Lemongrass, also known as Cymbopogon citratus, is an herb that is native to Southeast Asia. For centuries it has been used in cuisines around the world, and is now also sought after for its medicinal properties. According to the Herbs2000, an herbal encyclopedia, extracts of lemongrass have been used to treat conditions from intestinal upset to nervous disorders and colds. Whatever the motive is for growing lemongrass, you can grow it from seed to plant in your garden, or to keep in your home.
Start your lemongrass seeds 6 to 8 weeks before your last expected frost in your growing area.
Spread a 2-inch layer of seed starting compost mix in the bottom of a plastic seed tray. Compost mix can be purchased at any nursery or lawn and garden center.
Sprinkle the lemongrass seeds on top of the compost mix, spacing them 2 inches apart.
Cover the seeds, just barely, with another thin layer of the compost mix. Take the mister bottle and moisten the soil. Slide the seed tray into a clear plastic bag and seal it close to the tray.
Place the tray in a warm, bright area where the temperature remains between 70 and 75 degrees. Continue to monitor the moisture of the tray, misting with water if necessary.
Remove the tray from the plastic bag when the seedlings begin to sprout, which can take anywhere from three to six weeks. Place the tray in a sunny window where the temperatures are still between 70 and 75 degrees.
Transplant the seedlings to their own three inch pots when they are 3 to 4 inches tall. Fill the pots two-thirds full with equal parts of compost, peat moss and potting soil. Add the lemongrass seedlings, and then fill the rest of the pot with soil. Water the soil enough to make it moist, but not soggy.
Set the potted seedlings outside after all danger of frost has passed, as this helps them become acclimated to outdoor temperatures. However, unless you live in a very warm climate, it is best to plant your lemon grass in a container, rather than directly into a garden, unless you want to dig it up and move it again before winter.
Move your lemongrass plants into 12-inch containers when they are between 10 and 12 inches tall. You can use the same mixture ratio in the larger pot that you used in step 6. If you choose to move your plants to the garden, space them 12 inches apart. Dig them up in early winter and store them in pots indoors.