Curry Plant

All About the Curry Plant

First and foremost, it is essential to note the difference between a curry plant and a curry leaf. When most people think “curry plant” the first thing that comes to mind is curry seasoning traditionally used by those from India. However, a curry plant is not exactly this delicious spice we have all come to love. The curry leaf is actually what is used in most Asian food, not a curry plant. While the curry plant may produce an aroma similar to the spice making you feel as though you are in an Indian restaurant, the actual spice used for cooking is a combination of several items, none of which is the curry plant.

Now that the distinguish is made between curry the plant and curry the seasoning, lets examine aspects about the plant itself.  For those seeking to grow their own curry plant from a seed, it may be beneficial to actually soak the seed in a damp paper towel a few days before actually planting them. In terms of the plant’s size and physical appearance, the curry plant tends to reach approximately two feet in height and is yellow in color. There is also a silvery appearance to the plant due to its white, felt-like leaves. While the plant is in the leaf stage, before blooming, it closely resembles the lavender plant. However, once it blooms the yellow definitely takes over, making it admirable. Simply admiring this plant and smelling the beautiful aroma makes it a nice addition to the family that all are sure to love.

In terms of exposure to the sun, these plants generally do well in full sun as well as partially being in the shade. However, be sure to limit exposure to sun for younger plants. A curry plant tends to bloom in the summer and early fall, which makes sense considering its natural habitat is on dry, often rocky land. Although it prefers the sun, the curry plant is not exactly tolerant to conditions that are high in humidity. Therefore, it is essential to make sure the soil is well drained so that the plant is not over watered.

Although this plant cannot make your favorite Asian spice, its oils are frequently used for medical purposes. Specifically great for use on burns and skin that has become chapped, this plant is often used as an anti-inflammatory. Furthermore, the oil from the plant may prove to be highly moisturizing for the skin. Current research is being done within the United Kingdom on the use of curry plant oil for treating bowel cancer when mixed with other ingredients.

Along with the uses above, the curry plant is frequently used for its aroma in a variety of perfumes. Furthermore, these plants may be dried and used for arrangement or even for craft projects. All in all, the curry plant appears to be used for a variety of purposes, with culinary being the infrequent intentional use.

For those living in an area with recurrent, prolonged rain, it is essential to provide the plant accordingly. Excess amounts of rain will cause the plant to develop a fungus; however, by surrounding this plant with mulch on all sides, you may be able to keep the plant alive due to an increase in air circulation.

In the end, the curry plant may prove to be exactly what you are looking for if your ideal plant is seasonal, beautiful, unique, and elicits a highly attractive smell. It is recommended that these plants be grown outdoors near the sun, rather than being contained indoors. Although used in cooking occasionally, it is nothing compared to or even related to the Indian curry spices used in Asian foods. Go by the local nursery to add this plant to your home.