One of the most common requests we get from people is for sweet neem or curry leaf neem. We grew it for years and usually had a waiting list because it was challenging to propagate.
Then citrus greening hit Florida growers with an uncurable virus and we found out that the tiny bug that spreads the virus lives on sweet neem for part of its lifetime. I’m not exaggerating when I say that a small army descended upon our greenhouses to confiscate our sweet neem plants.
Until recently, we weren’t comfortable recommending another company for seeds because most of them are overseas. That changed in January when we saw neem seeds listed by an Indian grower with great reviews.
We bought neem seeds and they sprouted even though they should have been months out of season. We haven’t tried his curry leaf seeds because they’re still illegal to grow in Florida but we’re happy to recommend his seeds to our customers who want a sweet neem plant.
They’re pretty easy to grow from seeds, treat them just like neem seeds. And we’re such optimists that we still have growing directions for curry neem posted online
P.S. — People who hear this story usually ask why citrus growers aren’t using neem to treat citrus greening. In the first place, it’s a long, complicated and expensive process to get approval to label any product to treat another bug. Secondly, there probably isn’t enough neem in the world to treat the hundreds of thousands of acres of citrus growing in Florida. That said, judging by the citrus in my yard, neem is a pretty good deterrent to greening.