Gotu kola – Indian Pennywort – Centella asiatica
With only a few necessary conditions, Gotu kola will grow just about anywhere and under a wide range of environmental conditions. If you have purchased ‘bare root runners’ then you will need to expect a loss of existing leaf while the rootstock ‘reboots’ and adapts to your environment.
This is perfectly natural and you need not assume that you have killed the plant.
In our experience, one to two weeks (depending on the season) is necessary to re establish the plant happily.
If you have purchased potted plant, then you are at least 2 weeks ahead already.
Gotu kola will grow in almost any soil but if it is constantly wet then the leaves will show brown spots and you know immediately that you need to either move the plant or change the watering conditions.
If you have a high content of mulch in the soil, then the plants will spread better and establish more strongly.
While it can and will tolerate full sun, all day, the best results are obtained by some shade during the hottest part of the day.
This makes it perfectly suited to grow under trees, as long as the shade is not complete, all day.
The illustration below shows best how to plant the runners for the highest success rate.
If you have purchased potted Gotu kola then your best course of action is to keep them in their pots for a week and place them in the area that you intend to grow them.
Once they are acclimatised you are free to either pot them into larger pots or directly into the garden.
Water twice daily until they show signs of spreading and then, ignore them completely.
Constant harvesting of the leaves will ensure a continual supply and will encourage the plant to spread.