In normal to cold winters, the plants die. Harvesting lemongrass stalks. We use our lemongrass every way imaginable: teas, flavorings for Asian soups and curries, juiced and turned into summer sorbets, and more. 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. These plants are used to make citronella oil, sprays, and various other insect repellent products. Step 2: Propagate and Plant Place store-bought lemongrass stalks in shallow glass of water for about 1 week. Just before our first fall freeze, we always dig up a few lemongrass stalks with roots on. At maturity lemongrass plants can reach 6′ tall x 5′ wide, so select your planting location(s) accordingly. Change water every day. 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. which will take around 21 days to germinate. How to grow lemongrass in containers: Lemongrass grows well in a self-watering container that is at least 10 inches deep. The ideal soil for growing lemongrass is moist and fertile loam soil. 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. Now that you know how to grow lemongrass, the next step is learning how to cook with it or use it for other applications…. Water it regularly. In fact, lemongrass has insect-repellent properties! You can grow lemongrass in a pot or your herb garden but it also makes a great addition to garden beds. 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. Sow lemongrass seeds 1 inches apart and 1/4 inches deep. Plant in a container and place in a south-facing window or under grow lights to encourage growth through winter. Lemongrass and kiwano melons harvested before a frost. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the rootball of the lemongrass plant. A beautiful harvest of fresh organically-grown lemongrass. 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. A couple times each year, we’d go see family in Tampa, Florida. Technically, lemongrass is a perennial, but it will not overwinter in the ground in cooler climate zones. In cold zones, dig a few stalks of lemongrass and pot up to grow indoors through winter. 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. Place plants in a sunny, sheltered position over summer and keep well watered. Secondly, you can propagate lemongrass from a cutting (see the method below) and plant in the ground. Lemongrass cooking tip: cut your lemongrass stalks into 2″ chunks when using it for cooking. 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. It all depends on how cold of a winter it is. Just be sure not to pile the mulch directly against the lemongrass stems or you could rot the plants. If you live in a cold climate region, we’ll give you detailed tips below to show you how. Each of these plants started from a single lemongrass stalk, and will get much larger before first frost. 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. Lemongrass plants grow large and can quickly outgrow their containers; choose a large container. I had no idea what Tom Kha Gai was or what was in it, which made it all the more appealing. 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 is one of the easiest plants to propagate. We’ve had them overwinter only during very mild winters. I grew up in a small town in South Carolina that was not exactly known for its ethnic restaurants. When it comes time to transplant them outdoors (see instructions below) you’ll have more mature plants that already have good growth on them. The most common dishes that use lemongrass are Asian cuisine. Tyrant Farms is reader-supported. They don’t have as much flavor as the stalks. Once you know how to grow lemongrass, you’ll want to grow it every year thereafter. This herb requires high levels of nitrogen for survival. Otherwise you’re likely to get lots of little cuts on your hands and arms due to the sharp leaves. The Tyrant processing lemongrass stalks post-harvest as Charlie the Cat comes over to investigate. How many lemongrass plants do you want to grow next year? The research showing the effectiveness of lemongrass for repelling insects is based on using the concentrated oil from the plants, not the plant itself. Once you learn how to grow lemongrass, you can make it a staple in your warm weather garden every year. In spring or summer, place lengths of stem into small p… Keep this in mind if you have young children or pets that might go bounding into the plant in your garden. In cold-winter areas, move container-grown lemongrass indoors or to a sheltered location during the winter. Planning for lemongrass in your garden or edible landscape. Put this pot of lemongrass in a warm, sunny spot on a window ledge or out on your patio. Remove mature lemongrass stalks from this year’s plants before first frost – one stalk = one plant next year. In its native habitat, lemongrass grows in full sun, even in hot climates. If you have clay soil in your area, you will want to amend the soil in the planting hole with composted manure before planting. Plant lemongrass in a warm, sunny spot that is convenient to water. Cut back any dead foliage in late winter, early spring and watch it thrive. Instead just cut the stalks close to the base and they’ll grow back. It will need protection from frost in these areas so choose a sheltered location or grow in a pot which can be moved around. Remove leafy tops, leaving 5 to 6 inches above the stalk base. Lemongrass plants thrive in all conditions but love the warmth so make sure they get enough sun. 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. Each plant can grow to between 3 and 6 feet high if you do grow it outside. Click here to learn more about our story, and please subscribe to get our freshest content delivered to your inbox! Depending on when you plant it, generally, it takes a couple of months to grow to full size. Remember you’ll need to pull the stalk out of the ground to use in cooking so don’t use it all at once! The problem is, they also require high humidity and a soil temperature of roughly 70 degrees to thrive. After separating, plant the divisions 1-2 feet apart in your desired location. Growing lemongrass from cuttings is the preferred method of starting new plants. A new experience! Therefore, you should only plant/transplant your lemongrass outdoors AFTER your last frost date of spring (find yours here). 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. One of my favourite herbs. As the waitress explained, one of the main flavorings was called “lemongrass,” small chunks of which were floating in the soup. 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. One night, when I was seven, we went to a Thai restaurant. Two giant lemongrass plants (left) growing at Oak Hill Cafe & Farm, where I’m the farm manager. 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. Soil. Harvesting involves cutting it with a sharp knife flush to the surface of the soil. A minimum temperature of 5C (40F) is ideal. Congratulations! It will be somewhat smaller if you have to keep it inside. We’ve never had a long enough growing season where we live (Zone 7B) for our lemongrass plants to produce flowers. Grow your lemongrass in full sun, with plenty of water, in a rich, well-draining soil. Honestly, there isn’t a perfect time of the year to do this as lemongrass is really hardy it will survive most seasons. How to Grow Lemongrass Indoors. 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). treatment of fungal infections and skin inflammation (, anti-amoebic, antibacterial, antidiarrheal, antifilarial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties (. Sow seeds 5cm deep and 50cm apart. Pick the freshest stalk from your. Fertilizing. Lemongrass Plant Profile. Do lemongrass plants repel mosquitoes and other insects? 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. 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. We hope you’ll include this delicious plant in your warm weather garden for years to come. Lemongrass is a plant that really does require as much sun and warmth as possible. Its lemony stalks are most commonly used in East Asian cooking to add flavour to broths, soups and curries. :) This is how a single lemongrass stalk can quickly grow into a giant plant. When you see fresh leaves sprouting from the new stalk, the lemongrass’ roots are ready to be transferred to the soil. document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "af3dd9c9a9e35f5ca3f244a1b57e94d4" );document.getElementById("fe02d60459").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read our blog! Lemongrass will perform best in full sun. 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. Lemongrass is a tropical grass that thrives in summer heat. 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. Make sure you have a full sun spot and the space required to grow lemongrass. Lemongrass will naturally propagate itself, once it is established. This will help the soil drain better, as well as provide food to your plant over time. 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. Plants can also be raised from stems bought in shops. Lemongrass Growing Conditions. Then plant the lemongrass so the top of the root base is about 1″ below the soil surface. 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. 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. 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). Yes, that includes Canada. Lemongrass sorbetto – oooh! © 2020 - Tyrant Farms. How to grow American groundnuts in your garden, Potted citrus garden video tour (Zone 7b), Recipe: Sugar-free persimmon cranberry relish. Aaron also writes for Edible Upcountry Magazine, WordPress (.com), Daily Harvest Express, and other food and tech-related organizations. Then you probably have access to all the lemongrass stalks you need to propagate your own plants. A month after planting, start feeding your lemongrass plant with Miracle-Gro® All-Purpose Water-Soluble Plant Food every 2 weeks. If your plant is looking sad make sure it is getting enough sunlight and give it some water. 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. 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). 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. You now know how to grow lemongrass in your garden and how to use it. A 5-10 gallon pot, bucket or grow bag will do the trick of growing lemongrass. In other words, lemongrass is one of the easiest plants to maintain that you’ll ever grow. 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. In the produce section, pick out lemongrass stalks that have the most root base still attached. I live in Italy in zone 8b and succeeded in overwintering lemon grass last year. Each of those tiny shoots will grow into a new mature stalk, which will then divide into more new stalks. Lemongrass grows at its best at temperatures between 75F and 86F, though it can tolerate temperatures down to about 64F. The sharp, papery leaves above the stalks are often chopped to make into tea. This will help break down its cell walls, allowing more flavor to more quickly enter your food. Two of our favorite summer flavors in the same harvest bowl: lemongrass and Hibiscus sabdariffa calyxes. So include lemongrass in your foods and beverages because it tastes great. As its name implies, lemongrass has the growth habit of a giant grass. and use as desired! Lemongrass is one of the easiest plants to propagate. “Tom Kha Gai” the waitress said. Lemongrass plants can be grown in cooler climates by overwintering them in a protected environment. 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! In cold climates, lemongrass should be started indoors to ensure that it has time to mature in a short growing season. Lemongrass can last for over a month properly stored in your fridge. Lemongrass is one of the fastest-growing perennials. Thirdly, you can buy a lemongrass bush and use as desired! While lemongrass grows best in tropical – moderate climate zones, you can also learn how to grow lemongrass anywhere. Yes, lemongrass produces flower stalks and flowers. Did you enjoy this article about how to grow lemongrass? If you can have any pot or container at home, that’s good, or you can purchase your favorite container from the link below. Start them in small containers indoors in a sunny, warm spot. In addition to their collaboration on Tyrant Farms, Aaron and his wife, Susan, are cofounders of, a USDA certified organic seed & gardening education company. Kick off the growing season by mixing several inches aged compost or other rich organic matter into your native soil. Nope, … Then cut each stalk back to about 5″ tall, and plant them in small containers to overwinter indoors in a sunny window. There are two common varieties of lemongrass. He also serves on the board of the Diversified Agriculture Committee for the South Carolina Farm Bureau. While there, the family tradition was to go to a different ethnic restaurant as many nights as possible. 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. Leaves will likely grow just a few inches, but you can harvest the fresh flavor. 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. Best guess: it probably takes at least 9 months of ideal growing conditions for a lemongrass plant to produce flowers. Make sure this area has full sun as well as nutrient-dense and well-aerated soil. 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. 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. Privacy Policy. 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.. We’ve never had a lemongrass plant be affected by plant disease or be eaten by insects. Yes, but…. 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. An added bonus is that it likely does have a host of medicinal benefits as well. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. These two flavors actually go quite well together. Lemongrass is very drought-tolerant, but it will size up better if it gets regular water. If so, please pin this image to share the love! I do hope the same will happen this year becaue I cannot put all inside – too many. Get your mag delivered!-Save 29% off the cover price! ) Also very nice for making sorbetto. If you’re planting lemongrass in close proximity, space them at least 5′ apart. Sow seeds 5cm deep and 50cm apart. Place a lemongrass stalk in a glass or jar of water to grow a new stalk. We overwinter these plants indoors in a warm, sunny window. The best and easiest way to grow lemongrass is to purchase it directly from your grocery store. Care for indoor lemongrass plants is easy and productive. Lemongrass thrives in Australian climates, here’s everything you need to know. We also write for Edible Upcountry Magazine, so be sure to check out our articles over there as well! 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