- Amazon – Amazon lets you skip a time-consuming physical search. You can get fresh lemongrass as well as dried lemongrass in bulk. Shop around for bulk deals to save some money.
- Walmart – You may be able to pick up either dried lemongrass or lemongrass paste at Walmart. Use the store locator on the company website to determine what’s available in stores and online.
- Your Local Health Food Store – Very often, independent health food stores sell lemongrass stalks. If not, you should be able to get dried lemongrass.
- Whole Foods – Whole Foods is a pretty sure bet. This store sells fresh lemongrass in the produce section.
- Safeway – If there are no lemongrass stalks at Safeway, look for Gourmet Garden Lemongrass Stir-in Paste.
- Kroger – Kroger stores typically carry fresh lemongrass as well as lemongrass paste.
- Publix – At Publix, you’ll see lemongrass paste, if not the stalks.
- Wegmans – Wegmans has both of these options.
- Vons – You can stop by a Vons supermarket for these options, too.
- Asian Markets – Asian markets should definitely have lemongrass stalks.
- Lemongrass Herbs: Learn About Growing A Lemongrass Plant
- Growing Lemongrass Herbs
- Growing Lemongrass Indoors: Tips On Planting Lemongrass In Pots
- Can You Grow Lemongrass Indoors?
- How to Grow Lemongrass Indoors
- Learn how to grow lemongrass from seed in this short tutorial. Growing lemongrass from seed is easy and requires little to no care, once established.
- How to Grow Lemongrass from Seeds
- Tips for Growing Lemongrass from seeds
- How to Grow Lemongrass-Indoors or Out
- Lemongrass won’t overwinter outdoors but can go dormant inside
Lemongrass Herbs: Learn About Growing A Lemongrass Plant
If you like using the lemongrass herb (Cymbopogon citratus) in your soups and seafood dishes, you may have found that it’s not always readily available in your local grocery store. You may even have wondered how to grow lemongrass on your own. In fact, growing lemongrass is not all that difficult and you don’t have to have a great green thumb to be successful. Let’s take a look at how to grow lemongrass.
Growing Lemongrass Herbs
When you go to the grocery store, find the freshest lemongrass plants you can buy. When you get home, trim a couple of inches (5 cm.) off the top of the lemongrass plants and peel away anything that looks somewhat dead. Take the stalks and put them into a glass of shallow water and place it near a sunny window.
After a few weeks, you should start seeing tiny roots at the bottom of the lemongrass herb stalk. It’s not much different than rooting any other plant in a glass of water. Wait for the roots to mature a little more and then you can transfer the lemongrass herb to a pot of soil.
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. Put this pot of lemongrass in a warm, sunny spot on a window ledge or out on your patio. Water it regularly.
If you live in a warm climate, you can plant your lemongrass plants out in the backyard in a bog or pond. Of course, growing the plant indoors is nice for having easy access to the fresh herb whenever you need it.
Growing Lemongrass Indoors: Tips On Planting Lemongrass In Pots
If you’ve ever cooked Asian cuisine, particularly Thai, there’s a good chance you’ve bought lemongrass from the grocery store. But did you know that if you’ve bought lemongrass once, you should never have to buy it again? Lemongrass is one of those wonder plants: It tastes great, it smells great, and when you cut it, the plant grows right back. As a great bonus, you can grow it straight from the stalks you buy in the grocery store. Keep reading to learn about care for indoor lemongrass plants and how to grow lemongrass indoors.
Can You Grow Lemongrass Indoors?
Can you grow lemongrass indoors? Absolutely! In fact, growing lemongrass indoors is a necessity in colder climates, as lemongrass grown outdoors will not survive the winter. If you can find lemongrass for sale in your grocery store, buy some. Pick the stalks with the greenest centers and the bulbs still intact on the bottom.
Place them, bulb down, in a glass with a few inches of water. Let them sit for a few weeks, changing the water frequently, until new roots begin to grow. If you’re growing lemongrass indoors, you’ll need to pick the right container.
Lemongrass spreads and grows to be a few feet high, so choose a container that’s as big as you can stand to have in your house. Make sure it has ample drainage holes. Fill the container with potting mix and water until it’s moist but not wet.
Poke a hole in the center of the potting mix. Trim off the tops of the stalks and set one stalk, gently, in the hole. Fill the potting mix in around it and set the plant in a sunny place to grow.
How to Grow Lemongrass Indoors
Care for indoor lemongrass plants is easy and productive. 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.
Harvesting involves cutting it with a sharp knife flush to the surface of the soil. You’ll have a whole stalk to cook with or dry, and the bulb will immediately produce new growth.
Keep your pot in full sun – if it’s warm enough, set it outside. Water and fertilize frequently. If it starts to get too big for its pot, you can transplant up or harvest a few stalks, bulb and all, to cook with or transplant elsewhere.
Learn how to grow lemongrass from seed in this short tutorial. Growing lemongrass from seed is easy and requires little to no care, once established.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) grows wild in wet grasslands and open forests throughout Southeast Asia, where it is widely used as a culinary herb and medicine. Lemon grass grows up to a height of 1 – 5 meters and have mounding growth habit. Growing lemongrass from seeds is easy and requires little to no care, once established. However, the plants must be kept in warm and humid conditions in the first few weeks after germination.
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. Smooth the surface and compress it 1/2 to 1 centimeter of space that remains between the ground and the top of the tray.
- Sow lemongrass seeds 1 inches apart and 1/4 inches deep. Squeeze the soil mixture over the tops of the seeds.
- Mist the lemon grass seeds with water from a spray bottle. Spray on the soil surface until it feels moderately moist.
- Stretch plastic wrap over the seed tray, and seal the edges. Set the tray on a windowsill receiving good light.
- Remove the plastic wrap once a week to water the lemongrass seeds. Mist the surface of soil until the top 1/2 to 1 inch is damp.
- Look for germination in about 10 – 30 days. Remove the plastic wrap once the lemongrass seeds grow up to 1 inch in height.
Tips for Growing Lemongrass from seeds
- Mist lemongrass periodically as it develops to maintain adequate moisture and humidity around the plants.
- Lemongrass is hardy in USDA Zones 10 to 12 and can be grown anytime. But in cooler season, best time for growing lemongrass from seeds is when temperature start to stay around 70 F.
- Growing lemongrass from cuttings is easier than growing lemongrass from seeds.
Also Read: How to Grow Rye Grass
Lemongrass resembles an ornamental grass, forming tall clumps that add movement and texture to container and in-ground plantings. Plants thrive in moist soil and full sun. The base of each leaf stalk—roughly the bottom 5 inches—is where the flavor hides in this citrusy herb. To use, remove the leafy top and woody bottom, strip the tough outer layers, and mince or chop the white inner stalk for Asian-style curries, stir fries, and marinades. Use discarded parts to infuse a tea, broth or soup. Flavor intensifies the longer you cook it. Use lemongrass fresh, dry it, or freeze it.
- Type Perennial in zones 8 to 11
- Planting time After last frost in spring or in fall (up to 6 weeks before fall frost in cold zones)
- Features Aromatic grass-like leaves with lemon flavor
- Light Full sun
- Soil Fertile, moist
- Spacing 24 inches
- Plant size 36 to 60 inches tall, 24 to 36 inches wide
- Garden use Containers, herb and flower gardens
- Culinary use Use leaves and stems in Asian dishes
Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available in your local area, due to different variables in certain regions. Also, if any variety is a limited, regional variety it will be noted on the pertinent variety page.
Categories: Herbs, Lemongrass SKU: 715339012227
How to Grow Lemongrass-Indoors or Out
Graceful, lovely Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) makes a delicious addition to tea, soups, and stir-fries. Further, this botanical wonder is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, can be used as a natural decorative screen, as a mosquito repellant, and produces a refreshing, calming, citrusy fragrance.
Although it may not always be available in your local supermarket, Lemongrass can be successfully grown and harvested in your own home garden, indoors or out.
As a tropical perennial, Lemongrass will return its benefits, year after year. If you live in a very warm climate (Zones 10-12,) in which the temperature never drops below 40 degrees F, your Lemongrass can remain happily outdoors, year-round.
For the rest of us, Lemongrass replanted each spring from seeds, cuttings, and starter plants, or grown in large, portable pots that can be moved inside when the temperature drops. If properly treated, it can live indoors, throughout the year, but will more successfully thrive if allowed to breathe fresh, outside air when warm enough.
First, you need some baby plants. You can either propagate them from seeds or cuttings, or adopt some healthy Lemongrass Starter Plants – ready for nestling into your soil and looking for a good home.
If planting seeds, sow them about ¼ inch deep and 1 inch apart in your soil, kept warm, and evenly moist, but not heavily wet. Taking about one to two weeks to germinate, it’s recommended you begin them indoors and transplant into their permanent home once they’ve reached about 6 inches tall and, if destined for outdoor living, when the outside temperature stays above 40 degrees F.
If you want to try your hand at growing them from cuttings, place Lemongrass stalks, bulb end down, into about 2 inches of water and watch for roots to grow. Be sure to change the water every couple days to prevent stagnation and possible rot. Once the roots have grown about one to two inches (about two to three weeks,) the plant is ready to transfer to your warm garden or large pot. Keep in mind, the cell structure of water roots is different from that of soil roots, so it’s imperative to keep the soil generously moist in the early days of transplanting. You can even cover the plant with a plastic bag to seal in the humidity. Another method, is to daily add soil to the water to allow the roots to transition in cell structure.
Whether growing from seeds or cuttings, hold off on adding fertilizer until the plants are actively growing in their permanent home.
For the Outdoorsy Types:
Once you’ve propagated or purchased your starter plants, transplant them to a sunny section of your garden, setting them about 24 inches apart into fertile, well-drained soil, or singly into prepared 5-gallon pots. If planted in a desert environment, however, some filtered afternoon shade is beneficial. Lemongrass does not tolerate heavy, wet soil, but must stay evenly moist, never allowing the soil to completely dry out and, for you desert-dwellers, appreciating a heavy misting in the mornings.
Your Lemongrass will benefit if regularly fed a nitrogen-based fertilizer. Alternatively, plants can be grown in beds of composted soil into which you routinely add organic material. As always, mulching will retard weed growth while maintaining moisture. Keep in mind, however, potted plants will always need supplemental feeding.
In ideal conditions, Lemongrass will reach 3 to 6-feet tall (in the shorter range for potted plants) and serve double-duty as a decorative ornamental grass. Plants form a rhizome, or bulb, but do not aggressively spread, so normal harvesting and occasional cutting back of the longest top growth will satisfy the more formal gardener.
For Indoor Enthusiasts:
The success of growing Lemongrass indoors, depends upon replicating healthy outdoor conditions as much as possible. Among other things, that means planting them in fertile, well-drained potting soil in which you regularly feed them with a Nitrogen-Rich Fertilizer or the addition of Earthworm Castings. This is especially important since potted plants quickly deplete their nutrients and depend upon the gardener for continued sustenance.
Size matters, so to help your Lemongrass plants reach their greatest indoor growth potential, plant them in 5-gallon pots, approximately 12 inches in diameter. You can, however, grow more petite plants by placing them in smaller pots and harvesting more often by carefully removing the stalks, bulb and all, along the outside of the plant.
Ensure your potted plants bask in the sun as much as possible by placing them in unobstructed sunlight, preferably near a south/south-western facing window. And, just like their outdoor cousins, your indoor Lemongrass plants must have soil kept diligently moist. The smaller the pot, the quicker they can dry out. If you have to be away for awhile and don’t have a plant-sitter, a product with water saving crystals can help maintain moisture longer.
Once your plants are about a foot tall, you can begin to reap the culinary benefits of their lovely foliage. Just snip with sharp scissors or garden shears (ahhh, inhale that lemony fragrance!) and use the leaves for flavoring teas and soups. If you cut more than you currently need, dry the extra leaves and store for later use. (Check the Internet for various drying methods.) The outer leaves are sometimes tough, but even those can be used by bruising them, adding them to your recipe for flavor, then scooping them out before serving, much like you would bay leaves.
When harvesting the stalk for recipes, use a sharp blade and cut as close to the soil as possible. It’s the soft, inner part of the stalk closest to the base that is most often utilized. Stalks can be kept in the fridge for several days by keeping them in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel. You can also chop pieces of the stalks and freeze them for later use.
The Internet is a great source of recipes for all parts of this aromatic, edible plant. Lemongrass is often used in Asian dishes, but also in other delightfully surprising ones such as ice cream and smoothies.
Oh, and one more thing:
Cats LOVE nibbling on Lemongrass and enjoy its catnip-like qualities. This is fine for the cat, in moderation, but not so much for the plant.
If your plants share their home with feline company, consider reserving a plant just for them and keeping the others out of harm’s way. (Um, good luck with that! LOL. Although we have heard that spraying the plants with diluted lemon juice sometimes works as do some commercially prepared pet repellent products.)
If you have further questions about growing Lemongrass, or any other gardening questions, you are welcome to ask our online Master Gardener, a service that is completely free and always helpful.
Lemongrass won’t overwinter outdoors but can go dormant inside
Question: I’m growing lemongrass in a pot for the first time this year. The plant is huge and has many stalks. My questions are: How and when do I harvest it? And will it survive the winter?
Answer: Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a staple ingredient in many Asian dishes, and as you discovered, it’s very easy to grow. This tropical, fast-growing plant’s lemony flavor comes from a combination of plant oils.
I grow several lemongrass plants in containers on my patio every summer. They quickly fill the pots and look quite lovely all summer long, making the plant not only appreciated in the kitchen, but also in the garden. It might seem hard to believe, but plants that start as a single blade of grass in early spring are a foot or more wide by season’s end.
Because it will not survive the winter outdoors here in Western Pennsylvania, most gardeners harvest their lemongrass stalks as-needed as the plant grows throughout the summer, rather than waiting for the end of the season to harvest the entire plant.
To harvest lemongrass, pull an individual stalk out of the ground from around the outer edge of the clump. Bending it down toward the soil is often enough to snap it off the mother plant just where it meets the ground. Harvesting individual stalks in this manner allows the rest of the plant to grow undisturbed.
After it’s removed from the mother plant, strip the outer leaves from the stalk. The soft, cream-colored inner stem is the portion of the plant that’s used in recipes. It’s most often sliced open and rinsed with clean water before use to remove any soil wedged in between the layers of the leaf.
Lemongrass stalks are woody, so they’re almost always removed from the dish before being served. The lemony flavor they leave behind, however, is unmistakable. Use the stalks to flavor stir-fries, curries, soups, chicken and fish dishes.
When the danger of frost threatens the garden in the fall, you can either harvest and use any remaining stalks and toss the rest of the plant on the compost pile, or you can try to overwinter it in a dormant state. I often buy new plants every season because they’re inexpensive and they grow fairly quickly, but I have had success overwintering lemongrass in my garage.
To do this, cut the plant back to half its total height when nighttime temperatures regularly dip into the high 40s. Stop watering and move the plant into an unheated garage or a root cellar with a small window. Keep it in a poorly lit area, but not complete darkness. Do not allow the plant to freeze, but protect it from warm temperatures that could encourage it to generate new growth.
Water your dormant lemongrass only once every six to eight weeks throughout the winter. When early April arrives, start watering the plant regularly again and gradually increase the amount of sunlight it receives. By mid-April, start setting it outside on warm days, but take it back indoors at night.
When the plant is acclimated to outdoor conditions and the danger of frost has passed, your lemongrass can go back into the garden.
Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio with Doug Oster. She is the author of several gardening books, including “Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control” and “Good Bug, Bad Bug.” Her website is jessicawalliser.com.
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