Growth management of vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) under Mediterranean conditions

N. Dudai, E. Putievsky, D. Chaimovitch, M. Ben-Hur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In spite of the advantages of Vetiver grass in light of environmental aspects, this plant is not used in the Mediterranean region. The objectives of the present study were: (i) to elucidate growth parameters and establishment of Vetiver under Mediterranean conditions suitable for its various environmental applications; and (ii) to develop management practices for growing vetiver under Mediterranean conditions. In greenhouse experiments conducted under controlled conditions it was found that, in general, increasing the minimum/maximum temperatures to 21-29 °C significantly increased plant height. In the Mediterranean region, this range of air temperatures is obtained mainly during the summer, from June to September. For air temperatures up to 15-23 °C the effect of day length on plant height was insignificant, whereas in air temperature >15-23 °C, the plant heights under long day conditions were significantly higher than under short day. The number of sprouts per plant increased exponentially with increasing air temperature, and was not significantly affected by the day length at any air temperature range. In open fields, the heights of irrigated vetiver plants were significantly higher than those of rain-fed plants. It was concluded that, once they were established, vetiver plants could survive the dry summer of the Mediterranean region under rain-fed conditions, but they would be shorter than under irrigation. Cutting or burning of the plant foliage during the spring did not improve the survival of vetiver during the dry summer. In order to obtain fast growth of vetiver and to increase the possibility of its using the rainwater, the plants should be planted in the winter, during February and March. However, under this regime, the vetiver plant cannot be used as a soil stabilizer during the first winter, because the plant is still small. In contrast, under irrigation it is advantageous to plant vetiver at the beginning of the summer; the plant then has sufficient time to grow and develop before the beginning of the winter, so that its effect as a soil stabilizer in the following wet winter could be maximal. It was found that vetiver could grow in a wide range of substrates, such as: sandy soil, loamy sand, clay soil, crushed limestone, sandy clay loam, and tuff/peat mixture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Mediterranean region
  • Runoff
  • Soil conservation
  • Vetiver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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