An upright bunchgrass that is native to Southern India. Famous for the scent produced at the roots, vetiver is also used in weaving and for thatching materials. Colonial powers moved this plant throughout the tropics. Today, it is found all over the world.
The ‘sunshine’ variety is a noninvasive grass. ‘Sunshine’ was named for the town in Louisiana where it was cultivated for generations. Hedges were commonly planted to deter mosquitoes. An overwhelming majority of vetiver tested around the world is the ‘sunshine’ variety. Two hundred years of Asexual reproduction created this seedless variety. Today it is used for phytoremediation, erosion control, bioengineering, and crafting.
Rhizomes grow directly down rather than running or creeping. A good companion plant, the roots repel nematodes and termites. It adapts to practically any soil type. Vetiver can be planted as a hedgerow for windbreaks, erosion control, boundary delineation, or for waterway stabilization. The only drawback of this useful plant is propagation. As a sterile variety, propagation and planting must be done by humans. Once the plant dies, no more will grow unless humans intervene. Propagation is done by splitting clumps. New slips must stay moist until established. Vetiver is fast-growing, low maintenance, and drought tolerant.
For essential oil, it’s recommended to plant in pots. This ensures easy root harvesting.
Vetiver is a climax plant. It survives where no other plant can. Salt, drought, flooding, pests, disease, toxicity will not kill this plant. It comes back to life after burning. The roots can tolerate server waterlogging.
- Container plant
- Erosion control
- Privacy / screening
- No dangers