Curry leaves are an unavoidable ingredient in the culinary tradition in Kerala. Most people, especially those who live in flats buy curry leaves from outside. But, what people don’t realize is that these humble curry leaves that are bought from the markets are often doused in chemical pesticides. The lockdown days are the best time to grow a vegetable patch in your backyard or in the balcony of your flat. Make sure to have a curry leaf plant in your garden, as it could come handy to you.
Most people who try growing curry leaf plants often complaint of pest attacks. Withering of the leaves, discolouration and lack of growth of new leaves are some of the common problems that affect the growth of the curry leaf plants. Watering the plants with fermented rice water is an excellent remedy for this. Dilute the fermented rice water with double amount of normal water and spray it on the leaves to eliminate the pests. The rice water helps in the growth of tender leaves.
Do not allow water to puddle up below the curry leaf plants. Though the plant requires adequate moisture, the roots may begin to decay if water gets puddled up. This may even destroy the entire plant. Sprinkle some ash below the curry leaf plant to prevent the discolouration of the leaves and to improve the health of the plant.
Do not pluck the leaves alone whenever you need the curry leaves; instead try removing a sprig of leaves. New sprigs would then grow in its place. When the sprigs are plucked, the plant wouldn’t grow too tall as well. An organic manure formula made by mixing cow dung and kadala pinnakku (ground nut cake) could be used to aid the growth of the tender leaves.