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How to Grow Damiana

Damiana (Turnera diffusa) is a deciduous shrub that grows from 3 to 6 feet in height and has serrate, pale green leaves that are quite aromatic. It produces small five-petal flowers that bloom in early to late summer. The damiana leaves have often been used in traditional medicine and are thought to be an aphrodisiac as well as a treatment for depression. A native plant of Mexico, Central America and the West Indies, the damiana can be kept as an indoor houseplant or used outdoors for summer landscaping .

Fill a pot with regular potting soil to ¾-inches full. Place the young damiana seedling into the pot and continue filling the pot until the roots are covered with soil. Leave ¼ inch of space between the soil and the rim to allow for watering. Water the plant thoroughly and place it near a window that receives full sunlight.

Allow the soil to become dry before re-watering. Keep the soil dry to semi-moist to help prevent fungal disease.

Continue growing the young plant indoors through its first winter until early summer. The plant may then be transferred outdoors or kept inside as a houseplant.

Choose a sunny location (if outdoor planting is desired) with well-drained soil where the damiana will receive sun for at least eight to 10 hours a day. For best results, the damiana needs a sandy type of soil that stay relatively dry. It is very drought-tolerant.

Mulch the roots of the plant in early autumn. Despite the fact that the damiana is a tropical plant, it is usually hardy to USDA zone 9, or about 23 degrees F. Although the cold weather may damage the upper part of the plant, the rootstock will normally re-sprout in the spring if it has been well insulated through the winter.


If kept indoors as a houseplant, the damiana may be cut back during the spring and summer to encourage new growth.

In areas where the damiana will not survive outdoors during the winter, it may be kept in its pot and moved outdoors through late spring and summer. It should, however, be brought back inside before the first hint of frost in the fall.

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