The lemongrass plant has multiple uses, especially in cooking, herbal medicine, and as a mosquito repellent. You can grow and maintain a healthy plant with minimal efforts. Read on to know more.
Lemongrass is commonly used as a culinary herb, especially in Asian cuisines. It imparts a strong flavor resembling that of citrus or lemon, hence the name. In traditional medicine, the parts of this plant have been used to combat several health problems.
What's more, it is one of the best mosquito repellent plants. Grow this multipurpose grass and you can enjoy all the benefits of it.
Although the plant is used as a flavoring herb in many recipes, it is not available in grocery stores throughout the year. If you are fond of this herb, consider planting it on your own. A tropical grass by origin, it is very hardy and grows to about 3 feet at maturity.
Even a novice hobbyist without a green thumb will succeed in maintaining this grass. Following are some easy gardening tips on how to plant lemongrass.
In its natural habitat, lemongrass grows in clumps, and propagation is done by separating the clumps into smaller sections, ensuring that the root system is not damaged. These separated plants are used for propagation.
Available in all garden centers, you can purchase healthy plants from your local nursery.
Purchasing Lemongrass Stalks
Another cost-effective way is to grow lemongrass from the stalks sold in grocery markets.
For this, purchase fresh and healthy stalks, and trim off the long foliage and secondary roots (if present), while keeping the rhizome intact. Place the slips in water near a sunny window, and you will see development of roots within 7-10 days.
When the stalks are kept for rooting, select and prepare the planting site. Lemongrass grows best, both as a kitchen plant and an outdoor plant.
So, you can grow it around the house, preferably in the vicinity, and also as a part of indoor gardening. Being a tropical grass variety, it can adapt to any type of garden soil and potting media.
As per your convenience, transplant the lemongrass when the roots are 1-2 inch in length. You can plant it directly in the garden soil or in a container filled with regular potting mix.
In both cases, your plants will grow luxuriantly, as long as the required growth conditions are maintained properly. In case of growing in garden soil, you will need to plant the lemongrass in areas that are exposed to sunlight.
The care tips for this herb are very easy. All you need is to keep the potted plants in partial shade or full sunlight conditions.
Correct watering is another important tip for maintenance of healthy lemongrass. Water the plants regularly and keep the soil moist, but not soggy. If you reside in a cold region, you will need to protect them from extreme cold temperatures.
Within 2 months of plantation, or after 60 days, you can start harvesting the lemongrass. Separate a part of the clump and cut the plants at the base. If required, trim them to about 8 inch height for conserving nutrients.
Once planted, it grows and bears healthy leaves for many years. You can think of replanting it after every 4-5 years.
Mosquito repellent property of this plant will help in controlling and driving away these nasty pests. Also, learn how to make lemongrass tea and enjoy it as a refreshing drink. It helps alleviate fever symptoms, arthritis pain, and stomach cramps the natural way.