Growing a curry leaf tree from seed requires very little work, but you will need to be patient and organise everything you need. The curry leaf tree, also known as Murraya koenigii, is recommended for cultivation in the United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8b to 10a, as stated by the National Gardening Association. In many parts of the world, it is cultivated either as an aesthetic tree or as a culinary herb for the flavorful leaves it produces. The viability of the seeds of curry leaves is only maintained for a short time. According to the Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County, the seeds have the highest chance of germinating if they are planted freshly in the fall. If you want to have the greatest chance of successfully growing this tropical evergreen tree from seed in your own house, it is better to collect the seeds right from the ripe berries and plant them within a day or two. This will help ensure the most successful result.
Gathering Curry Leaf Seeds
During the summer months, curry leaf trees produce fragrant white blossoms that will ultimately mature into lustrous black berries. These berries may be picked and eaten. According to the UIC Heritage Garden, each berry has a huge seed that is somewhat bluish-green in colour and must be extracted from the husk of the berry before the seed can be planted. Because the seeds don’t keep very well, curry leaf seeds are difficult to come by in the marketplace. On the other hand, there are specialised nurseries that provide the berries for sale as a seed source for home gardeners. There is also the option of gathering the berries straight from the curry leaf tree. It is imperative that you refrain from harvesting the berries until they have fully gone black before doing so.
Choose berries that are not gouged or otherwise visibly damaged and instead have a smooth, shining surface. If you press the berry really hard, the seed will separate from the peel without any effort. Before sowing the seeds the next morning, it is recommended by Strictly Medicinal Seeds that the curry leaf seeds be dried during the previous night. The seeds should be dried for at least one night by being spread out in a single layer on a paper plate or a cotton dish towel.
Starting a Curry Leaf Tree From Seed
Because curry leaf seedlings have a lengthy taproot that is often damaged when it is disturbed, it is essential to start these seeds in a wide container so that they may develop undisturbed until it is time to transfer them. A nursery pot with a capacity of one gallon works nicely, but you may use any deep container with drainage holes at the bottom instead. Fill the containers with wet potting soil or compost designed for beginning seeds, then gently push the dirt down to remove any air pockets. According to the instructions provided by Strictly Medicinal Seeds, plant one curry leaf seed in each container at a depth of half an inch. Compact the dirt over the seed, and then sprinkle the area with some water using a plant sprayer.
For optimal germination, the seeds of the curry leaf need extremely warm and sunny circumstances. Place the pots in an area that has a temperature that is consistently higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit, such as near a window that faces south. If the temperature is particularly low, you might try warming the container with a growth mat. When the top layer of soil seems to be dry, spray it with water using a plant mister. The time it takes for curry leaf seed to germinate may range anywhere from ten days to one month, depending on the circumstances in which the seed is grown and the inherent viability of the seed.
Growing a Curry Leaf Tree Seedling
The UIC Heritage Garden recommends allowing seedlings of curry leaves to mature in containers for one to two years prior to transferring them into the ground. It is essential to cultivate curry leaf seedlings in warm, light settings during the first part of their lives; nevertheless, before to being transplanted into the garden, the seedlings need to be acclimated to the conditions that they will encounter there so that they have a better chance of surviving. The optimal environment for cultivating these tropical trees is an outdoor cold frame or greenhouse; however, you may also cultivate them successfully inside by placing them in a bright, warm area with temperatures that remain above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to promote a bushy, branching growth habit early on, Logee’s Plants suggests pinching back the tips of the stems while the plant is young.
“Hardening-off” is the term used to describe the process of gradually exposing seedlings to the elements outside. It is necessary to have it done in the spring, when the temperatures outside have warmed up and after there is no longer any risk of frost. The North Dakota State University Extension suggests moving pots to a sheltered location outdoors and gradually increasing the amount of time the seedling spends outdoors until it can withstand a full 24-hour period without wilting. This can be accomplished by gradually increasing the amount of time the seedling spends outdoors. In the spring of their second year, seedlings of curry should be moved to a location that is sunny and has good drainage. Put ten to fifteen feet of distance between each one.
Paper plate or dish towel!!-!!!!-!!!!-!!!!-!!!!-!! nursery container with a capacity of 1 gallon!!-!! Compost for growing plants or soil for beginning seeds