Aromatic Plants

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)


  • The oil of patchouli is extensively used in perfumery industry. There is no synthetic substitute for oil of patchouli which increased its value and demand in the perfumery market.
  • The crop is not commercially cultivated in India and the entire demand is met through imports.
  • Patchouli, a native of Philippines, is a perennial, aromatic herb growing to a height 60 - 90 cm. Patchouli flourishes in partially shaded areas hence can be grown as an intercrop in coconut gardens of coastal Andhra Pradesh, it can be grown in other parts of Andhra Pradesh as an irrigated crop in well drained fertile soils.


  • Singapore, Indonesia, Johori, Malaysian and Java types are available in India.


  • Patchouli is propagated through rooted stem cuttings.
  • Terminal and middle cuttings, having 4 - 5 nodes and 2 - 3 leaves are dipped in 4 per cent formalin and rooting harmone, planted in polythene bags filled wiht garden soils kept under partial shade and watered regularly.
  • The cuttings root and are ready for planting in 40 - 60 days.


  • The land is prepared to good tilth by ploughing, harrowing and planting.
  • 15 tonnes of well decomposed FYM, 2.5kg neem cake, 250 kg single superphosphate and 155 kg muriate of potash per hectare are applied basally. Rooted cuttings are transplanted in the field during rainy season with a spacing of 60 cm between rows and 45 cm between plants (37000 cuttings / hectare).
  • The field is irrigated frequently until the plants establish, thereafter the irrigation schedule is modified depending on water holding capacity of the soil and weather conditions.

Interculture - Fertilizers

  • The crop is kept free of weeds by two weedings before first harvest and one hoeing after each harvest.
  • The crop is fertilized with 225 kg urea per hectare in six equal splits at two splits per harvest. In zinc deficient soil.
  • 25 - 50 kg zinc silphate per hectare is applied. Micronutrients and growth regulators are sprayed for every harvest.

Plant protection

  • Patchouli is attacked by root knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita causing heavy damage.
  • Heavily infected plants are stunted in growth and wilt. Application of Furadon at 25 kg hectare checks the infection.
  • Intecropping with periwinkle or Tagetes is also suggested.

Harvesting - Profits

  • The first harvest is taken 5 months after transplanting.
  • Subsequent harvests are obtained at 3 - 4 months intervals. The crop yields 1750 - 2500 kg dried leaves, 45 - 65 kg oil and net profit of Rs. 40000 - 60000 per hectare per year.
  • Dried leaves can be sold at Rs. 40 per kg.


  • The oil is distilled from the air-dried (in shades) herb by using a distillation process as described in plamarosa. The recovery of oil from the shade dried herb is 2.5 - 3.5 per cent. The duration of distillation is 6 - 8 hours for complete recovery of the oil