Vetiver Grass goes Ikebana

My Vetiver grasses are seeding. Bought 2, divided to 3 and have since subdivided further.But the ikebana in me can't resist: makes a stunning arrangement.I can see great things a'happening in this marriage, the Vet and I.As a partner they are so well behaved and that's what you want for domestic bliss.I'm sure it would do the dishes if it could.
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  • By the look of those pix all I'd need to do to propagate is grab a tiller and yank. Just like Lemon Grass, it grows new roots quite quickly. Great, couldn't see me digging the concrete-like soil which surrounds the mature plants.

  • Given my past bamboo experiences, I thought some homework  was warranted(Good resource HERE):

    Difficult harvesting. Vetiver roots are threadlike strands that form lacy networks throughout a large volume of soil. To obtain the roots in quantity, therefore, vast amounts of dirt must be dug. Except in loose, light soils, the workload is enormous, especially considering the small amount of root obtained. Even in volcanic ash and sandy bottomlands, the task of digging vetiver roots is so difficult that it is often hard to find people willing to do it.

    Also, separating the soil from the intricate roots involves extreme drudgery. Commercial production is usually done only near waterways where the soil can be washed off.....


    Vetiver is easily killed by slicing off the crown with a shovel or other implement. It is also easily eradicated by systemic herbicides. It is so easy to remove that in some places it is used in crop rotations as a fallow crop.

    I've hacked into the base of the plant for 'cutting' material but I see where there are options like with bamboo:



    While obviously a great long lasting mulch resource and stunning to look at, I'm thinking about its further utility. The best part is that it grows in my sand when other grasses , even native ones, don't do so well.  

    Wind break. ...Shade....

    Assuming it is easily removed-- when push comes to shove -- I'm thinking of growing clumps scattered among the veg mounds. I'm growing indian shot canna, aloe vera, dogbane and pigface like this at the moment but I reckon the more roots going down the merrier. . Lemon grass in sand is a waste of effort-- although I grow it on the nature strip for herb and mulch purposes. 

    Vetiver's long  vertical root mesh must count for something in way of Regenerative sponsorship. My Pigeon peas have come on nicely, although I haven't had much of harvest from them yet. But with them I've got a deep tap root working for me.

    The other plants are all easy to control, cut and mulch with that I'm becoming more confident in the polycultural experiments.

    In the past -- a previous garden life -- I bordered my veg patch with Lemon Grass 'hedges' to good effect. 

  • Good link, Dave thanks! I need to divide some to make some more plants and atm it's daunting to think about digging up such enthusiastic rooters. So I need to see if others have come up with less physical ways of getting cuttings.

  • Maybe not so easy to divide I find...but today I had an epiphany as to how I could deploy the grass more effectively--now that I am dividing.

    The Vetiver System Network is full of ideas.

    While the whole shebang reminds me of the 80s and 90s  culture of bamboo ecstasy , so far, given my hands on experience, I'm liking Vetiver much more --aside from the useable cane issue.

    I'd grow Vetiver in paces I'd not plant bamboo-- like in cooee of veg patches because the roots go DOWN. If push comes to shove I'd cut back the Vetiver for mulch  and shroud the rooted remains  with a sun shading cover to kill it.

    Try that with bamboo.

    Nothing could be as life threatening to one's person  than  removing bamboo! Nothing!!

    With Vetiver I just sharpen my sickle and I'm Sweeney Todd...then cover it with a pot or bucket or dark plastic sheet or tarp..

  • The Dishes Dave, that I would like to see.

    Though I do love your passion for Ikebana, wonderful arrangement and love the table.

  • Hooley dooley, my Vetivers roots must go down 'to China'!

  • Pretty.

    The two clumps I had just kept getting bigger and bigger. They were semi useful as chop and drop but so sharp to handle and eventually taking up so much room I donated them to two large, strong men to remove and use somewhere else for soil erosion.

  • Whats' not to like:



  • They are graceful plants. The Monto variety doesn't set seed. Mine is in dire need of a haircut and at present, with no front fence, it's an impenetrable jungle.

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