Fresh curry leaves are very hard to find in the USA, there is no comparison to curry leaves, it’s curry flavor, aroma, medicinal curing properties, makes it one of the best ingredient in making curry. It is native to India, also known as sweet neem, Murraya koenigii. It also looks like a neem tree but the leaves’ flavor is entirely different.
To grow Curry Leaves in the USA, the following steps are followed, Cultivation (preparation of soil), Harvesting seeds (preparation of seeds) or growing plant by stem cut, Caring for a curry leaf plant (fertilization, winter dormacy, pests), Harvesting and storing fresh leaves (cutting and preserving curry leaves).
Curry leaves are good when they used fresh, just after harvesting from trees. If you find it very difficult to find them then you can freeze them and use them whenever you want. Just a tip don’t wash them before freezing, Water on leaves can burn them.
Leaves can be purchased from any grocers in the USA, you will get either fresh leaves or dry leaves in packets. Dry leaves hardly have any flavor and aroma in leaves. A dry one can be used when you don’t get fresh leaves.
In Cold Countries like the USA. In winters, we need to take special care of curry leaves Plant/tree carefully otherwise it will die. If it is a plant in the container, you can take it inside other keep it in a warmer place.
If it is a grown tree on the ground, please read the caring for curry leaves plant section for the detailed instructions.
Here are the steps that you can follow to grow curry leaves in the USA.
1. Cultivation (Preparation of soil).
If you are potting a curry leaves plant, need to put a good potting mix for a pot that will drain well.
You also should consider the next pot size while you are repotting and make sure it has a drainage hole at the bottom.
Fertilizer is needed, if you potted your plant more than 4 months ago, put that fertilizer even there are no leaves on the plant (only left with bare stem).
It’s gonna survive a couple of winters, It will be strong enough to withstand other coming winters.
If you are planting on the ground, use a good amount of fertilizer and height and width of the pit.
If you are pruning roots use sanitized tools, otherwise your plants may affect by a previous plant that was suffering from some disease.
Bonus tip: Feed the plant with Baked salt or Epsom salt twice every month as fertilizer to improve the plant
2. Harvesting seeds or selection of stem cut for the plant.
Harvesting Seeds and Sowing
Selecting mature seeds, Curry leaf plants/trees produce white flowers in summer, Later they produce small berry-like purple fruit which falls on the ground.
Seeds are very hard in the center of the fruit, you often see these fruits below the tree in the monsoon. This should be picked up and should be dug and potted.
If you let to dry out the seed it won’t germinate, sow in the monsoon. sow in well-drained soil as mentioned before.
Selection of stem for Curry leaves planting
Select the semi-hardwood branch which has two leaves at least then cut the branch with a sharp knife (clean the knife before use). cleanly remove the lower leaves, if there are more leaves.
Dip in rooting powder and pot a mix of 50% compost and garden well-drained soil, some part of aquarium gravel, termite, and perlite. This will prevent clogging water at roots.
Make a hole and place the stem inside, water it a little, keep it in a warm, not heavy sunlight place. It requires around 3-4 weeks to make roots.
3. Caring for curry leaves the plant.
For most of the caring needs in winter, Curry leaf plants lose their leaves mainly due to their winter dormancy (the plant is getting ready for the winter season), less exposure to sunlight, or low temperature. The other reasons will be improper soil, over or underwater for plants to lose curry leaves.
Following problems we face
1. Winter Dormancy
Curry leaves plants will go to a resting state in the winter season which is commonly known as winter Dormancy.
Curry leaf plant doesn’t get full sunlight due to winter; Due to low temperature (more cooling), the major problem is for leaves.
Leaves may turn to yellow color (chlorosis). This is one of the signs that it is moving to the Winter Dormancy state.
Due to more cold, all leaves may fall down from the plant and there may be no leaves left in the plant (the only stem is left in the plant), This is one of the common things regarding the Curry leaf plant in the Winter Season. To fix this here you go.
Preparing Curry plant for Winter Dormacy
1. Cut down on watering until the winter season ends
The major thing you need to consider cut down the watering to plant until the winter season end.
This will help the plant to stay in a resting state.
2. Move your plant Indoor
If you move your plant indoor or increase the temperature by any means you can save the curry leaves in the plant.
The better option is to move the plant indoors and place it near the south-facing window. This will give a warm temperature and enough sunlight to plant.
If you cannot take the plant indoor for any reason. At least try to cover the pot (roots), with some black cover or something this increases temperature by 5 degrees, compared to outside.
3. Increase the temperature
Increase the temperatures of plants, slow down the winter Dormancy period, and save the curry plant’s leaves.
Place the curry leaves plant in sunlight during the day and at night you can take it indoors to protect from cold.
If you forget to take the plant inside, it will die no matter whatever you take care of after that. So be cautious not to forget.
If there are no leaves in the curry plant and only the stem is left, you need to take care of the plant. Otherwise, the plant may die.
You can increase the temperature of the plant by moving your plant inside and giving enough sunlight by keeping it near the window.
If that is not possible, you need to cover the plant with a black cover to decrease the plant’s temperature by 5 degrees compared to the outside temperature.
If you are traveling or out home for some days, request a willing friend to take care of your plant.
4. Pour the warm water instead of cold water
This will help keep up the temperature of the curry leaves of the plant.
2. Less Exposure to Sunlight
Curry leaves will curl down and bent downside if you give less sunlight to the plant.
Experts say that for the best results we need to grow curry leaves plant in full sunlight and more than equal to 40F temperature.
If we consider the above climate conditions Curry leaf plant will have less winter dormancy period.
Being a curry plant Vulnerable to the cold climate we need to take good care of the plant by exposing the plant to sufficient sunlight.
If you are there in freezing climate conditions, you need to consider giving your plant an artificial white light instead of sunlight.
3. Low Temperature
When plant atmosphere temperature drops then plant leaves may shutter, bent down, and lose out all the leaves, those leaves were helping the plant to survive the winter reason.
How to overcome the low-temperature problem in Curry plants.
1. Limit watering to plants
As we discussed earlier, you need to cut down on watering in the winter season. Plants will be in a resting state.
If you don’t cut down on watering Root rot can happen to curry leaf plants and plants may eventually die.
2. Pour Hot water instead of cold
Please pour hot water to increase the temperature of the plant.
3. Move your plants indoor
As we discussed earlier you need to move your plants indoors to give the warm weather to plant or keep the pot in the black cover so that there will reduce in-plant temperature compared to the outside temperature.
4. Give sufficient sunlight or artificial light
To revive your plant which is suffering from low-temperature problems, you need to give them enough sunlight to survive.
You also should not give a bright light to the plant, this may shock the plant. Needs to increase the light gradually.
Over-watered curry leaves mostly suffering from root rot. Root rot will occur to more frequent watering.
Not leaving the water to drain from soil or there is no proper drainage hole in the pot causes root rot. Which will make plants eventually die.
How to fix an over-watered curry leaf plant?
1. Prepare plant
Remove the plant from the pot and clean-cut the roots which are brown in color and rotted.
Leave the plant for some days to heal up the roots which you have trimmed.
2. Repot with proper soil
If you are repotting the plant in the same container, you need to sanitize the pot before you put the new soil.
If you are planning to put old soil, before that you need to boil the soil with hot water, this makes any bacteria that affects plants die.
Pot the plant with a good potting mix, which can be well-drained.
3. Limit the water supply to plant until the roots heal
Once you plant, you should wait for at least 1 week to water; roots need to be healed and adjust to the pot’s new atmosphere.
4. Give enough sunlight and maintain temperature
Move your new pot to inside and give a good amount of sunlight, and don’t let the plant sit in cold temperature.
Under-watered curry leaf plants look like withered leaves, bent, yellow leaves.
Even if the leaves are yellow you should not prune, pluck them because of these leaves.
- Feed Curry leaf plant with a tablespoon of Epsom salt (which contains magnesium)/ baked salt into yogurt or 1 gallon of water twice a month (every 15 days) to improve the plant growth. If you overdose you will burn the plant. (My grandmother taught this.)
- Feed buttermilk to plant during warmer months to improve growth ( when there is no mold).
- cut the seed-bearing part to get new shoots and leaves grow healthily.
4. Harvesting and storing fresh leaves.
It’s a Happy time to harvest, after doing so much work, it’s result time, cut down with the stalk and leaves. separate the stalks and leaves.
wash them and let them dry out on cloth for 12 hours, until all the water dried off. take the air-tight containers and use them to store the curry leaf leaves in the refrigerator. You can also plastic covers to store curry leaves.
Try to use Curry leaves fresh as much as possible.
Q. How To Grow Curry Leaves At Home Without Seeds?
A. we can grow curry leaves at home with the stem propagation method for better success. Also needs caring for a curry leaf plant (fertilization, winter dormacy, pests), Harvesting and storing fresh leaves (cutting and preserving curry leaves).
Q. How To Take Care Of Curry Leaf Plant In USA?
A. To grow Curry Leaves in the USA, the following steps are followed, Cultivation (preparation of soil), Harvesting seeds (preparation of seeds) or growing plant by stem cut, Caring for a curry leaf plant (fertilization, winter dormacy, pests), Harvesting and storing fresh leaves (cutting and preserving curry leaves).
Q. How To Grow Curry Leaves At Home?
A. we can grow curry leaves at home with the stem propagation method, harvesting seeds for better success. Also needs caring for a curry leaf plant (fertilization, winter dormacy, pests), Harvesting and storing fresh leaves (cutting and preserving curry leaves).
Q. How To Grow Curry Leaves From Stem?
A. Select the semi-hardwood branch which has two leaves at least then cut the branch with a sharp knife (clean the knife before use). cleanly remove the lower leaves, if there are more leaves. Use rooting powder and keep in soil, we should get roots in 3-4 weeks.
Q. How To Grow Curry Leaves In Melbourne ?
To grow Curry Leaves in Melbourne, Australia the following steps are followed, Cultivation (preparation of soil), Harvesting seeds (preparation of seeds) or growing plant by stem cut, Caring for a curry leaf plant (fertilization, winter dormacy, pests), Harvesting and storing fresh leaves (cutting and preserving curry leaves).
Use these all the tips to grow the curry leaves in the USA.