Growing Lemongrass Made Easy
Lemongrass can be used in many different ways: cooking, medicine, beverage, etc. Some cosmetic companies infuse them in many types of cosmetics. Not many of them retain the same scent as fresh lemongrass though. I bought lemongrass tea in a package once with the thought of making my life easier. That was it, once. It didn’t taste the same as fresh lemongrass tea just cut from the garden. Fresh lemongrass from a market comes very close to it, if it hasn’t been sitting on the shelf for weeks.
I grow my own and it’s very easy. It’s a type of grass really. I bought a few stalks from a supermarket. Then I cut a thin slice off the bottom, to create a fresh surface for better absorption of water, and put them in fresh water. Within a few days the roots start to come out. I cut the top part off and used in cooking. You can leave around three to four inches from the base for planting. Keep changing water every two days, so the stalk and roots will not develop slime, until ready to plant in the soil.
When putting the stalk in the soil, install it at a slight angle to the soil, not straight up. It will grow better this way. They like loamy soil and on the dry side.
In cold climates, lift them out and pot them during the winter. All the leaves can be cut off when you replant them in the pot; they’re easier to manage this way. Trust me, I’ve been cut too many times by the sharp edged leaves. They will grow back in no time. Keep the plants in a sunny spot in the house. If not, plant lights will do. Don’t water them too much or they will rot. I managed to kill a whole pot one year by watering them the same time as the other plants while they were wintering. In spring, replant what’s left in the pot in the ground.
They grow well in dry and sunny spots. When you need to get a stalk or two for cooking, cut the largest one first. Use a very sharp knife to cut the stalk at the base. One or two small shoots will sprout up soon after. The leaves are also good in providing a slight aroma and little green color in tea.