Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) potted plant, organic

(25 customer reviews)

$9.50

Family:  Carrot (Apiaceae)

Hardy to Zones 8 to 12, otherwise grown as a potted plant or summer annual, 90 days to harvest

(Indian Pennywort, Gotu Kola, Brahmi, Hydrocotyl asiatica)  Creeping perennial native to the tropics of the world, especially Hawaii, India, Tropical America, Southeast Asia and Africa. Etymology: Gotu Kola is Sri Lankan for “cup-shaped leaf.”  Hydro = water, cotyle = cup-shaped.  Cent = 1/100 of a dollar.  So, “hydrocotyl”: refers back to the common name (water-cup) and centella refers back to the pennywort grouping.  “Asiatica” refers to the Asian origin, even though the plant is pan-tropical.  I have personally experienced two different ecotypes: the Hawaiian/African/Indian ecotype with larger, heavily-scalloped leaves that are lobed at the base and the Asian ecotype that has smaller leaves, rounder and not as plump, with less pronounced scallops.  We have found the Asian type to be disease resistant and more vigorous and therefore somewhat easier to grow than the Hawaiian type. Traditional usage (Ayurveda): one of the Rasayana, said to increase mental clarity and impart long life.  Used to treat ulcerations both internal and external, improve digestion and fight amoebic dysentery.  Regular use imparts healthy color and tone to skin, treats eczema, psoriasis and rheumatism.  Speeds healthy growth of hair, skin and nails.  The young leaves are tasty in salads and may also be used in smoothies.  The leaves are often juiced, the juice mixed with water and sugar to make a refreshing and cooling drink. Plant prefers warm sun and rich, fertile soil or fast-draining soil, appreciating side-dressing with compost or regular applications of liquid fertilizer (fish emulsion, kelp tea, compost tea). Water frequently.  Space plants 2 feet apart–they spread!   Field-grown gotu kola can get quite large, yielding several pounds per plant.  I have included a photo of one plant harvested midseason here in Oregon.  The plant is on a sorting screen, with a full-sized shovel underneath it (red band on the handle).  This will give you an idea of how effective it is to grow the plant in standard field or garden context.  r

 

Potted plant, Certified Organically Grown

PS, a bit more.  Information found on the web regarding Gotu Kola is full of hearsay, bibliographic echo and error.  The CABI invasive species compendium, in cooperation with USDA,  shows a primary photo that is not Centella asiatica (the plant does not make white flowers that hover up over the leaves!)  The growing conditions are listed by many sources as “swampy” which is inaccurate.  Actually, the plant does best in places where excellent drainage is combined with frequent watering, and may easily rot and disappear in overly wet environs.  The primary plant will make a long taproot, appearing like a thin carrot, and will send out horizontal rhizomes that root in at the nodes.  These axillary plants will send nutrients back to the mother plant, and may also be removed by the gardener and replanted at a distance (they are clones).  Flowers are normally reddish and occur at the very base of the plant and eventually at every node that becomes sufficiently mature.  The flowers give way to the seeds, really 2 seeds joined in a disk, which break apart at absolute ripeness.  The seeds are longitudinally ridged, which helps differentiate them from seed of look-alikes, such as other pennywort species.  Gotu Kola is a pioneer plant in the tropics that covers ground laid bare by fire, construction, etc.  Gotu Kola grows luxuriously in ditches in India, and the story goes that in the early days, when herbalists imported Gotu Kola from India, one of the shipments contained a hubcap!  Nowadays we assure a clean product by growing our own.  RAC

 

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5 out of 5 stars

25 reviews

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  1. Question

    Mary Dee

    What is the size of this plant?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      These are currently about 6 inches across in 3-inch pots. They are very good plants

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  2. Question

    Ellen Malona

    In the Adirondacks of northern New York, is it wise to start gout kola seeds now September 6th for spring planting? Will you have seeds and/or plants available in the spring of 2021?

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    • Mayche Cech

      Mayche Cech

      Hello Ellen,
      It might be a good idea to get the seeds now and plant them now in the greenhouse or if there is no greenhouse then plant them in the spring. We have seeds in the fall and they sell out by spring. Gotu kola plants themselves are difficult to overwinter without facilities, and even then they tend to suffer. I like to grow them as a spring annual–the same would work for you. Richo

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  3. 2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Mary

    Success in northern MN, Zone 3

    Mary (verified owner)

    Plant arrived in great condition, as always, and took off right after planting it in a large pot and putting it in the greenhouse. Filled the planter with runners and new plants in no time. This is my second plant. First one didn’t make it through in the “winter greenhouse”…too cold. I rescued this second plant from the “winter greenhouse” before it hit 55F last year and was able to overwinter it inside my house in a south-facing window with a little pampering. It didn’t look happy, but it survived and jumped back into action as soon as it started warming up and could be put back in the greenhouse for the summer. I’m hopeful that it will survive a second winter… Thanks for the great plants and information you provide, Richo!

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    • Tom Davenport

      My own experience is similar to yours though aphids have been persistent this winter on plants taken indoors at my residence. They did better last winter both with and w/o heat mats in a greenhouse w/o any hard frosts. The skin of the greenhouse is shot this winter and plants are still surviving OK both on and off heat mats, no hard frosts so far.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      yes, they tend to suffer during the winter and can take on all kinds of woes like aphids or viruses. then they get healthy again in the spring. i managed to keep some mother plants extremely nice this year under lights in the heated greenhouse–they are in full flower and seeds will follow. r

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    • Mary S.

      I am having such a hard time with gotu kola! I am in Tucson, AZ and my plants get about 3 hours per day of sunlight. I’ve keep them nice and wet but about 1/2 of my 12 plugs have died in about 3 weeks – so sad 🙁 I am curious if I am overwatering them? Too much sun? I have several in a large fish aquarium, and the others scattered about in plastic containers – like the kind salad greens come from. I was under the impression this would help them maintain the moisture they crave in my hot, dry environment. Any suggestions?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Mary,
      In Tucson, gotu kola will need shade. These plants are very tenuous until they kick in, and then they are unstoppable. It is very easy to lose a small gotu kola. They cannot be kept in a fish tank–that won’t work–they love water but need excellent drainage. Plant the plant to the garden in the shade, in rich, moist, well-drained ground. Once (or if) it gets over the shock, it will start to grow like mad.
      Richo

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  4. djhoffman66

    Grows great

    djhoffman66 (verified owner)

    This plant is easy to grow. I love this company, they are honest and great people.

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  5. Question

    Alicia

    Are the Gotu plants still in stock? Will they grow under sunlamps ok?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Yes, they are still in stock. They tend to live on and on indoors but suffer until you get a chance to plant them out in warm weather again. Its hard to grow a really good one under lights, but can be done. r

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    • Lizzy

      What’s the best way to keep them alive indoors through the winter? Is it better to pot them up or keep them bare root? Is on the ground in an unheated hoop house good enough? A window sill inside a house? I live I Portland but the hoop house is in Orient, OR which is much windier and a bit colder.

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      gotu kola isn’t going to last long as a bare root. Its one of those herbs that likes perfect drainage and lots of nutrient-rich water. I actually have had them overwinter here unprotected in S. Oregon but they certainly weren’t happy about it. I have my overwintering stock in a tropical greenhouse under lights. That would be my recommendation.

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    • Tom Davenport

      We’re trying a few here w Coco Coir media – after leaching out the high salt content the media comes with via 6-7 H2O rinse & soaks. The NaCl content can be high depending on brand/batch.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi tom, yes and something we’ve discovered recently is that the potted plants really like bottom heat. the plant likes heat pretty much any way it can get it. regarding the coir, another approach is to mix ground limestone in, which neutralizes the salt. I use a cup per whellbarrowfull of black gold “just coir” which is a really nice product.

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  6. One person found this helpful
    Marissa

    Flourishing in 115-degree desert heat

    Marissa

    We ordered three of these plants in the spring of 2019. Now, in August, it is hot in Las Vegas and most of our leafy greens have either gone to seed or are too bitter to be delicious. The gotu kola, however, is flourishing in the heat and yielding beautiful, tender leaves that taste great. Grateful! We have it in a spot where it is getting full sun for the entire afternoon, side-by-side with violet and spilanthes.

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    • Jill Madison

      Hi,
      My gotu plant has some yellow leaves that look like too much water, however I can’t imagine the case because I live in Los Angeles. it’s in a shady spot as we get quite a bit of heat. Any ideas? Thank you!

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Jill, Gotu Kola either looks happy or sad, there is no in-between for this plant. It is a heavy feeder. Give dilute fish emulsion and make sure the plant dries out thoroughly between waterings. Richo

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    • Vivian (verified owner)

      Hi, I just received gotu kola plants from you and am trying to decide where to plant them. What is the likelihood that this plant will overtake the area in which I plant it. I’d prefer not to suffocate my other plants nearby. We are in a very dry climate and I was thinking about planting them where I’ve got some irrigation in place and hoping the seedlings will stay where there is adequate water.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Vivian,
      The Gotu Kola will want rich, moist soil in the sun. They are not aggressive, and can easily be pulled back if they go somewhere you don’t want them to. I never get complaints that gotu kola is invasive–it is the other way around–people complain that it doesn’t grow fast enough.
      Richo

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    • Arleen

      Can i plant gotu kola in a pot?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      yes, these do well in a pot, but they pretty much require a grow light–they seem to fail in pots unless given a great deal of light. r

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  7. Question

    Mohan

    Are they in-stock now? And also I belive they are Rau Ma/Indian-Pennywort(https://www.nhp.gov.in/centella-asiatica-vallarai_mtl) and not the dollarweed isn’t it ? Thanks

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello, Yes, our gotu kola this year is really nice. We have plenty, and we start shipping again Sep 9. It is not dollarweed. I planted several populations of our gotu kola to rich moist soil in the sun this year and they are simply gorgeous at this point. Recommended. Richo

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  8. Question

    Lynn (verified owner)

    Do they tolerate heat well if you keep them well watered. Full sun? Or needs shade also?

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    • Diana

      Admin Diana

      You can give them some shade if you want but I have mine in full sun–Plant prefers warm sun and rich, fertile soil or fast-draining soil and is highly productive and attains a bright green color when given regular applications of liquid fertilizer (fish emulsion, kelp tea, compost tea). Space plants 2 feet apart–they spread!

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  9. One person found this helpful

    Question

    Janice

    I live in Way North Scottsdale, AZ, near Carefree AZ. We are in Zone 9B. I would like to grow this plant for medicinal reasons. I hear that this plant is good for brain health and skin. How may plants should I buy so they will grow enough to eat the leaves?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Janice,
      My regular approach is to plant at least 3 of everything. Plants seem happier that way, and triangles are strong. Gotu Kola can yield magnificently if given full sun, compost and regular watering. It takes about 60 days to really kick in.
      Richo

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    • Anna

      What happens to them in Winter? If you ship them in Sept and they take 2 months to really get going, it will be beginning to be Winter here, I am in the Central Valley of California. Will they survive the Winter and return next year? Or ??

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Anna,
      Gotu Kola probably will overwinter in the central valley–I’ve had it overwinter here in a Z7 on a mild winter. If you up-pot to a gallon and put it in an unheated greenhouse you can start getting leaves to eat in a few weeks. I guess I cannot really predict what will happen to the plants–I just give the best plant I have, the best information I can, and hope that people use these resources constructively. I’ve seen a sick seedling coddled into a strong tree and I’ve seen great plants abused to stubs. I go into the greenhouse, find the plants that are calling out, and love them up with larger pots and compost.

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  10. Question

    Rose

    I live in New Smyrna Beach Fl, I would like to use these as a ground cover instead of a lawn, do you think it would work? People here are always trying to kill it in there lawn. I don’t have grass now only green mowed weeds.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      It wouldn’t work all that well, the plants don’t really stand up to traffic. You might try Rupturewort, Bugle, or Buckwheat.

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  11. Question

    Colleen Warner

    When might you expect to have these in stock again?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Colleen,
      These are in stock, I adjusted the inventory and you should now be able to purchase.
      Richo

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    • Maria Patel

      Hi, are these sold, potted? How big exactly is 1 plant?
      Also, I live in California, how would you recommend I grow them? I prefer indoors and it gets pretty hot here.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Maria,
      Yes, the gotu kola plants are sold potted. We aim at giving a healthy starter plant and the size is about the size of the palm of your hand, more or less, depending on season. We recommend potting up to a gallon on receipt. They grow best in high heat areas in the garden. Sometimes they can make good potted plants.
      Richo

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  12. Peggy Karp

    Plants are doing great

    Peggy Karp (verified owner)

    The gotu kola plants arrived promptly and in perfect shape. I put them in 5 gallon pots in a rich potting soil, in a location that gets morning sun, and water them daily, and eat 2 or 3 leaves, with stem, every day. Hardly makes a dent. Am going to order some for my daughter.

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  13. One person found this helpful
    Richo Cech

    Admin Richo Cech

    A customer asked if gotu kola would do well growing in an aquarium, and to this I responded with a short writeup on drainage requirements for gotu kola: The plant will indeed thrive underwater for short periods of time–it is basically a ditchweed in the tropics, so is accustomed to water flow and subsequent drainage.  However, it is not the kind of plant that floats in water and stays healthy and increases that way.   Instead, in greenhouse culture, I recommend to grow the plant in a fast draining mix and water frequently.  Fish emulsion fertilizer or compost tea is well-tolerated and can greatly increase yield.  Alternatively, I grow them in moist compost in the garden with a full sun aspect.  They increase greatly in these conditions.

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    • Juanita

      Is there anyone growing gotu kola here in the low desert? If so, would you share any adjustments for our harsh summers, please? Perhaps in a wicking pot?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello Juanita, Yes, growers in dry desert areas make adjustments to provide humid shade. This means your greenhouse gets a layer of 40% shadecloth over the plastic or glass. You can try growing the plant in the garden by providing shade, regular watering and plenty of compost. Try to avoid evermoist conditions for the roots–they need perfect drainage. They do not like to sit in water, but require frequent watering. r

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    • george laham

      how tall is this plant for $ 10 and instruction of maintenance,thanks george laham 310/213-0539

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello George, The plants are about 3 inches tall in the pot which is not much less than they are at maturity–this is a low-growing and spreading, mounding plant. All our plants should be potted up to gallons or put out to the garden on receipt. Here is the information on culture copied from the writeup–if you want to see more about the plant, hover over the picture and click on the “read more” button. Plant prefers warm sun and rich, fertile soil or fast-draining soil and is highly productive and attains a bright green color when given regular applications of liquid fertilizer (fish emulsion, kelp tea, compost tea). Space plants 2 feet apart–they spread!

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    • Melanie

      If I want to grow this indoors, can it be shipped sooner?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Melanie,
      These are greenhoused and can easily freeze in transit, unless maybe you’re in Oregon or Cali. We guarantee shipments made after March 18th. Richo

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    • parul kapoor (verified owner)

      i am in zone 6 pensillvania this is my 3rd year Centella asiatica grow very well in outdoor garden but when i bring indoors they don’t survive i try so hard but no luck.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello Parul,
      Yes, these are best grown as a summer annual on a yearly basis. It is too much to expect them to overwinter indoors unmless in a heated greenhouse.
      Richo

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    • Laurie Vid

      Does gotu kola plant develop and increase in direct sun: Zome 10? What are the low temperatures and high temperatures that plant will tolerate?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello Laurie,
      Thanks for staying in touch. We have Gotu Kola listed as “Hardy to Zones 8 to 12, otherwise grown as a potted plant or summer annual, 90 days to harvest.” Hardy to Zones 8 to 12 (which includes Zone 10) means that the plants are likely to overwinter (or live through the rainy season, as it were) in these zones, and therefore will be perennial. When grown as a summer annual in any zone, the minimum temperature is 55 degrees F and there is no maximum temperature–these plants are tropical–they withstand full heat, full sun. They like a fast draining soil and frequent watering. They love organic compost applied around the plant after weeding. They will throw their runners into that. I have obtained very large yields in a Zone 7 garden using standard garden soil and organic compost. Gotu Kola is funny. Either the plants look sickly and tend to go away, or they look extremely robust and proliferate rapidly. there is no middle ground. If you have a plant, the idea is to get it into the iedeal growing conditions as quickly as possible so that it starts to increase and proliferate. In the greenhouse right now (late winter) we have large populations ready to ship to people in every zone, and we keep them lively with applications of fish emulsion. Richo

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    • Showandah

      I would love to try growing this, as the tinctures are expensive and I use them every day. I live on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state. It is wet here, and mainly, the nights never warm up. What are my chances I can get this to grow from seed?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello, If you have a greenhouse you can do it. Once you transplant starts to garden (after last frost) they will grow well, even with cold nights. You might want to buy plants in May. Richo

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    • Michelle

      Hi, Any customers in Tennessee Zone 7 who are experienced with this plant? My zone 7 climate is different from a west coast zone 7. Thanks.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      For all practical purposes unless you’re in the tropics Gotu Kola is planted as a summer annual, in Oregon and Tennessee.

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    • Janis

      Can the gotu kola be grown on a sunny kitchen window sill, then transplanted to the garden in May?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Janis,
      I would say unlikely but possible. Best to buy potted plants in June.
      Richo

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    • Thai

      Hi. I’ve heard a lot of this plant. Is this edible?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      yes, it is indeed edible

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    • Lydia (verified owner)

      Hello, I just received three of these plants from you. I’m planning to grow them in pots outside so I can try my hand at overwintering them indoors. Should I give them each their own pot (if so, how big)? Or put all three in a big pot 2 feet across? I plan to harvest it continually for salad greens tho I hope to make tincture as well if it produces enough. I’m in zone 5, Ithaca NY. Thank you!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Yes, we recommend planting each plant to its own gallon pot. Gotu kola likes perfect drainage and appreciates liquid fertilizer like compost tea.

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    • Tharindu

      Richo, Do you a placewhere I can get one of Gotu Kola pant in Oregon/Portland?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Tharindu,
      I don’t know, i can enable a few plants for you online, I picked seeds from some nice ones today, they are well-rooted and would work well for someone.
      Richo

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    • Brian Leese

      I’ve been fascinated with gotu kola for the last thirty years or so…it seems to be one of the herbs which reliably helps me access a state of “relaxed alertness”. I find it particularly helpful prior to public speaking. Many years ago, I experimented with growing some tropical species indoors and grew a decent amount of gotu kola under a grow light in a “humidity tent”—basically an indoor PVC hoop house with an ultrasonic humidifier and a fan in it. I grew the gotu kola in potting soil with a bit of extra perlite in one of those cheap plastic kiddy pools, about 3 feet across and 8 inches deep or so, and it did great, even with the total lack of drainage! I like to put the fresh leaves through a wheatgrass juicer for consumption, still one of my favorite ways to ingest it. I was recently shopping at at Asian grocery store (Fubon) here in Portland, OR, and was interested to see that they were selling big plastic bags of what appeared to be fresh gotu kola leaves for a few bucks. The price was right, but of course there was no info about species or growing conditions (some type of pennywort grown somewhere). I juiced some up and it was refreshing, but I didn’t quite get the medicinal effects I have experienced with organic fresh leaves of the true species. It’s great to see this humble plant getting a bit more attention, especially as it seems more sustainable than so many other tonic herbs with similar properties. Maybe someday we’ll see gotu kola “shots” on the menu at a juice shop! Thank you, Richo, for sharing so much knowledge and wisdom about all these amazing plants.

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    • Mayche Cech

      Mayche Cech

      Hi Brian, I do think it makes sense that gotu kola helps you before public speaking, as it supports intelligence and memory. That’s why this is considered a rasayana in ayurveda. I was just out in the field yesterday evening, checking on the water, and noticed that my gotu kola had spread luxuriously. It’s that time of year when it gets over the hump and really starts to pump. Keep going up there in Portland, gotta love portland.
      Richo

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