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Re: Patchouli question...

WOW...a wealth of information.  Thanks Kitty.  I think I have the perfect spot for it then.

kmrsy@comcast.net wrote:
I found these:
Pogostemon cablin USDA Zone 9b: to -3.80 C (250 F)
which is a half zone less hardy than purple fountain grass.
Floridaherbs says that Patchouli is very sensitive to frost and must be brought inside for the winter. 
Notes from forums: From India,it likes heat and humidity. - - - It needs
hot weather and likes full sun to partial shade, so it definitely will
not thrive in the house. - - - it survives with heat, humidity, and no
direct sunlight. My plant can only be outside for 2-3 months a year due
to my zone. I keep it in complete shade and keep it moist at all times.
Here that may be watering every day if July/August are hot enough. I
bring it in every year and keep it in my indoor grow room, but I hang
sheets to keep the grow lights on the other plants from affecting the
patchouli. I found that the patchouli can thrive with almost no direct
light and in fact, when exposed to grow lights (that are on 12-16 hrs a
day)loses all but one or two leaves. When moved into shade, it develops
more leaves. It is also fairly easy to do simple cuttings off of the new
growth. - - - Patchouli gets rootbound very, very quickly. In our zone
there is no way around bringing the patchouli inside. It will start to
look bad when temps get below 50 degrees... It doesn't need full sun at
all and actually will thrive in full shade provided it is warm enough
and you keep it moist but not wet. Patchouli is zone 11 plant grown as
understory crop in India. This means it needs no direct sun, but does
need heat and humidty. Inside It makes a fantastic houseplant and can
actually thrive with the indirect house lighting.

From Papagenos:
Bringing herbs indoors
The best way to overwinter herbs indoors is to plant them in the spring
in 8"-10" pots and grow them all summer in those pots. The pots can be
buried up to the rim in the garden or simply placed on the porch or
patio. Natural porous clay pots are recommended.

If you decide that you want to bring a plant inside that has been
growing in the garden all summer, the first step is to prune back much
of the summer's growth. Well before the first frost, dig up the plant
carefully, leaving plenty of earth on the roots. Place rootball in
sufficiently large pot to easily accommodate the roots and back fill
with good quality commercial potting soil. Water well and gradually
acclimate to new light conditions. Move from full sun to part shade to
almost full shade over several weeks. Appropriate winter care includes
providing as much light as you can, even moisture, and reasonable

Indoor environment: Most herbs require 6-8 hours of direct sunlight, or
10-12 hours of closely positioned grow lights, each day to thrive.
South, east or west windows without curtains should suffice for most. If
your plants get leggy, they should be moved to stronger light and
rotated a quarter turn every week to provide equal exposure for all the
leaves. Regular pinching of growing tips encourages bushier growth. The
65-700 winter temperature of most North American homes will be fine in
most cases, but beware of either hot or cold drafts, and of placing
plants too near radiators or hot air outlets. Most plants that die
indoors do so because they got too hot or too dry. To increase the
humidity in the immediate vicinity of the plant, place the pot on a tray
of pebbles, which should be filled with water daily.

-------------- Original message -------------- 

> I bought two itsy-bitsy patchouli plants early this summer. They have 
> grown and look pretty nice. My question is this...it is considered a 
> "tender perennial" in my zone. Has anybody overwintered this? I really 
> don't want to lose it. I don't know if it just needs the sunny 
> window...or humidity too? 
> Jesse 
> Zone 6 
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