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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The curry leaf tree

The curry leaf tree is a mainstay or south indian cooking. Here in the US, it is a prized possession. In the bay area you can get them at the local  indian grocery store and they are pretty darned expensive.

About 3 years back we spotted a small plant on sale in the Indian grocery store in San Diego and quickly grabbed it on ur way back. We were not in CA then and were renting. So the small plant went into a smallish pot and in our patio. It did not grow much but was in good shape overall.

A few months after we moved into our new home, we saw this. We were newbies and literally clueless about what we saw. But we went online, researched, and solicited help from our friendly garden center. Turns out these were scales

Guru carefully took out all the damaged leaves, and with a ear bud and rubbing alcohol took off all the scales from the branches. Gave it a nice application of Neem and a thorough watering every other day. In a couple of months we were excited to new growth coming up. We had heard the soothsayers say that they didnt see much hope in it recovering.....and weren't we glad

Fast forward another year and in winter I forgot to move the plant inside and let it deal with the first winter frost in the bay area. It looks weathered and bare, but there is new growth sprouting out. Hopefully it will do well and we can set it in the soil this summer. After that it gets a nice burlap coat every winter to keep it nice and toasty.


  1. You're lucky! After two years of TLC, I lost my curry leaf plant in April, while trying to get it acclimated to the spring weather :(

    Would love to hear how yours thrives, over the years.

    Lovely blog. :)

  2. Thank you for your comments Leena. I almost killed it again this winter, it has recovered now. I hope to get it into the ground this summer. My uncle had grown one into a big tree (in the bay area), so am hoping to replicate that. Will have some updates soon.