The first time I saw lemongrass was in a smoothie shop and I thought to myself, “who wants grass in a smoothie?” Since then, I’ve seen lemongrass pop up all over in different recipes and soups and even as a beautiful house plant. One of the best things about lemongrass is how easy it is to grow, maintain, and use.
Once you get started you’ll have more lemongrass than you ever wanted and you’ll find more and more reasons to use it.
- Getting Started: Lemongrass is usually best planted indoors. It is a sub-tropical plant so it definitely is not made to withstand freezing temperatures. If you live anywhere that has a chill in the air, you’ll want to grow your grass inside in a pot. It also needs a LOT of sun, plenty of water, and super-rich soil.
- Seeds and Stalks: Lemongrass will naturally populate itself, so you can start with a seed, or just trim some stalks off of an existing plant and you’re ready to go. If you start with seeds, the plant will germinate within a week or two and once they are about 6” tall you can move them to a bigger pot. If you start with stalks, just place them in a far of water until you see roots begin to form, then you can plant them in a pot.
3.Growing Up Fast: Lemongrass grows in a clump that’s something difficult to dig into. However, these clumped plants can often fill their pots too quickly, so it is important to keep an eye on them before you end up with a burnt pot. You can use a sharp spade to slice it like a pie if you need to.
4.Harvesting and Using: Lemongrass is ready to use when it is about 12-inches tall and ½ inch thick. To harvest lemon grass, grasp firmly at the base and pull. The inner, white core is what you typically use for cooking. It has a sweet citrus flavor that adds a beautiful hint of lemon to your recipe. You can use the leaves to make a nice tea as well. The outer green leaves can be finely chopped and used in rice, smoothies, syrups, marinades or other recipes that call for the herb.
When it comes to citrusy herbs, lemongrass takes the cake. It is easy to grow, tasty to eat, and makes a great cup of tea. Best of all, it really is one of the easiest herbs to grow and it’s easy to share and preserve.