There are two common varieties of lemongrass.
- West Indian Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) it grows easily in any warm climate (like Australia).
- East Indian Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) has purple tinges in the stems.
Lemongrass thrives in warm growing conditions with well-drained soil and is drought tolerant so don’t need much water. You can grow lemongrass in a pot or your herb garden but it also makes a great addition to garden beds.
The best place to plant lemongrass is in a warm and sunny position. Lemongrass plants thrive in all conditions but love the warmth so make sure they get enough sun. They look great in both pots and garden beds and can grow up to 1.2m tall and 80cm wide so make sure you give them room to grow.
How to grow
You can plant lemongrass in all three of its life stages.
Firstly, you can buy lemongrass seeds from bunnings which will take around 21 days to germinate. Sow seeds 5cm deep and 50cm apart.
Secondly, you can propagate lemongrass from a cutting (see the method below) and plant in the ground.
Thirdly, you can buy a lemongrass bush and use as desired! Remember you’ll need to pull the stalk out of the ground to use in cooking so don’t use it all at once!
Lemongrass is one of the easiest plants to propagate. Pick the freshest stalk from your local supermarket or fresh food grocers, peel back any dead leaves and place in a glass of water on a sunny windowsill. After a couple of weeks, you should see roots starting to grow, take your cutting and place it in the soil in your garden. Honestly, there isn’t a perfect time of the year to do this as lemongrass is really hardy it will survive most seasons.
Care & Problems
Lemongrass is so hardy that it isn’t susceptible to lots of pests and bugs. If your plant is looking sad make sure it is getting enough sunlight and give it some water.
Cut back any dead foliage in late winter, early spring and watch it thrive.
In Australia, you can harvest lemongrass year-round just be mindful that in winter it will take longer to grow back. Depending on when you plant it, generally, it takes a couple of months to grow to full size.
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