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VETIVER GRASS GROWING INFORMATION
© Frances Michaels
BOTANICAL NAME: Vetiveria zizanioides 'Monto'
A dense, clumping perennial grass, to 1.5 m in height, native in India and Ceylon. 'Monto' is a sterile (non-seed
producing) variety specially selected not to become weedy. In its natural environment, vetiver grows on
riverbanks up to an altitude of 600m. It requires a hot and humid climate. It is adaptable to a wide range of soil
and climatic conditions. It can be established on very acid, sodic, alkaline or saline soils. Vetiver tolerates
very high levels of aluminium, manganese and a range of heavy metals in the soil. Due to its extensive and
deep root system, vetiver is very tolerant of drought. It can stand extreme heat (50°C) and frost (-10°C) and can
be established in areas with an annual rainfall from 450 mm and higher. Vetiver is sensitive to shade and this will
slow growth, especially in young plants.
vetiver grass is widely used throughout the tropics for planting on
the contour as an anti-erosion measure. When planted in single lines along the contour, hedges of vetiver are found
to be very effective in soil and moisture conservation. The stiff stems of the thick hedge slow down the movement
of run-off water and spread it out, trapping silt behind the hedge. This allows more water to be absorbed into the
soil, thus reducing run-off and erosion as well as improving crop yields.
the aromatic roots have been used since ancient times in India. The fragrant,
insect-repelling roots yield oil, which is valuable in the perfume industry. Traditionally, these roots were woven
into mats, fans and fragrant screens, while the tops of the grass were used for thatch, mulch, handicraft, fodder
and animal bedding.
Don't plant after March in southern Queensland to ensure survival from early frost (a well-established plant can
survive severe frost). Cover vetiver roots with 2-3 cm of soil and compact the soil firmly. Vetiver grass is
propagated by root divisions or 'slips', which are planted at a distance of about 15 cm to ensure a close hedge
during its first year. Slips should be planted in wet soil or irrigated well immediately after planting. Water every
second day until established. Fertilise with a complete organic fertiliser at the time of planting; fertilise every
year after planting early and again late in the summer. Trimming the tops of the young plants stimulates early
tillering and the hedge will close up faster.
Not to NORFOLK ISLAND, NT, SA, TAS or WA
SORRY but due to quarantine restrictions between Australian States no plants at all can be ordered
by residents of Norfolk Island
. These restrictions are very important as they prevent
the spread of plant pests and diseases. No potatoes, garlic, shallots, strawberries or tubestock
can be sent to South Australia
. No tubestock can be sent to
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