The curry leaf tree is a large shrub to small tree, which grows to 2 to 3 m in height. It originates from the tropical areas of India. The foliage has a strong pungent aroma and is highly desired for its flavour in Indian and Sri Lankan dishes.
It is drought tolerant, very hardy and makes an excellent ornamental shrub. It can be grown in the ground or in a large pot.
The curry leaf tree is best suited to warm temperate to sub-tropical climates. It likes a sunny to semi-shaded location with free draining soil, enriched with well-rotted compost.
They are very frost sensitive, so plant during warmer months to allow time for the tree to become established before winter returns. Protect young trees from frost by planting in a northerly, sheltered position. A good layer of mulch will help.
Planting and care
For greater success, see our tips on improving your soil before planting for full instructions. Apply a seaweed tonic such as Seasol when watering in.
Water well when the weather is dry, but don’t over water. The tree is very drought resistant once established.
As they are mainly grown for their aromatic foliage, curry leaf trees don’t require heavy feeding. An application of a complete slow release fertilizer, such as Growsafe or Troforte General Purpose, at the beginning of the growing season should be enough.
If growing in a pot, use a premium potting mix with all the Australian standard ticks. A large size container, such as a half wine barrel, will provide enough root space for the plant to thrive.
Prune to either a single trunked tree or a shrub. Tip pruning will encourage fresh leafy growth, ensuring there is always ample foliage for cooking. Curry leaves do not keep or store well, so use fresh from the tree.
Please note that this is intended as general information only. Please ask one of our qualified horticulturists for more specific advice for your situation.
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