Growing Lemon Grass Successfully

gloriavictoria(z9 CA)June 10, 2005

What is the ideal condition for growing lemon grass? Sun exposure, type of soil, etc...

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Do a search on this forum - there are several recent topics covering conditions for growing lemon grass in different locations.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 2:25PM
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bellie(7-B ..Va. Beach)

Buy the lemon grass stalks from the oiental store, remove few of the leave and plnat in well draind soil.Wait till the temp is 80 - 90. Bellie

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 9:38PM
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honu(z11 HI)

It grows like a weed here, so I guess it likes hot and humid. I have it in fun sun and full wind, in clay soil (amended w/ some compost initially). They require no care (other than occasional watering), and stay pest free. These were started from grocery store stalks.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 10:35PM
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You should probably put it in the ground in the shade. Mine burns with the intense Southern CA sun. It does not like pots.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 12:39AM
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TonyfromOz(z10 NSW Aust)

If experience here (zone 10) is any guide, your main problem will be nursing it through winter. Our winter cold does not actually kill it, but its growth stops and it can sometimes rot at the base. I doubt you will get year-round lemongrass supplies in z9 unless you keep it in some sort of glassed enclosure, or maybe in a warm courtyard.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 5:24AM
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We grow a lot in south ga. Well drained soil slightly raised especially in winter is a must. Fertilize with 10-10-10 or composte in the spring. During dormancy it doesn't like wet feet at all so rake out any mulch in the winter. In the spring just before new shoots emerge we burn the old growth back. You might even get lucky and have a flower stalk or two pop up.We've been growing it for three decades and last year was our first time we had flower stalks. You can also grow it in pots, but it will need to be divided when it gets full and root bound.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 3:53AM
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Assuming one has searched 6 local grocers and has not found any lemon grass save for some that was moldy at the base, where does one get starter?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 1:01PM
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Maybe you can wash out the mold with cold water and let it dry a bit them root them in water. The important thing is that they have to have a clump at the bottom to root.
I have started mine and they are growing like crazy.
The reason it burns out in sothern CAl, perhaps because it is too dry. Lemon grass is can tolerate heat and loves humidity.Maybe you shoul water them more often. Lemon grass leaves have very low moisture content and can tolerate heat. If you can grow ornamental grass you can then grow lemon grass too.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 2:48AM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

If you want lemon grass, you need to tap into the local Asian gardening community. (Thai especially) Trust me......someone is growing lemon grass.

No local Asians..........try the local gardeners from India. Both cultures use the plant but for different purposes.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 12:21AM
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iconoclasthero, are you looking for lemon grass?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 7:21PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)


I know this is an old post, but I wanted to mention that I bought a small clump of lemon grass at the nursery this spring and it turns out, it is not the kind that you find in Asian cooking, but another kind. I think this one is edible, too, but wasn't what I was looking for.

I stopped at the local Asian grocer and bought several stalks of the lemon grass they had and it didn't have any roots on it. When I got it home, I trimmed the looser leaves from the stalks and then stuck them in about an inch of water in a small bucket and left them under the shade of the fig tree out front. In about 4-5 days, the stalks started to sprout roots and are anxious to get those roots into some soil, so I will now pot them up and see which ones do the best.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 2:31AM
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noss - You probably got the kind that makes the best lemon grass tea. the stalks can be used for cooking but it does not have the tender center of the larger variety so you have to smash the bulb up to cook with it. After you are done cooking fish it out and discard the fibrous stalk.
I have both kinds here in San Diego and they are pretty much plant it and forget it. The only thing they absolutely need is well drained soil. They will grow in full sun or bright shade and are indifferent to watering. You can water it like the rest of your garden or ignore it. It's quite drought tolerant.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 8:56PM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

Hi all,

Searching for info on growing lemongrass and found this thread. For those interested, I puchased a small plant from richters herbs, and now need to grow it successfully.

What I would like is to have a small plot in the garden in summer, and then take some indoors to nurse over the winter and reintroduce into the garden the next summer.

Can anyone guide me in this? When to bring indoors, how to take to begin propogating - also when to put outdoors, how to harvest, etc.

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 12:25PM
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kvenkat(5a Colo)

Mine has been growing in a pot for going on 3 years now. It lives outside on my porch during summer but must come inside for the winter. it comes in when night temps go below 60. I have divided it once or twice. If it starts getting too bushy, just give it a haircut, removing up to half the leaves. Every fall, I take a few stalks, cut them up and store in the freezer for tea or for cooking. A simple tea of lemongrass and fresh ginger is delicious.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 12:31PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

When I lived in SoCal, I was able to get clumps of lemon grass to winter over. It would lose some top growth if there was a frost, but it would sprout again when the weather warmed. Like many on this thread, I got my starts from an Asian grocery & rooted them.

I've been considering trying to grow it here, and was surprised to find seed in a local garden store. Livingston Seed sells it.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 2:10AM
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kvenkat - when you bring it indoors, do you place it by the window or store it in the basement? How do you treat it during winter?

I'm interested in trying to overwinter this plant outdoors and will experiment with some of my plants that I have growing outdoors. Maybe burying the roots 6 inches below in winter can help. I do wonder though.

Use lemongrass to flavour chicken or pork. Just smash tthe stuff and marinate the meat with it. It works best with garlic, lime or lemon, a bit of sugar for sweetness, add some chili and also if you want to try it out, with a little bit of fish sauce, but that's optional.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 3:18PM
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Hi: I am growing lemongrass from a few stalks I got at an Oriental Market and one of the plants has a lot of ''shoots'' growing from the main stalk. Can I remove some of these and plant them like I did the large stalks?


    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 12:35PM
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kvenkat(5a Colo)

Ianna, sorry for the late reply, I don't poke my nose in here all that often.
During the winter, I treat my lemongrass like my other houseplants. It sits by a large window which gets western sun. I water once a week and give it a haircut when it needs it. I don't recall any pest problems with it inside but giving it a good dose or two of insecticidal soap or neem before bringing it in for the winter is a good idea. Once it warms up in spring, it goes back outside, gradually.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 12:47AM
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