I first heard about the vitex trifolia on the local gardening forum. Someone posted up some articles claiming that village in one of the ASEAN countries burned the dried vitex leaves to repel mosquitoes and that it worked very well.

Repel mozzies? I was definitely hooked, since I really hate mozzies.

I looked about here and there and everywhere, but there was no nursery which sold the plant in a size small enough for me to plant in a pot and cultivate it at home. Furthermore, the seeds was rumored to not be willing to germinate well. So, I needed cuttings.

Someone at a local nursery was kind enough to give me cuttings to start me off. I must have been an extremely strange sight holding really large twigs and going home on the bus. But ah well. All in the name of having a plant, isn’t it?

I haven’t yet tested the efficacy of the leaves on repelling mozzies – I keep forgetting to bring them along whenever I go trekking. But there have been a few articles written about the effectiveness of the leaves, so I suppose the properties claimed are substantiated with some evidence, at the very least.

The cuttings seem to go through moods where they sheds leaves and have their twigs dry off so that many times, I think that the whole pot wouldn’t survive. But ever since I started using worm poo to feed them, the cuttings have given me new and lusher leaves.

I can’t wait for the plants to flower again, since the purple flowers are rather delicate and pretty, and helps to beautify my too-green a growing area a little bit.

Care: Not too fussy about the soil mix, but keep it on the moist side
Fertilizing: Does well with frequent weak fertilization
Sunlight: Full sun preferable
Propagation: Easily by cuttings

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