Curry Leaf Propagation By Sexual And Asexual Vegetative Reproduction

The process of survival and increase in the number of a plant species is called propagation of that plant for short. From a scientific point of view, the process by which a particular plant, in order to preserve its lineage, gives birth to a new plant equivalent to its genitals with the help of gametes, is called plant propagation. Curry leaf propagation is mainly done through cuttings or seeds. Cutting is a means of asexual reproduction. In this process, different parts of the curry leaf plant, especially the stems and roots, are separated from the mother plant and a new curry plant is invented. This process is usually done chemically, environmentally, and mechanically. Today we will try to know the details of how the curry leaf plant is propagated. Let’s then get inside the main discussion.

Choose the stem for asexual curry leaf propagation
Photo: Choose the stem for asexual curry leaf propagation

Curry leaf propagation methods

Curry leaves usually propagate in two ways – sexual method and asexual method. In order to facilitate discussion, breeding methods can be divided as follows.

  1. Sexual method- In this method, curry leaves are propagated through seeds.
  2. Asexual vegetative propagation- In this method different plants are propagated in different ways. The methods are apomixis, separation, bulb, division, tuber, tuberous root, rhizome, offsets/offshoots, crown, runner, sucker, cutting, layering, grafting, budding, and tissue culture.

Advantages of sexual propagation for curry plant

  • Curry plants are hardy and can live a long time as they are produced from seeds. It is also able to cope with natural disasters such as storms, rains, droughts or any adverse conditions.
  • There is no alternative to this method in inventing new curry plant varieties through hybridization.
  • Sexual intercourse does not require any technical knowledge or skills.
  • Curly plant seedlings are available relatively easily, cheaply and with less effort.

Disadvantages of sexual propagation for curry plant

  • As the curry plant is produced from seeds, the quality of the mother plant is never intact.
  • As the plant grows taller and larger, it is difficult to collect leaves.
  • Plants grown in this way take a long time to flower and bear fruit.
  • Due to the large size of the plants, a small number of plants have to be planted in a certain amount of land.
  • Due to high growth, there is a risk of damage to plants in storms.

Advantages of asexual vegetative propagation for curry plant

  • Seedlings of curry plant from seed do not maintain the quality of the mother plant, so asexual method is the only way to get the true to type mother plant.
  • There are several varieties of curry leaf plants which provide good quality leaves, flowers and fruits and are high yielding. But more susceptible to waterlogging, drought, salinity, diseases, insects, temperature etc. These plants can be grown in a hostile environment by grafting with a pair that adapts to such adverse conditions without growing from seed.
  • Asexually grown curry plants are less widespread, making it easier to collect and care for the leaves. On the other hand, the total yield can be increased by planting more plants in certain areas.

Disadvantages of asexual vegetative propagation for curry plant

  • No new curry leaf plant species can be created in this way.
  • In most cases, the cost and labor involved in asexual reproduction of the curry leaf plant is more than the sexual method.
  • Adequate technical knowledge, skills and practice are required to breed curry plants in this method.
  • Asexual breeding curry plants usually live less days.
  • In some asexual methods, such as layering and stem cutting, the plant produces non-native roots, so the plant cannot stick too tightly to the soil.

Differences between sexual and asexual propagation of curry plant

Curry Plant Sexual PropagationCurry Plant Asexual Vegetative Reproduction
Curry plants are propagated through seedsCurry plants are propagated through stem cutting
Plants are hardy and can live a long timeAsexual breeding curry plants usually live fewer days
With hybridization inventing new curry plant varietiesNo new curry leaf plant species can be created
Does not require any technical knowledgeRequire technical knowledge
The properties of the mother plant is never intactThe only way to get the true to type mother plant
Sexually grown curry plants are broad widespreadAsexually grown curry plants are less widespread
Cost and labor involved in sexual reproduction of the curry leaf plant is lessCost and labor involved in asexual reproduction of the curry leaf plant is more
Less susceptible to waterlogging, drought, salinity, diseases, insects and temperatureMore susceptible to waterlogging, drought, salinity, diseases, insects and temperature
Table: Differences between sexual and asexual propagation of curry plant

Types of curry plants stem cutting

Curry leaf plants usually have three types of stem cutting- hardwood cutting, semi-hardwood cutting, and softwood cutting. The three cutting methods we are discussing in detail here.

Hardwood cutting

Hardwood cuttings are made on hard branches (one to two years old) grown in the previous season. In order to make hardwood cutting, one or one and a half-year-old healthy and medium-strong branches of curry leaf plant should be selected. Excluding the apex of the branch and taking the middle and base part, the cutting is better. Usually, a section 10 to 30 cm long has to be taken from the selected branch to have at least three nodes. The lower edge of the node is cut just below the junction and the upper edge is cut 1.3 to 2.5 cm above the second junction. The upper end of the stem cutting is rounded and the lower end is always cut diagonally. Within one to two months of planting in the soil, it takes root and is suitable for repotting. Stem cuttings are usually made at 45° angles to the soil.

Semi-hardwood cutting

When a partial or semi-mature curry leaf plant is grafted on a slightly woody bit, it is called a semi-woody cutting. Such cuttings are usually done in quite succulent curry plant stems and are grafted from the anterior part of the bitup (In botany, bitup is made up of stems, stem appendages, leaves, and surrounding buds, flower stems, and flower buds.). To make such cutting, a piece of 7.5-15 cm length is first cut by placing a few leaves on the tip of a 2-3 month-old selected bitup. If the size of the compound leaves is very large, some parts of the leaves have to be cut and made smaller in size. The stem selected for this cutting is below the junction to cut. The cutting should be done diagonally.

Softwood cutting

The cutting that is made from the soft or young stem of a curry leaf plant is called the softwood cutting for a curry plant. Newly developed branches are usually selected for such cutting. The side branches that emerge after pruning are the best for softwood stem cutting.

Necessary equipment and accessories for stem cutting

Steps to work

  • Exclude 15 cm from the apex of the branch and cut a 20-25 cm long branch with 3 nodes from the selected mother curry leaf plant with the help of a secateur.
  • Round the upper edge of the branch 2.0 cm above the apex and cut the lower edge of the cutted branch diagonally 3/4 cm long just below the apex.
  • Plant the branch cutting in a shady place in the nursery bed at 45° angles with the soil, leaving one third above the ground and two thirds below the ground.
  • Similarly, make the required number of branch cuttings and plant them in the nursery bed.


  • When planting stem cuttings, the tip should be kept on top and the lower portion should be buried in the ground.
  • Nursery beds should be in a semi-shaded place.
  • The soil in the nursery bed must have adequate moisture but must be well drained.

Sexual propagation

We will now describe in detail how the curry leaf plant is propagated by seed.

Fruit collection

Fruit collection for curry leaf propagation (sexual reproduction)
Photo: Fruit collection for curry leaf propagation (sexual reproduction), Credit: Instagram @ succulentlove

Curry plants usually bear fruit from July to August. When the fruit is fully ripe, its color becomes completely black. Ripe fruits should be collected from the plant. Seedlings can also be grown by burying the fruit directly in the soil of the tub after collecting the fruit. But this process will be much slower. That is why it is not a good method to grow seedlings by sowing the fruits directly in the soil.

After collecting the fruit from the plant, the seeds should be separated by squeezing the pulp inside the fruit. The separated seeds should be dried on paper or tissue paper. In this way, if the seeds are separated from the fruit and sown, the germination of seeds takes place very quickly.

Before sowing, the seeds should be wrapped in a wet towel or wet tissue paper for a few days. Seed germination occurs very quickly when wrapped in this way. When seeds are taken out of the fruit in new conditions and planted in the ground, seedlings grow very quickly. On the other hand, it takes a long time for seedlings to grow from old seeds. In that case, the old seeds should be dipped in water one day before sowing in the ground. Thus, if one day the seeds are dipped in water, germination of old seeds will happen quickly.

Notably, curry leaves require a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius for seed germination and seedling growth. In this case, it is necessary to ensure the adequate temperature in the soil.

Caption: Required temperature for curry plant seed germination

The pot should be filled with a mixture of potting soil and compost

Potting soil with compost for curry leaf propagation
Photo: Potting soil with compost for curry leaf propagation, Credit: Instagram @ compot.composter

To grow curry plants through seeds, you first need to find small growing pots 4 to 6 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide. The pot should be filled with 60% potting soil and 40% compost so that the nutrients required for growing curry plants can be taken from the soil. Mix the potting soil and compost well and keep it inside the pot. To get rid of harmful bacteria and viruses, potting soil should be bought from the shop instead of garden soil. Temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit are considered critical for the growth of curry leaf plants. So you can plant the seeds directly in the garden soil if the climate zones of your living space are 9-12 or the temperature is over 40 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it must be ensured that the garden soil has an adequate amount of nutrients. In order to grow curry leaf plant faster from seed, seeds have to be sown in separate pots for each seedling. If you want to sow seeds for more than one curry seedling, then you must take separate pots with potting soil and compost.

Introduce seed in potting mixture

Make a half (1⁄2) inch hole in the middle of the potting soil with the thumb of your hand. Throw a single healthy curry leaf seed into the hole. After discarding the seeds, fill the hole with some potting soil. Pressed a small amount of potting soil and compost mixture on the pot with your hands so that the seeds remain completely inside the soil.

Water the soil

Now keep watering inside the pot until the water comes out through the pot drainage system. When water starts coming out through the drainage system at the bottom of the pot, stop pouring water from the top. You can always use a watering can to keep the soil moist. This will keep the soil moist and provide a conducive environment for rapid root and seedling growth from seeds. If there is enough water in the soil, stop applying water. Excess water will interfere with the germination of seedlings and in many cases can kill the seedlings by rotting the seeds or roots of the seedlings.

Ensure adequate sunlight

Growing seedlings from curry leaf seeds require six to eight hours of sunlight daily. Lack of adequate sunlight can delay seed germination. The seed pot should be kept in a place that is able to receive six to eight hours of sunlight daily. It is better to keep the seed pot next to the south-facing window. Artificial white light can be used if necessary to ensure the presence of sunlight. If necessary, the container can be moved out of the house during the day and inside the house in the afternoon.

With the presence of sunlight, the issue of temperature must also be kept in mind. Temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit can delay the growth of curry seedlings. When the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, seed germination may not occur and the seedlings may die. In this case, light lukewarm water can be applied to the soil instead of cold water. This will speed up the germination of seeds and the seedlings will grow faster.

Take care of the seedlings

  1. When your curry plant seeds get the right temperature and sunlight, after about 7 days you will see young curry leaf seedlings emerge from the soil. Do not forget to take care of the seedlings when the seedlings emerge from the seeds. Water small seedlings regularly. Check the soil regularly for water. Insert your fingers up to half an inch into the soil of the pot, if the soil is moist, there is no need to water the seedlings. But if the soil feels dry then the seedlings should be watered. Refrain from giving extra water. Excessive watering can weaken the seedlings, cause yellowing of the leaves, rotting of the roots and death of the seedlings.
  • Keep the seedlings in sunlight most of the time of the day. Try to give six to eight hours of sunlight to the seedlings. When the amount of sunlight is reduced or in cloudy weather, provide artificial light to the curry seedlings. When the temperature drops below 40° Fahrenheit, cover the curry leaf saplings with a plant protector or cover the base of the seedling with a black cloth to be able to raise the temperature by 5 degrees Fahrenheit. If necessary, bring the curry leaf seedlings outside the house during the day and provide adequate light and air and take the saplings inside the house before evening and keep them under the plant grower light. If you are thinking of keeping curry leaf seedlings indoors, place the saplings by the south-facing window. The more light and air the plant saplings get, the healthier they will become.
  • Always use organic fertilizer on newly growing seedlings. Here’s how to make homemade organic fertilizer for curry leaf plants. Use Balance (NPK) Fertilizer for inorganic fertilizers. Never apply excessive fertilizer. Clean the weeds of the land before applying the fertilizer. Otherwise the weeds of the land will eat the nutrients of fertilizer.
  • Pruning for curry leaf plants: Pruning is important for curry plants when they are small. In this way the curry plant can survive in adverse conditions, the shape of the plant will be beautiful and the growth of the plant will be good. For pruning, the plant should be allowed to grow properly. The plant must be one year old for pruning. If the height of the plant is above 12 inches, you can prune the stalks by removing three to four inches from the top. You must use a sharp pruner for pruning the stalks. After a few weeks of pruning, new stalks will sprout. This will make your plant healthier, leafy and more vigorous.
  • Pest control: Citrus butterflies are some of the major insects that attack curry leaves. They should be killed by hand picking or net as soon as they are seen and to destroy the larvae it should be sprayed on the leaves of the plant by mixing 1 mm of malathion in 1 liter of water.
  • Psyllid bug, aphids and scale: To destroy them, mix 1 ml of dimethoate in 1 liter of water and spray on the leaves and stalks.
  • Leaf spot disease: It is a fungal disease. Ascomycetes and Deuteromycetes fungi are responsible for this disease. To cure leaf spots, apply 1 g of carbendazim in 1 liter of water on the top of the leaf and on the  underneath of the leaf. At this time, refrain from using sulfur compounds in the leaves.

What kind of plant would you choose to breed curry leaves?

Curry leaf (Murraya koenigii) is a widely used perennial plant whose leaves are used for the taste and aroma of food. As well as being eaten as a spice, this leaf has many medicinal properties. The varieties of curry leave that you can choose to propagate are:

Regular Variety: These species grow rapidly and taller in shape. The leaves of the species that we usually see when we buy curry leaves in the store are the leaves of the regular variety.

Dwarf species Leaves: These plants are usually short and their leaves are usually light in color.

Gamthi species: Gamthi is the most fragrant leaf. The leaves are usually very dense, green. Its oil content is higher than other leaves but the growth of leaves and stems of this plant is very low.

There are two more improved species of curry leaf plants, DWD 1 and DWD 2. The oil content of DWD 1 species is 5.22% and that of DWD 2 species is 4.09%. DWD 1 species of curry plants are very sensitive in winter and their development is very low in winter whereas the leaves of DWD 2 species are not sensitive to winter, so its development is normal in winter. The oil content of the leaves of these improved species is very good and their oil is fragrant which is why you can choose either DWD 1 or DWD 2 for the propagation of curry leaf plants.

In which season the curry plant is propagated?

Curry plants usually bear fruit from July to August. In case of sexual reproduction, seeds should be sown in a nursery or soil pot within three to four days after seed collection. On the other hand, cutting can be done at any time of the year for asexual propagation. However, the best time to cut is before the rainy or winter season.

Last words

So far we have discussed in detail curry leaf propagation. Curry leaves reproduce in both sexual and asexual ways. Since the propagation from seed or sexual method is somewhat time-consuming and the quality of the mother plant is not present, the propagation of curry leaf plant from seed is usually not so noticeable. On the other hand, it is universally recognized that asexual curry leaf plants can be propagated easily, plants will be true to type of mother plant and can be grown within a short period of time. I hope you have found the answers to all the questions that come to your mind about the propagation of curry plants, but if you have any new information, please let us know via the contact page.