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Vetiver Plant


Erosion control: 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.

Fertilizer with a complete organic fertilizer at the time of planting; fertilizer every year after planting early and again late in the summer. Trimming the tops of the young plants stimulates early tailoring and the hedge will close up faster.

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Vetiver plant 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.

Vetiver 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 annual rainfall from 450 mm and higher. Vetiver is sensitive to shade and this will slow growth, especially in young plants.

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.


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