Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) -Indoor herb garden
Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus, is a perennial grass in the family Poaceae grown for its fragrant leaves and stalks which are used as a flavoring. The Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) grows in dense clumps and has several stiff stems and slender blade-like leaves which droop towards the tips. The leaves are blue-green in color, turning red in the Fall and emit a strong lemon fragrance when damaged. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) produces large compound flowers on spikes when grown in the tropics, but rarely flowers when grown in more Northern latitudes. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) can reach a height of 1.8 m (6 ft) and will grow for several years, typically its economical lifespan is 4 years. Lemongrass may also be referred to as ginger grass or citronella grass.
Scientific Name: Cymbopogon
Common Name: Lemongrass
How to maintain Lemongrass (Cymbopogon):
Light and Temperature for Lemongrass (Cymbopogon): Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) is a tropical plant and in that capacity will develop best in warm, sunny and muggy states of the tropics and subtropics.The plants can be grown at temperatures ranging from 10 to 33°C (50-91.4°F) but will grow optimally at temperatures between 25 and 30°C (77–86°F). The grass will grow in a wide range of soils but grows best in well-draining, fertile loam with a pH between 5.0 and 8.4. The grass can also be successfully grown in containers. Plants can be successfully grown in full sun or partial shade.
Propagation: As a bunching grass, lemongrass can be effectively spread by isolating stalks from the rhizome of an entrenched plant. The rhizome is best partitioned in the Spring in regions where the plant can be overwintered outside.In colder areas, the bulbous shoot base can be saved after harvest and stored for use the following Spring. The bulb can be divided prior to planting by slicing through the rhizome with a sharp spade or trowel. Ensure that each new plant has its own rootstock.
Planting: Commercially grown lemongrass (Cymbopogon) is planted at a higher density than in the home garden with a within row spacing of 20 cm (8 in) and 40 cm (16 in). In the home garden, plants should be spaced between 90 and 150 cm (36-60 in) apart. Prepare the soil for planting by working in 2 to 4 inches of compost.
Fertilizer: Lemongrass requires regular rainfall and if being grown in drier climates the plants should be watered and misted regularly. Plants have a heavy requirement for nitrogen during the growing season and should be fertilized with a balanced soluble fertilizer once a month. Container grown plants should be fed more frequently. Lemongrass can grow very large and will quickly outcompete weeds. However, younger plants should be kept free by carefully cultivating or hand pulling any weeds from around the plants.
Harvesting: Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) can be harvested at any time once the stalks have reached 1.3 cm (0.5 in) in diameter. Harvest stalks by cutting them at ground level with a sharp knife, or by bending the stalk and twisting.
Last updated on February 28th, 2017