Lemongrass is more than just a plant. It’s a plant that’s commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine and used as in tea for its health benefits. According to some research, lemongrass could be an effective weight-loss tool or a way to manage stomach disorders. It’s also believed to keep away mosquitoes. With so many benefits to having lemongrass, it’s a highly-desired plant. Fortunately, it’s easy to grow in your home garden. Find out how to grow lemongrass and start reaping the benefits of having it in your yard.
What You Need to Grow Lemongrass
If you want to grow lemongrass, you need a few supplies. For growing the plant in containers, you need the following:
- Large pots
- Lemongrass seeds
- Potting soil
Some people prefer to place the plant directly in the garden. As a prolific grower, lemongrass thrives in the soil. But it may be quick to spread into other areas of your garden. The choice is yours, and the plant should thrive in either scenario. To grow the plant in your garden bed, you need the following:
- Peat pots
- Starter soil
- Lemongrass seeds
- Garden bed
How to Grow Lemongrass in Containers or a Garden Bed
Once you have all of your supplies, you can get started. The steps are simple enough that almost anyone can successfully grow lemongrass.
Step 1: Plant Your Seeds
The first thing you should do is plant your seeds. Unlike some plant seeds, lemongrass seeds germinate easily. If you plan on leaving your seeds in a container, you can place several seeds directly in the potting soil of your large pot.
For a plant that will eventually go into a garden bed, you should use a peat pot. Place some starter soil in the pot and press a few seeds into the soil.
Wherever you choose to start your seeds, cover them with a thin layer of soil and keep them moist. They don’t need too much water or soil to germinate. Place your container in an area that gets some direct sun.
Pro Tip: Don’t try to germinate your seeds in regular soil. The soil doesn’t have enough nutrients for the seeds and it’s unlikely that your seeds will take.
Step 2: Wait for Your Seeds to Germinate
Now, the hard part begins – the waiting game. It takes lemongrass seeds about ten to 14 days to germinate. Until that time passes, you need to care for your seeds.
Water the seeds as frequently as necessary, never letting the soil dry out. If the seeds aren’t doing well, they may not be getting enough sun. Move the pot as needed to provide enough sunlight to the plant.
Once germination occurs, leave the seedlings in the pot. If you have too many seedlings in one container, you can remove some of the smaller seedlings and let the larger ones flourish.
Step 3: Transplant Your Seedlings
This step is only necessary if you plan on moving your seedlings to a different container or garden. Those who want container lemongrass can leave their seedlings in the container.
To move your seedlings to a garden bed, you should wait until they are about three inches tall. Once that happens, they’re ready to go into the ground.
Dig a small hole in your garden bed. Then, place the peat pot in the hole. The top of the pot should be flush with the top of the soil. If you have multiple peat pots and seedlings, spread them out about one foot apart. Then, give them water.
Step 4: Make Sure Conditions are Optimal
Although lemongrass is relatively hardy, it does need certain conditions to grow well. For instance, it needs about six hours of direct sunlight each day.
Lemongrass also needs loamy soil and fertilizer. While container lemongrass may not require fertilizer, garden bed fertilizer does. You should use a 6-4-0 fertilizer or manure tea to give your plant the proper nutrients.
Finally, lemongrass needs a warm climate. You can grow the plant in cool climates, but you need to bring it inside if you want it to survive low temperatures. When temperatures start to drop below 50 degrees, it’s time to take your lemongrass inside.
Step 5: Propagate Your Lemongrass
If you plan on using your lemongrass frequently, you may want to propagate it. Once you know how to do this, you don’t need to worry about growing new lemongrass plants from seeds.
Because the plant grows in clumps, it’s very easy to split and propagate. Each leaf is connected to a bulb, and that bulb has roots. By separating the leaf and bulb from the rest of the plant, you can grow a new plant. This can be accomplished with a spade.
Although one bulb will grow, you may want to plant several bulbs in one place. It will look less sparse and has a greater chance at thriving.
Step 6: Prune Your Plant
If you want your lemongrass to survive more than one season, you need to prune it annually. Using shears, cut away dead foliage. You can also cut the plant down in the winter, which allows it to rest and recover for the spring season.
Enjoying Your Lemongrass
Your lemongrass has many uses. It only takes a short time to grow your plant from seed to adult-hood. Once it’s ready, you’ll be able to enjoy your own lemongrass. Make tea with it, use it in your cooking, or just enjoy the lush green look of it. It may even keep the flies away from your property. However you choose to use it, you won’t regret having it in your yard.
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