Live henna plant help required

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Posted by Angela Hockley on June 29, 2001 at 14:50:37:

Hi! I think I've just bought 3 live henna plants and I've got a few
questions. First, if any of you out there have owned henna plants,
can you help me identify mine as actually being henna plants! I
bought them from a roadside marketplace in rural UAE and there was a
considerable language barrier between myself and the 3 men there. I
did show them a henna design on my hand and they they indicated that
the plants were the same for that, but initially 2 of them didn't
think they had any henna plants and 1 did. I'm not 100% confident
that they understood, or that they didn't just sell me any old plant
since I obviously didn't know how to recognize a henna plant. The
plants I've got are splindly looking things that are about 4 feet
tall. They've each got one long, thin main stem with other branches
coming off. The leaves are small and tend to be in clusters of 3
(especially off the main stems). Does this remotely resemble a henna
plant? Secondly, I read in a henna book I have that the henna plant
matures at 3 years. Anyone have any idea how old 4 foot henna plants
might be? Also, any special care instructions? I remember reading
some posts in the archives about henna plants being rather finicky.
Lastly, if I indeed do have henna plants, how do I harvest it and
make the leaves into henna paste? Any particular time of year, or
just whenever I need some new paste? Do I just cut the leaves off?
How many can I take off without hurting the plants? Once I have the
leaves, do I have to dry them first? How do I grind them up - food
processor? Any help anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks a lot, Angela


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