Curry plant farming tips: how to grow, care and harvest curry leaves
Curry is a spice and a herb commonly found or grown in a tropical and subtropical environment. The curry plant also known as Bergera koenigii is a leaf spice plant that produces a very nice and fragrance smell which is why it is used for cooking so as to give the food that nice and delicious aromatic smell of curry.
Curry is a small spice plant with edible green leafs which produces a nice and delicious aromatic smell, which is used to cook so as to give the food that fragrance smell of curry.
This spice plant does well in Asia, African an America and some European countries, in fact, it can be grown in almost any countries of the word if they are taken adequate care of.
They make good flowers when grown indoors or in the garden.
Curry plant is very prone to cold weather, that is why it is very hard to grow in some countries that found themselves in the cold regions of the world with little amount of sunshine, but they can be grown indoors, in such places and they will do just fine with the necessary care.
In this article, I am going to cover in totality how to grow curry plant/plants at home, both indoors and out doors in the garden.
Types/Varieties of Curry Plant
It is very obvious that I can not teach you how to grow/cultivate curry plants without first of all enlighten you about the different types of curry plant, so that you will know the type that fits your region most and plant them.
We have three types or Varieties of Curry plant, they are:
The Gamthi Curry Plant: This variety or type of curry plant is a bit smaller than the dwarf variety, it can only grow up to 6 to 8 inches in height. It is not a very good fast spreader like the dwarf variety either, in fact, it does not grow very fast at all.
Although this type or variety of curry plant is not like the other 2, it lacks both height and largness and even fast growth, but the leaves of this particular plant is the best! one single leaf from it could change the entire aroma of your food.
Though it is not almost as popular culinarily as the others, but this gamthi variety offers the same flavor and aroma of the regular curry variety, but like I said, it requires fewer leaves to flavor any recipe.
The Gamthi curry plants is a warm weather plant, so it requires full access to the sun and it requires a very well drained soil, as well as light fertilization during the Summer months alone.
The Regular curry leaf tree: This variety of curry plant grows very quicker and it has many different sizes, from 6 to 15 feet in height and 4 to 12 feet wide in leave branches.
The leaves from the full size matured type of curry is very popular and is normally seen in supermarkets and stores and are the most usually cultivated curry plants among the three varieties of curry plants.
However, if you don’t have enough farming space or space is a big issue for you and you do not see yourself really growing this large curry plant because of space, there are other options for you, as you could always try the 2 other types, depending on your climate condition and how learned you are about them.
The Dwarf Veriety of the Curry Plant: This types of curry plant also known as Helichrysum angustifolium ‘Nana’ ‘Dwarf is a small type of curry plant with a mere ten to 12 inches in height when fully matured, that is why it is called the dwarf curry.
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The Dwarf curry is an awesome choice for a houseplant or patio dwellers, which is welcomed indoors during the winter.
Though it is far much smaller than the regular variety, but this variety of Curry Plant tends to spread out when planted in a garden instead of planting in a container, so in this case, it might be necessary to put some boundaries up to keep your dwarf curry in it’s desired location only.
Among the 3 different types of curry plants, the dwarf shrub has the largest leaves. It is slightly more subtle in flavor than the curry tree leaves, the foliage found on the dwarf plant is a lighter green than the leaves of the tree.
The leaves of the dwarf curry type is bitter in taste, although they have the same nice curry fragrance smell that curry plant is known for. Because of their bitter taste, dwarf curry plants are not mainly grown for edible purpose, but it serves as a good decorative plant or ground cover.
The dwarf curry plants do have nice flowers, it produces pretty white blooms from late summer to early fall.
How to grow curry plant
From the above explanations of the different types of curry plants, you have to make a choice, based on the reason you want to grow them, then the climate condition it requires.
I believe now you have made your selection, let’s dive into it’s cultivation process.
There are two ways or methods to grow curry plants, they are:
Growing in the Garden: Like I mentioned earlier, curry is a warm weather crop which does not require any atom of cold, so to grow curry plants in the garden, it requires a region that has lesser cold temperature as they do not survive in cold.
If you are living in Africa, middle East and some warmer parts of America and Asia, this method of curry farming is more applicable to you.
To farm or grow curry in the home garden, first you need to clear the garden off dirt’s and rubbish! this should be done around February and March when the rain is not much or just starting, as curry plants also don’t require too much water or doesn’t do well on a waterlogged land.
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After clearing the garden, you might have to pour some manures in the farm and allow rain to mix them properly in the soil before you sow the curry seeds or stems or you sow them without adding Manure.
Although the curry plants do not require any particular soil pH to grow normal, this simply means it could be grown in any type of soil, but for the fact there is enough nutrients in the soil, but the loamy soil is the best anyway!
After preparing the garden for it, the next step is to order the curry stems or seeds.
Although both the stems and the seeds could be used for curry farming, but many farmers and myself will always advise you to go for the stem so as to save your self from the work of having to germinate the seeds and also some of the seeds might not germinate.
If you are going to plant the stems, here is how to do it.
After preparing the home garden, make small shallow holes of about 2 inches deep in the earth, get the curry stems and plant, they should be given a gap of up to 12 inches from one plant to another, so as to accumulate enough sunlight for themselves.
The curry stems should not be smaller than 8 or 10 inches long, and they might take around 2 weeks or lesser to grow roots and start growing with.
To farm with the seeds, this normally takes some work and a bit of more time than the stem method of growing it.
To do this, order the seeds and make a farm bed for them, make small holes which are not up to an inch, place the seeds in the holes and cover them with earth, the seeds should be planted about 2 or 3 in a hole and a gap or space of 12 inches should be given, depending on the variety of curry you are planting.
With enough care by watering and adequate sunshine, it might take about few weeks to start germinating and sprout to the surface.
Once they are planted, wether with the seeds or stems, water should be applied to them immediately and thus should be happening frequently, unless it is rainy season and the rain could take care of the watering itself.
Growing Indoors: Just like growing curry plants at the outside or home Garden, this method of growing Indoors is also determined by the weather/climate condition and the largeness of the budget.
This means that to grow curry plants Indoors, it must be in smaller quantity for your personal use only, because enough curry can’t be grown with this method.
To grow them with this method, take a pot or container and fill it or them with good loamy soil with enough manure, get either the stem or the seeds.
This method is good for those on the cooler regions with lesser sunshine.
When the stems or seeds arrive, make small holes of about an inche in the sand, and plant them. For a small container, 2 seeds or stems are good, but for a large container, 6 or more is okay.
When sowed, water them always as this will make the seeds to germinate a lot more quicker and it will also make the stems to develop roots and start growing faster too.
Growing them indoors does not mean they should be totally grown indoors, they need sun to germinate and grow also. In this case, it’s either they are place on rhe window where the reflection of the sun will be enough for them or they are brought out some times so that the sun could shine on them.
Care of Curry plants
Curry plant is not like other agricultural crops that has many problems and needs adequate an regular care, which if are not given may be situated to undergrowth or dying.
Here are the list of cares required by curry trees and their explanations:
Weeding: As we have known, weed is a very disturbing factor in any agricultural plants you could think of and curry trees are not in exemption.
Although this is not practically possible for the indoor growing method, but it is a common thing on the outdoors method like growing in the garden.
In a short while of about 3 weeks or more of having sown the plants in the garden, all kinds of weeds might likely have to spring up from all directions, competing with the plants by sucking the soil nutrients, water and even blocking them from sunshine. This might actually have to kill the plants if proper and quick action is not taken to remove them and let the plants grow healthy on their own.
To weed a curry farm or garden, there are certain weeding tools which are required, for instance a weeding hoe, farm shovel/space, farm rake and barrow for packing the weeds to dispose off!.
Carefully weed them and avoid tampering with the plants as they might be too young to tamper with in their early stage.
The next alternative to weeding curry garden is to get weed killer medicine and spray the carefully on the farm and the weeds will die gradually. This will save you more time and efforts, although the weed killer Medicine might be costly, but it is worth it’s cost.
Watering: Like I have stated many times above, watering is very necessary in this type of farming as this plant requires good amount of water to germinate and grow healthy.
Right from the time of sowing to the time they start growing bigger leaves for harvest, they require water, unless it is on the rainy season when the rain will have to take care of the watering, but apart from that, they need frequent watering.
The watering should be once in a 2 days and enough water of about a half a glass cup should be applied to the indoor Curry plants and a cup or a cup and half or even 2 should be applied to the ones in the garden, although the amount of water to be given soley depends on the variety you cultivated.
Fertilization: Fertilization is another great way to take care of this type of spice plant. This is due to the fact that they are perennial crops and need to have enough soil fertility to maintain themselves on the long run.
The Fertilization process begins even before the plants are sown. After clearing the garden, fertilizer or manure is applied to the empty land in order to boost the soil fertility before the curry crops are sown. If organic manures like animal dungs are used, a gap of few weeks should given before sowing the plants so that they are fully absorbed into the soil.
When they start growing, fertilizers should be applied again, this time the plant would have been a month old or 2 months old, get them seeweed fertilizers, this particular type of fertilizer is great for curry plants or animal dungs could be used as alternative, to use animal dungs,it should be placed around their bottom and leave if for rain to wash them down into the soil or you water them regularly fir them to wash down into the soil also.
Keep doing this monthly or on a 2 months interval, depending on the level of fertility the soil already have.
Mulching: Mulching is a good way to take care of the plants, but unfortunately, not every farmer is found to be doing this, this will help to retain the water in the soil and reduce the level of weed growth in the farm/garden, thereby saving you both time and energy.
To mulch a curry garden, just collect some numbers of green leaves and cover around the plants, leaving only the plants, it helps alot.
Of course this is only applicable to outdoors farming and not for indoors.
Pest and Diseases Control of Curry Farm:
I can say this categorically clear, for as long as I have known and researched, curry plants are amongst the few agricultural plants that have lesser or no pest nor disease disturbance.
This is due to the fact that they smell. The curry smell is not only for spicing foods alone, the smell also serves as insect repellant and so it chases away pests with it.
The seed is also a pest repellant because it can be poisonous, so household pests like rats and cocroaches dare not near it.
Apart from pest, no viable disease is found out to attack this plant, unless malnutrition.
Harvest of Curry Plants
The harvest of curry plant is not like the harvest pattern of many other types of agricultural crops, Curry plants have to be harvested by it’s leaves.
The leaf is the main reason why curry is being, cultivated! it is what is used for cooking and it is harvested continuously till the plant become too old and die because the leaves will continue to re – grow in a matter of days.
Importance of growimg curry plants
Curry is a biennial crop if taken care of very well, it will keep regrowing and so will serve for a long time.
It’s scent is very nice and it can chase away all kinds of insects like mosquito.
It is used for cooking and also used for decoration which beautify the house and gives a sweet smell.
It can be sold for a good amount of money, and also exported.
There is no too much task involved in growing it.
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