Lemongrass plants are edible landscaping plants that can not only enhance the aesthetics of your garden but also offer delicious fresh herbs for the kitchen.
The foliage is also a beautiful color in autumn gardens as it turns red and burgundy.
In the words of the ASPCA, lemongrass can be toxic for cats and dogs.
If you love using lemongrass plants (Cymbopogon citratus) in your seafood and soups.
You may have noticed that it’s not readily accessible at your local supermarket retailer.
You might have even wondered how you can cultivate lemongrass on your own.
Actually, growing lemongrass isn’t too difficult and you don’t need to have a super green thumb to succeed.
Growing Lemongrass Plants
If you visit the supermarket, look for the freshes lemongrass plants that you can purchase.
After you return home take a couple of millimeters off the tops of the lemongrass plants.
Then remove anything that appears like it’s dead.
Then, take the stalks and place them in an unheated glass and set it in an open window.
After a couple of weeks, you’ll begin to see tiny roots growing at the base of the lemongrass plant’s stalk.
It’s similar to growing any other plant in the water in a glass.
The roots will develop a bit further and then transfer the lemongrass plants into the soil in a pot.
It’s as easy as taking the plant out of the water and placing it in an all-purpose pot with the crown lying situated just beneath the surface.
Set this lemongrass planter in a sun-lit, warm location on a window or onto your deck.
Make sure to water it frequently.
In a hot climate, you could plant your lemongrass plants in your yard in a pond or bog.
Naturally, growing your lemongrass indoors can be a great option as it allows you to access the fresh herb anytime you require it.
Lemongrass Plants Care
Lemongrass thrives in places where the conditions are similar to the humid and warm habitat of its beginning.
The plant is a fan of light, heat, and moisture.
Provide the conditions, then your lemongrass is sure to flourish and multiply quickly.
Lemongrass smells wonderful and is widely used as a repellent for pests.
The scent of the oil from the plant is believed to repel unwanted insects such as mosquitoes.
In its natural habitat, the lemongrass plant thrives in full sunlight even when it is hot.
A minimum of six hours of sun direct each day will satisfy the plant’s energy requirements.
Shaded plants are likely to be solitary and be attracted by insects. 3
Lemongrass plants like fertile, loamy soil.
You can make this perfect soil by adding various amending soils.
Compost, manure along leaf mould are all beneficial additives that you can incorporate during the time of planting.
Lemongrass likes moist soil for the best growth of plants.
However, when it’s established it can endure dry conditions.
A 3″ layer of mulch can help preserve soil moisture and improve the soil’s quality by breaking up.
Temperature and Humidity
Lemongrass thrives in steamy, hot environments.
The best time to plant lemongrass outside is similar to the time for tomato plantation when temperatures drop to the low 60s it’s the time to plant.
Lemongrass is extremely sensitive to frost therefore if you intend to winterize the plant indoors move it inside as soon as temperatures reach the 40s.
As a grassy species, it requires a fertilizer that is nitrogen-rich to help its growth.
You can apply the slow release 64-0 fertilizer which feeds lemongrass all through its growing period.
It is also possible to add water to your lemongrass plants using manure tea, which can provide trace nutrients.
Lemongrass plants that can last for longer than one season can get a trim every year to tidy the plants and eliminate dead foliage.
The plant will eventually fade back into the winter months, and you should keep the browning leaves in place to keep it safe from frost.
Cut the ornamental grass to approximately 6 inches in height towards when winter is over at the time when plants are in a resting state.
Lemongrass plants recover quickly and sprout new shoots once temperatures warm up again.
Harvesting Lemongrass Plants
The leaves and shoots of the plant are utilized to enhance the flavor of dishes as well as to enhance aromatherapy.
Leaves can be picked when they reach around a foot tall.
Cut them with a sharp knife or scissors to cut off the amount you require.
If you cut the stalks, ensure you leave at least a quarter-inch of space at the bottom if you want your plant to grow.
Preserving Lemongrass Plants
Lemongrass is a great freezer.
To prepare the leaves and shoots cut lengths of 3-4 inches.
You can also make them ahead of time for your favorite recipes by cutting or chopping the leaves and stalks prior to placing them into the freezer.
It is best to make the pieces of enough size to fit in an airtight bag or container.
Then, put the items in an airtight plastic bag and then into your freezer.
They can be kept for up to one year.
To use it, take it out of the freezer, then defrost, and then cut the pieces in the sizes you require.
Then, you can use it exactly as you would fresh herbs.
Propagating Lemongrass Plants
The clumps of lemongrass make it easy to reproduce by division.
It is possible to combine splitting and harvesting tasks since both require digging up the plant.
Each leaf fan is joined to a small bulb-like base, with roots attached to the base, and each is likely to grow into an entire cluster.
It’s up to you to decide how big you would like each segment to look.
If you plant a division that has at minimum five or six bulbs will appear larger than one bulb.
The bulbs can be broken easily by using a spade or a hoe.