How to Prune Curry Leaf Plant

Pruning is the process of removing dead, diseased, and damaged stalks, branches, buds, flowers to use the plant in horticultural, landscape work and to maintain the health protection of the plant. Pruning results in faster growth of the curry leaf plant, new leaf growth, increased yield, and protection of the plant from insect attack. Shrubs need more pruning. Curry plants are pruned regularly for rapid growth and healthy, beautiful leaves. Today we will teach you the complete technique of how to prune curry leaf plants. Let’s get started.

Pruning Technique
Photo: Pruning Technique, Credit: Instagram @ cooper_lablife

How to prune curry leaf plant

First of all, why is the pruning of curry trees done?

  1. It is important to cut dead, diseased and damaged branches to maintain the health of the curry tree.
  2. Rubbing one branch with another often hinders the growth of the tree, obstructs air circulation in the branches and destroys new shoots. Pruning is done to avoid this problem.
  3. To give a controlled shape. Many times the curry plant is pruned to give the bushy shape.

When to prune curry trees?

If the stalks are pruned at the wrong time, it is normal for the results to be undesirable. Curry pruning can be done at any time of the year depending on the type of tree, age of the tree, amount of dead, damaged, and diseased stalks. However, it is better to prune curry plant stalks in late winter or early spring (March-April).

In how many ways the curry leaves are pruned?

Curry Plants are usually pruned in two ways.

1. Heading Back

Cutting off the anterior parts of the curry plant is called heading back. The tip is cut to remove the dagger predominance and to grow new stalks from the sides. The tip is cut to get new branches so that more pruning can be done in the next season. The young part of the branch produces a special type of hormone that binds to the lateral inflorescence. The purpose of heading back is to make the curry leaves plant shorter and bushier.

2. Thinning out

Thinning out is the removal of certain parts of curry leaves plant such as twigs, water sprouts, suckers, leaves, fruits, etc. To cut the tip of a branch, its head has to be cut off, but to thin that branch, it has to be cut off at its base.

Regeneration pruning and thinning

  • To keep the plant strong and young, it is necessary to cut off one-third of the old branches and mature stalks and leaves every year. This maintains good ventilation.
  • Curry leaf plants that have not been pruned before or have been pruned incorrectly or have not responded to the correct shape even after pruning should be pruned in late winter or early spring or before and after flowering. It is important to check the viability of the plant before pruning.

Tools required for pruning curry stalks

Tools required for pruning curry stalks
Photo: Tools required for pruning curry stalks, Credit: Instagram @ cyclonetools
  • Use a bypass pruner to trim branches 1 inch in diameter.
  • Use a saw to trim branches 1 to 6 inches in diameter.
  • For large limb trimming:
    • Make an undercut 6-8 inches on the limb collar. It stops tearing the bark.
    • Create the 2nd cut from the top completely through the limb, 2 to 3 inches above the undercut.
    • The final cut should be just outside the collar of the tree branch. It props the stub so it does not tear the plant bark.

A sharp knife, scissors, or saw must be used during pruning. These tools should be clean and the tree limbs should be cut vertically or diagonally along the ground.

Some extra precautions in pruning curry trees

  • You must use a sharp and clean instrument for pruning the tree. Blunt instruments will damage the branch cells. If there is rust or dirt in the instrument, the plant can be infected by bacteria.
  • Cut off the dead and lifeless parts. First cut the leaves and then the stalks. Make sure that the living part is not cut.
  • If the tree has buds, refrain from pruning that tree.
  • The main stem should be allowed to grow up to a height of 1.5-2 m to facilitate intercropping. Moreover, in the early stages of growth, the plant is allowed to grow at least 1-2 m above the ground with a single main stem so that the main stem becomes stiff and firm for future wood.
  • Sometimes pruning of roots or new leaves helps the tree to bear fruit and green leaves regularly.
  • The curry tree branches should be thinned every month after one year of planting and pruning should be done once in 2-3 months for the next three years.
  • If any branch of the tree is attached to the soil, it should be cut laterally.
  • Diseased, insect infested, dry and weak branches should be pruned from their place of origin.
  • When the curry tree grows old and produces very small size leaves and fruits, the rejuvenation of the tree can be reversed by extra pruning.
  • When cutting on certain parts of large stalks, first cut with a saw 30 cm away from the cutting point and the depth of cutting will depend on the size of the branches. However, it can be cut to such a depth that the upper part is not bent. Then a second cut should be made at the top of the branch 2.5 cm or a little further away from the first cut. Appropriate steps have been shown to cut this large branch. The cut part should be smooth and the part should be coated with tar. Otherwise, that part may burst in the sun or get wet in the rain and easily get infected by various diseases, germs and insects.
  • Do not prune more than 10-20% of the tree at a time.
  • Cut the stalks that are longer than other stalks and shorten them.
  • Do not cut the branches straight. Cut the branches at a 45 degree angle.
  • After pruning, apply a small amount of organic manure or urea manure (mixed with water) on the plant. Do not give extra fertilizer.
  • Remove dust from tree leaves. And give water. Excessive water application is harmful to the plant.

This way your tree will grow beautiful and fast through pruning.

Where is the best result of pruning the tree?

The branches should always be cut just above the healthy strong buds or hibiscus as this area has a large number of cambium or growing cells and the growth of the plant is facilitated by the emergence of new branches from the buds or hibiscus. The branches should be cut in such a way that the lower part of the cut is on the opposite side of the bud or the apex of the bud. The cut part should be covered with enamel paint until the cut parts are completely filled. To control the growth direction of the tree, if the branch is cut just below the junction, new germination will stop.

Tree care after curry plant pruning

After pruning the tree, all the old leaves should be discarded. Next, for an 8-inch tub, 1.5 teaspoons of vermicompost or old dung manure and half a teaspoon of blood meal should be given. The mixture of vermicompost and blood meal should be sprinkled on the top of the soil and mixed well with the soil in the tub with a hoe, then lightly soaked and irrigated regularly. It is important to keep an eye on the roots so that they do not hurt or injure.

Since the tree will have no leaves or the amount will be less, the amount of water in the tree will also be less. When new leaves emerge on the tree, it is necessary to use insecticides to control other insects, including mealybugs. Regular attention should be given to the tree after the emergence of new branches as the leaf-cutting weevil and various types of beetles attack and cut off the branches of the tree. Insecticides should be used to control such insects.

How to water after pruning

Due to the low water absorption capacity of young curry plants, there is a risk of root rot. Curry leaf plants should not be given too much water. Make sure it is really important to water the plant before watering each time. Water should be given if the soil color becomes lighter and the weight of the tub is felt less. Since the tree does not have leaves after pruning, there is no special need for water in the tree. Therefore, watering the tree less and less every time. Only water should be given when the soil is dry or there is a lack of sap in the soil. However, never fully dry the soil and water it, then the tree may die due to lack of water. Watering once a week in spring is enough, if it rains then there is no need for irrigation. If you are new to agriculture then buying a plant water meter would be better for you. Only insert the prop into the ground. This will let you know when the tree needs water. This will keep both you and your tree well.

After pruning, curry leaves should be protected from pests

When new leaves appear on the tree after pruning, insects like scales, ants, spiders, and aphids are attracted to the new leaves and prefer to pierce the leaves and eat its sap. To protect the plant from such insects, spray neem oil on the branches and leaves of the plant once every two weeks. Neem oil will actively protect the plant from insects as well as bacteria, fungi, and various types of viral infections. In addition, a splash of sharp water once a month will reduce the attack of harmful insects and spiders. If there is an outbreak of bugs in the tree too much, other remedial measures should be taken.

Flower buds should be removed from the plant

Curry leaf plant flower buds
Photo: Curry leaf plant flower buds, Credit: Instagram @ lionne_31

If the flower buds come after pruning when new branches and leaves grow, then these flower buds should be removed. Otherwise, these flower buds will mature later and produce seeds. The plant will lose its energy by focusing on producing these flowers and seeds. So in order to accelerate the growth of the plant and if there is no specific reason for seed production, remove the flower buds from the plant immediately.

Special care on hedges

Hedges should be given a chance to grow a little after each pruning of the curry tree. Repeated pruning from the same place will reduce the lifespan of the tree, weakening the tree and reduce its shape of the tree. The lower part of the tree should always be wide so that sunlight can reach every leaf of the tree and the snow does not damage the tree. When you are pruning the tree, keep these things in mind and cut the hedges.

Curry leaf plants pruning techniques table

Pruned waysCutting partsPurposes
Heading BackAnterior partsTo make the curry leaves plant shorter and bushier.
Thinning outRemoval of certain parts such as twigs, water sprouts, suckers, leaves, fruits, etc.To keep the plant strong and young and maintains good ventilation.
Flower buds pruningFlower budsTo accelerate the growth of the plant.
Table: Curry leaf plants pruning techniques

Frequently asked questions

When should you prune curry plant?

Pruning is the process of removing dead stalks and leaves of a plant. Pruning is essential for the beautiful growth of curry leaves. Pruning allows the plant to grow faster and also protects against insect attacks.

The dormant state of the plant or the time when the plant does not have much activity is the best time for pruning the curry leaf plant.

Usually in late winter or early spring pruning is done on 6 to 1-year-old curry leaf plants up to a maximum of 10 to 20%.

How do I make my curry leaves bushy?

The following three types of training methods give the curry leaf plant a bushy shape:

1. Central leader training: Usually in this training method the main trunk of the curry leaf plant is allowed to grow without interruption. In the initial stage, the lateral branches are cut off. The purpose of this training method is to arrange the lateral branches. But lateral branches usually grow less. In this training method, there is no obligation of plant height.

2. Modified central leader: In this training method, the main stem of the curry leaf plant is allowed to grow to a certain height for 2-5 years. The head of the main stem is then cut off and the lateral branches are allowed to grow conveniently. Plants trained through this method are usually done at medium height and the branches are strong. In addition, the plants trained in this method create a strong and solid infrastructure.

3. Open center: In this method of training, if the main stem is slightly higher, that is, the plant when it is 1-2 years old, its head is cut off. As a result, the apical dominance of the curry plant is lost and the lateral branches grow. In many cases, when the curry leaf plant is very small, the head of the main stem is cut off and a few branches are allowed to grow evenly. In this method of training, the plants are usually short and bushy. Usually, the open center method of the plant has to be done within one to two years old.

Let’s finish it

How to prune curry leaf plants has been discussed in detail above. The main topics of our discussion above were why pruning of curry leaves is done, when pruning is done, what methods are used for pruning curry plant, what kind of materials are required for pruning, how to take care of the plant after pruning, how to water the plant and how to control the insects after pruning. We hope we haven’t dropped anything related to pruning. If you still need any information about pruning, please submit it in the form of questions via the contact page. We will try to give you a thorough and accurate explanation of your questions.