Gotu kola is a ground hugging herb that grows in India, Pakistan, parts of Africa, Turkey and is native to the wetlands of Asia. It has been a topic of conversation for its medicinal properties and has been a featured herb in Ayurvedic medicine and Asiatic tonics. It spreads via runners and has small spatular leaves with tiny pink to white flowers. Asiatic coinwort, as it is also known, is hardy to USDA zones 7 to 11 (lows of 0 F) and thrives in full sun but can grow in the shade. It can become an invasive weed when grown in damp areas and it colonizes moist lawns.
Things You'll Need
- Peat moss
- Gotu kola plant
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Dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the plant's root ball. Chose a site near water or in a boggy area of the yard with poor drainage. Line the hole with an inch of peat moss and 2 inches of compost. The peat will help hold the moisture in the soil and the compost furnishes the rich wetland soil that the plant will need to thrive.
Backfill half the soil you removed from the hole. Remove the plant from the nursery container and fan out the roots gently. Flood the hole with water until it contains 3 to 4 inches of water. Press the roots of the plant into the muddy soil and then cover with 2 to 3 inches of soil or just enough to cover the roots.
Press the soil around the area firmly leaving a large depression. Disperse the rest of the soil from the hole elsewhere.
Water the depression again until it is flooded with water. You will have to flood it daily in the summer to keep the soil soggy. Gotu kola can even be grown in water with its leaves spread out and floating. Do not let the area get dry or the plant will die back, although it will probably regrow if re-hydrated quickly.
Propagate the plant by cuttings set in damp rich soil or by planting a seed in moist compost. You can collect seeds from the flowers in the summer and save them in a dry tightly sealed container. There are several look-a-like plants so be certain you have the correct one before you attempt any self-healing teas and obtain your doctor's advice.