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How to Grow Lemongrass

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How to Grow Lemongrass

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Overview

Lemongrass is a popular culinary herb in Thai cooking. It is also used a lot in Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. It's popular as a seasoning for sauces, curries and soup. The plant is native to subtropical and tropical areas like Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and Burma. However, it can also be grown in cooler climates. Lemongrass can add a light, lemony taste to your cooking dishes once you harvest it from your home garden. It is most often grown from stalks you can get from Asian specialty stores or a nursery rather than from seed.

Step 1

Place your stalk in a glass of lukewarm water for two weeks. Most stalks you get from an Asian specialty store do not yet have roots. New roots should develop on your plants within two weeks. Change the water in your glass each day to keep it clean.

Step 2

Select an area outdoors to grow your lemongrass plant once all danger of frost has passed in the spring. Choose an area that gets full sun and has well-drained soil.

Step 3

Work 3 inches of compost into the top 6 inches of your soil with a shovel. Dig a hole large enough for the size of the roots on your plant in your garden area. Place the roots into the hole, and press soil over the roots and around the base of the plant. Space each lemongrass plant 3 feet apart.

Step 4

Water your lemongrass plants immediately to moisten the soil. Water your plants frequently so that the soil never dries out but is not soggy. Add a water-soluble balanced fertilizer to the soil around your plants at half-strength each week until the fall.

Step 5

Harvest your lemongrass by cutting the stems at ground level with pruning scissors once they reach 1/2 inch in thickness. Dig up your lemongrass plants before the winter, and replant them in a pot. Keep your plants indoors until the following spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Lemongrass stalk
  • Glass of water
  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Pruning scissors
  • Plant pot

References

  • Utah State University: Lemongrass in the Garden
Keywords: Asian herbs, growing lemongrass, planting herbs

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.