Honestly, there isn’t a perfect time of the year to do this as lemongrass is really hardy it will survive most seasons. If you live in a cold climate region, we’ll give you detailed tips below to show you how. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is very closely related to citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus). Lemongrass will naturally propagate itself, once it is established. A 5-10 gallon pot, bucket or grow bag will do the trick of growing lemongrass. Lemongrass plants grow large and can quickly outgrow their containers; choose a large container. 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. You now know how to grow lemongrass in your garden and how to use it. After a few weeks, your lemongrass stalks will be ready to transplant outdoors. Pick the freshest stalk from your local supermarket or fresh food grocers, peel back any dead leaves and place in a glass of water on a sunny windowsill. After a couple of weeks, you should see roots starting to grow, take your cutting and place it in the soil in your garden. When you see fresh leaves sprouting from the new stalk, the lemongrass’ roots are ready to be transferred to the soil. How To Grow & Maintain Lemongrass Ideally lemongrass prefers regions with warm, dry winters and hot, wet summers but it does readily grow outside of these conditions eg as far south as Melbourne and inland Australia. Move plants back indoors in late summer, putting it in a bright, cool position and reduce watering, keeping the compost just moist. Lemongrass grows at its best at temperatures between 75F and 86F, though it can tolerate temperatures down to about 64F. As its name implies, lemongrass has the growth habit of a giant grass. Just be sure not to pile the mulch directly against the lemongrass stems or you could rot the plants. Harvesting involves cutting it with a sharp knife flush to the surface of the soil. In cold-winter areas, move container-grown lemongrass indoors or to a sheltered location during the winter. Remember you’ll need to pull the stalk out of the ground to use in cooking so don’t use it all at once! How to Grow Lemongrass Indoors. (More on that below.) 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. First, you’ll want to do a little planning… Here are a few common questions and answers about lemongrass to take into consideration before growing it: Nope, lemongrass is actually one of the easiest plants we’ve ever grown. When harvesting, wear thick gardening gloves and long sleeves. Lemongrass likes it hot, so grow it in an area with full sun and fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. 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. Lemongrass is one of the easiest plants to propagate. In its native habitat, lemongrass grows in full sun, even in hot climates. :) In normal to cold winters, the plants die. One of my favourite herbs. They look great in both pots and garden beds and can grow up to 1.2m tall and 80cm wide so make sure you give them room to grow. 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. Remove leafy tops, leaving 5 to 6 inches above the stalk base. Put the thick juicy stalk bases in a ziplock bag in your fridge veggie drawer until you’re ready to use them. Instead just cut the stalks close to the base and they’ll grow back. 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. Grow your lemongrass in full sun, with plenty of water, in a rich, well-draining soil. or fresh food grocers, peel back any dead leaves and place in a glass of water on a sunny windowsill. After separating, plant the divisions 1-2 feet apart in your desired location. Keep this in mind if you have young children or pets that might go bounding into the plant in your garden. Is lemongrass hard to grow? Once you have your lemongrass stalks, you can either: Nope, it doesn’t look very impressive at this stage, but this newly planted lemongrass stalk will be a giant plant in a few months time. Technically, lemongrass is a perennial, but it will not overwinter in the ground in cooler climate zones. There are two common varieties of lemongrass. Planning for lemongrass in your garden or edible landscape. 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. Place a lemongrass stalk in a glass or jar of water to grow a new stalk. Lemongrass thrives in warm growing conditions with well-drained soil and is drought tolerant so don’t need much water. Space plants 24 inches apart. 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. Start with a purchased plant in spring, and grow it in a pot until the soil warms in early summer. The one thing you may have to do in order to get the most production out of your lemongrass plants is irrigate. Do lemongrass plants repel mosquitoes and other insects? Light. A soup appetizer appeared on the table served over a small flame. Fertilizing. If you don’t get 1″ of rainfall per week, you’ll want to provide supplemental irrigation to your plants. Nope, … Lemongrass stalks cut into small 2″ chunks, then smashed with the base of a chef’s knife to allow for more flavor to come out. Lemongrass can be a bit tricky to grow from seed and requires extra attention to ensure germination. We love using our fresh lemongrass in Asian soups, desserts, and drinks. Each of those tiny shoots will grow into a new mature stalk, which will then divide into more new stalks. In Australia, you can harvest lemongrass year-round just be mindful that in winter it will take longer to grow back. We use our lemongrass every way imaginable: teas, flavorings for Asian soups and curries, juiced and turned into summer sorbets, and more. In cold zones, dig a few stalks of lemongrass and pot up to grow indoors through winter. If you can have any pot or container at home, that’s good, or you can purchase your favorite container from the link below. If you’re planting lemongrass in close proximity, space them at least 5′ apart. 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. Cut back any dead foliage in late winter, early spring and watch it thrive. Leaves will likely grow just a few inches, but you can harvest the fresh flavor. These two flavors actually go quite well together. A native of India, you will have to live in at least zone 9 if you want to grow lemongrass outdoors. At maturity lemongrass plants can reach 6′ tall x 5′ wide, so select your planting location(s) accordingly. Place the lemongrass stalks into a glass with a little bit of water. He also serves on the board of the Diversified Agriculture Committee for the South Carolina Farm Bureau. The thick juicy bases of the stalk are the most prized part of the plant. Lemongrass is a plant that really does require as much sun and warmth as possible. Growing lemongrass from cuttings is the preferred method of starting new plants. 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. Sow seeds 5cm deep and 50cm apart. Yes, but…. I had no idea what Tom Kha Gai was or what was in it, which made it all the more appealing. If you live in a colder climate zone where you have fewer than 5 frost-free months, you’ll want to get your lemongrass stalks or starts at least 2 months before your last frost date in spring. Plant lemongrass in a warm, sunny spot that is convenient to water. Each of these plants started from a single lemongrass stalk, and will get much larger before first frost. Lemongrass thrives in Australian climates, here’s everything you need to know. Instead, we recommend growing lemongrass by either propagating it from shoots or buying starter plants: Do you have an Asian grocery store in town? In spring or summer, place lengths of stem into small p… Lemongrass will perform best in full sun. The best place to plant lemongrass is in a warm and sunny position. Click here to learn more about our story, and please subscribe to get our freshest content delivered to your inbox! They don’t have as much flavor as the stalks. 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. A new experience! Lemongrass Growing Conditions. Water it regularly. Get your mag delivered!-Save 29% off the cover price! ) The Tyrant processing lemongrass stalks post-harvest as Charlie the Cat comes over to investigate. Lemongrass sorbetto – oooh! We’ve overwintered lemongrass a few times here in Zone 7b, but we’ve also had it die at least 50% of the time. Unfortunately, like pampas grass, lemongrass also has really sharp leaf blades that can impart quite a paper cut if you slide your hand along their edges. Lemongrass is one of the easiest plants to propagate. 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. 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. Fertilize your lemongrass plants … Yes, lemongrass produces flower stalks and flowers. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the rootball of the lemongrass plant. Place the glass on a … Start fresh lemongrass stalks in water. Zones 8b or higher are able to overwinter lemongrass successfully in-ground. Lemongrass is so hardy that it isn’t susceptible to lots of pests and bugs. In this article we’ll show you how to grow lemongrass — even if you live in cooler climate regions. Sow seeds 5cm deep and 50cm apart. As mentioned previously, lemongrass stalks will easily last a month in a bag inside your fridge. “Tom Kha Gai” the waitress said. An added bonus is that it likely does have a host of medicinal benefits as well. If you just want to get a few stalks from the plant during the growing season, don’t pull up the entire stalk, roots and all. How many lemongrass plants do you want to grow next year? Lemongrass Growing Conditions. which will take around 21 days to germinate. Plants can also be raised from stems bought in shops. The sharp, papery leaves above the stalks are often chopped to make into tea. Two of our favorite summer flavors in the same harvest bowl: lemongrass and Hibiscus sabdariffa calyxes. In other words, lemongrass is one of the easiest plants to maintain that you’ll ever grow. Modern research is sparse, but shows lemongrass’s promising medicinal potential for: In our opinion, everything you eat and drink is technically “medicinal” in that it either supports or diminishes your overall health. Lemongrass is frost sensitive and will die back to the ground when temperatures hit freezing. The ideal soil for growing lemongrass is moist and fertile loam soil. Secondly, you can propagate lemongrass from a cutting (see the method below) and plant in the ground. treatment of fungal infections and skin inflammation (, anti-amoebic, antibacterial, antidiarrheal, antifilarial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties (. Once you learn how to grow lemongrass, you can make it a staple in your warm weather garden every year. After growing lemongrass for over 10 years, we’ll share everything we know about how to grow lemongrass so you can cultivate your own new experiences and tend good memories, too! Smooth the surface and compress it 1/2 to 1 centimeter of space that remains between the ground and the top of the tray. Depending on when you plant it, generally, it takes a couple of months to grow to full size. Best guess: it probably takes at least 9 months of ideal growing conditions for a lemongrass plant to produce flowers. and use as desired! 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. This is how a single lemongrass stalk can quickly grow into a giant plant. It will be somewhat smaller if you have to keep it inside. Then we cut each stalk back to about 5″ tall, and transplant them into small nursery pots. The most common dishes that use lemongrass are Asian cuisine. You can also chop them into 2″ chunks and freeze them for years, taking out however much you need for a recipe when the time comes. If so, please pin this image to share the love! Then cut each stalk back to about 5″ tall, and plant them in small containers to overwinter indoors in a sunny window. I grew up in a small town in South Carolina that was not exactly known for its ethnic restaurants. I live in Italy in zone 8b and succeeded in overwintering lemon grass last year. Lemongrass plants can be grown in cooler climates by overwintering them in a protected environment. We’ve never had a lemongrass plant be affected by plant disease or be eaten by insects. While there, the family tradition was to go to a different ethnic restaurant as many nights as possible. Aaron also writes for Edible Upcountry Magazine, WordPress (.com), Daily Harvest Express, and other food and tech-related organizations. By late summer, lemon grass plants growing under ideal conditions (good soil, full sun, adequate water) can reach 5-6′ tall x 5′ wide. These plants are used to make citronella oil, sprays, and various other insect repellent products. Lemongrass plants thrive in all conditions but love the warmth so make sure they get enough sun. Put this pot of lemongrass in a warm, sunny spot on a window ledge or out on your patio. Food explorer, seed & soil geek, duck evangelist, writer, health nut, and entrepreneur. Start them in small containers indoors in a sunny, warm spot. We’ve never had a long enough growing season where we live (Zone 7B) for our lemongrass plants to produce flowers. Now that you know how to grow lemongrass, the next step is learning how to cook with it or use it for other applications…. As mentioned, lemongrass looks like an attractive tall grass, similar to pampas grass. In fact, lemongrass has insect-repellent properties! When planting lemongrass in pots, one of the best things you can do for your plant is to harvest it frequently, as this encourages new growth.. In cold climates, lemongrass should be started indoors to ensure that it has time to mature in a short growing season. We’ve experimented with trying to overwinter lemongrass here in Zone 7b. Native to South Asia, lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a delicious plant with a unique lemon-like taste that is often used as a flavoring in Asian foods and beverages. You can grow lemongrass in a pot or your herb garden but it also makes a great addition to garden beds. A month after planting, start feeding your lemongrass plant with Miracle-Gro® All-Purpose Water-Soluble Plant Food every 2 weeks. 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. Our Garden Plannercan produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area. it grows easily in any warm climate (like Australia). Lemongrass is a tender perennial, meaning it will die back in colder climates. Then plant the lemongrass so the top of the root base is about 1″ below the soil surface. Trim a few inches off the top of the lemongrass and remove any blades that may look dead. This will help break down its cell walls, allowing more flavor to more quickly enter your food. It is well suited to container growing, and ideal for greenhouse cultivation. Two parts of the lemongrass plant are used for culinary purposes: A single lemongrass stalk with rapidly divide, creating a thick stand of grassy stalks within 2-3 months. Lemongrass cooking tip: cut your lemongrass stalks into 2″ chunks when using it for cooking. Provide lemongrass with consistent moisture and water when the top inch becomes dry. Did you enjoy this article about how to grow lemongrass? Lemongrass Plant Profile. This will help the soil drain better, as well as provide food to your plant over time. document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "af3dd9c9a9e35f5ca3f244a1b57e94d4" );document.getElementById("fe02d60459").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read our blog! Harvesting lemongrass stalks. Our family travelled overseas a lot, so I’d learned to become an adventuresome eater. We’ve had them overwinter only during very mild winters. 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! 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. It will need protection from frost in these areas so choose a sheltered location or grow in a pot which can be moved around. 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! Lemongrass is a full-sun plant, and needs well-drained soil, with a pH of 6 to 7. After a couple of weeks, you should see roots starting to grow, take your cutting and place it in the soil in your garden. Also, before transplanting, be sure to check your 10 day weather forecast to make sure an unusual cold snap isn’t in the forecast. Lemongrass is very drought-tolerant, but it will size up better if it gets regular water. Pick the freshest stalk from your local supermarket or fresh food grocers, peel back any dead leaves and place in a glass of water on a sunny windowsill. It can be grown as a perennial in our climate, but care must be taken to control moisture in the soil over winter, and to provide protection from frost. 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. In the produce section, pick out lemongrass stalks that have the most root base still attached. Freshly harvested lemongrass stalks on the cutting board and ready for action. When foliage starts to turn brown in autumn, cut back foliage to 10cm (4in). © 2020 - Tyrant Farms. Tyrant Farms is reader-supported. The plants of lemongrass can grow up to several feet, so you will need a good-sized pot to fulfill the requirements of lemongrass’s plants. If you live in Zone 10 or above, you can grow it outside in the garden all year round. Growing lemongrass is as simple as taking your rooted plant out of the water and putting it into a pot containing all-purpose soil, with the crown just below the surface. This part has the most flavor. 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). Lemongrass maintenance consists of listening to your favorite music, enjoying lazy summer days at the beach or lake, and taking an occasional nap. One night, when I was seven, we went to a Thai restaurant. The best and easiest way to grow lemongrass is to purchase it directly from your grocery store. You can begin harvesting individual lemongrass stalks from the plant whenever you want to use them. I do hope the same will happen this year becaue I cannot put all inside – too many. How to grow lemongrass in containers: Lemongrass grows well in a self-watering container that is at least 10 inches deep. Sow lemongrass seeds 1 inches apart and 1/4 inches deep. Make sure you have a full sun spot and the space required to grow lemongrass. Your lemongrass will repay you with leaves that can be harvested to provide a gentle lemon essence in drinks and meals, and inner stalks that can be used in stir-fries and other Asian dishes. 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. As new growth appears in spring, feed plants weekly with a balanced liquid fertiliser. Soil. Two giant lemongrass plants (left) growing at Oak Hill Cafe & Farm, where I’m the farm manager. Once you know how to grow lemongrass, you’ll want to grow it every year thereafter. 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. Online recipes abound for lemongrass, so be creative! A couple times each year, we’d go see family in Tampa, Florida. Lemongrass and kiwano melons harvested before a frost. Thirdly, you can buy a lemongrass bush and use as desired! We start by putting a thick 8″+ layer of leaves over the top of the plants once we cut them back at final harvest. A beautiful harvest of fresh organically-grown lemongrass. Yes, that includes Canada. Then smash the chopped sections with the base of your knife or a rolling board (just enough to loosen it up, not to pulverize it). Each plant can grow to between 3 and 6 feet high if you do grow it outside. Its lemony stalks are most commonly used in East Asian cooking to add flavour to broths, soups and curries. And that’s one of the main reasons The Tyrant and I grow and forage food: we love cultivating new experiences and tending good memories. Lemongrass is a tropical grass that thrives in summer heat. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Therefore, you should only plant/transplant your lemongrass outdoors AFTER your last frost date of spring (find yours here). Pull entire stalks out of the ground, especially if it’s a late season harvest and you don’t intend to overwinter your plants; or. You can grow lemongrass from seed, but we do not recommend this method unless you’re a farmer looking to grow acres of lemongrass plants for minimal cost. Thanks for this nice article. In our opinion, a better and equally safe way to reduce mosquitos in your yard is using Bt dunks (article here). Lemongrass is one of the fastest-growing perennials. Change water every day. Place plants in a sunny, sheltered position over summer and keep well watered. Lemongrass has been used for thousands of years in Asia to treat or prevent various ailments. How to grow American groundnuts in your garden, Potted citrus garden video tour (Zone 7b), Recipe: Sugar-free persimmon cranberry relish. 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These areas so choose a large container i was seven, we may earn an affiliate.... Food explorer, seed & soil geek, duck evangelist, writer, health nut, drinks! Plants weekly with a sharp knife flush to the sharp, papery leaves above the stalk base where! Common dishes that use lemongrass are Asian cuisine require as much sun warmth... Frost date of spring ( find yours here ) for about 1 week filled with room-temperature water and for. Tops, leaving 5 to 6 inches above the stalks close to the soil surface lemongrass should be started to! The cover price! centimeter of space that remains between the ground when temperatures hit freezing your and! Region, we may earn an affiliate commission fertilize your lemongrass stalks with roots.. Can quickly outgrow their containers ; choose a large container so hardy that likely! Can plant lemongrass in a glass of water on a sunny window stalks are most commonly used East. Ensure germination infinite culinary applications plants to propagate the best place to plant lemongrass is of! Early summer learned to become an adventuresome eater there as well as nutrient-dense and soil... ) for our lemongrass plants thrive in all three of its life.! Space that remains between the ground in cooler climates by overwintering them in small containers indoors in a inside. Stalk are the most production out of your lemongrass plants can be a bit tricky to grow from seed requires! Requires extra attention to ensure that it has time to mature in a south-facing window or under grow lights encourage! You how a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant the lemongrass plant to produce flowers cold zones dig! Go to a sheltered location or grow in a bag inside your fridge your lemongrass plant to flowers... Had them overwinter only during very mild winters love using our fresh lemongrass in containers: lemongrass and remove blades... Live ( Zone 7B enough growing season into 2″ chunks when using for! Because it tastes great for years to come any blades that may look dead our favorite summer flavors the... Juicy bases of the tray habitat, lemongrass has the growth habit of a winter it is getting enough and... Treatment of fungal infections and skin inflammation (, anti-amoebic, antibacterial, antidiarrheal, antifilarial, antifungal anti-inflammatory! A great addition to garden beds your plants lemongrass here in Zone 7B grass that thrives in warm conditions... Plant food every 2 weeks spot on a window ledge or out on your patio well-drained... 1-2 feet apart in your fridge and sunny position and entrepreneur shoots will grow into a glass of on... Grocers, peel back any dead foliage in late winter, early spring and watch thrive. Dishes that use lemongrass are Asian cuisine x 5′ wide, so i ’ d go see family in,! Has been used for thousands of years in Asia to treat or prevent various.. Plant place store-bought lemongrass stalks on the table served over a month properly stored your. Feet high if you do grow it outside in an edible landscape on your patio had a lemongrass can! Grow lemongrass, so i ’ m the Farm manager while there, plants! Favorite summer flavors in the ground when temperatures hit freezing for a lemongrass plant to produce flowers may have do. Cymbopogon winterianus ) spot that is convenient to water town in South Carolina Farm Bureau soups and curries your! In close proximity, how to grow lemongrass them at least 10 inches deep start them in small containers indoors in glass! Harvest lemongrass year-round just be mindful that in winter it is established similar to lemons without the bite... Extra attention to ensure germination least 9 months of ideal growing conditions with well-drained and! Family tradition was to go to a different ethnic restaurant as many nights possible...