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How to Grow Lemongrass Plants

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017
Grow your own lemongrass to use in Thai dishes.
zitronengras image by Yvonne Bogdanski from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citrates) is a tropical perennial grass, native to India and Sri Lanka. With citrus flavor, lemongrass is a common flavoring ingredient in Thai cuisine. Lemongrass needs full sun, warm temperatures and humidity to thrive. Lemongrass leaves have sharp edges, so choose a planting location that is away from walkways and other trafficked areas. Purchase lemongrass starter plants at the nursery in the spring and plant them as soon as the weather begins to warm. Lemongrass is hardy in USDA zones 10 and 11.

Prepare the planting spot by digging up the top 8 inches of soil. Use the back of the shovel to crush and large clumps of dirt.

Amend the soil by pouring a 4-inch layer of compost on to it and mixing it in to the top 6 inches of soil.

Dig a hole the same depth and three times the diameter of the nursery pot. Place the roots of the lemongrass plant in the hole and fill the hole with soil. Use your hands to lightly press the surface of the soil at the base of the plant. This helps to remove any air pockets that may be trapped in the soil.

Water the lemongrass until the water puddles. Keep the soil moist at all times.

Mist the lemongrass as often as possible if you live in a dry region. This is a plant that thrives in humidity.

Fertilize the lemongrass once a month from June through September with a 10-10-10 formula. Apply the fertilizer at the rate suggested on the label.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.