Curry Plant Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Helichrysum Italicum” (2023)

This plant is perfect for any type of gardener out there, no matter how much experience they have in the gardening world. And do not worry! We are here to make your journey an exciting and easier experience. Keep reading to find out more about the Curry plant and how you can give it the time of its life!

Helichrysum italicum, commonly known as the Curry plant, immortelle, or Italian strawflower, is a species of flowering plants in the Asteraceae family. This beauty grows mostly in dry, sandy, or rocky ground settings so it is native to several regions of the Mediterranean.

Curry plants are highly popular worldwide not only for their adorable bushy appearance but also their versatility and easy-going style.

An interesting fact about these herbs is that they retain their vibrant color even after picking. Many people use them as cut flowers and they are one of our favorites for creating various dried flower arrangements.

These shrubs look absolutely gorgeous outdoors in beds and borders, prairie planting, gravel and rock gardens, or Mediterranean, city, cottage, and coastal gardens. Moreover, like most herbs, they make for superb potted plants in various indoor decorations.

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About Curry Plants

Contents

  • 1 About Curry Plants
  • 2 Curry Plants Features: An Overview
  • 3 Growing Curry Plants
  • 4 Planting Curry Plants
  • 5 Watering Curry Plants
  • 6 Propagating Curry Plants
  • 7 In Conclusion
(Video) Curry plant - grow, care and eat
  • Although named “Curry plants” and smelling similar to curry powder, the two have nothing else in common. These shrubs are not related to Curry trees nor with the well-known mixture of spices.
  • Curry plants have an intense fragrance that cannot go unnoticed. They play a big part in the perfume industry as fixatives, which prolong the retention of aroma on the skin.
  • A yellowish-red essential oil extracted from their flowers is very popular thanks to its unique perfume. Many described it as having a sweet scent that resembles honey.
  • These plants have many medicinal properties still appreciated in our days. They work well as an anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, moisturizer, fungicidal astringent, antibacterial, and antiseptic remedy.
  • In traditional medicine, people used Curry oil as a treatment for numerous problems including burned skin, wound healing, internal bleeding, fever, or coughing. Also, the flowers make for an excellent ingredient in herbal tea.
  • With these aromatic herbs, you can prepare various culinary recipes that contain rice, vegetables, fish, chicken, or beef. People used Curry essential oil in soft drinks, baked goodies, ice creams, sweets, and also chewing gum.
  • You can grow Curry plants safely around your curious pets and children. And, do not worry, your furry beloved ones won’t be attracted by their strong scent.

Curry Plants Features: An Overview

  • Curry plants belong to the Helichrysum genus that contains about 600 species of flowering plants. The species from this genus can be shrubs, annuals, or herbaceous perennials.
  • They are herbaceous shrubs with woody stems that can reach up to 2 feet (60 cm) in height. These perennials have a very-bushy overall appearance, growing up to 3 feet (91 cm) in width.
  • Their foliage consists of pointed lanceolate or needle-like leaves that look similar to those of Rosemary or Lavender. They can come in colors that range from silvery-gray to silvery-green.
  • In general, their blooming season lasts between late June to mid-September. In some regions, this period can be significantly shorter than usual.
  • Curry plants produce showy inflorescences that contain numerous tiny, sponge-like, and lemon yellow flowers. The cute and fragrant blossoms appear in dense clusters.
  • Once their blooming period has ended, fruits will develop where their flowers once were. They are achenes, having a nut-like shape and several brown, oval seeds.
  • Due to their lovely style, Curry plants can make for excellent companions to California Poppy, Coneflower, Creeping Thyme, Lavender Cotton, Lavender, Shasta Daisy, and Tickseed.
Curry Plant Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Helichrysum Italicum” (2)

Growing Curry Plants

Like most shrubs, Curry plants prefer to grow in bright and direct light all-year-round. Make sure you keep your shrubs in a location where they can receive at least 6 hours of full sunlight daily. In indoor settings, east, west, or south-facing windows are the best options for these plants to thrive.

Curry plants do well in temperatures that range from 66 to 72 °F (19-22 °C) during the day and 62 to 64 °F (17-18 °C) at night. Although these bushes are hardy to temperatures down to 14 °F (-10 °C), they will not benefit from prolonged periods of frost. If you live in a region with harsh winters, grow your Curry plants in pots and bring them inside in autumn.

These shrubs are usually pest-free, but diseases like powdery mildew can affect them once in a while. This fungal disease appears as numerous white spots on stems and leaves. If you notice signs of infection, remove all the unhealthy parts right away. You can also treat your Curry plants with a spray mixture of water and potassium bicarbonate once a week.

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Planting Curry Plants

Whether you grow your Curry plants in the garden or indoors pots, their soil type is essential for nice growth and blooming. Waterlogging is not an option for these shrubby friends, so you should plant them in soil that has excellent drainage. They prefer sandy soils, but you can also use loamy types and add a generous amount of sand to the mixture before planting.

Curry plants are pretty independent and do not require frequent fertilizing to thrive. However, if your babies grow in the same location for several years, you can spoil them every now and then! Feed your shrubs with a special herbal fertilizer or compost once every year right before their growing season in early spring.

If you want your Curry plants to have a certain size or shape, pruning is the key to success. Be careful, though, as low-quality pruners or too much pruning, in general, can damage these shrubs irreversibly. You can cut off spent flower buds to make room for new ones to emerge. Also, remove all the unhealthy, damaged, or dead stems to encourage new growth. Make sure you do not trim off more than half of the foliage in the process.

Watering Curry Plants

As with most Mediterranean species, Curry plants grow just fine in conditions of hot and dry climates. These shrubs are very tolerant of drought, making them perfect for any type of gardener, especially newbies. They can thrive without water for longer periods, but this does not mean that you should forget them for good!

In general, Curry plants require water only when the soil has dried out entirely. Make sure you always check the soil in-between waterings to avoid soggy conditions and over-watering. However, you must provide your thirsty shrubs with water more often than usual during very hot summer days.

Propagating Curry Plants

Want to have more of these bushy plants around to keep you company? Say no more! Curry plants are beginner-friendly and one of the easiest shrubs to propagate. And if you succeed on your first try, why not share these beauties with your family members or friends? When in doubt, just take a look at their stunning appearance and lovely flowers. Now let the worries behind and get to job, gardener!

(Video) Herbs # 08 Curry Plant - Ayurvedic healthy Indian style potatoes

You can propagate Curry plants through seeds or semi-hardwood cuttings. When using seeds, it is best to sow them in February or March before the next growing season. After collecting the seeds from the mother plants, sow them in fresh, well-draining potting soil. Provide with water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch and do not over-water.

In general, the seeds will germinate in 2-3 weeks if exposed to temperatures of 68 °F (20 °C). Because of this, you should place them in a greenhouse or any warm location indoors. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant them in individual pots and keep them as warm as possible for at least a year. Once the last sign of frost has passed, bring them outdoors and plant them into their permanent spots.

If you want to propagate Curry plants through cuttings, you must use soft stems from the last growing season. Look for healthy stems and cut about 2 inches (5 cm) off them using a sharp, sterilized knife. Remove the bottom-half layer of leaves and dip the cut ends in rooting hormone for optimal results, but no more than a few minutes.

Fill a container or bed with a mixture of equal parts of perlite and pumice. Plant your cuttings in the substrate and place them in a well-lit location with some shade in the afternoon. Moreover, you should maintain the soil constantly damp to ensure root production. With proper care, you will have new baby Curry plants to transplant in individual pots after a month or so.

In Conclusion

If you like to grow interesting herbs, you must get your hands on some Curry plants. Besides their stunning and authentic look, these shrubbies are very easy to grow, care for, and even propagate. Also, their intense fragrance and aroma are a must-have in every collector’s garden. And, why not, a new ingredient in your kitchen to spice things up!

Are you growing Helichrysum Italicum? Share your experience in the comments below!

Curry Plant Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Helichrysum Italicum” (8)

Miruna Secuianu

(Video) Dried Curry Plant - An Unusual Ingredient In Your Everlasting Flower Arrangement

Miruna is an experienced content writer with a passion for gardening. She is the proud owner of an outdoor rose garden and an indoor collection of tiny succulents. She bought her first succulent 10 years ago - an adorable Echeveria Setosa. Now she owns more than 100 succulents and cacti of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Miruna is a versatile writer and, as you might have guessed, her favorite topic is gardening. Contact miruna@gardenbeast.com

FAQs

How do you care for a Helichrysum curry plant? ›

Curry plant prefers warm, dry conditions and doesn't do well in soggy soil. However, an occasional drink of water is appreciated when the weather turns hot and dry. A thin layer of mulch controls weeds in spring and summer, and a slightly thicker layer protects the roots during winter.

How do you grow Helichrysum italicum? ›

Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum)
  1. Plant Feed. Slow release feed in spring.
  2. Watering. Allow soil to dry between thorough waterings.
  3. Soil. Ordinary, well-drained soil.
  4. Basic Care Summary. Does best in light, well-drained soil. Allow soil to dry between thorough waterings.

How do you grow a curry plant? ›

Curry leaf plant is frost tender but it can be grown indoors. Plant the tree in a well-drained pot with a good potting mix and place it in a sunny area. Feed it weekly with a diluted solution of seaweed fertilizer and trim the leaves as needed. Watch the plant for mites and scale.

When can I take cuttings from a curry plant? ›

And then we come to the curry plant itself now what we're looking for is a semi ripe cutting. Now if

How do you keep a curry plant healthy? ›

During Summer, water the plant every 2 to 4 days, depending upon the weather and the pot size. Make sure to let the soil dry out between watering. Use the Plant Moisture Meter to be extra sure. Continue applying Seaweed or liquid Kelp fertilizer or home made fertilizer every other week.

How do you take care of a curry tree? ›

For best results, grow in full sun and keep temperatures above 40°F. If grown in warm conditions with high light intensity, Curry Leaf will experience less of a winter resting period. During the winter resting period, do not keep the plant too wet, especially if the leaves have dropped.

Should I cut back my curry plant? ›

Yes, you should prune your curry plant when it reaches at least 12″ tall. Pruning will help the curry leaf plant branch out, become bushy and avoid becoming leggy. It is best to prune the branches with flowers from mature plants because the flowers will take away the plant energy from growing more leaves.

Can Helichrysum be grown in pots? ›

Licorice plants in containers grow well in full sun to part shade. Choose a tall container that allows plenty of space for the licorice vine to spill over the sides. Window boxes or containers elevated on deck railings make it easier for care of Helichrysum licorice, such as watering.

Is Helichrysum easy to grow? ›

Helichrysum is bushy and is well suited to perennial flower beds and also to growing in pots. Easy to grow, it particularly appreciates surroundings that are under the influence of the sea. Its distinctive fragrance is similar to that of curry.

How long does Helichrysum take to grow? ›

Success With Seeds Helichrysum

Expect germination in 15 days. Seeds can be sown outdoors in late spring, after danger of frost, in warm soil. Outdoors, barely cover the seed.

Can you take cuttings from Helichrysum? ›

Taking Cuttings

The best way to ensure that your licorice plant will be identical to the parent is by propagating from cuttings. Take cuttings from the current season's growth that have woody bases and a soft, new tips. Cut 4 to 6 inches of stem, just below a leaf.

How do you prune a curry plant? ›

For periodic, drastic curry plant pruning, cut most of the plant close to the ground; for regular maintenance pruning, cut back about a third of the plant (or less, depending on how quickly it is growing).

How can I make my curry grow faster? ›

How to grow curry leaves faster: Dissolve about 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) in 1 liter water and feed to the curry leaf plant when it is dry. Give Epsom salt every 3 months. Your curry leaf plant will grow faster and very well. The plant will grow green leaves throughout the spring, summer and fall.

How tall does a curry plant grow? ›

Native to India, the fast-growing curry tree is a small evergreen bush or tree that can reach anywhere from six to 20 feet tall.

Is Epsom salt good for curry leaf plant? ›

Epsom salt consists of magnesium and sulfur, which are great for the curry leaf plant's growth. It also enhances the production of chlorophyll in the leaves and imparts green color to the leaves. How to Use: Mix two tablespoons of Epsom salt in 2 liters of water. Mix well and pour the solution into the plant base.

How do I make my curry bushy? ›

How to Grow Bushy Curry Leaf Plant | Complete Growing Guide - YouTube

Is Helichrysum annual or perennial? ›

Admired for the beauty of its joyful flowers, Helichrysum bracteatum or Xerochrysum bracteatum (Everlasting Flower) is a short-lived tender perennial or annual boasting daisy-like flowers, up 1-3 in.

Is egg shell good for curry leaf plant? ›

Eggshells. Why: Crushed eggshell provides Calcium- one of the critical nutrients for the plant's well-being. Calcium promotes vigorous growth as well as green foliage and a robust root system. No wonder eggshells are one of the best homemade fertilizers for curry leaf plant!

Why is my curry plant dying? ›

If your curry plant is dying, the chances are that it's suffering from hydration issues, pest infestation, soil issues, or isn't receiving enough sunlight. Curry plants are easy to care for, but a dying plant must be attended to as soon as possible if you intend to revive it.

Why are my curry leaves falling off? ›

Yellowing leaves that eventually drop off are a sign that you may be overwatering or underwatering your curry leaf tree. Only water as needed and allow the soil to dry out before watering your plants again.

How long does a curry tree take to grow? ›

Standard varieties should be about six feet tall in two years, and you can begin harvesting regularly at that point. Dwarf and miniature (gamthi) types take a bit longer to reach a harvestable size of about half of their mature height, with the miniature plants taking up to five years.

Does curry plant need full sun? ›

The tree should be grown in rich, well-drained soil in full sunlight or partial shade. It does well when grown in a pot. If it is grown outdoor, it should be located in an area that does not receive a lot of wind.

How do you take care of a curry leaf plant in the winter? ›

CURRY LEAVES PLANT GROWING TIPS || WINTER CARE ... - YouTube

Can you eat curry plant leaves? ›

Curry leaf newbies take note: Some preparations will call for curry leaves to be removed from a dish, but it's fine when they don't—the leaves are completely edible.

Where do I prune a curry leaf plant? ›

Pruning & Harvest of Curry Leaf Plant or Tree - YouTube

Does a curry plant flower? ›

As the common name suggests, the narrow, silvery-grey leaves of the curry plant, Helichrysum italicum, strongly of curry. It's a dense, dwarf sub-shrub bearing small, bright yellow flowers throughout summer.

Does Helichrysum need full sun? ›

Helichrysum Ribbon will grow best in full to partial sun, but will also thrive in shade. Water thoroughly when the top 25% of the soil feels dry to touch. Helichrysum Ribbons are hardy plants that are drought-tolerant, but grow better with regular watering.

Can Helichrysum grow in shade? ›

The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).

Is Helichrysum winter hardy? ›

Members of the Helichrysum genus are half hardy annuals or hardy perennial plants that flower from summer through to the first frost of winter.

How long does it take for Helichrysum to bloom? ›

Strawflower Quick Reference Growing Guide
Plant Type:Annual flowerFlower Color:
Bloom Time:Summer to frostSoil pH:
Exposure:Full sunSoil Drainage:
Time to Maturity:70 daysCompanion Planting:
Spacing:10-12 inchesUses:
8 more rows
8 Aug 2019

Should you deadhead Helichrysum? ›

Deadhead regularly, to encourage repeat flowering, and reduce the potential of self seeding!

What zone does Helichrysum grow in? ›

In the United States, helichrysum can be grown as a half-hardy annual in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 2 to 10, or cultivated to grow as a perennial in zones 5 to 10 where the weather is warmer. Colors range from yellow to white, red to orange and pink.

What grows well with curry plant? ›

Curry Plant Companion Plants
  • Cotton Lavender. Santolina chamaecyparissus.
  • English Lavender. Lavandula angustifolia.
  • Creeping Thyme. Thymus serpyllum.

Is Helichrysum a trailing plant? ›

Also known as the 'Liquorice Plant' due to its slight liquorice scent, 'Helichrysum Petiolare Silver' is a fantastic trailing plant which produces masses of soft and felted silvery-green leaves.

Are curry plants Hardy? ›

Silvery/grey foliage. Clusters of yellow flowers. Hardy perennial.

Can I grow Helichrysum indoors? ›

GROWING HELICHRYSUM FROM SEED

Six to eight weeks before the last frosts in spring, you can start to grow your annual Helichrysum seeds indoors.

Should I cover cuttings with plastic? ›

Until cuttings develop roots, they are very susceptible to drying out. If you don't have a bright area with high humidity, you can create a humid environment around the cutting by placing a clear plastic bag over it.

Is Helichrysum an evergreen? ›

Helichrysum italicum has short, narrow soft grey leaves, can grow to 2ft x 2ft in a year and needs masses of light (full sun) and reasonably well drained soil.
...
Discover more.
Soil TypeClay, Dry / Well Drained, Sandy, Shingle / Beach
Plant TypeEvergreen, Flowers, Grown by Us, Herbaceous
Continent of OriginEurope
6 more rows

What is the lifespan of curry tree? ›

It has aromatic compound leaves with about 12 dark green leaves per stem. White flowers occur in clusters and are followed by pea sized berries which turn reddish brown when ripe.
...
Herb Attributes.
HarvestHarvest when needed.
Height3-6m
LifespanPerennial
1 more row

How often do you water a curry leaf plant? ›

Watering. Never overwater your curry leaf plant as that kills them really fast. In the summer, water the plant every 2-3 days and keep tabs on small mites. In the fall season, watering is needed only on weekly basis.

Why is my curry leaf plant flowering? ›

During Spring and Summer the tree produces clusters of small fragrant creamy white flowers. The Curry Leaf Tree can self pollinate so after the flowers small black berry like fruit forms. The berries also contain a single large seed which is toxic and should not be eaten.

Is fish fertilizer good for curry leaf plant? ›

Do not apply fish fertilizer when the curry leaf plant is indoors. It'll smell up the whole house. Water the curry leaf plant regularly, but let the soil dry out slightly before applying this fertilizer. A thirsty soil will take in the nutrients faster than water-saturated soil.

How do you pluck curry leaves? ›

We then look at the right way to harvest curry leaves. Either cut off the tops of the plant, from the top 3-4 inches, to harvest OR harvest the entire petiole (the leaflet) and not the leaves. This is an important difference between leaflet and leaves.

How much sun does curry leaves need? ›

Light Requirements – This is a plant that will need full sun to thrive, but it must be used to this full exposure before you give it more than six hours of sun a day. This is especially true where the temperatures often reach over 100 degrees because the leaves can get a sunburn.

Is coffee good for curry leaf plant? ›

Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, one of the major nutrients your curry leaf plant needs. Coffee grounds also have potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.

How often should you put Epsom salt on plants? ›

When diluted with water, Epsom salt is easily taken up by plants, especially when applied as a foliar spray. Most plants can be misted with a solution of 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of Epsom salt per gallon of water once a month. For more frequent watering, every other week, cut this back to 1 tablespoon (15 mL).

Can too much Epsom salt hurt plants? ›

Adding Epsom salts to soil that already has sufficient magnesium can actually harm your soil and plants, such as by inhibiting calcium uptake. Spraying Epsom salt solutions on plant leaves can cause leaf scorch. Excess magnesium can increase mineral contamination in water that percolates through soil.

How do you get rid of brown spots on curry leaves? ›

Mist the leaves with water to increase humidity. A lack of humidity is often the culprit of browning tips and edges. You should see the leaves return to their normal color within a few weeks. Do not spray excessively; you only want to dampen the leaves.

How do you maintain Helichrysum? ›

Curry plant prefers warm, dry conditions and doesn't do well in soggy soil. However, an occasional drink of water is appreciated when the weather turns hot and dry. A thin layer of mulch controls weeds in spring and summer, and a slightly thicker layer protects the roots during winter.

Are curry plants drought tolerant? ›

Very drought tolerant once established, so useful for those difficult places where not much will grow. From the Mediterranean but fully hardy.

Does Helichrysum really work? ›

Helichrysum essential oil is often recommended to treat acne — particularly acne scars — but there is currently no scientific evidence that this works.

How do you keep a curry plant healthy? ›

During Summer, water the plant every 2 to 4 days, depending upon the weather and the pot size. Make sure to let the soil dry out between watering. Use the Plant Moisture Meter to be extra sure. Continue applying Seaweed or liquid Kelp fertilizer or home made fertilizer every other week.

Why are my curry leaves turning yellow? ›

Due to the lack of iron, the leaves of the plant turn yellow

Iron deficiency diseases are first observed in the young leaves of curry plants. The upper leaves turn yellow which is called chlorosis.

Can Helichrysum be grown indoors? ›

Helichrysum Germination Information

Best sown indoors in spring at 68-70° with NO cover as light aids in germination. Expect germination in 15 days.

Is Helichrysum winter hardy? ›

Members of the Helichrysum genus are half hardy annuals or hardy perennial plants that flower from summer through to the first frost of winter.

Does Helichrysum need full sun? ›

Helichrysum Ribbon will grow best in full to partial sun, but will also thrive in shade. Water thoroughly when the top 25% of the soil feels dry to touch. Helichrysum Ribbons are hardy plants that are drought-tolerant, but grow better with regular watering.

Is Helichrysum annual or perennial? ›

Admired for the beauty of its joyful flowers, Helichrysum bracteatum or Xerochrysum bracteatum (Everlasting Flower) is a short-lived tender perennial or annual boasting daisy-like flowers, up 1-3 in.

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