curry leaf and the perth winter

BandiApril 4, 2004

Ah haven't been able to get on here for a while, moved into a new house a couple of months ago and don't have internet anymore. I miss being able to look up answers to my questions at will. Anyway... I have a curry leaf tree and this is my first winter with it. Now I've read that curry leaf can't take temperatures below 15C. Is this true? Could anyone give me some recommendations on how to look after this plant through the winter? It's in a terracotta pot and I'm in Perth where the temperature can drop down to 0 degrees and possibly -1 during winter. Also, I've collected seed from the plant - when the little berries on the plant were shrivelling up I squeezed out the stone inside and put it envelopes. Has anyone had experience growing curry leaf from seed before who could explain it to me?

Thanks heaps.


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I've done a bit of hunting, and all I've found for my troubles was that 'curry leaf tree is very easy to propagate from seed'. Not very helpful, so I'd just stick some into the dirt, give it some heat (because it's a tropical plant), and hope.

Propagate by growing the small suckers from the base of the tree, by root cutting, or by seed. Grow in well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. Needs warm temperatures. Soil should be allowed to dry out between waterings, and water very sparingly during winter. Fertilise weekly during the growing season.

Mine is in a pot, because I want to keep it small. We also get winter temps go down to around 1C, though about 6C is average overnight. I just leave mine outside to cope as best it can. The only problem I notice is that the leaves go a bit yellow when it's that cold.

A couple of things I learned while searching, was that when planted in the ground, it will sucker madly and become quite a nuisance, and sometimes you'll find suckers coming out from the drainage holes at the bottom. Most people use these suckers to propagate from. The other thing was that in some countries, they don't use the leaves, as we do, but they pickle the berries and use those for a curry flavour.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2004 at 1:06AM
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I[ve tried the fruit of the curry leaf tree. I wasn't that impressed, but then again, I probably didn't do the right thing with them. We use the leaves in cooking a lot. I make a superb Nepalese style chicken curry with cumin, fenugreek leaves, curry leaves, whole black mustard seed, turmeric etc. Yum. If anyone wants the recipe just giev me a shout.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2004 at 9:29PM
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My curry leaf tree is in the ground in part shade and survives the frosts we have in winter. It loses its leaves in winter and springs back to life when the weather warms up. It is slow growing for me and so far (five years in the ground) has only sent up one sucker.

Jamus the recipe sounds good, can you post it here?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2004 at 11:47PM
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Ah...good to hear. It survives the frost then. (I had been wondering about that.)

And I'd be interested in the recipe, too. Where do you get the fenugreek leaves from? Central Market? Own garden? ;)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2004 at 7:22PM
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Thanks for the replies all. Looks like I'll just leave it out and keep on eye on it over the winter. Nice to know that effort won't be necessary. Mine's sent out one sucker so far, but I think I cut it out of the pot too early because it didn't last very long (I put it in potting mix in a pot and kept it moist, maybe too moist, I don't know), so I'm going to try the seeds when spring comes around, the more curry leaf the merrier. I know a few people who would appreciate a plant too. Oddly enough, the weather's cooling down but my plant is putting out new flowers a couple of months after the last ones and coinciding with the weather cooling down. Seems a bit strange to me.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2004 at 3:44AM
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Hello bandi:

I have grown curry leaf plant ( Murraya Koenigii) from very fresh seeds by removing the outer coat much the same way you have saved by squeezing out seed .What you have saved is the dicote seed.You can plant them 1/2 inch deep in the potting soil and apply bottom heat of about 80-90 deg.F. Keep the soil well moistured.
A heating pad would serve the purpuse.
If you have fresh seeds like directly picked from the plant and not ripened but about to be ripe.
If you are looking for some thing please let me know.I have Bitter melon and cluster bean seeds.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2004 at 11:54AM
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Hi Carl
If the tree has curly leaf then it has the following problem...
It is stressing out...
Now you say the tree has curly leaf because of the cold but the cold might not be the cause of the curly leaf only the apparent cause of the stress
Curly leaf is caused by a lack of calcium
Lack of calcium is very common in Australia because we have (usually) acidic soils
Trees which produce fruit having big woody pits such as peaches and almonds and cherries and apricots and even pears and quinces (and probably curry trees)usually come from areas where alkaline soils are the norm...they need large quantities of calcium to produce all these pits each year
In your case the tree may be lacking in moisture and thus creating a lack of calcium
To best solve your problem you will need to not only make the soil more alkaline but you will need to make the soil higher in humus by adding decomposing organic matter
This will also aerate the soil as well hold moisture more evenly and also guard more effectively against when a frost might occur...the tree has more water in the cells and can take a higher level of frost
These types of trees above dislike uneven watering and the roots may not get the water while in a pot because the soil may have become water shedding
I suspect that (if it is in a pot) then it has many problems....soil compaction, lack of humus content, impervious to water, root bound, etc etc
You will need to deal with all these to solve your curly leaf problem

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 1:28AM
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Can anyone advise , how to get hold of curry leaf seeds to grow and bitter lime trees. also where to get them.also any ideas on how to grow fenugreek from seeds.

Many thanks

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 9:27PM
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