Catherine Cartwright-Jones © 2004
1 year old henna plant
Henna, lawsonia inermis, is a small desert tree, but you can grow it as a houseplant. You can grow it outdoors if temperatures never drop below 50F or 11 C. If it is indoors, keep it in the sunniest place possible, and plan on it getting about 8 ‘ tall in five years.
When you get a new henna plant, put it in a large pot of potting soil, and give it one drenching watering, then put it in your sunniest window. It may drop its leaves from the shock. If it drops its leaves, prune it back and let it shoot out new growth.
Three year old Lawsonia Inermis
Henna prefers a hot climate with long droughts. Let your henna plant’s soil get dry, then give it plenty of water all at once. Henna is used to drought/monsoon cycles. Do not water it a little bit every day! Henna in constantly moist soil suffers from aphids, root rot and scale. If your henna houseplant gets aphids or scale, powder it with cat flea powder, or spray it with pet flea spray.
From time to time, a young henna plant may shed all of its leaves. If your plant drops its leaves from a sudden chill, a pest attack, or just because it feels like it, it is probably just sulking and not actually dead. Prune the branches back, repot the plant, mix up a little fertilizer into water, and give it a fresh start. In a month, your plant should put out vigorous new growth.
You can sprout and grow henna from seed. Read Mark Foster’s “Henna: Germinating Seeds”
You can order henna seeds online.
You can order henna plants online from Companion Plants:
I've gotten healthy live henna plants from them.
Richter’s also has live henna plants and seeds.
For more information on cultivating and using fresh henna, see:
Henna in the Bible
Commercial Henna Growing
Germinating Henna Seeds
Growing Henna in the House
Henna Farming in India
Henna Farming in Pakistan
Milling Henna Leaves
Use Fresh Henna Leaves
Return to the Index of Henna: Lawsonia Inermis
Can't find what you're looking for? Try:
The Henna Page Main Index
*"Henna, the Joyous Body Art"
the Encyclopedia of Henna
Catherine Cartwright-Jones c 2000
registered with the US Library of Congress