July 21, 2017

Growing Patchouli and Homemade Mosquito Repellant

Patchouli was my favorite fragrance in the 70's. Yes, I was a wanna be hippie. I had no idea then that I could grow it in my yard. I had nearly forgotten about it until this spring when I saw Patchouli plants for sale at my favorite wholesale nursery. I brought a tray home for my spring sales and kept some for me too.

Patchouli is not hardy here in zone 6b but it's worth growing. It is a pretty plant, smells wonderful when you brush by the leaves and if you dry them you can make essential oil or tincture.

It blooms in the fall so I haven't seen the blooms yet but I did find this picture on the internet of the flowers.
I read somewhere that the plant needs total darkness after sunset to bloom. A little like a poinsettia but I'm not going to all that trouble. I'll report here if mine blooms when the days get short this fall.

Patchouli grows fast and is pretty easy to care for. I have mine in a low bowl type pot and it doesn't get a ton of water. If it wilts, just give it a drink and it pops back in no time.

It is is good insect repellant. I'm going to add it to the mix in my favorite Mosquito spray.

Mosquito Spray:
Lavender oil
Citronella oil
lemon grass oil
Patchouli oil or Tincture
Witch Hazel as a carrier liquid

I use a tablespoon of each the oils and top off a 8 oz spray bottle with Witch Hazel. Shake and spray every couple of hours for a bug free day.

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