It will need protection from frost in these areas so choose a sheltered location or grow in a pot which can be moved around. If you don’t get 1″ of rainfall per week, you’ll want to provide supplemental irrigation to your plants. Move plants back indoors in late summer, putting it in a bright, cool position and reduce watering, keeping the compost just moist. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is very closely related to citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus). A new experience! Otherwise you’re likely to get lots of little cuts on your hands and arms due to the sharp leaves. Lemongrass is so hardy that it isn’t susceptible to lots of pests and bugs. Secondly, you can propagate lemongrass from a cutting (see the method below) and plant in the ground. Plant lemongrass in a warm, sunny spot that is convenient to water. Lemongrass sorbetto – oooh! After a couple of weeks, you should see roots starting to grow, take your cutting and place it in the soil in your garden. Decades later, every time I smell freshly-harvested lemongrass stalks from one of the plants growing in our organic garden in Greenville, SC, I’m transported back to that initial experience. Lemongrass Growing Conditions. Once you learn how to grow lemongrass, you can make it a staple in your warm weather garden every year. As its name implies, lemongrass has the growth habit of a giant grass. Lemongrass can be a bit tricky to grow from seed and requires extra attention to ensure germination. which will take around 21 days to germinate. Cut back any dead foliage in late winter, early spring and watch it thrive. Remember you’ll need to pull the stalk out of the ground to use in cooking so don’t use it all at once! We’ve overwintered lemongrass a few times here in Zone 7b, but we’ve also had it die at least 50% of the time. (More on that below.) If you live in Zone 10 or above, you can grow it outside in the garden all year round. Amend the soil where you plant your lemongrass with good compost or worm castings. Harvesting lemongrass stalks. I live in Italy in zone 8b and succeeded in overwintering lemon grass last year. Lemongrass stalks will naturally sprout roots if left in water, so the easiest way to grow lemongrass is to start with mature stalks from a grocery store. He also serves on the board of the Diversified Agriculture Committee for the South Carolina Farm Bureau. Lemongrass plants grow large and can quickly outgrow their containers; choose a large container. As a subtropical plant, lemongrass thrives in a warm and humid climate with temperatures ranging from 50 to 91°F degrees (10°C to 33°C). Lemongrass is one of the easiest plants to propagate. In Australia, you can harvest lemongrass year-round just be mindful that in winter it will take longer to grow back. Lemongrass has been used for thousands of years in Asia to treat or prevent various ailments. It can be a very attractive plant in an edible landscape. If you’re planting lemongrass in close proximity, space them at least 5′ apart. and use as desired! Easiest way to make sure you have some lemongrass to grow next year is to dig up and transplant one or two stalks (trimmed way back) with roots attached into small pots that you overwinter indoors before transplanting back out in the spring. It all depends on how cold of a winter it is. Its lemony stalks are most commonly used in East Asian cooking to add flavour to broths, soups and curries. In the produce section, pick out lemongrass stalks that have the most root base still attached. We hope you’ll include this delicious plant in your warm weather garden for years to come. The problem is, they also require high humidity and a soil temperature of roughly 70 degrees to thrive. © 2020 - Tyrant Farms. Sow seeds 5cm deep and 50cm apart. We love using our fresh lemongrass in Asian soups, desserts, and drinks. When it comes time to transplant them outdoors (see instructions below) you’ll have more mature plants that already have good growth on them. Honestly, there isn’t a perfect time of the year to do this as lemongrass is really hardy it will survive most seasons. Best guess: it probably takes at least 9 months of ideal growing conditions for a lemongrass plant to produce flowers. Get your mag delivered!-Save 29% off the cover price! ) We’ve never had a lemongrass plant be affected by plant disease or be eaten by insects. Do lemongrass plants repel mosquitoes and other insects? If you look closely at this image of a single mature lemongrass stalk that was broken off from the parent plant, you can see the small light-colored new shoots emerging from the base. Change water every day. By late summer, lemon grass plants growing under ideal conditions (good soil, full sun, adequate water) can reach 5-6′ tall x 5′ wide. Thirdly, you can buy a lemongrass bush and use as desired! Make sure this area has full sun as well as nutrient-dense and well-aerated soil. Remove mature lemongrass stalks from this year’s plants before first frost – one stalk = one plant next year. Once you’ve harvested your stalks, trim off the top leaves and chop them into small pieces to dry for tea (or compost if you have excess). You can plant lemongrass in all three of its life stages. Lemongrass is a tropical grass that thrives in summer heat. The one thing you may have to do in order to get the most production out of your lemongrass plants is irrigate. All Rights Reserved. How to Grow Lemongrass Indoors. Within seconds of the flavors crossing my taste buds, I knew I was in love with whatever magical ingredients had combined to form the flavors in my bowl. Step 2: Propagate and Plant Place store-bought lemongrass stalks in shallow glass of water for about 1 week. They don’t have as much flavor as the stalks. When you see fresh leaves sprouting from the new stalk, the lemongrass’ roots are ready to be transferred to the soil. Lemongrass Growing Conditions. A couple times each year, we’d go see family in Tampa, Florida. We’ve experimented with trying to overwinter lemongrass here in Zone 7b. They’re never very happy under these conditions, but they live until spring and bounce into full gear as soon as they’re outdoors in optimal growing conditions. Then plant the lemongrass so the top of the root base is about 1″ below the soil surface. Lemongrass maintenance consists of listening to your favorite music, enjoying lazy summer days at the beach or lake, and taking an occasional nap. It will be somewhat smaller if you have to keep it inside. If you don’t have an Asian grocery or you want to get plants that already have established root systems, you can order lemongrass starter plants here. Nope, … Put the thick juicy stalk bases in a ziplock bag in your fridge veggie drawer until you’re ready to use them. Each plant can grow to between 3 and 6 feet high if you do grow it outside. In this article we’ll show you how to grow lemongrass — even if you live in cooler climate regions. I grew up in a small town in South Carolina that was not exactly known for its ethnic restaurants. How to Grow Lemongrass from Seeds Fill a seed tray with a moistened mixture of equal parts compost, cocopeat or coconut fiber fine and abrasive. Lemongrass plants prefer rich, loamy soil. We’ve had them overwinter only during very mild winters. There are two common varieties of lemongrass. In fact, its growth habit looks a lot like pampas grass, which would be our least favorite plant on earth, if not for poison ivy. The white section of the stalk has the strongest flavour whereas the green leaves at the tips have a subtler flavour which is perfect for making your own lemongrass tea. Two of our favorite summer flavors in the same harvest bowl: lemongrass and Hibiscus sabdariffa calyxes. We recommend putting a 3″ deep layer of wood chips or mulch over the soil surface to protect the soil and help maintain even soil temps and moisture. Fertilizing. Smooth the surface and compress it 1/2 to 1 centimeter of space that remains between the ground and the top of the tray. If you can have any pot or container at home, that’s good, or you can purchase your favorite container from the link below. These plants are used to make citronella oil, sprays, and various other insect repellent products. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the rootball of the lemongrass plant. You can find her by the beach, cooking up a storm or adding to her abundant (some would say out of control) plant collection. If you live in a cold climate region, we’ll give you detailed tips below to show you how. The thick juicy bases of the stalk are the most prized part of the plant. Thanks, Annemiek! Click here to learn more about our story, and please subscribe to get our freshest content delivered to your inbox! document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "af3dd9c9a9e35f5ca3f244a1b57e94d4" );document.getElementById("fe02d60459").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read our blog! As the waitress explained, one of the main flavorings was called “lemongrass,” small chunks of which were floating in the soup. Lemongrass can last for over a month properly stored in your fridge. After a couple of weeks, you should see roots starting to grow, take your cutting and place it in the soil in your garden. Once you learn how to grow lemongrass and you get a season of growing experience under your belt, you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to grow! While there, the family tradition was to go to a different ethnic restaurant as many nights as possible. Planting and Caring for Your Lemongrass Use good-quality potting soil and plant each lemongrass stalk, one to a pot, so its roots are an inch or so beneath the soil surface. In normal to cold winters, the plants die. If you have clay soil in your area, you will want to amend the soil in the planting hole with composted manure before planting. You can also root a stalk from the produce market in water. An inch or two of water is enough to soak it enough for roots to grow, and all you need to do is freshen up the out every few days. How to Grow. To get started, simply place a few lemongrass stalks in a glass jar filled with room-temperature water and wait for roots to emerge. If you’re growing it in a pot, top-dress it with compost or worm castings every couple of weeks, to make sure it’s getting plenty of nutrients. In cold climates, lemongrass should be started indoors to ensure that it has time to mature in a short growing season. The best and easiest way to grow lemongrass is to purchase it directly from your grocery store. When foliage starts to turn brown in autumn, cut back foliage to 10cm (4in). We also write for Edible Upcountry Magazine, so be sure to check out our articles over there as well! An added bonus is that it likely does have a host of medicinal benefits as well. Lemongrass is a tender perennial, meaning it will die back in colder climates. This will help break down its cell walls, allowing more flavor to more quickly enter your food. Leaves will likely grow just a few inches, but you can harvest the fresh flavor. This part has the most flavor. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. In cold zones, dig a few stalks of lemongrass and pot up to grow indoors through winter. A 5-10 gallon pot, bucket or grow bag will do the trick of growing lemongrass. Lemongrass is frost sensitive and will die back to the ground when temperatures hit freezing. Cut each stalks to about 3 inches, place them in large pot with good soil mix or in the ground. Aaron also writes for Edible Upcountry Magazine, WordPress (.com), Daily Harvest Express, and other food and tech-related organizations. Privacy Policy. Instead just cut the stalks close to the base and they’ll grow back. If you surround your porch with lemongrass you might not have mosquitos hunkering down in your plants, but they’re still likely to fly to your porch from other locations when they smell you. Lottie Dalziel, is a 4AM riser and coffee-addict who loves reading up on the latest trends in sustainability or discovering ways to upcycle almost anything! Is lemongrass hard to grow? Lemongrass plants growth size in mid-summer. Growing lemongrass from cuttings is the preferred method of starting new plants. treatment of fungal infections and skin inflammation (, anti-amoebic, antibacterial, antidiarrheal, antifilarial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties (. It is well suited to container growing, and ideal for greenhouse cultivation. In other words, lemongrass is one of the easiest plants to maintain that you’ll ever grow. In addition to their collaboration on Tyrant Farms, Aaron and his wife, Susan, are cofounders of GrowJourney.com, a USDA certified organic seed & gardening education company. As mentioned, lemongrass looks like an attractive tall grass, similar to pampas grass. Online recipes abound for lemongrass, so be creative! Lemongrass grows at its best at temperatures between 75F and 86F, though it can tolerate temperatures down to about 64F. We overwinter these plants indoors in a warm, sunny window. Yes, lemongrass produces flower stalks and flowers. After a couple of weeks, you should see roots starting to grow, take your cutting and place it in the soil in your garden. Start fresh lemongrass stalks in water. Remember you’ll need to pull the stalk out of the ground to use in cooking so don’t use it all at once! Lemongrass will naturally propagate itself, once it is established. Just be sure not to pile the mulch directly against the lemongrass stems or you could rot the plants. Sow lemongrass seeds 1 inches apart and 1/4 inches deep. Depending on when you plant it, generally, it takes a couple of months to grow to full size. In our opinion, a better and equally safe way to reduce mosquitos in your yard is using Bt dunks (article here). it grows easily in any warm climate (like Australia). Light. Aaron is the former farm manager at Oak Hill Cafe & Farm, a no-till, permaculture, farm-to-table restaurant & farm located right down the street from his alma mater, Furman University, in Greenville, SC. Kick off the growing season by mixing several inches aged compost or other rich organic matter into your native soil. Lemongrass tastes similar to lemons without the acidic bite, and has infinite culinary applications. Place the lemongrass stalks into a glass with a little bit of water. 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