Curry Leaf (Murraya koenigii) -- Acidity levels
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Johnson Kavanattu
Posted on: June 18, 2007

I have a few potted curry leaf plants. I prepared the potting soil using a mix of regular potting soil (6/10), brick powder (1/10), peat moss (1/10), planting mix (2/10) and a couple of cups of azomite granules.

I live in California (bay area), USA where it is not humid. In the last three years my plants have grown to less than 2 feet tall and do not seem to be growing any more. In winter I prune them and then the following summer I have fresh growth ...but they hardly look like a bushes let alone like trees.

I add used tea leaves to the soil every week and also crushed egg shells for calcium.

I am suspecting two things here.... lack of humidity / soil acidity. I checked the pH level in the pots and it is at 7. I have read some articles that the curry leaf tree needs acidic soil.

If this is true, how can I control acidity levels in pots?

Do I need to replace the soil in pots every year?

I currently use one monthly application of Citrus-tone (by Espoma) an organic citrus avocado fertilizer (5-2-6) -- is this enough?

The literature we used to find out the best culture for curry leaf stated that this plant needs rich moist soil. We use a peat moss based mix and it has been modified to be slightly acid. If you add egg shells to your soil, you are also keeping it alkaline. I suggest you re-pot your plants into a peat moss based mix, such as a Pro-Mix and fertilize every second watering. Make sure you keep the soil moist. Re-pot when the surface of the soil seems to get encrusted. It will depend a great deal on your water as to when the soil needs to be changed, because the soil is getting too salty.

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