Plant, Grow and Care Lemon grass (Detailed Guide)

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Lemongrass is native to Asia, Africa, and Australia, Lemon grass is a tropical herb known for its citrus flavor. It is used all over the world in a variety of ways, most commonly for the delicate lemon flavor that sprouts and young leaves impart to culinary dishes.

Lemongrass is surprisingly easy to propagate and grow in containers indoors, continually regenerating new shoots and leaves after being harvested for use.

East Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), also called Cochin or Malabar grass, is native to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand, while West Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is native to maritime Southeast Asia. Although both can be used interchangeably, C. citratus is best suited for cooking.

Lemon grass
Lemon grass

At Hoodoo, lemongrass is the main ingredient in van oil, one of the most popular oils used in conjuration. Lemon grass is used in this preparation and only in voodoo to protect against evil, spiritually clean a home, and bring good luck in loving relationships.

In beekeeping, lemon grass oil mimics the pheromone emitted by a bee’s Nasonov gland to attract bees to a hive or swarm. The main chemical product of lemongrass are the constituents of citronella, geraniol, and citronellol, they are antiseptic, hence their use in disinfectants and domestic soaps. In addition to oil production, citronella herb is also used for culinary purposes, as a condiment.

Lemon grass how to grow indoors

When growing lemongrass indoors, place the containers in a south-facing window, if possible, where they can receive a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day. If necessary, supplement the sunlight with indoor growing lights.

In terms of temperature, lemongrass cannot withstand air temperatures fall below 50F and preferred soil temperatures above 70F. Keep containers away from cold air or drafts that enter doors and windows.

Lemongrass is easy to grow indoors, especially if you follow these tips: 

  • Keep the growing medium moist, but not too soggy. Plants need a lot of water, but saturated substrates have water that fills the entire available pore space, which decreases the oxygen available to the roots.
  • Oxygen deficiency affects many metabolic processes within the plant, including respiration and nitrogen metabolism, resulting in a decrease in plant growth.
  • Add nitrogen fertilizer or compost every 2-3 weeks to provide a new source of nitrogen for the plants. Lemongrass is considered a nitrogen-rich food due to its fast vegetative growth; nitrogen plays a vital role in the biochemical and physiological functions within the plant and rapid plant growth quickly depletes the nitrogen found in the containerized plant growth substrate. Harvest lemongrass plant material frequently to stimulate new growth.
  • As lemongrass plants grow, they send new shoots, creating a new root that is dense. Periodically break this root and divide the plants to avoid overcrowding.

How can I grow Lemon grass at home?

Yes. You can easily grow lemongrass at home. Lemongrass seeds need high humidity and warm temperatures to germinate. Growing lemongrass is as simple as taking the rooted plant out of the water and placing it in a pot containing all-purpose soil, with the crown just below the surface.

Place this lemongrass pot in a warm, sunny place by a window or on your patio. Water regularly. If you live in a warm climate, you can plant your lemon grass seedlings in the backyard of a swamp or pond. Of course, growing the plant indoors is good for easy access to fresh herbs when you need them.

Basic Principles to grow Lemon grass at home

  • Start by filling clean, sterile containers about 2.5 cm from the top of the pot with the chosen culture medium. Gently squeeze the substrate to remove airbags created unintentionally; this prevents the growing media from stabilizing over time.
  • If you bought stems from the market and rooted them in the water, or bought pre-rooted seedlings online, plant the rooted stems so that the base of the bulb is about 2.5 cm below the surface of the soil/coconut. Be sure to fan the roots when planting to encourage natural growth and spread.
  • If you are planting seeds, sprinkle the growing medium and cover them with a thin layer of the chosen substrate. If planting directly on the substrate, plant about 1” apart and ¼” deep.
  • Place the containers in a warm environment to promote optimal germination or growth increasing the incidence of fungal problems when trying to grow from seeds.

Where does Lemon grass grow best?

Lemongrass grows best in swampy conditions, preferring hot, humid, and humid conditions. Only grow lemon grass outdoors in areas 9 and hotter. Grow lemongrass indoors year-round in a very sunny window.

Where does Lemon grass grow best
Where does Lemon grass grow best

If you are growing in containers, you probably want at least 5 gallons of space for the plant to reach the desired size. Lemongrass should be grown in full sun and should receive a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight a day, although it also grows slightly more slowly in 3-5 hours.

Lemongrass loves hot and humid climates. Lemongrass is perennial in growing zones 10 and warmer but can be grown as annual in colder climates, although it can be difficult to grow outdoors in colder areas. If you sow outdoors, plant lemongrass after all the danger of frost has passed. Lemongrass takes about 100 days and sometimes 4 to 8 months to be ready for harvest.

Does Lemongrass need direct Sunlight?

Lemon Grass is one of the few that enjoys direct and intense sun, being perfect for placing in a sunny window or in a shaded area of ​​your garden if you want to keep it outside. Lemon grass needs a lot of sunlight, even in winter, so make sure it has access to natural light; otherwise, the stems will turn brown.

If you are in an ideal bright spot, you will see a rapid growth of lemongrass during the summer months. If your plant lives in an area with bright but indirect light, it should grow well, but not as fast. Lemongrass does not like to be kept in poorly lit or shaded areas and will suffer if kept under these conditions.

Lemongrass, in its native habitat, enjoys long, warm growing seasons and will grow best in areas that can replicate these conditions. If you live in a mild climate all year round, you can plant lemon grass directly on your garden soil and enjoy the perennial throughout the year. To survive outdoors during winter, temperatures need to be above 40°F, with little temperature fluctuation.

If you don’t live in a temperate climate where this is possible, lemon grass should be stored in containers and brought inside when temperatures drop too much. Otherwise, lemongrass plants will die during the winter, although with due care they can regrow when spring comes.

Does Lemon grass repel bugs?

Yes. Lemongrass is also used as a bugs repellent as it contains citronella. If you want to use lemon grass to prevent bugs from buzzing in your garden, you should strategically plant it in areas that are often frequented by people, such as along paths or around decks and seating areas.

You can also pluck the stems from the plant and open them to reveal their fragrant oils. It can then be rubbed into the skin to be used as a natural alternative to insect repellent. You can also rub the inside of the rods in your pets’ fur to help keep them free from irritating pests.

Lemon grass plants are also used as a whitefly repellent. If you have other plants that are targeted by whiteflies, you can plant lemongrass nearby to prevent this from happening in the future.

How do you care for potted Lemongrass?

If you have lemongrass in a pot, whether indoors or out, the watering needs will be slightly different. Potted lemon grass probably needs water more often than lemongrass grown in the ground.

This is because the moisture tends to evaporate from the sides of the pot, but also because the plants in pots depend only on the moisture they receive through irrigation, while plants that grow in the soil can spread their roots more to look for moisture in the nearby soil.

To keep your lemongrass pot healthy, you will probably need to water it every day during spring and summer, when it is growing. Lemongrass plants will be almost dormant during the winter, so you will need to cut your watering schedule by at least half during this time.

Potted plants are also more susceptible to root rot than those that grow in the soil. Plants grown in the soil have more ways of draining water from their roots if there is too much moisture in the soil, while the roots of potted plants have no escape if the soil gets too moist.

Although lemon grass loves to live in moist soil, it is still susceptible to root rot, so you must be careful to avoid over-watering. Root rot destroys a plant’s roots, rendering it unable to absorb moisture or nutrients, and essentially leaving the plant hungry.

If this happens, it usually causes so much damage that the plant cannot recover. To avoid over-watering, water the lemongrass plant only if you feel that the top of the soil is dry to the touch.

How do you care for potted Lemongrass
How do you care for potted Lemongrass

How long does Lemongrass take to grow from seed?

Lemon grass seeds should germinate in 5 to 21 days. The trick is to keep it moist, not wet. When the seedlings appear, remove the dome or the plastic bag and move them to the sun or strong full-spectrum artificial light.

Harden the seedlings in early summer, gradually exposing them to the sun and milder temperatures. Transplant individual seedlings into 5-gallon (or larger) containers and apply organic fertilizer with a high nitrogen content, such as alfalfa flour or blood flour at the time of transplant. Just mix 1/2 cup in the soil before transplanting.

Keep the soil relatively moist throughout the growing season, watering at least 2 to 3 times a week, or more in hot climates.

At the end of the growing season, when nighttime temperatures start to approach 10°C (50°F), reduce the lemon grass plants to 15-20 cm (6-8″) in height, reduce irrigation and stop to feed. Move your plants to a well-lit and airy place, protected from frost.

Just enough water to keep the soil almost moist to almost dry. If the plants look congested, consider dividing them into groups in early spring and placing them. Resume watering and feeding as soon as spring growth appears.

Is Lemongrass easy to grow from seed

Lemon grass can be a little tricky to grow from seed and requires extra attention to ensure germination. In cold climates, lemongrass should be started indoors to ensure you have time to mature in a short growing season. The problem is that they also require high humidity and a soil temperature of around 70 degrees to thrive.

For the best success, try using seedling trays with a plastic dome to contain moisture and heat. A seedling heating mat will help a lot to keep the soil roasted at 70 degrees continuously. It’s a tricky balance because they require a humid but not “wet” environment and, with all that moisture and heat, fungal problems are not uncommon.

Will Lemon grass come back every year?

Yes. The Cymbopogon species that is most commonly grown as an ornamental garden plant called lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is perennial.

Lemongrass roots are typically hardy in zones 8b and 9 of the USDA, and in these zones, the plant can return year after year. Lemon grass is sensitive to frost and freezing temperatures and, in the United States, is fully resistant to winter only in the United States Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10 to 11.

In these zones, the grass, which normally reaches a height of 2 to 4 feet, will remain green throughout the winter. In moderately cooler areas, lemongrass can survive winter and return in spring, even if the leaves of the plant die.

In areas colder than USDA zone 8b, lemongrass is unlikely to survive winter and should be grown in the garden annually. Alternatively, the plant can be grown in a container and brought inside when temperatures start to drop and overwinter in a sunny room.

Does Lemongrass multiply?

Yes. When your lemongrass plant reaches a good size, which should happen after just one growing season, you can multiply it to create several new plants. Lemon grass grow rapidly so that the most popular method of propagation is by multiplication.

To facilitate this process, you can harvest the plant first, cutting the stems to the ground. Although it may seem difficult at first, it will make lemongrass much less complicated to handle and, due to the plant’s ability to grow quickly, you will have life-size lemongrass in the blink of an eye. To propagate the plant, simply remove it from the pot and divide the root into several new plants with a knife.

Be careful not to damage too many roots when digging your plant, but some damage is likely to occur, and this is expected. Lemongrass plants recover quickly, so don’t worry about it too much. Plant your new smaller lemongrass plants in containers or directly in your garden soil.

If you are planting in the soil, make sure that they are a minimum of one meter apart to accommodate your new growth. Lemongrass plants usually grow up to one meter wide outdoors and one and a half feet tall. In containers, you can limit this growth by keeping them in smaller pots and cutting them continuously.

Is Lemon Grass toxic to dogs?

Yes. Lemon grass have some harmful effects if ingested. You will need to watch your dog closely if you think he has eaten too much lemon grass, especially the dry or woody stem variety, as dogs stomachs are not designed to digest as much plant or herb matter.

Eating an excessive amount of lemon grass can cause intestinal blockage. If you suspect that your pet has eaten all of your lemongrass plants (either from your garden or stolen from the counter), you should call your vet. Your vet will be able to help you monitor your pet to make sure he is not suffering from a blockage or other symptoms of lemon grass poisoning.

Citronella is derived from a different species of lemongrass (Cymbopogon nardus). Although your dog should not eat citronella, it can be useful as a flea, tick and mosquito repellent. You must make sure that you are using citronella products designed specifically for dogs and following the instructions carefully. If in doubt, consult your pet doctor.

Why is my Lemongrass plant dying

Why is my Lemongrass plant dying
Why is my Lemongrass plant dying

Reason of dying lemongrass are mentioned below:

#1 Frost VS Freeze

Frost and freeze damage reach from the top of the foliage downwards and from outside the bunch inwards. Frost is the frozen water vapor that forms ice crystals on the surface of a lemon grass plant when the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is unlikely to kill lemongrass, but it can damage its foliage enough to make you think it may be dead. The frost removes moisture from the plant, leaving the foliage with a yellowish-brown and dry tone, in the case of lemongrass. A “freeze” in which the temperature is 32 F or less for several days can kill lemon grass.

#2 Insufficient Irrigation / fertilization

The most obvious reason why a lemongrass plant turns brown is the lack of water and/or nutrients. Lemon grass is native to areas with regular rainfall and high humidity, so they may need more water in their garden than other plants. Water and spray the plants regularly.

To prevent other nearby plants from drowning with frequent irrigation, plant lemon grass in a bottomless container buried in the soil. Lemongrass also needs a lot of nitrogen, so fertilize the plants with a balanced soluble fertilizer once a month.

#3 Fungal diseases

If a lemongrass plant is turning brown and the water has been discarded as the culprit, it could be a disease. The brown leaves of lemon grass can be a symptom of rust. In the case of rust infection, the leaves of lemongrass are not only brown, but also have light yellow spots on the foliage with streaks of brown and dark brown pustules on the underside of the leaves. A serious infection can result in the death of leaves and, eventually, plants.

What bugs does Lemongrass attract?

Many bugs are attracted by the sweet and succulent odors produced by lemon grass flowers, the strong and pungent smell of this herb has the opposite effect on pests. The name of this oil is citronella in lemon grass. Lemongrass does not harm these bugs (bed bugs, ant, cockroaches and flies); it helps to keep them away from your property and home.

What bugs does Lemon grass keep away?

Although lemongrass essential oil is a popular ingredient in tea, it does not mean that it cannot be used for other reasons. According to research, lemongrass mixed with olive oil is the best insect repellent. It is said to provide 98.8% protection against the common household mosquito.

If applied topically, it can provide 74% to 95% protection for two and a half hours on two types of mosquitoes. Lemon grass keep away you from many bugs like flies, ticks ants, gnats.

How often should Lemongrass be watered?

Lemongrass plants grow quickly, especially in conditions of heat and humidity, so they need a lot of water to get their rapid growth. Lemongrass planted directly in the soil will need a water that reflects the type of soil in which it is found. Clay soil retains moisture better than sandy soil, so it will need to be watered more often.

You should try to imitate the natural environment where lemongrass grows natively in Southeast Asia. In its natural habitat, lemongrass would have rich, continuously moist soil, so don’t let the plant’s soil dry out, but also be careful not to over water the plant.

If in doubt, check about an inch more or less if the plant gets dirty with your finger and, if it is dry, the plant needs to be watered. The top layer of soil must dry out between watering, but below it, where the roots are, it must always be moist.

When watering, water generously to ensure that water penetrates the soil and that the roots are completely embedded.

Lemon Grass Water requirement in a Container

If you grow lemongrass in a container, either indoors or outdoors, your irrigation needs will be slightly different. Potted lemon grass probably needs water more often than lemon grass grown in the ground.

This is because the moisture tends to evaporate from the sides of the containers, but also because the plants in pots depend only on the moisture they receive through irrigation, while plants that grow in the soil can spread their roots deeper to look for moisture in the nearby soil.

To keep your lemongrass healthy, you will probably need to water it every day during spring and summer, when it is growing. Lemongrass plants will be almost dormant during the winter, so you will need to cut your watering schedule by at least half during this time.

Can you grow Lemongrass from a Cutting

  • You can simply make a new cut (a few inches down) at the top of the stems.
  • Getting rid of the dead foliage just keeps things more organized, as they will eventually fall and become slimy anyway.
  • Try to resist peeling off the outer woody layers that make up the stem, as new leaves will grow inside those layers.
  • Place the stems in a jar or vase and fill them with a few inches of water.
  • Place the jar in a sunny spot like a window sill facing south and then … wait.
  • Change the water a few times a week (or when it gets cloudy) and within a week, you will see that new leaves start to grow from the top.
  • Usually, new roots and leaves start to appear after about a week.

Can I grow Lemongrass in water?

Yes. Roots of lemon grass easily grown in the water. For the lemongrass stems to grow new roots, place them in a jar with an inch of water at the bottom. Rooting lemon grass in water can take up to three weeks.

Over that time, the tips of the stems should start to develop new leaves and the tips of the bulbs should start to sprout new roots.

To prevent mold growth, change the water in the jar every day or two. After two to three weeks, the roots of the lemon grass should be 2.5 to 5 cm long. You can now transplant them into your garden or into a container of rich, clay soil.

Is Lemongrass an Annual or Perennial?

Is Lemongrass an Annual or Perennial
Is Lemongrass an Annual or Perennial

Lemon grass is a Perennial plant that is sensitive to frost and freezing temperatures and, in the United States, is totally resistant to winter. Only in the United States Department of Agriculture’s plant strength zones 10 to 11.

In these zones, the grass, which normally reaches a height of 2-4 feet, will remain green throughout the winter. In moderately cooler areas, lemongrass can survive winter and return in spring, even if the leaves of the plant die. Lemon grass roots are typically hardy in zones 8b and 9 of the USDA.

Does Lemongrass kill fleas?

No lemon grass do not kill fleas but it is a good repellent to fleas. Lemongrass oil is a great flea repellent oil. The smell is very unpleasant for fleas, but for us it smells really good! Mix a spray with water to spray on your pet’s bed to keep fleas away.

Lemongrass essential oil, basil essential oil, thyme essential oil: Basil, thyme and lemongrass oils can be diluted and sprayed on a dog’s skin to work as a repellent, but they should not be applied directly topically.

Does Lemongrass grow indoors?

Does Lemongrass grow indoors
Does Lemongrass grow indoors

Yes. Lemongrass is native to the tropical regions of Asia, Africa and Australia; for this reason, plants prefer sunny and warm growing conditions, which makes lemon grass very suitable for indoor cultivation. Plants thrive in full sun conditions.

If you keep your lemongrass plant indoors, normal house temperatures will be appropriate for the plant. If you feel comfortable in your home, your plant will stay, too.

Since the plant does not like to be too cold, be sure not to keep it close to areas with drafts, such as doors, openings, or open windows. Also, be sure to store it in a well-used part of your home that will heat up during the winter. If you place the plant in a guest room or storage room that is rarely used and is not heated often, you may inadvertently allow the plant to die due to very low temperatures.

Can Lemongrass kill cockroaches?

Lemon grass essential oil was effective in killing g cockroaches through Contact Toxicity Test (LT 90<24 h), lemon grass essential sub-lethal oil behaved repellent German cockroaches with 100% repellency values, observed effectively for 48h test.

Lemongrass essential oil can become an alternative insecticide to control cockroach resistance through contact and repellency applications.

Is Lemongrass edible?

Only the tender part of the lower third, a very compact bulb, of lemongrass is edible. This part can be sliced ​​or kneaded after removing the tough outer sheets or layers. Once the fibrous inner stem is cut into thin slices, you can add it raw to salads. Any bruised or crushed part of the stem can be added to the pot to release its fragrance.

Can I eat Lemongrass raw?

You can use lemongrass in various dishes and teas, as a pesticide and as a preservative. You can also prepare the can of lemongrass in several ways and use this fresh, dried or powdered herb. You can eat raw lemon grass. However, whole lemongrass is not easy to chew, so remove the stem before consuming raw lemongrass.

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Conclusion

I hope now, you can plant, grow, and care for lemongrass plants. It helps answers to the below questions:

  • Lemon grass how to grow indoors
  • How can I grow Lemon grass at home?
  • Basic Principles to grow Lemon grass at home
  • Where does Lemon grass grow best?
  • Does Lemongrass need direct Sunlight?
  • Does Lemon grass repel bugs?
  • How do you care for potted Lemongrass?
  • How long does Lemongrass take to grow from seed?
  • Is Lemongrass easy to grow from seed
  • Will Lemon grass come back every year?
  • Does Lemongrass multiply?
  • Is Lemon Grass toxic to dogs?
  • Why is my Lemongrass plant dying
  • What bugs does Lemongrass attract?
  • What bugs does Lemon grass keep away?
  • How often should Lemongrass be watered?
  • Lemon Grass Water requirement in a Container
  • Can you grow Lemongrass from a Cutting
  • Can I grow Lemongrass in water?
  • Is Lemongrass an Annual or Perennial?
  • Does Lemongrass kill fleas?
  • Does Lemongrass grow indoors?
  • Can Lemongrass kill cockroaches?
  • Is Lemongrass edible?
  • Can I eat Lemongrass raw?