Cold Weather Tolerance of Vetiver Grass

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Vetiver System Applications Technical Reference Manual states in section 2.4:
"Although Vetiver is a tropical grass, it can survive and thrive under extremely cold conditions. Under frost conditions its top growth dies back or becomes dormant and ‘purple’ in color, but its underground growing points survive. In Australia, Vetiver growth was not affected by severe frost at –14ºC (7ºF) and it survived for a short period at -22ºC (-8ºF) in northern China. In Georgia (USA), Vetiver survived in soil temperature of -10ºC (14ºF) but not at –15ºC (5ºF). Recent research showed that 25ºC (77ºF) was optimal soil temperature for root growth, but Vetiver roots continued to grow at 13ºC (56ºF). Although very little shoot growth occurred at the soil temperature range of 15ºC (59ºF) (day) and 13ºC (56ºF) root growth continued at the rate of 12.6cm/day, indicating that Vetiver grass was not dormant at this temperature and extrapolation suggested that root dormancy occurred at about 5ºC (41ºF).”
Some additional comments on this subject can be found in this page at The Vetiver Network Blog

In summary, it all depends on temperature. If the soil is permanently frozen in winter the grass will be killed. However, it will survive a sporadic snowfall.


Anonymous said...

I bought 40 vetiver plants to help with the erosion problem on my riverbank. Hurricane Katrina took a lot of trees from my property on the Abita River and the erosion problem began. I kept filling and planting, but not the right thing. I called in students from the LSU engineering dept. to study the problem and their solution was expensive and not possible for me, so I googled erosion and found a site that suggested vetiver as a solution. Then I just happened to find yours on eBay. It is working fabulously and I will be getting more in the spring. THank you. Suzanne

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