Lemongrass and Lemon Verbena

tishtoshnm Zone 6/NMMarch 30, 2014

I placed my pots of lemongrass and lemon verbena in the (insulated) garage over the winter in the hopes of getting them to come alive again this spring. My average last frost is May 15th. At what point should I begin watering them and when should they be safe outside. I can water and bring out during the day and scooch back into the garage at night as well. Obviously, this is my first year trying this so all help is appreciated, thank you.

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thatcompostguy

Is your lemongrass still alive now without water over the winter? I'd be very surprised. I have mine in a sunny window and give them about a quart of water a week. They're in 12 inch terra cotta pots and their fronds curl if not watered well. Their tips are brown from the dry heat in the house, but there is still green in the bunch and new growth has been coming all winter. This is my third winter with them. Divided them last spring about this time. About time to divide again and get the new plants ready for ground planting. I keep the mother plants in pots and put some in the ground for harvesting. they do so much better in the ground. keeping some in pots allows me to overwinter them more easily since I'm more adept at growing them in pots. But the shoots I put in the ground last year went crazy. 60 shoots per cluster at the end of the season. Pots may have 30.

I can't help with lemon verbena. Wish I could get it to grow. I keep trying...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:00AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

The plants I keep in an unheated area over the winter still get a little water occasionally. Just enough to get the soil and roots from completely drying out.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:22AM
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eibren(z6PA)

I just bought a couple of new lemongrass plants at Country Market a week or so ago, as I returned home too late last fall to save the one I had outdoors. This spring CM has them in smaller containers and is selling them at the same price as their other small herbs. I placed them in a sunny spot on our enclosed, heated porch and have been watering them regularly.

I have never had much success with lemon verbena; it must need really intense sun, which I am unable to provide, and it must also be more tender than lemongrass. To console myself, I am trying to grow a bitter lemon plant (poncirus trifoliata) in my front garden. It overwintered one year, but it was so small I don't know if it survived this winter or not yet. It was a seedling from beneath a mature bitter lemon. They are winter hardy in my zone and also tolerate some shade.

This post was edited by eibren on Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 13:43

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:10PM
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balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

I'm on my first year of lemongrass, so others seem to have much better knowledge of that one. Lemon Verbena you can go ahead and start watering with outdoor sun-time any time now. It is not frost hardy and just watch that it's pulled in when temps drop below 50 (my general rule for mine, I think technically it can go a little lower). Go easy on the sun-time for starters, as you would with hardening off any indoor heading outdoor plant after winter. If it starts growing right away, some pruning will help it bush out more, rather than just long woody shoots.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 3:41PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Thank you for the information. Both plants are dormant right now so I am not too worried about the amount of sun. Eibren, one thing I can give the Verbena is intense sun. I had tried to let one overwinter in a wall of water. Did not work out. Although at that time I had read success was better if the plant was dry during its dormant season.

Balloon flower, the verbena can definitely go lower. I am in a mountain clime so our fall had many, many nights below 50 (in fact I rarely reach a low of 60 degrees) and I did not bring it in until there chances of freeze. I will post an update on how they do.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 5:11PM
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subtropix

Lemon Grass is MUCH more tropical and cold intolerant than Verbena. I have had Lemon Verbena (one of my favorite herbs btw) overwinter on the south side of the house, or in the garage in Zone 7a. Yes, it is a sun lover though, and I would hardy water it at all containerized in the garage.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 4:29PM
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