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What Is Vetiver Grass?

By Regina Sass ; Updated September 21, 2017

Vetiver grass is a tropical plant and a native of India. The word vetiver means “root that is dug up.” Vetiver grass is a member of the same part of the grass family as maize, sorghum, sugar cane and lemongrass.

Features

Vetiver grass grows in clumps. The roots are deep and, once established, it is hard to dig up.

Environment

Vetiver grass can be grown from Zone 7 to Zone 10, the warmest zones in the continental United States. It can also be grown in Zone 11, Hawaii. Vertiver grass tolerates any light condition except full shade.

Planting

Vetiver grass should be planted at the start of the rainy season when the ground is already wet. Cut the roots to 4 inches long. Plant each clump 4 to 6 inches apart. Trim to from 6 to 8 inches above the base.

Care

Keep vitiver grass trimmed to a height of from 12 to 20 inches. Cut the grass before flowers appear.

Uses

Vetiver grass planted on hillsides helps prevent soil erosion. It also graces containers on the porch or patio. The dried roots are used to make such products as perfume and scented soaps.