Lemongrass is an absolutely beautiful plant for your garden and so easy to grow. Every part of this gorgeous plant is edible. So what is not to love? Keep reading to learn how to grow lemongrass. It is so easy.
How to Grow Lemongrass
Lemongrass seedlings remind me of grass when they sprout. I start my seedlings 6 weeks before my frost date indoors using lights. (I have this one.)
If you plant several seeds in one pot, then you will need to move them to their own pots.
Once there is no chance of frost, plant the seedlings in several 5 gallon container or in the soil. (One seedling per pot.) I typically wait 2 weeks after my frost date to plant in the garden. We have had some freak frosts in the past. Lemongrass won’t survive a frost.
However if you don’t want to try growing lemongrass from seed, buy fresh lemongrass. According to the Kitchn, look for tight bulbs with pale to bright green stems and tops.
Simply place the stalks in water and they will root in 2 weeks. Change the water every few days. Once they root, plant them in a 5 gallon container. (Note, you can grow lemongrass in any size container. It will grow to the size of the container. Realize this plant can get 2 to 3 foot in width when planted in soil.)
Pictured above is one of my skinny stalks starting to root.
The first year, I planted them in a 5 gallon container and they grew well. This year, I planted them in a raised beds, 12 inches apart, and they grew like monsters. One was literally 3 feet tall. It dwarfed the other plants so next year I will plant them at least two to three feet apart.
Using Lemongrass during the Season:
You can cut the leaves at anytime after they reach the height of 12 inches. Use them to make tea. I find they are difficult to cut since they have a reed running through the middle. I snip them into the size I want using scissors.
Can also use a paper cutter if you have multiple plants.
Additionally, you can also use the outer stalks when the stalk is at least 1/2 inch in diameter. Simply cut the stalk off at dirt level. Be careful not to cut into the other stalks.
I didn’t take any stalks until the end of the season. I was too busy pruning its leaves for my herbal teas that I sell.
In October, I gave the plants their final haircuts. Leave about 10 inches of height on the plant. Then I dug them up. They wouldn’t survive my winters.
(If you live in zone 10 or more, it will return. Garden Betty has a nice tutorial on how to prune your lemongrass in the spring.)
By the way, be careful when trimming the plant. The leaves can give you a nasty paper cut. The blades are quite sharp. Wear gloves.
Also, digging up the plants is hard work. The bottoms of the plants are heavy and quite large. Be sure to have a large container to place your treasures in so you don’t drag mud all over your kitchen.
Once you dig up the plants, it is time to separate the stalks. What a dirty mess. Try soaking them in water to loosen the dirt.
We discarded the stems that were too small and kept those with at least a thumb size width. I also kept a few stems to re-root this winter.
My stalks weren’t as large as I wished. I think the four plants were crowding each other which impeded their growth.
Be sure to watch the video below showing how we separate the stalks and remove the fibrous skins around the stalks.
I started to peel the fibrous outside of the lemongrass searching for the white part.
Lemongrass can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks wrapped tightly in plastic or in the freezer for 6 months. I froze mine in small packages.
Join the Conversation:
Do you grow lemongrass?