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Old January 21, 2016   #1
TexasTycoon
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Default Curry Tree (Murraya koenigii)

Has anyone tried growing a curry tree (also known as curry leaf plant, not to be confused with Helichrysum italicum)? I make South Indian curry (a friend's family recipe) fairly often and would love to have curry leaves readily available so I didn't have to run to the Indian market every time I need them. Is the plant something I can find at a regular nursery, or should I look into ordering online? I wouldn't want to start from seed as I want to be able to harvest as soon as possible. I'm also interested in zoning information, though I'm pretty sure it would do fine here in central TX in a container.
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Old January 21, 2016   #2
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One of my neighbors at a community garden grows it here. She keeps it trimmed to 5 ft. Or so, and often covers it in the winter, because she does not live nearby. Iirc, she got her plant online.

I have sometimes seen various plants for sale at local Indian groceries, so you can ask around.
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Old January 21, 2016   #3
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Try reaching out to the gardeners who have it listed here: link. A few of them are in TX. You can send 2 new pm per day with the system set up.
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Old January 21, 2016   #4
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I'll have to look around local nurseries and Indian markets, I think. For some reason, there appear to be restrictions on shipping the plant in TX. I even looked at a Houston-based nursery who sells the plant, but they can't ship out side of their neighboring counties due to some restrictions in place, and another online nursery I looked at says it can't ship to TX at all. I looked at the DG trade listings, too, but I don't have anything to offer for trade and neither Plano nor McAllen are anywhere near me (Texas is a big place, haha).

The hardiness indicator on DavesGarden doesn't show zone 8, which I'm in, but it shows 9 and 10 and I think in a container it would do okay here as long as I kept it warm, right?
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Old March 27, 2016   #5
Jeannine Anne
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I think it is called Reitmans, that offers this plant online in Canada and the US. If you can't find it under that name get back to me and I will dig out last years catalogue I have somewhere.
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Old March 27, 2016   #6
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Sorry the name is Richters and I found the catalogue but ut says not for the US
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Old March 27, 2016   #7
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I found this place that has Indian culinary and floral seeds: http://www.seedsofindia.com/

I got mine from a friend 10+ years ago.

I have several curry trees and they grow quite well and probably will tolerate some cold, but I am in zone 6 so I bring them in in the winter. They are pretty hardy. Once established they will shoot off sprouts from the roots that you can cut off and make new clones.

Cut it back every so often and it recovers by branching off.
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Old April 13, 2016   #8
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Just seen this thread. The reason for the shipping restriction to TX is because it has the potential to carry a citrus disease which could hurt TX ag production.

I do see somebody on ebay selling them.
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Old July 29, 2016   #9
i like pie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasTycoon View Post
Has anyone tried growing a curry tree (also known as curry leaf plant, not to be confused with Helichrysum italicum)? I make South Indian curry (a friend's family recipe) fairly often and would love to have curry leaves readily available so I didn't have to run to the Indian market every time I need them. Is the plant something I can find at a regular nursery, or should I look into ordering online? I wouldn't want to start from seed as I want to be able to harvest as soon as possible. I'm also interested in zoning information, though I'm pretty sure it would do fine here in central TX in a container.
Tycoon, I ran across this thread while doing some unrelated google searches. There is a nursery in South Austin (Manchaca precisely) called 'It's About Thyme'. They have curry leaf trees for sale. He is propagating them from seed and has a very regular supply. Not expensive -10 or 12 bucks for a 1 gallon pot and a 12-18+ inch tree.

I also got one from an Indian grocery in San Antonio a couple years ago. Slightly different variety.

I also have 25-30 small-medium trees I have propagated from a parent plant smuggled on an airplane from Kerala. Yet another variety.

They will grow just fine in Round Rock TX. protect them from freezes and shade them in the afternoons during summer days over 95 degrees.

I feed them blood meal (nitro), sulfer (acid), and green sand (iron) during warm months and just a little water in the winter. If you want them to flower I found using liquid Medina 'Hasta-Gro' 6-12-6 will get flowers started in no time.

The tree in the white pot is over 8 feet tall and it's about 4 years old. We pluck leaves on it regularly.









Here are my three varieties: Left is the one from Kerala. The leaves have almost smooth edges and they tend to be fatter, pear-shaped. Very fragrant and very flavorful.

The middle is a tree I got from a grocery in San Antonio. It was half dead and growing in a very hard piece of black clay. I paid 2.50 for it. It's healthy now. The leaves have a twisty tip, pronounced saw-tooth edges and there is a reddish tint in the leaves this photo doesn't quite capture. Lots of flavor but not terribly fragrant.

The right is a tree from the nursery in South Austin. I have two of his trees. leaves tend to be long and slender compared to the Kerala tree. Saw-tooth edge and somewhat fragrant. Good flavor. the leaf stems seem to grow longer on this tree as well. If you buy fresh leaves at the local Indian markets in Austin you are likely using this tree. They buy from him frequently.
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Old July 30, 2016   #10
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The quarantine is because the plants are a close relative of citrus and are therefore susceptible to HLB/citrus greening disease. It is a very serious matter and please obey the quarantine. Only get a tree that is available under the quarantine and then check is regularly for the disease. It is an infectious bacteria spread by very small bugs--psyllids--and the bacteria kills the tree and infects the soil there for at least a decade. There is no cure or treatment, it is basically permanent no more citrus in that area where the infection occurs. It has spread around the world and done billions of dollars damage. I beg you, please buy your tree from a reputable source and not eBay.
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Old August 30, 2016   #11
TexasTycoon
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pie, thanks so much for that info! I'm not sure why I'm just now seeing the responses to this thread, but that's so good to know and your trees look so healthy! That third leaf looks exactly what I buy at Indian grocers in North Austin and Round Rock. I'll have to get my hands on a tree soon.

Marianne, I would never order plants from ebay or Amazon as there is no way of knowing what you're getting or who you're getting it from. I think if I do purchase a tree I'll go with pie's suggestion and buy locally as those trees look super healthy and seem to be doing okay here.
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