Patchouli (Pogostemon patchouli) is in the same family as mints. It is a perennial herb that is native to the warm, tropical climates of Malaysia as well as the Philippines. Patchouli is a tender herb that grows well outside in the warmer, subtropical and tropical regions of the U.S. Regions that are prone to freezing temperatures should grow patchouli in a container. A relatively hardy herb when established, it can be a bit fussy about its growing conditions to thrive well. If you are looking to add an aromatic herb to your garden, try growing patchouli.
Planting Patchouli Plants
Wait until early spring when all chances of frost have left your area before you place your patchouli plants into the garden. Patchouli will not tolerate cold conditions.
Select an area in your garden that receives full sun to partial sun conditions throughout the day. Patchouli requires at least four to five hours of sunlight each day.
Amend the planting area with a rich, organic medium such as compost or peat. Patchouli desires to live in soil that is rich but drains very well. Patchouli will develop root rot and die if left to grow in conditions that are prone to flooding.
Space patchouli plants at least 24 inches apart, as they can reach a height and width of almost 3 feet once mature.
Dig a hole that is a little wider than the plant’s root ball, but no deeper. Place the plant into the hole and pack the soil firmly around it.
Water the patchouli after planting, and continue to keep the planting site moist--but not flooded--at all times.
Planting Patchouli Seeds
Select a container that will be large enough to house a mature patchouli plant. Be sure the container has drain holes in the bottom so it will drain properly and not retain too much water.
Fill the container with a rich potting mix that is lightweight and drains well. Use a potting mix that has peat moss in it, as it will drain efficiently and has organic nutrients in it.
Plant the seeds at a depth of ¼ inch and cover lightly with soil. Thin the seedlings to 18 inches apart.
Water the container regularly, keeping the soil moist. Spray the plant with water weekly to create humidity.
Place the container in an area that receives full sunlight or high light throughout the day. The patchouli will not thrive if left to grow in a shady area. Bring the container inside if cold weather is expected.