- Fast growing
- Low maintenance
- Tender, bulb like base can be used in cooking
- Fragrant foliage is used in teas or soups
- Essential oils are anti-fungal and used in perfumes and deodorants
- Extra lemongrass can be refrigerated or frozen for later use
- Repels insects such as mosquitos
- Tender Perennial
- Category: Herbs, Perennial, Edibles
- Hardiness Zone: 8-10
- Height: 3-4 ft
- Spread: 12-15 in
- Bloom Color: Green Shades
- Foliage Color: Green Shades
Fast growing and easy to care for Lemongrass is a delightful addition to your kitchen garden or home landscape. Lemongrass is a tall green grass that has a mild lemon flavor typically used in Asian cuisines. Medicinally it is used to relieve cough and nasal congestion. The essential oil is both fragrant and antifungal properties it is used in perfumes, soaps and deodorants. Lemongrass is harvested for both the stalk and the foliage. The inner bulb of the stalk is the main part used in cooking, to harvest, cut, twist or break off a stalk that is at least 1/4" thick as close to the ground as possible. Remove the outer woody fibrous parts and leaves. Extra Lemongrass stalks can be refrigerated or frozen whole or chopped up to 6 months. The leaves (fresh or dried) can be chopped and steeped in boiling water for 5 minutes or longer to make a delicious tea. Thai cooks use the top of the grass in tea, soups, and stews for a strong lemon aroma. Consider planting Lemongrass around a patio or pool as its oils repel insects such as mosquitos.
Additional Information about Cymbopogon citratus
Cymbopogon citratus is perennial and is an aromatic, flavorful grass that grows in southern India and Sri Lanka. It is a common ingredient in the cuisines of Africa, the Middle East, and throughout Southeast Asia. As Thai cooking has become popular, so has the familiarity of ingredients such as Thai basil and lemongrass.
Harvest and Use: Lemongrass leaves are strongly lemon scented and flavored. To use, cut off the root tip, peel the tough outer leaves, and cut away the top part of the stalk. It is the bulb section that is used, but don't throw away the leaves as they make a wonderful tea or flavor in soups, stews, and curries. The stalk will last for several days in the fridge or can be chopped and frozen for later use.
In aromatherapy, lemongrass essential oil is a toning, revitalizing, and antiseptic herb. It is used to treat circulation, digestion, as a muscle toner, and for acne and oily skin. It blends well with basil, geranium, jasmine, and lavender. It is excellent for post-diet saggy skin.
As a medicinal, an infusion is good for digestive problems in children and minor feverish illnesses. It increases perspiration and relieves spasms. It is also effective against fungal and bacterial infections and is, as such, used for ringworm, lice, athlete's foot, and scabies. The leaves can be dried and blended with other herbs in insect repelling concoctions. To harvest, cut stems at ground level and use fresh. It can also be dried and powdered or frozen.
Growing & Maintenance Tips for Cymbopogon citratus
Grow in rich, loamy or sandy well-drained soil in sun, shade, or partial shade. Lemongrass is very easy to overwinter in a pot inside, and must be brought in to avoid frost. Dig and divide it in the fall to pot up for wintering indoors. Water well and often, more often if grown in containers.
Cultivation and Propagation: It grows in dense clumps forming a bulb at the base and hollow, canelike stems. The bladed leaves are coarse and razor-sharp. They will grow to 36". Lemongrass is not difficult to grow in a pot. Water it well during the growing season, but keep on the dry side in winter. It is easier to propagate by division, rather than from seed. If you choose to sow, the temperature for germination should be at least 55 degrees.