Citronella, also known as Cymbopogon nardus, is in the Gramineae family of plants. It has also been called Mana grass, Nardus, and Nard grass.
Citronella is a clumping tropical grass that can reach a height of five to six feet. It has flat gray-green leaves that are coarse and about one inch wide.
Citronella is best planted in full sun and will need approximately 30 inches of water in a year's time. This can be achieved through watering or natural rainfall.
The citronella grass is a hardy perennial in USDA hardiness zones of 10 to 12.
You can propagate clumps of citronella grass by division. If the clumps are divided before winter and placed indoors, you are assured new plants for spring.
Citronella oil comes from the citronella plant and is used in many mosquito repellents. It is also used in soaps, perfumes, and incense.
Citronella can cause some contact dermatitis, either from contact with the plant or from contact with citronella oil. Smelling citronella oil can give some people a rapid heartbeat.
citronella, citronella oil, citronella grass
About this Author
T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.