Updated: Jun 11, 2021
Mmm, isn't lemongrass a sweet-smelling herb? It's easy to grow and there are so many ways you can use it in your cooking. Just give me a second while I write down some of my favorite recipes! Lemongrass is great for marinating meats or vegetables because it adds a citrusy-floral flavor, but when boiled with water and sugar, it creates an energizing iced tea that will make you feel like you just drank straight up sunshine! You can also add lemongrass to sauces to create more complex flavors in dishes where meat is not the focus.
Lemongrass is a fragrant and versatile herb that is used in cooking, teas, and oils. It also has some great health benefits! Learn how to grow lemongrass indoors or outside with these helpful tips on how to care for it. You'll never go wrong by adding this tasty herb to your garden.
Lemongrass can easily be grown as an indoor plant or outdoors in the ground as well as used for a potpourri or air freshener if you want something less time-consuming! There are many ways to use lemongrass for cooking like making sauces, curries, tea blends, soups, and more! Plus its antiseptic properties make it good for your immune system too!
How to Grow Lemongrass Indoors
- Lemongrass prefers sandy, loamy soil with a pH between neutral and slightly acidic. Add organic material on the top of the planting area, such as compost or aged manure.
How to Grow Lemongrass From Seed
One of the best ways to grow lemongrass is from seed. Luckily, it's easy! You don't need a garden or even a green thumb as long as you follow these steps.
Lemongrass seeds are tiny and black in color. They're also quite inexpensive when compared with plants grown from pots or other container gardens (around $0.20 per plant). And once you grow your own lemongrass, it's easy to give away as a present or share with friends.
Fill an ordinary terra cotta pot about halfway up with good quality soil. Plant three or four lemongrass seeds into each container.
To get your lemongrass growing, keep the soil moist but not soaking wet (don't water more than once every two to three days) by watering from below when you can see that plant's surface is dry.
How to Grow Lemon Grass From Cutting
One of my favorite ways to grow lemongrass at home is from stem cuttings taken during its active growth season: Take healthy stems off the plant and place them into the potting mix with good drainage until they root in about six weeks' time.
Prepare the soil: I prefer to make a soil mix myself, but you may also choose a good potting soil. I like Happy Frog Potting Soil. It's essential to make sure you use a potting mix if you buy soil. Buying potting soil will get expensive. Well-draining soil is vital for growing in pots. Beans need well-draining loamy soil rich in organic matter.
A good soil mixture is one part compost, one part coco coir, and one part perlite. I add six tablespoons of greensand, six tablespoons of bone meal, six tablespoons of blood meal, and three tablespoons of azomite to the mix. This is what I use for a three-gallon container.
Keep the plant well-watered throughout the summer months, as this will help it grow and produce more leaves that are used to make lemongrass tea. Lemongrasses thrive in temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24C).
If you live where there are low temperatures like some parts of Canada or Russia where cold winters affect your plants outdoors year-round, consider growing lemongrass indoors instead!
Lemongrass can grow well in both full sun and partial shade, but the leaves will be greener if it gets plenty of sunshine. For indoor cultivation, a sunny window is ideal for fresh lemongrass year-round. In warmer climates (USDA zone 11), lemongrass may also thrive outdoors during the summer months when temperatures are not too extreme. Lemongrass needs at least six hours to properly photosynthesize each day so ensure plants get steady sunlight from morning until evening or use artificial lighting such as those used in greenhouses if growing indoors.
Lemongrass Growing Tips
Lemongrass plants can grow in many types of soil, but it's best if the soil drains well. If you don't have good drainage, add a layer of gravel to make sure your lemongrass doesn't get waterlogged. Lemongrass prefers full sun or at least partial shade.
A great way to start growing lemongrass is by buying seeds for planting indoors under fluorescent lights starting six weeks before the last frost date or outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.
Lemongrass is harvested when it is about two to three feet tall. You need to cut the lemongrass plants close to their base with a sharp knife or shears, leaving some leaves on the plant for photosynthesis. Refrigerate any unused portions immediately in an airtight container for up to one week.
Nutrition and Health Benefits of Lemongrass
Lemongrass is naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It contains vitamin C, folate (B-vitamin), potassium, and iron among others. The plant also has antimicrobial properties that help to fight against common bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus. Lemongrass can be used internally or externally for various purposes including digestion problems, joint pain, high blood pressure, anxiety, iritis/uveitis (eye inflammation), etc.
The health benefits of lemongrass have been discussed by the traditional ayurvedic system of medicine in India since antiquity. Ancient Indian texts describe how chewing on lemongrass roots helps to clean teeth and removes bad breath. A paste of the roots was also applied to cuts or wounds for healing purposes.
How to Use Lemongrass
Lemongrass can be used in teas, soups, stews, etc. It is beneficial for those who are looking to lower their cholesterol levels by increasing bile secretion from the gall bladder. Lemongrass has traditionally been used as a remedy against snake bites because it contains anticoagulants, fungicidal, antihelminthic, and insecticide properties (which make it effective at killing off worms).
In Thailand lemongrass is served with iced water as well as other fruits such as kaffir lime leaves and lemon juice which is a popular drink.
Lemongrass is also used in Thai cuisine, which has heavily influenced Filipino food and cooking methods. It can be found on the table of most families for meals along with rice or noodles and other dishes such as curries, soups, salads, meatballs, or egg rolls - the latter two are wrapped in banana leaves to maintain freshness.
Lemongrass is often combined with coconut milk made from freshly grated coconuts that have been mixed into hot water until it becomes piping hot then strained through cheesecloth before adding sugar if desired! This concoction should get thicker after sitting for about an hour and will thicken even more upon cooling.
Lemongrass is also used in many barbecue sauces, especially those that are Asian-inspired!
A little bit of lemongrass goes a long way and it can be frozen for up to six months so this ingredient will last you throughout the year without having to worry about freshness. Lemongrasses should be stored by wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap and then placing them inside an airtight container or baggie with some type of moisture absorbers like dry rice or silica gel packets.
With lemongrass, you can grow your own fresh herbs! If you’ve been looking for a way to get more of these good-for-you plants in the ground this year, here are some tips on how to plant and care for them. But if we haven't convinced you yet that they're worth including in your garden or home decorating scheme, maybe their health benefits will do the trick? Lemongrass has many therapeutic properties such as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory capabilities which make it great for people with allergies or asthma. And not only is it tasty when used in cooking but also may help improve digestion because of its high amount of fiber content.
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