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Pruning a curry plant

Have a curry plant that is now mostly woody stalks. After a little reading I realise I should have been pruning it. I guess this needs a vigorous pruning, but how vigorous and when?!


  • I cut mine back in late spring - this year I did it a bit later than normal, just a week or so ago. It seems to be happy to be cut back however hard I like.

    I do usually leave a couple of stems uncut at first because otherwise OH complains if he wants to use some in the cooking. I then cut the final stems back once there's enough new growth.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,243
  • paulgraceukpaulgraceuk Posts: 5
    edited June 2021

  • Interesting! OH says that he puts in a sprig or two into curries but removes it before serving.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,243
    If you like it and it doesn't appear it be harmful - enjoy it :)
    It does smell of curry and I've seen the real curry leaves at £1.20 just for a few leaves in Waitrose
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 2,924
    @Pete.8 is correct - it's not a "real" curry plant but because the flavour is reminiscent it can be used to flavour.
    Basically, it is a shrubby plant and best planted and treated as you would a Rosemary or Thyme - sunny site and well drained. Use the tips for culinary and take cuttings every couple of years if you want to keep it going. 
    I've only grown it in the ground - your container compost looks a bit wet and sticky from the photo.
    You may be able to rescue the plant by removing from the pot, checking the root ball, cutting back ( if possible ) to green wood and potting up again using suitable medium.   You still have some healthy tips which you could use as cuttings. 
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,222
    You can usually get away with hard pruning; I did mine back in late early May and it's regrowing nicely. (Albeit mine wasn't quite as leggy). Easy to strike from cuttings so take some as insurance).
  • Ours was here before we moved in - 26 years ago! It gets cut back hard every year and grows with abundant enthusiasm.
  • Robert WestRobert West Posts: 219
    I chopped mine back about six weeks ago. I go pretty hard, down from about 18in to about 6in. Not a leaf left on it. It's already looking good again now. In a month it'll be a foot tall at least. It seems to sprout from even the oldest wood. 
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