27 Tips On How To Grow Sweet Neem Plant Indoors
Sweet Neem is an attractive and easy-to-care-for plant. Its unique appearance makes it a favorite among plant collectors.
In this post, we’re sharing the how’s, what’s, and when’s in keeping your Sweet Neem happy. We will also provide different options for you to buy one for yourself. Read on to know more about this Murraya’s interesting features!
What Is Sweet Neem?
Sweet Neem is part of the Rutaceae family and is also known as the curry tree or curry plant.
Considered a perennial, it grows well indoors in full sun or partial shade. It’s typically known for being a medicinal plant, as a source of organic pesticides, and for its timber, making it a truly valuable tree as a houseplant.
The Sweet Neem can also be raised outdoors in certain climates, ideally in USDA zone 10-12.
Origin And Family
Curry Tree originates from the Murraya genus, which is part of the Rutaceae family. The Indian subcontinent is home to this plant. Curry Tree has become a popular indoor plant in recent years, thriving in most households that give it plenty of full sunlight.
This plant was discovered 4500 years ago. It produces white fragrant flowers, and its fresh curry leaves are the main ingredients in curry dishes.
Where To Buy
To acquire a Sweet Neem, you could always start looking in a local nursery, but there are a lot of cuttings and full-grown plants you can buy online. Etsy is a reliable site that we suggest.
Sweet Neem Plant Size
Neem tree grows to a height of 15-20 meters. It’s a fast grower that flourishes when placed in full sun or part shade.
Sweet Neem Care Needs
Your Sweet Neem will grow well when it’s properly taken care of. Known for being a medicinal plant, as a source of organic pesticides, and for its timber, this plant loves full sunlight and needs good soil to stay healthy.
It is best to water this plant when the soil is dried out. Deeply water, allowing it to flow through the pot’s drainage hole. In terms of light, this neem plant needs bright light to reach its maximum growth potential.
For more specific growing tips, check out the detailed care guide below!
In terms of care difficulty, the Curry Tree is easy to grow. The top considerations for this beauty are the sun to ensure that it is getting enough sunlight.
When grown indoors, the Curry Tree plant grows to a height of 15-20 meters. It grows the fastest from January to May.
Most Murraya Koenigii species have a fast-growing speed.
Most potting materials will work perfectly. Curry Tree is susceptible to root rot. Make sure to have enough drainage holes in its pot to fit its root system.
Based on past experience, this plant grows pretty quickly, so expect to transfer it to a larger pot or larger container every 2-3 years.
While repotting to a bigger pot, give your Murraya refreshed nutrients by adding fertile, well-drained soil – instead of reusing the old medium.
The Curry Tree does best in fertile, well-drained soil. Make sure you choose components with suitable moisture-retention properties for your soil.
Diseases like root rot can be prevented with adequate drainage. Add chunky and grainy materials to your soil to improve aeration.
These are some wonderful substrate options for your plant:
For the Curry Tree, you’ll want your soil to have a slightly alkaline to acidic soil pH, approximately between 6.2-7.0. Fertile, well-drained soil has a pH level close to that range, so you won’t need to be overly concerned.
You may enhance the pH of your soil by adding calcitic lime or dolomitic lime, wood ash, or baking soda.
If you are concerned that the pH is too high, you can reduce it using sulfur or aluminum sulfate.
To assess the pH of the soil, use a standard soil moisture meter that also functions as a pH tester.
Stick your finger into the container to check the moisture level, or purchase a soil moisture meter. You’ll know it’s the best time to water your Murraya when the soil is dried out.
Overwatering is one of the most prevalent killers of indoor plants. When in doubt, remember that it’s safer to underwater than overwater the Curry Tree. Also, make sure you use fast-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes.
Sweet Neem is a tropical plant that prefers bright light for approximately several hours daily. Keep in mind that what you’re attempting to do is replicate how it grows in the tropical climates of the Indian subcontinent. In most cases, placing this plant in full sun or part shade works fine.
Any good quality, balanced fertilizer or a dilute solution of water-soluble fertilizer is ideal for the Curry Tree. Nitrogen-rich fertilizer, for example, would work. During its growing season from January to May, feed your plant every week.
During the cold season in the winter months or when you are living in an area with cold climates and cold temperatures, growth naturally slows down, so there is typically no need to fertilize.
Propagating Sweet Neem
The Sweet Neem can be propagated from the comfort of your home. Here are steps for making more of this plant.
Stem Cuttings In Soil
One primary method to grow a Curry Tree is by planting stem cuttings directly into the soil. If you don’t have this plant, you can purchase a cutting from Etsy or from your local Facebook Marketplace.
It is best to propagate during late fall or early winter so it won’t be difficult for your plant to recuperate from transplant shock.
1. Cut. Cut a healthy portion of the plant using clean shears. The cutting should be at least three inches with a few leaves and nodes.
2. Plant. In a damp potting soil-filled pot or container, bury the stem’s nodes. To keep the plant in place, press the dirt around the stem or use wooden skewers. Excessive movement might restrict root development.
3. Maintain. Place your container near a window that receives both direct and indirect light. Keep the soil wet at all times.
4. Wait. New roots should appear in around 2-3 weeks. A developing sprout is the strongest sign that your cutting has established roots effectively!
Stem Cuttings In Water
Water propagation is another simple procedure to root your Curry Tree cuttings. Here are some steps to follow:
1. Cut. Harvest a healthy cutting and pluck off the bottom leaves from its stem.
2. Submerge. Keep the cutting in a glass of water. Ensure there are no leaves below the water level to avoid root rot.
3. Maintain. Keep your cutting in an area with bright, indirect light and good air circulation. A humidifier nearby can boost the plant’s health.
4. Refill. Replace the water each time it starts to turn murky. Keep the nodes submerged for faster root growth.
5. Transplant. Once the roots are long enough, plant your cutting into clean, well-aerated soil. Keep the soil moist to help the roots adjust.
Humidity And Aeration
Sweet neem is a perennial that prefers high humidity. We recommend keeping the air humidity levels at 50-60% for the best outcomes.
Your plant will require sustenance from the moisture in the air aside from receiving water via its roots. You may store bowls of water around to evaporate, or you can invest in a humidifier that will provide more regular humidity for your plant.
Neem plants prefer temperatures that can range between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit.
The more extensive consideration for this plant is consistency. Abrupt changes in temperature can heavily damage the Curry Tree. In cold weather, keep your plant protected against cold drafts by closing windows and sealing any openings. Move it away from heat vents that can dry the foliage.
If you can allow the best conditions for your plant and keep it at its happiest, you might be able to see beautiful flowers. You must know, however, that most plants generally bloom in an outdoor environment.
The Curry Tree is not hazardous to children or pets. The ASPCA states that it will not hurt dogs or cats if consumed, and there are no harmful elements found in the plant that is toxic to humans.
|Plant Guide||Care Specifics|
|Botanical Name||Sweet Neem|
|Common Name||Curry Tree,|
|Leaf Shape||elongated to oblong|
|Recommended Home Placement||in full sun or part shade|
|Soil||fertile, well-drained soil|
|When To Water||Water when the soil is dried out.|
|When To Fertilize||every week during growing season|
|Toxic To Pets?||No|
|Common Pests & Diseases||spider mites, brown tips, powder mildrew, white flied, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, drooping leaves|
Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems
Here are some simple tips for curing common ailments, as well as some general suggestions to keep this plant healthy.
Spider mites are common pests, particularly among Curry Tree plants. Initially, you will find spider mite damage as small, brown, or yellow patches on the leaves of your plant and slowed or ceased growth.
To get rid of spider mites, take a sink nozzle, a pressure sprayer, or a garden hose and wash off your Curry Tree. Additionally, spray the leaves with neem oil or insecticidal soap while making sure to cover all surfaces, including the underside of the leaves!
Of course, you can also opt for ladybugs, lacewings, and Stethorus picipes beetles (dubbed as the “Spider Mite Destroyer”) as these are natural predators of spider mites. What’s great about these bugs is that they will feed on spider mites, but they won’t harm your plant!
Powdery mildew seems like a white cobweb substance that covers the surface of your Curry Tree’s leaves, obstructing photosynthesis. The leaves will turn yellow and drop eventually.
This is a type of fungus that likes warm, humid climates. Young foliage is the most susceptible to damage. Good and consistent air circulation can help prevent it.
Powdery mildew is well controlled by fungicides such as Bonide and Spectracide. Mouthwash can also be effective in killing fungus spores. Spray it on the affected regions after combining it with water.
Whiteflies are tiny insects that immediately fly around when a plant is moved. They are particularly attracted to the Curry Tree. They feed on leaves but seldomly cause the death of plants.
If you like the taste and smell of herbs, keeping them near your pest-ridden plant has an added benefit! The aroma of mint, parsley, and cilantro are known to repel whiteflies.
A pesticide is required to control a large infestation. We propose the following Amazon items to combat whiteflies:
Aphids are microscopic bugs that devour the leaves of your Curry Tree, causing black and brown spots to appear.
To treat an infestation, apply insecticidal soap or neem oil. Dish detergent in lesser concentrations can also eliminate aphids without hurting your plant. Choose a fragrance-free product, like Ivory Liquid.
Add 1 teaspoon of dish soap to 1 gallon of water, then increase the ratio as required. Spray this solution on your affected plant, making sure to cover the underside of leaves where aphids can usually be found.
Brown Leaf Tips
The edges of your Curry Tree’s leaves turn brown if it’s not getting the required amount of moisture both from the air and through its roots. Ensure that your plant is watered on time and check if the humidity level of its surroundings is consistent with its needs.
You should also consider the amount and frequency with which you apply fertilizer. Overfeeding can burn the foliage of your plant, resulting in browning tips on their leaves.
Mealybugs and other pests that infest the Sweet Neem can cause leaves to droop. This problem can also be caused by underwatering, lack of humidity, and lack of nutrients.
My sweet Neem 🥰❤️🕉️🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/faitXAk1t8— Divyanshi Sharda (@sharda_div) June 30, 2022
Yellowing leaves on Curry Tree can be due to insufficient or too much sunlight, overwatering, underwatering, nutrient deficiency, overfertilization, recent disruption of the roots, changes in temperature and humidity, presence of pests, and many others.
Don’t worry if you’re confused! Trial and error are required in gardening to figure out the best conditions for your plants. Even master gardeners learn new things every day.
It is encouraged to prune off yellowing leaves so the plant won’t waste nutrients trying to “save” the leaf and instead supply it to new leaves.
A typical cause of death for the Curry Tree is root rot, which occurs when you overwater your plant. Keep in mind that you should only water when the soil is dried out.
Poor drainage is another source of root rot, and this Murraya needs fertile, well-drained soil that drains well.
When choosing a pot for your plant, make sure there are drainage holes to allow excess water to flow through. Clay pots and unglazed ceramic planters can also help absorb moisture from the soil and slowly release it into the air.
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With its attractive characteristics, Sweet Neem is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a new houseplant. Your efforts in taking care of this plant will be rewarded with beautiful exotic flora and aromatic leaves that you will enjoy in your home!
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