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Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is an amazing herb and it is easy to grow. This wonderful plant is part of the poaceae family of grasses.
Sometimes referred to as West Indian lemon grass, lemongrass is native to Maritime Southeast Asia. Subsequently, it has been introduced to many countries in the tropical regions.
Lemongrass growing by division is the best way to propagate this plant.
Lemongrass growing from seed
Lemongrass should be located in full sun, though partial sun in the afternoon is tolerated.
Time needed: 3 minutes.
How to grow lemongrass from seed.
- Sow Seeds: Plant during spring when the soil temperature is above 20C (68F). Sow seeds in holes 30cm (12in) apart, dropping 3 seeds into each hole.
- Water and Sun: Water your seeds after planting and water regularly thereafter.
- Pot: Transfer strong seedlings into a pot and place in full sun if possible. When they reach 20cm (8in) in height transfer your plant into their final destination (eg larger pot, raised bed or into the ground).
- Mulch: Mulch around you plants to deter pests and save water.
- Harvest: You can begin harvesting once the plant is at least a foot high. However, do not harvest more than 1/3 of the plant at a time. When harvesting, cut individual stalks as needed as close to ground level as possible.
Growing Lemongrass in Australia
Lemongrass seeds can be difficult to germinate, so growing from division is a great option. This is very easy to do. Simply separate clumps of plants from the main body of lemongrass and transfer them into new pots. Make sure the clump you take to transplant has a good chunk of the roots with it.
Lemongrass does not need a lot of fertilising. However, applying liquid fish fertiliser in autumn and spring will give this herb an added boost.
Lemongrass does not like dry or soggy soil, so try to keep it just evenly moist, with frequent light watering.
Pests and Diseases
Lemongrass is fairly pest resistant, but pests include thrips, lesion nematodes and white grubs.
White oil is a popular solution to address pests. Neem oil is also a great organic way to keep pests at bay.
Growing Lemongrass in Pots
It is quite easy to grow this herb in pots. So the first decision you need to make is the size of the pot, and that will depend on how much lemongrass you want to grow.
We use a green smart wicking bed. This way if we forget to water it for a while, the plant will still have access to water.
You want to grow in a good medium. So look for lightweight, crumbly, nutrient rich soil for your pot.
Lemongrass Growing for Cooking and Health
Lemongrass is a herbaceous perennial plant native to tropical climates. Indeed it has a strong lemony aroma and can be used in many types of dishes, including soups and stews. In addition, drinking tea made with lemongrass can help reduce stress, improve digestion, and even boost your immune system.
Cooking with Lemongrass
Make sure you peel away the outer layers with your fingers and discard them. What you will uncover is a pale yellow stalk that is softer and easier to slice. So this is what we want to use in cooking.
Finally, lemongrass contains antioxidants which can help the body fight free radicals in your body that may cause disease. Indeed it has chlorogenic acid, isoorientin, and swertiajaponin, which are antioxidants that help to prevent cell damage in your coronary arteries.
In conclusion, we wish you all the best with your lemongrass growing.
Other Tropical Herbs
- Grow Basil at Home
- Garlic Chives
- Thai Chili
- Vietnamese Mint Growing (laksa leaf)