Although we all love curry (or at least most of us do), have we ever stopped to think where exactly curry comes from? Curry is actually extracted from the curry leaf plants (Murraya koenigii) which are an essential staple in Indian cuisine. The curry leaf plant is native to India, and today we'll show you how to grow curry leaf plants so you too can enjoy its benefits.
How to Grow Curry Leaf Plants in Your Garden
The curry leaf plant is a small bush or tree that will grow to about 15 feet tall. This plant is best grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions and makes fragrant little white flowers as well as little berry-like fruits. Although the fruits ARE edible, it's important to remove the seeds as they are poisonous. The leaves are the show stoppers due to their look as well as the spicy and warm aroma they emit. The aromatic leaves of the curry plant IS truly the star of the show.
Growing Curry Leaf Plants:
- The curry leaf tree can be grown from seeds or cuttings.
- The seed is the pit of the fruit and just needs to be cleaned before planting.
- Sow seeds in potting soil and keep the soil damp at all times, but never wet.
- Keep the seed warm until germination.
- Additionally, you can also propagate curry plants from cuttings.
- If growing from cuttings, simply cut fresh curry leaves with stem and insert into a soilless potting medium.
- Make sure the stem is at least 3 inches long and has several leaves.
- Remove the bottom 1 inch of the leaves and submerge the bare stem into the medium. Mist.
- Keep it warm and moist and it should take roots within 3 weeks.
- If you live in a cooler climate, you can also plant curry leaf plants in pots as long as you provide them with enough sun.
- Curry leaf plants will need full sun, so be sure to place your plants in an area where they will receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.
How to Use the Curry Leaf Plant:
- Simply cut the leaves off the plants when they are at their freshest.
- Use them in soups, stews, and sauces (just like you would use bay leaves).
- Leaves can also be dried and crushed to use as a curry powder.
Now that you know how to grow curry leaf plants, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to planting!