How to grow lemongrass -

Lemongrass is a tall perennial grass which is widely used as a herb in Asian cuisine. Native to India and tropical Asia, lemongrass has in recent years become increasingly available in most European supermarkets due to the popularity of Indian and Thai cuisine. It has a subtle citrus flavour and can be used dried, powdered, or better still - fresh.

You have two choices when it comes to growing your own lemongrass at home. The first is to purchase some fresh stems from your local supermarket and pot them on. The second is to grow lemongrass from seed.

Potting up lemongrass stalks

Lemongrass stalks -
Propagating vegetatively is easier than growing from seed. First select a bunch of lemongrass which is as fresh as possible and then check to make sure that the basal plate is still intact as then it can be treated as a rooted cutting. This is extremely important as no basal plate means no roots.

Insert the basal plant end into a 3 inch pot containing a good quality compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting'. You may wish to mix in some extra horticultural grit or vermiculite to improve the drainage further.

Gently water the cutting and allow it to drain before sealing inside a clear polythene bag. Now transfer the cutting to a warm, bright area. You can expect to see new growth from two to three weeks at which point the polythene bag can be removed.

Lemongrass - Hakcipta Yosri
Pot plants on as needed and harden off for a week or two before placing them outside in their final position. Remember that these are tropical plants so do not plant outside if there is a risk of freezing weather or late frosts.

Lemongrass prefers a rich, free draining soil in full sun in order to produce a good sized clumps.

Keep lemon grass plants well watered throughout summer and feed with a water-soluble fertilizer every couple of weeks. Harvest individual stems of lemon grass as and when required by snapping them off at the base of the plant.

To overwinter lemongrass, lift the plants in early autumn, and pot up as before. They will need to be kept under protection in a cool room or greenhouse with a minimum winter temperature of 7C (45F). Keep the compost just moist throughout winter. Alternatively grow lemon grass plants permanently in 25-30cm (10-12") containers in a warm greenhouse or conservatory

Hakcipta Yosri file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

For related articles click onto the following links:
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Growing Garlic in Pots and Containers
How to Grow Chives
How to Grow Lemongrass
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How to get rid of black mould on a lemon tree
How to Grow Strawberries in Pots and Containers
How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Cuttings
Why are the Leaves on my Lemon Tree Sticky?
Why is my Lemon Tree Dropping Leaves?

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