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Lemongrass

Cymbopogan citratus

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Lemongrass is an easy to grow tropical grass with long thin leaves that grow in tall clumps. The plant's leaves and stems have a distinct lemony citrus fragrance as well as a strong citrus flavour. Young shoots can also be prepared as a vegetable. Due to its height, it can be grown as a scented, ornamental grass. Lemongrass has various uses such as culinary, medicinal, cosmetic, essential oils and as insect repellent.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Spring, Summer

Harvesting

Start harvesting as soon as plants are 30 cm tall and stem bases are at least 1 cm thick. Leaves and stalks can be harvested throughout the growing season. Young stalks can be pulled by hand or cut at ground level and the leaves trimmed and discarded.

Propagation

Division
Divide the root ball and replant immediately.
Seed
Sow seed in Spring. Keep moist until germinated.
Rhizomes
Cut off at least 2 cm from the end of the leaves of a lemongrass stalk, and put the base end in a glass of water in the sun until roots sprout. Transplant when roots are 2 cm long.

Special features

Crop rotation
Lemongrass is a light feeder
Attracts useful insects
Attracts honey bees
Repels harmful insects
Repels some insects, like mosquitoes and whiteflies.
Pot plant
Lemongrass can be planted in a pot at least 30 cm across, in a wind protected area either outdoors or indoors, provided they receive enough light.

Geography

Origin
Asia, India and Sri Lanka
Natural climate
Hot humid conditions

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
South American folk medicine used the grass for treating hypertension, inflammation, nervousness, sleep disorders, infection, fevers and gastrointestinal disorders.
Edible
Stems and leaves are edible

Personality

Family
Poaceae
Flower colour
Yellow
Scent
Mild

Problems

Few pests bother lemongrass. Occasionally lemongrass will be affected by leaf blight and indoor plants may be attacked by spider mites.
Two-spotted spider mite
Two-spotted spider mite
Tetranychus urticae

Companion plants

Lemongrass are great as a borderplant for vegetable gardens.

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