Lemon Grass

brer(Zone 7)October 3, 2005

I believe that Lemon Grass is an annual in my area.

Mind is growing beautifully right now, but I suppose I need to harvest it.

Does anyone know the best way to harvest lemon grass?

Can it be saved and stored?

Help, please!

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pot it up and bring it in! Its a really tender perennial and you can overwinter in a sunny window (im about to try for the first time this year myself)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 12:16PM
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brer(Zone 7)

It's so huge, though. I think my plant is about 3 feet high. Would you bring in one that large?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 1:13PM
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To harvest, cut the individual grass blades that are at least 1/4" thick as close to the soil as possible. The bottom part is what to use. Chop it up to where the blade turns flat. This is an essential ingredient in all types of Asian cooking.

The flat part of the blade is great for fragrance mixes of all kinds, but gets bitter when cooked.

To overwinter, wait until nights become routinely in the 45dF range and then pull the plant, rinse and purge the roots, and repot tightly (you don't want the roots to be in so much soil that they rot) in good potting mix. Begin to acclimate it for wintering over and after a few weeks, cut it back to about 6". Keep it in a frost-free place with the roots hardly damp. It will need a period of dormancy before being warmed back up for next spring, when it will start to grow again. Then is a great time to divide the roots for more plants.

Good Luck!


    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 1:55PM
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brer(Zone 7)

Wow! THanks. That's just what I wanted to know.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 10:19PM
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sharon_sd(SW ON)

The rest of the blade can be dried and used to make lemongrass tea.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 7:54AM
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Thanks also from me. I really needed this information for my first try with lemon grass. Mine are so beautiful, but I know it is just a matter of time. I also want to grow Galangal Root indoors to start for next Spring. Any suggestions with this wonderful ingredient for Asian cooking buffs.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 4:50PM
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I have purchased lemon grass fresh, dried and frozen.
You can freeze the stalks or you can put through a food processor and freeze. I used to use a fork to scrape the frozen lemon grass to put in soups etc.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 1:59AM
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don't grow lemon grass - save yourself the trouble and grow lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). Lemon balm is hardy perennial in your area (and even colder), and it will come back up all by itself every spring, so you don't need to do any of that overwintering stuff. It's also pretty trouble-free, it's only downside is it can spread pretty vigorously like mint (though I see this as an upside - just more for harvesting - plus it's easier to stop something from growing than it is trying to get something to grow, which is the usual problem with most plants).

And I promise you it is the SAME thing flavor-wise as lemongrass. I know some people are going to post here saying they taste/smell a difference, but don't listen to them - IT IS BASICALLY THE SAME THING AS LEMONGRASS. The only real culinary differences will be that there is no "heart" that can be eaten (like the heart/inner core of lemongrass), and it might be harder to fish the leaves out of soups/stews/whatever you're cooking since the leaves are softer and smaller, especially after cooking - then again this might be an advantage, since you can eat the leaves unlike lemongrass, you won't even really need to fish it out if you don't want to.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 9:31PM
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Then agin you just might Love the plant its self.By all means grow both lemongrass and lemon balm.I got my first lemongrass this fall in trade It is growing nicly in a pot.When the leves get to long or fall over I just trim them off and make a very nice cup of tea.Now the it is freezing out side.Its nice to have my lemongrass inside for use :)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 5:31AM
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Andrew Scott

Lemon balm is very easy to gro BUT with it being so invasive, I won't plant it again myself. Thinking about how invasive it is, you could plant the lemon balm in a pot, and then plunge the whole pot. I would plant the pot so the pot is a few inches above the soil line. I am saying that so the lemon balm won't grow out of the pot.

I love lemongrass. I had no experience what so ever with lemon grass until I saw it growing Puerto Rico. I love the fragrance of the lemon grass, and with it not being a perennial I would prefer growing it.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 5:51PM
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Each year, after last frost, I take my potted lemon grass out, divide it in half, repot one half and place the other in a spot in the garden. They both produce well during the summer. As frost is approaching in the fall, I cut back the potted plant, harvesting the blades. I dry the blades and cut it into pieces to use for tea, not really using it in any cooking, though I'd freeze the base of the stalks for that use. I bring the pot into a sunny room in the winter, and new sprouts grow. By spring it is ready to do it all again.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 5:36PM
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