How To Grow Australian Lemon Grass

Overview

Australian lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), is a fragrant grass that adds a fresh lemony flavor with a hint of rose to cooked dishes when the stalk is used as a flavoring. It is used in many cuisines but is a native of India, where it thrives under hot and humid conditions. You can grow it as a tender perennial in your home garden if you have several months of similar weather.

Step 1

Set your lemon grass stalks in a cup of water. They will form little roots within a couple of weeks. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh. Use non-chlorinated water if possible by letting tap water sit out for an hour before using.

Step 2

Prepare a spot in your garden that will get full sunlight for at least six hours a day. Dig down about 6 inches and replace about 50 percent of the soil with rich humus. Work it well and remove any large stones or debris. Australian lemon grass needs at least 3 feet of space since it will grow several feet high and wide.

Step 3

Set your rooted lemongrass stalks into the soil about 4 inches deep, firming it around the stalks to hold it in place.

Step 4

Water the area well after planting and then at least once a week. If the summer is dry, water every few days to keep the soil moist around the plant. Add fertilizer to the water every week to keep up with the lemon grass' high nitrogen needs.

Step 5

Transplant the Australian lemon grass to a large plant pot and bring the plant indoors as a house plant in areas where the winters are especially cold (below 10 degrees F). Divide the grass clump every few years to regenerate new growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Lemon grass stalks
  • Humus
  • Shovel
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Utah State University: Lemongrass in the Garden
Keywords: grow lemon grass, planting lemon grass, Australian lemon grass

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and eHow.com. Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.