Pogostemon patchouli, or Patchouly plant, is a tender perennial herb that hails from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and southern China. It is widely grown for Patchouly oil that is used in perfumery. Plants have dark to medium green leaves that reach up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long by about half as wide. Plants in containers run about 12 inches (30 cm) tall with an equal spread. They are hardy in USDA zone 8-12.
Blooming Time: In late fall, this greenhouse-grown plant blooms with very small flowers that are purplish. They are very insignificant.
Culture: Pogostemon patchouli need full sun to partial shade, with a rich well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand or perlite. During the growing season, the plants are watered regularly and fertilized every other week with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. After the plants flower, they are cut back and water is somewhat restricted for the winter months.
Propagation: Pogostemon patchouli is propagated by cuttings or by seed. Cuttings are taken in the spring and are slow to root, so be patient.
Pogostemon patchouli was featured as Plant of the Week February 13-19, 2004.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.