Overwinter Lemongrass

greekbecky2(6)September 10, 2010

I have a beautiful, large lemongrass plant in a pot that I want to overwinter. I wanted to just cut down the stalks to 3 inches, freeze the stalks and then put the pot in the barn (covered up, of course). What I've read though, is that you must bring it indoors for warmth and south-facing light. Problem is, I don't have a very good light source in the house and what I do have is a north-facing window. Any advice? Thanks!!!

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

An unheated barn in NY State? Nope. I don't think it will work. Bring it in and get lighting suitable for plants. It can limp through the winter & spring (hopefully!) until it can go out next summer. That's the best I have to offer.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 11:23AM
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Thanks FataMorgana, I guess you're right.
In the house she goes.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 11:34PM
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You can cut it back and overwinter it dormant with next to no light. It will grow when it gets warmth and light in the spring.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 6:07PM
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I placed mine in an unheated garage with some light and left it all winter in our southern Ohio climate.It got pretty cold and I think I did water it when it was really dry but otherwise ignored it.It lived and the next spring I divided it into seven plants.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 9:35AM
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do I need to cut the stalks down to overwinter them? I dug out a large clump and put it in a large pot and plan to overwinter it in my garage...

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 2:12PM
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I just today bought a little clump about 4 ft high from a local garden shop and have set it in the spare sink by a South facing window. I plan to gradually cut it down by using the upper stalks for tea. I doubt it will get enough sun to spread out of its pot, but if it does I will just take off the extra stalks and eat them in soups.

I had grown another Lemongrass all summer and brought it in in its pot before the weather turned freezing, but it must be the other kind of Lemongrass. My new clump has the thick stalks at the base that cooks like to use. The one I grew all summer does not-- However, I think I like the flavor of that one a bit better.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 9:25PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Cymbopogon citratus is probably what most of us think as lemon grass. There are other Cymbogogon species such as Cymbopogon nardus that are lemony, perhaps it was one of those. Do you still have the tag for the plant you liked?


Here is a link that might be useful: Wikipedia - Cymbopogon

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 10:48PM
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I still had the tag in the pot--Cymbopogon citratus.

I guess it just didn't get enough sun.


My cats have also been chewing on it, so it is a lot smaller than the new one.

Another one that I potted up at the same time didn't make it through the summer at all. I had to be away for several months, and I don't think either got watered. The dead one was in more sun.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 10:24PM
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I've got a couple of plants that I started from seed last year. I just threw them into my cold frame, and they're actually still alive (despite, what for us, has been a bitterly cold winter with night temps in the teens and twenties). Ignoring and abusing it has worked fairly well for me.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 8:12PM
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weedlady(Central OH 6)

A couple of years ago at an herb fair, I purchased a 4" pot filled with a bunch of very small (6" or so) lemon grass seedlings--way more than I needed or that could remain together happily. I carefully knocked them out of the pot & planted them individually into transplant-sized cell packs I had, using a potting mix I make myself. After a month or so in these, and once the weather was favorably settled, I gave away all but 4. Two went in the garden, two into 4" pots as backups. They did not grow much over summer, constricted as they were, but they lived OK, and I trimmed back the leaves periodically. Come fall, I brought them indoors and put them under lights in the basement with some other herbs and continued to trim as needed. These I transplanted out to the garden last spring & they thrived.

Then last fall I decided to experiment a bit. I do not have a lot of room to overwinter a pot large enough for a whole clump, so what I did in the early fall was to dig down & detach 2-3 crowns from the perimeter of the clump, pieces with some root attached, cut those stems back to about 4-6" and planted these in 3-4" pots filled with some sterile potting medium with a very little worm compost. I watered them enough to settle them in, and put the pots in my SE-facing bay window (screens removed from the window for the winter for more light) and now keep them just barely moist. They produce just enough growth to show they are alive and should keep going until the warm weather arrives so I may safely put them out in open ground again for the summer.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 11:56AM
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