How to Grow Patchouli


Patchouli became popular as an aromatic herb in the 1960s because of its rich, earthy scent. The essential oil distilled from the plant is different than other oils in that it improves with age. Often, it is used as a fixative in perfumes. It is also popular in aromatherapy, or as a perfume on its own. Patchouli grows as a perennial shrub in the tropics of Southeast Asia. However, patchouli can also be grown as an indoor plant.

Step 1

Fill your pot with a loamy, well-drained soil. Patchouli is a tropical plant that grows best indoors in other regions.

Step 2

Sow two to three seeds in your pot by setting them on the soil surface. Put just enough soil over the seeds to barely cover them.

Step 3

Add just enough water to moisten the soil. Water your plants each day to keep the soil moist.

Step 4

Put your pot under a grow light till the plants begin to germinate. Your patchouli should germinate within 3 weeks.

Step 5

Thin your seedlings by pulling all but one plant from the pot. Pull the weakest looking plants, and leave the strongest.

Step 6

Put your seedling in an area of your home where they will be shaded from direct sunlight. Avoid putting your plant in the window where it may get too much sun, or exposed to frost. Patchouli can burn easily if they get too much sun. Also, frost can damage or kill your plant.

Step 7

Fertilize your patchouli with a 10-10-10 fertilizer each month to maintain your plant's health.

Things You'll Need

  • 10 inch or larger pot
  • Potting soil
  • Patchouli seeds
  • Grow light
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer


  • Aroma Talk: Growing Patchouli
  • Edible Nature: Patchouli
Keywords: essential oil, perfume, aphrodisiac

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for over 15 years. Coe is the former publisher of the politics and art magazine Flesh from Ashes. She has worked to protect water and air quality. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University.