MaLiorzh
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Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

Curry tree - Murraya koenigii: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curry_tree

I've just got my hands on a baby curry tree (Murraya koenigii). Any hints or tips for me?

imafan26
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

Indian curry tree is a sub tropical tree so in colder locations it would have to be protected or brought indoors when it gets too cold.
It does fine in a pot, but it likes to escape so you have to make sure you up pot before then. It is very aromatic so most pests leave it alone. It does get up to twenty feet. Mine is in the ground. I can cut it back to the ground and it will still come back so it takes to pruning just fine. The red berries that come after flowering are also edible. It does reseed in the right environment.
My temperatures are between 51-90 humidity 67-100%. The plant is in full sun.
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pepperhead212
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

I have a curry tree that I've had potted for 11 or 12 years now. I have to bring it in as soon as I know it will get below 50º, and similarly, I can't put it back out until I know that it won't get below 50º for a low. The plant in in the citrus family, so it can come down with similar diseases and bugs. The one insect that I have had major problems with , once I bring it indoors (outside, no problems!) is scale (which is farmed by ants), and once in a while spider mites. Last year, when I re-potted the plant, I mixed a generous amount of DE into the soil mix, esp. the upper 2" of soil mix, and had no problems with scale on these, or the kaffir limes, both of which got them the year before. Here is the one that I have, showing what looks like flower buds, but is actually the new growth. As you can see, mine is in a 4 gal bucket, that is made into a sub-irrigated planter, which the plant seems to thrive in - I had it in there from September 2017, to now.
ImageDSCF0693 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Here is a good YouTube video about growing curry trees. About half way through the first is where you'll be starting, since you have a plant already - the first part is about starting from seeds. The second video is about trimming and re-potting. The third is another about trimming. As you will see, you can cut these things severely, and they don't mind!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na9XeH2Cicg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XfZoslbUf4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3VxuYl-wAc

They like well drained soil, and I started out with a 3 gal pot, adding some extra perlite to the soil mix, and some worm castings. Every 2-3 years it needs re-potting, and severe pruning and root pruning, and as soon as I put it back into new mix, it begins a bunch of new growth. I bring it indoors, and place it in front of a S facing window for the rest of the fall, the winter, and into the spring, until it gets warm enough to put it outside.

As those videos will show, you can trim a lot off of these, with no harm. Sometimes, when it starts getting too heavily foliated, you'll have to trim a BUNCH off of it, but that's down the road, after yours gets settled in. And you'll also get some suckers coming up out of the ground - that might be where your plant came from, or maybe grown from seeds. You can just let it keep growing, and eventually, you'll have another plant, next to the original one, though eventually, you'll have to start pulling them, or sharing them with friends.

For trimming these, when I cut the thick stalks, I seal them, with a pruning paint, "liquid electric tape", or liquid skin. When left, as is, the unsealed cut slowly turns brown, with the brown slowly moving down the stem.
Dave

MaLiorzh
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

Thanks to both of you (even if I do have to do a bit F to C converting ;-))
Dave can I ask you what DE is that you mentioned.

"I mixed a generous amount of DE into the soil mix"

I also grow kaffir lime leaf bushes and they suffer from scale insect. I've found that my kaffir lime leaf bushes really suffer from being brought into the house. First, they start to etiolate even though in a window. Then second, when they go back outside in late spring, the long spindly etiolated leaves/twigs burn in the sun and wind even in partial shade/shelter. You can imagine that a scale insect infestation is the last thing they need on top of the rest.

pepperhead212
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

MaLiorzh, The DE I referred to is diatomaceous earth. Something else I use on these plants when indoors is a cedar oil based plant spray, which helps greatly with spider mites, and another that helps, which I spray once I take them back out, is orange oil. When I had that really bad scale infestation, I mixed some pyrethrins in some, and it killed them, but I had to wipe them off the undersides of all of the leaves. Fortunately, the great majority of them can be trimmed off, but they grow back with incredible speed. Every season, I trim most of them off, before I bring them back in, and before I take them back out, and while inside, I try to keep them trimmed so that they are not very bushy, as that seems to help.
Dave

Maggie4
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

Curry tree, obviously, needs warm and humid surroundings. You have to put it in sunny place and remember about moderate watering. It is easy to grow it, even for beginners, so don't worry! What is more, place it indoors or in a greenhouse in winter, because it can withers. Good luck!

MaLiorzh
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

Great! Thanks to you two.

MaLiorzh
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

My Curry tree is looking decidedly ill. When it arrived by post in the summer I potted it up with a special citrus soil mix I bought from a local shop that I also use for my kaffir lime trees. Through the summer I kept it well watered and the plant grew a few more leaves but never really looked in good form. I always had the impression that it was struggling a little. When the outside temperature started to drop below 10°C at night I brought it inside, next to the gotu kola, in a south facing kitchen window (as little central heating and as much sun light as I can manage). The growth stopped immediately and since then, little by little, the plant has lost all its leaves. What remains is a green stick in a pot. I find it hard to believe that it could grow back from what is left, that and what is left has to survive the next few months in the same place before it can go back outside again.

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applestar
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

My attempted cutting propagation of curry branch didn’t make it, but it hang on for a long time.

While I was nursing it along, mine lost all its leaves during the winter indoor stay — I believe due to mite infestation, but it tried to come back in spring twice (2 years) before it finally succumbed.

Some of my other citruses also lose leaves during the winter indoor stay. Sometimes/or also due to accidental overwatering (water uptake can be variable, depending on its metabolism) and possibly due to lower indoor temperature than it can maintain the leaves, causing it to enter dormancy (most citruses prefer mid-60’s°F or higher to stay in active growth). Low humidity is another cause for stress, and that aggravates the mite infestation. Scale insect infestation is a regular problem — I believe ants bring them to pasture on my plants.

So don’t give up on it just because it lost leaves and is looking like sticks.

Currently, first citrus to start leafing out here is key lime.
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pepperhead212
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

Sorry to hear about this, Apple. I hope the next attempt is better.

Something that I saw on youtube (on California gardening) was propagating the curry tree from seeds - something I have never tried, but it looks easy. Do you get seeds on yours? Mine usually starts flowering indoors, but I snip them off immediately - the smell is sickeningly sweet (which I hate in the house!), and attracts bees and countless insects in the spring. After the flowers are gone, I usually just cut the seeds, to funnel the energy to the rest of the plant.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XfZoslbUf4&t=166s
Dave

MaLiorzh
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

Here's a pic of my curry tree.
IMG_5789.JPG

MaLiorzh
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

From an exchange on a blog I've gathered that the temperature should be maintained around 21°C (70°F) or above. In order to achieve this I've created a mini cloche from an old transparent plastic water bottle with the bottom cut off. Equally, the plant's going into my bedroom where we keep the temperature a little higher - stop that sniggering please!

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applestar
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

Ooh I’m glad you have a possible solution. :D
You might even see it start to leaf out once it feels more comfortable.

Good luck!
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

MaLiorzh
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

It's still looking sick but has started to sprout new leaves.

pepperhead212
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

Glad to hear that! New growth is always a good sign.
Dave

pepperhead212
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

I tried air layering that curry tree, just to see if I could, and it worked! I did the kaffir lime about 10 years ago, and it took longer.

I finally cut that air layered section of the curry tree out, to see if it had rooted - it was getting very large, and I was going to trim a bunch of it off again, and take it up to that Indian grocer I give it to, since I'm going up there to a dentist appt tomorrow near there. It rooted some in about 4½ months - it took the kaffir lime 7 months, but the branch didn't get nearly as large. About the same amount of rooting though; I hope the roots support this many leaves.

Here is the Rooter Pot, first put on the branch in April:
ImageRooting Pot set up on curry tree, 4-13-20 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And here it is in June, with new growth on the plant, before and after the pot was covered up:
ImageThe curry tree, showing the areas of new growth, 6-8 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageCurry tree 6-27 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageRoots forming on the air larered branch of the curry tree, started on 4-13, and uncovered on 9-2. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageNew air layered curry tree, potted in a 3 gallon fabric container, 9-2 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Here's the tree that I cut that large section out of, in the center. You can see there is still a lot left there, and I have cut generous amounts of it recently.
ImageCurry tree, with the new tree cut out of the center. 9-2 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Dave

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Gary350
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

Is your curry tree the same as curry spice?

imafan26
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

Murraya koenegii is what is used in India for things like traditional chicken biryani. It is the real Indian curry but it does not taste anything like what you buy in a bottle sold as curry powder. It is not usually the only flavor in Indian curries. Like garam marsala, every cook had their special blend of spices and herbs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPEE02o ... dpaKitchen

Curry powder is a blend of spices. Anything from 8-20 different spices are combined. Usually it contains turmeric for color and cumin (for that familiar curry flavor).

I do have murraya in my yard. It will become a large bush in the ground (over 15 ft), It produces edible berries after it blooms. The seeds are toxic though and should never be eaten. I have to try to keep my plant from blooming because it does reseed and the seedlings are not that easy to pull out. My tree is not deciduous, but I don't have to worry about frost either.

If you keep it in a pot and don't cut it, it will grow straight up. Cut it so it will be bushy, especially if you plant on using the leaves.

I really don't have any pest problem related to this tree. The tree itself may become a weed though. It does well in full sun or with some light shade. It does not like to be in heavy shade and it would need to be in a fairly large pot, it does not like being confined to small pots.
It does not have a high fertilizer requirement. I actually purposely don't feed it much, because I need to keep the growth checked.

https://specialtyproduce.com/produce/Cu ... _13085.php
https://specialtyproduce.com/produce/cu ... s_1119.php
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

pepperhead212
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Re: Curry tree - Murraya koenigii

@Gary, That curry tree is unrelated (sort of) to that spice blend we know as curry powder. In fact, that word curry is an abomination of an Indian word kari, or kadhi, which is how they refer to spiced dishes, which use many different spice mixes, depending on the. But the curry powder was supposely developed by the British, back in the centuries when they colonized India, and when they went "back home", they wanted something that could give them something similar to what they had been eating in India, because they liked it so much, but they couldn't duplicate it! The curry powders gave them a way of delivering a similar flavor, without having the 10 or 15 spices on hand. Curry leaves are used in many of those types of dishes in India, as well as SE Asia (I originally started growing it for Malaysian cooking), which is how the name developed, but it is not something found in curry powder. It is not really that good dried. Only in recent years have I seen it on a regular basis in the Indian markets, and it still doesn't look real good. One of the few herbs used in Indian cooking - holy basil, or tulsi, is another.
Dave

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