- Soil & Water Conservation
- Slope Stability & Protection
- Contaminated Land & Water Remediation
- Carbon Sequestration
- Sustainable Agriculture
VETIVER: Protects & Repairs the Environment
Vetiver - The Plant
- Chrysopogon zizanioides, a sterile, non-invasive adaptable grass
- Reduces soil erosion and rainfall runoff
- Stabilizes and protects slopes, banks and cuttings
- Decontaminates polluted land and water
- Survives a wide range of environmental conditions
- Mitigates flood damage
- Carbon Sequestration
- Improves natural well-being, health & vitality
- Handicrafts – giving communities hope
Vetiver Grass UK is the first company to introduce and sell live Vetiver Plants and a range of Vetiver Herbal Products in the UK and Europe. We are establishing a Vetiver nursery in the UK, that is backed up with our Vetiver farm in Spain.
Vetiver PhD Research Project
Our PhD Research Project with the University of Reading is conducting trials to investigate the efficacy of using Vetiver in the UK. The research is concentrating on the phytoremediation properties of Vetiver to reduce the concentrations of Nitrogen and Phosphorus entering local watercourses and thereby reducing water pollution. Diffuse Water Pollution causes serious environmental damage to the UK watercourses costing a £1.3 billion (NAO) per year, some of which we all pay for in our water bills. The project will also consider the effectiveness of reducing surface soil erosion and conserving soil moisture.
How Vetiver supports every one
of the UN's Global Sustainable
Frequently Asked Questions
Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizaniodes) is a tropical, sterile, clump forming grass, that originated in India. It is a long-living perennial grass, with deep roots and grows to a height of about 1-2m. Vetiver is able to grow in a wide range and often hostile conditions, that other plants cannot tolerate, making it suitable to grow throughout large areas of the globe.
Vetiver as a tropical grass, is a non-native species to the UK. As part of our due diligence, Vetiver Grass UK, contacted the Animal and Plant Health Agency – the government agency responsible for safe-guarding animal and plant health for the UK. Vetiver is not on any of the banned plant lists, nor does it require a plant passport to be imported into the UK. We have written confirmation that we are able to import Vetiver from the EU. Any plants we have to import from the EU will now have a Phyto-Sanitary certificate.
Our stock plants are all from a Vetiver Network certified grower in the EU and once our nursery is established in the UK we also plan to become certified. We recommend that you only buy Vetiver plants from known sources and you only buy Vetiver – Chrysopogon zizanioides. There are other varieties that don’t have the same properties and can be invasive, so always ask your supplier if they are selling certified plants. Or just buy from Vetiver Grass UK.
Vetiver has now been grown in the UK for 3-4 years and is best grown in the south of the country, ideally on a south facing slope with plenty of light. Recent research has shown that Vetiver will survive temperatures to -10°C as long as the ground isn’t frozen for an extended period. As with all natural products, there is no guarantee of survival, but if the planting instructions are followed then Vetiver should survive.
The number of plants will vary depending upon, what you plan to use the Vetiver for:
For Slope Stability it will depend upon:
The severity of the slope erosion, how steep the slope is and the length of slope from top to bottom.
We recommend that you plant Vetiver 15-20cm apart in the UK, so between 5-6 plants per metre.
If the slope is steep and more than 3m high then it would be advisable to plant Vetiver in rows approx. 1m apart and if the degree of erosion is severe then it may be necessary to plant up to 9 plants per metre.
If you are unsure about how many plants, then please contact us, preferably with the measurements of the slope and even better a photo, so we may be able to assist you.
For Soil Erosion it will depend upon:
If there is a slope then the above conditions will also apply, historical levels of soil erosion, soil type and topography of the land.
If slope stability is not an issue and you just want to reduce surface run-off, then we suggest you plant Vetiver 20-25 cm apart in the UK, so 4-5 plants per metre.
If the run-off is severe then we suggest that you plant Vetiver 15-20cm apart, so 5-6 plants per metre and, if necessary, plant 2 rows a metre apart.
If you are unsure about how many plants, then please contact us, preferably with the measurements of the land and even better a photo, so we may be able to assist you.
For Phyto-remediation of polluted water and land:
Vetiver has not been used in the UK for phyto-remediation so the exact number of plants needed is uncertain.
As part of our PhD research project, we are working with UK government agencies to assess the viability of using Vetiver in the UK for phyto-remediation.
Results in other regions of the world have been good and shown a significant level of reduction in N&P in receiving waters, whilst we don’t expect the same results, we are hopeful that there will be some reduction in N&P levels.
Vetiver is a tropical grass, so to get the best result it is better to plant Vetiver in the Spring, after any chance of frost has gone. We suggest you plant Vetiver between mid April and early July to give the plants time to establish over the summer months, before the winter and cooler temperatures set in.
Although Vetiver is a very robust plant and will survive in a wide range of conditions, there are a few guidelines that can help your plants thrive:
If you have heavy clay then the addition of compost will aid the drainage; this is important because Vetiver does not like to be waterlogged in the first few weeks after planting.
Similarly, if you have a very sandy soil then add some compost to prevent water from draining away too quickly, as Vetiver needs water in the first few weeks after planting.
We prefer to plant our Vetiver slips in individual holes, that we fill with water first then place the plant in and firm the soil. This method is often the safest and easiest method when planting on a steep slope.
It is also possible if you have a very long run to plant, to dig a trench mix in any compost if needed, water, then plant and firm the soil around each plant.
The slips should be planted so that the crown is just below the soil surface. Water immediately after planting and thereafter frequently during the first few weeks to ensure that they don’t dry out.
To test if the plants need watering, simply put your index finger into the soil up to the first knuckle, if it comes out clean, then they need water, if there a bit of soil stuck to it then you can probably leave it for a day.
Keep the soil moist, always check, don’t assume that because it has rained that the plant has sufficient water. After 3-4 months then the plants should be self-sufficient, a UK winter will certainly provide sufficient moisture for the plants to survive.
Vetiver makes an excellent addition to the Vegetable garden or Allotment. Vetiver not only provides a wind break it helps conserve soil moisture and can improve yields of crops.
Plant as a hedge around your vegetable garden, and apply the same guidelines described above to ensure that your plants thrive. Vetiver roots go straight down, so generally don’t interfere with nearby plants, so plant about 40-50cm away from any crops if you have the space. Vetiver can be cut back to a suitable height and the cuttings can be used as a mulch on the garden or as bedding for chickens, rabbits, etc.
As a tropical grass, Vetiver thrives in the sunshine, but will tolerate some dappled shade. However, it is unlikely to tolerate any shade in the UK as it is already out of its comfort zone, so it is better if Vetiver can be planted on south facing slopes to provide it with as much sunshine as possible.