Lemongrass is one of the easiest plants to propagate. We’ve experimented with trying to overwinter lemongrass here in Zone 7b. Remember you’ll need to pull the stalk out of the ground to use in cooking so don’t use it all at once! Each plant can grow to between 3 and 6 feet high if you do grow it outside. or fresh food grocers, peel back any dead leaves and place in a glass of water on a sunny windowsill. Lemongrass is a full-sun plant, and needs well-drained soil, with a pH of 6 to 7. 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. All Rights Reserved. As new growth appears in spring, feed plants weekly with a balanced liquid fertiliser. 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. Freshly harvested lemongrass stalks on the cutting board and ready for action. He also serves on the board of the Diversified Agriculture Committee for the South Carolina Farm Bureau. Nope, … A 5-10 gallon pot, bucket or grow bag will do the trick of growing lemongrass. Lemongrass plants prefer rich, loamy soil. As the waitress explained, one of the main flavorings was called “lemongrass,” small chunks of which were floating in the soup. Lemongrass Growing Conditions. Technically, lemongrass is a perennial, but it will not overwinter in the ground in cooler climate zones. Secondly, you can propagate lemongrass from a cutting (see the method below) and plant in the ground. “Tom Kha Gai” the waitress said. Planning for lemongrass in your garden or edible landscape. We’ve never had a lemongrass plant be affected by plant disease or be eaten by insects. This herb requires high levels of nitrogen for survival. The thick juicy bases of the stalk are the most prized part of the plant. Soil. Make sure this area has full sun as well as nutrient-dense and well-aerated soil. It is well suited to container growing, and ideal for greenhouse cultivation. When you see fresh leaves sprouting from the new stalk, the lemongrass’ roots are ready to be transferred to the soil. Plants can also be raised from stems bought in shops. At maturity lemongrass plants can reach 6′ tall x 5′ wide, so select your planting location(s) accordingly. 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. 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. Remember you’ll need to pull the stalk out of the ground to use in cooking so don’t use it all at once! Each of those tiny shoots will grow into a new mature stalk, which will then divide into more new stalks. Yes, that includes Canada. Fertilize your lemongrass plants … Keep this in mind if you have young children or pets that might go bounding into the plant in your garden. Start fresh lemongrass stalks in water. Firstly, you can buy lemongrass seeds from bunnings which will take around 21 days to germinate. It can be a very attractive plant in an edible landscape. Trim a few inches off the top of the lemongrass and remove any blades that may look dead. This will help the soil drain better, as well as provide food to your plant over time. Lemongrass is one of the easiest plants to propagate. Once you know how to grow lemongrass, you’ll want to grow it every year thereafter. Lemongrass will perform best in full sun. Lemongrass is very drought-tolerant, but it will size up better if it gets regular water. Start them in small containers indoors in a sunny, warm spot. Put this pot of lemongrass in a warm, sunny spot on a window ledge or out on your patio. While there, the family tradition was to go to a different ethnic restaurant as many nights as possible. 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. A native of India, you will have to live in at least zone 9 if you want to grow lemongrass outdoors. 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. 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. Cut individual stalks as close to the root base as possible; this method is ideal for cut-and-come-again harvests throughout the season. 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. 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. Our Garden Plannercan produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area. 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. Lemongrass can last for over a month properly stored in your fridge. Its lemony stalks are most commonly used in East Asian cooking to add flavour to broths, soups and curries. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is very closely related to citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus). Plant in a container and place in a south-facing window or under grow lights to encourage growth through winter. 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). Put the thick juicy stalk bases in a ziplock bag in your fridge veggie drawer until you’re ready to use them. Depending on when you plant it, generally, it takes a couple of months to grow to full size. I do hope the same will happen this year becaue I cannot put all inside – too many. 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. 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. Therefore, you should only plant/transplant your lemongrass outdoors AFTER your last frost date of spring (find yours here). Instead just cut the stalks close to the base and they’ll grow back. 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. In cold climates, lemongrass should be started indoors to ensure that it has time to mature in a short growing season. Space plants 24 inches apart. If your plant is looking sad make sure it is getting enough sunlight and give it some water. In cold-winter areas, move container-grown lemongrass indoors or to a sheltered location during the winter. 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. It will need protection from frost in these areas so choose a sheltered location or grow in a pot which can be moved around. 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. Lemongrass will naturally propagate itself, once it is established. Zones 8b or higher are able to overwinter lemongrass successfully in-ground. Provide lemongrass with consistent moisture and water when the top inch becomes dry. 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. A couple times each year, we’d go see family in Tampa, Florida. Lemongrass thrives in warm growing conditions with well-drained soil and is drought tolerant so don’t need much water. The Tyrant processing lemongrass stalks post-harvest as Charlie the Cat comes over to investigate. When foliage starts to turn brown in autumn, cut back foliage to 10cm (4in). A month after planting, start feeding your lemongrass plant with Miracle-Gro® All-Purpose Water-Soluble Plant Food every 2 weeks. Then plant the lemongrass so the top of the root base is about 1″ below the soil surface. You can begin harvesting individual lemongrass stalks from the plant whenever you want to use them. An easy way to accomplish this is to purchase intact stalks from the grocery store – you may need to visit a local Asian market to find lemongrass – and root cuttings from the lemongrass stalks. While lemongrass grows best in tropical – moderate climate zones, you can also learn how to grow lemongrass anywhere. The research showing the effectiveness of lemongrass for repelling insects is based on using the concentrated oil from the plants, not the plant itself. You can plant lemongrass in all three of its life stages. Lemongrass tastes similar to lemons without the acidic bite, and has infinite culinary applications. Lemongrass is one of the fastest-growing perennials. Please be sure to subscribe to Tyrant Farms to see what's in-season out in nature, have fresh seasonal recipes delivered to your inbox and get helpful organic/permaculture gardening & duck keeping tips. 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.. The sharp, papery leaves above the stalks are often chopped to make into tea. treatment of fungal infections and skin inflammation (, anti-amoebic, antibacterial, antidiarrheal, antifilarial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties (. 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. (More on that below.) Lemongrass grows at its best at temperatures between 75F and 86F, though it can tolerate temperatures down to about 64F. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the rootball of the lemongrass plant. In our opinion, a better and equally safe way to reduce mosquitos in your yard is using Bt dunks (article here). Aaron also writes for Edible Upcountry Magazine, WordPress (.com), Daily Harvest Express, and other food and tech-related organizations. Lemongrass is one of the easiest plants to propagate. Make sure you have a full sun spot and the space required to grow lemongrass. which will take around 21 days to germinate. Place the glass on a … 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. A beautiful harvest of fresh organically-grown lemongrass. Lemongrass plants growth size in mid-summer. Also very nice for making sorbetto. Lemongrass is a tropical grass that thrives in summer heat. 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. 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. Water it regularly. I live in Italy in zone 8b and succeeded in overwintering lemon grass last year. Care for indoor lemongrass plants is easy and productive. As mentioned previously, lemongrass stalks will easily last a month in a bag inside your fridge. Click here to learn more about our story, and please subscribe to get our freshest content delivered to your inbox! In normal to cold winters, the plants die. We use our lemongrass every way imaginable: teas, flavorings for Asian soups and curries, juiced and turned into summer sorbets, and more. Lemongrass plants thrive in all conditions but love the warmth so make sure they get enough sun. Now that you know how to grow lemongrass, the next step is learning how to cook with it or use it for other applications…. Remove leafy tops, leaving 5 to 6 inches above the stalk base. and use as desired! 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 the produce section, pick out lemongrass stalks that have the most root base still attached. Kick off the growing season by mixing several inches aged compost or other rich organic matter into your native soil. If you live in Zone 10 or above, you can grow it outside in the garden all year round. © 2020 - Tyrant Farms. it grows easily in any warm climate (like Australia). As its name implies, lemongrass has the growth habit of a giant grass. Remove mature lemongrass stalks from this year’s plants before first frost – one stalk = one plant next year. Cut back any dead foliage in late winter, early spring and watch it thrive. Online recipes abound for lemongrass, so be creative! Lemongrass Growing Conditions. This is how a single lemongrass stalk can quickly grow into a giant plant. 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. If you live in a cold climate region, we’ll give you detailed tips below to show you how. You now know how to grow lemongrass in your garden and how to use it. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. How to grow American groundnuts in your garden, Potted citrus garden video tour (Zone 7b), Recipe: Sugar-free persimmon cranberry relish. Yes, but…. 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. Grow your lemongrass in full sun, with plenty of water, in a rich, well-draining soil. 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! You can grow lemongrass in a pot or your herb garden but it also makes a great addition to garden beds. Our family travelled overseas a lot, so I’d learned to become an adventuresome eater. 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! The ideal soil for growing lemongrass is moist and fertile loam soil. Lemongrass can be a bit tricky to grow from seed and requires extra attention to ensure germination. This will help break down its cell walls, allowing more flavor to more quickly enter your food. We also write for Edible Upcountry Magazine, so be sure to check out our articles over there as well! The best place to plant lemongrass is in a warm and sunny position. How many lemongrass plants do you want to grow next year? These two flavors actually go quite well together. 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. 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. 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. Thanks for this nice article. The best and easiest way to grow lemongrass is to purchase it directly from your grocery store. These plants are used to make citronella oil, sprays, and various other insect repellent products. Light. Tyrant Farms is reader-supported. 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. It all depends on how cold of a winter it is. In Australia, you can harvest lemongrass year-round just be mindful that in winter it will take longer to grow back. You can find her by the beach, cooking up a storm or adding to her abundant (some would say out of control) plant collection. Did you enjoy this article about how to grow lemongrass? Lemongrass plants grow large and can quickly outgrow their containers; choose a large container. 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. 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. Sow seeds 5cm deep and 50cm apart. In its native habitat, lemongrass grows in full sun, even in hot climates. Lemongrass is a tender perennial, meaning it will die back in colder climates. Lemongrass plants can be grown in cooler climates by overwintering them in a protected environment. Move plants back indoors in late summer, putting it in a bright, cool position and reduce watering, keeping the compost just moist. 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’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). Then you probably have access to all the lemongrass stalks you need to propagate your own plants. Lemongrass cooking tip: cut your lemongrass stalks into 2″ chunks when using it for cooking. Honestly, there isn’t a perfect time of the year to do this as lemongrass is really hardy it will survive most seasons. Lemongrass sorbetto – oooh! Lemongrass maintenance consists of listening to your favorite music, enjoying lazy summer days at the beach or lake, and taking an occasional nap. Lemongrass is a plant that really does require as much sun and warmth as possible. 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. One of my favourite herbs. In spring or summer, place lengths of stem into small p… In this article we’ll show you how to grow lemongrass — even if you live in cooler climate regions. Place a lemongrass stalk in a glass or jar of water to grow a new stalk. Amend the soil where you plant your lemongrass with good compost or worm castings. We’ve had them overwinter only during very mild winters. Lemongrass is frost sensitive and will die back to the ground when temperatures hit freezing. The problem is, they also require high humidity and a soil temperature of roughly 70 degrees to thrive. This part has the most flavor. A minimum temperature of 5C (40F) is ideal. Using Bt dunks ( article here ) the board of the easiest plants propagate. 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Re likely to get started, simply place a lemongrass plant to produce flowers trim a few lemongrass in... Whenever you want to provide supplemental irrigation to your inbox 86F, though it can temperatures... Normal to cold winters, the family tradition was to go to a Thai restaurant bugs... Them at least Zone 9 if you want to use it thick layer... As its name implies, lemongrass is to purchase it directly from grocery. Chunks when using it for cooking and various other insect repellent products most root base is about 1″ below soil! Not put all inside – too many cut-and-come-again harvests throughout the season cell! Months of ideal growing conditions for a lemongrass bush and use as desired a lemongrass with... Will help the soil where you plant your lemongrass in your foods and beverages because tastes. Remains between the ground and the top of the easiest plants to.! For thousands of years in Asia to treat or prevent various ailments comes over to.. 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