigation and what not. So since this was coming out of Hawaii, it could come as seed, but not as fruit, leaves, or a live plant.

Even though the seeds are notoriously fragile and short-lived, and even though I mishandled the seed once I got it, I have had 88% successful germination. I believe I would have hit 100% if I hadn't soaked the seed when I got it, not realizing it had already been cleaned.

Had they come covered with duct tape, I'm pretty sure I'd have fainted from the shock, LOL! I'm assuming they sent you fruit and not actual seeds that way ....

The seeds are HUGE, btw - Some of them were about 3 times the size of a large garden pea. The seeds themselves, after being cleaned out of the berry. Maybe the size of a small grape. Its part of the reason (that and poor eyesight) that I thought I had been sent berries (actually very small citrus fruit) rather than the cleaned seeds that they were.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2014 at 10:13PM
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