Grow your own Lemon Grass plants
Although it is seen as a tropical plant, you can easily grow your own Lemon grass as fare south as Melbourne. All you need is a sunny position and a good moist soil through summer.
Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus ) is mainly used as a culinary herb, as a flavouring in asian cooking, as a tea (lemon grass tea) as an insect repellant and also as a garden plant. It will reach around 1m in height in good conditions.
Growing in large clumps, fresh lemon grass is harvested by puling a stalk from the clump. The part that is regarded as the ‘best’ is the pale white part close to the root. As this is a fibrous plant it is always sliced very finely when added to recipes. Dried lemon grass must be thoroughly soaked before using.
The tender white stalks are used for cooking, the rest can be used for lemon grass tea. Great with fish and chicken dishes.
This is actually drought resistant once established. It is a clumping plant growing up to 1m, try a humus rich well drained moist soil. Use as a border for the vegetable garden.
Care of lemon Grass Plants
Lemon Grass grows well in a humus rich moist soil in full sun. Prepare the soil well digging in some well rotted compost. Plant the young lemon grass and then water in well with a liquid seaweed fertilizer.
You can sneak a few shoots out when needed, however the best time to harvest is from early to mid summer through to autumn
It can be pruned back in winter to promote new growth, simply prune back to just above ground level making sure that this above any new shoots.
Lemon grass will need dividing after a year or two to promote vigor. Simply dig up the clump and divide it into 3-4 smaller clumps, depending on size. Trim the foliage back to around 10cm and then replant.
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Lemon Grass is available from the following nurseries
52 Rodd St Canowindra NSW 2804
An online nursery specialising in drought and frost tolerant perennials and fragrant, edible and herbs.