Sick curry tree
May 27, 2011 10:29 PM   Subscribe

Help! My potted curry leaf tree has suddenly had its leaves start shriveling and turning brown. What's wrong with it, and how can I save my plant?

I've had the tree for about two years, and it's about 1.5' tall. It's been living on my Seattle windowsill, under a fluorescent lamp. Just a few days ago it was looking healthy, with plenty of new spring growth, and a spray of flowers that had just finished blooming. Last night I noticed in passing that it looked a bit droopy, like it needed to be watered. But tonight, when I went to water it, it looked quite unhealthy, with the lower half of its leaves shriveling, and the upper/younger half of the leaves all floppy. What can I do for my plant?
posted by JiBB to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Best answer: Sounds like salt accumulation to me. Check the surface of the soil for white crystalline deposits, and if you find any then you'll need to replace the top layer of the soil and flush with frequent changes of distilled water.

Other possibilities: pest infestation (check the leaf undersides carefully), lack of fertilizer, root binding (roots outgrowing the pot).
posted by 1adam12 at 10:38 PM on May 27, 2011

Response by poster: No crystalline deposits, I checked a few leaves under a hand lens and spotted no bugs, and I've been giving it fertilizer. I'll check the roots tomorrow. What puzzles me most is that the decline was so sudden—the plant was just fine a week ago.
posted by JiBB at 1:05 AM on May 28, 2011

Best answer: I asked my Indian parents who grew up on farms. My dad guessed it doesn't have enough water (he wondered if it's flowing through the pot and not getting retained). My mom guessed that either it doesn't have enough water or it is sick.
posted by fenster_blick at 7:27 PM on May 28, 2011

I should also add that my mom said if you water it every day, it will be happy. She also said that plant needs a lot of water if it is to get well, if it isnt due to disease.
posted by fenster_blick at 7:30 PM on May 28, 2011

Response by poster: I never found what was wrong for sure, but after trimming off all the effected leaves and making sure to keep it well watered, the curry tree seems to have recovered. I re-potted it into a larger pot the other day (not too rootbound), and it seems happy. Thank you for the advice!
posted by JiBB at 10:35 PM on July 12, 2011

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