What is Curry Leaf Tree?
The Curry Leaf Tree (Murraya koenigii) is a small evergreen tree. It is part of the Rutaceae family and is native to India and Sri Lanka. The Curry Leaf Tree has a spreading and rounded habit which has foliage that is mid-green and fern like in appearance. The leaves are highly aromatic and used in many Indian dishes. During Spring and Summer the tree produces clusters of small fragrant creamy white flowers. The Curry Leaf Tree can self pollinate so after the flowers small black berry like fruit forms. The berries also contain a single large seed which is toxic and should not be eaten. The Curry Leaf Tree is a tropical to subtropical tree but does well in temperate areas and requires rich well drained soil in a warm sheltered position in the garden. When growing in colder climates keep it in a large container and move it to a warm position in Winter. They are frost tender.
Benefits of Growing Curry Leaf Tree
They are ideal in a scented garden both for their scented leaves and flowers. They can also be used for screening or as an ornamental tree. The leaves are used in Indian cooking and will keep for up to a week if kept in a dry plastic bag in the fridge. To preserve them for longer periods, pick curry leaf leaves when they are green and full of flavour and freeze them, keep the leaves intact before freezing them.
How to Grow Curry Leaf Tree
Temperate to tropical.
Height: 2-4m, Width: 2-4m
When To Plant Curry Leaf Tree
Prefers well drained soils but will adapt to most soil conditions.
How To Plant Curry Leaf Tree
Plant in full sun to part shade, with the plant crown at soil level.
If planting in a cold climate try growing it against a north or west facing wall, which creates a warm microclimate. Other wise planting it in a pot with good quality potting mix and moving it to a warm position over Winter.
Curry Leaf Tree Plant Care
They need only moderate watering once established.
Fertiliser in Spring with a complete slow release fertilizer.
Prune to keep bushy.
Remove any suckers that may appear.
After flowering – deadhead and remove all fruit to prevent the seeds germinating.