How to Grow a Curry Plant


The curry plant is a member of the large Helichrysum genus, which also includes strawflowers and other plants that are often dried for flower arrangements. Native to Africa, Eurasia, Australasia, Turkey and Madagascar, the Helichrysums range from tender annuals to hardy shrubs. The curry plant, Helichrysum italicum, looks a little like lavender, except it grows small yellow flowers. It favors warm, dry growing conditions with poor to average soil. The foliage is used sparingly in cooking to simulate the flavor of curry powder, which is a combination of herbs and spices.

Step 1

Fill nursery pots or flats with standard potting soil and then water until water comes out the drainage holes.

Step 2

Broadcast curry plant seeds on the soil surface, but do not cover them with additional potting soil, because these seeds require light to germinate. Set the pots or flats in a sunny area that is protected from frost and keep the soil surface moist by watering daily.

Step 3

Transplant the young curry plant or plants to a sunny outdoor location about one month after the final spring frost. Sandy or poor soil is acceptable for the curry plant--you needn't add compost or other soil amendments. Dig planting holes slightly larger than your plants' root systems and 8 to 12 inches apart. Set your plants into the holes, fill with additional soil and water well.

Step 4

Water the curry plant during extended dry periods, but it is drought tolerant, so avoid giving it excessive water.

Step 5

Fertilize your curry plant with a balanced fertilizer, such as one having an N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10 about one month after you plant it. If you want your plant to bloom profusely, fertilize it with a low nitrogen or "blossom booster" plant food (0-10-10) when you first begin to see flowers forming.

Things You'll Need

  • Curry plant seeds
  • Pots or flat(s)
  • Potting soil
  • Dry, fast-draining soil
  • Trowel
  • Fertilizer


  • Mountain Valley Growers: Helichrysum italicum
  • Plant Biology: Guide to Growing Curry Plant
Keywords: curry plant, herbs growing, Helichrysum italicum

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.