Lemongrass is one of the most popular herbs used throughout Asia. It makes an appearance in several popular dishes, teas, medicinal, and beauty applications. While growing lemongrass from seed isn’t hard, it can be tricky if you don’t know what environment it likes to grow in. Because of its preference for tropical climates, it is important to maintain mild, warm, and humid conditions. Follow these instructions and tips for a successful lemongrass crop!
How to Grow Lemongrass From Seed
- 1. Prepare a container or tray with Minute Soil+ or seed-starting soil.
- 2. Sprinkle a few seeds across the surface.
- 3. Mist well to hydrate the growing medium and seeds. Gently press them into the surface to create good soil-to-seed contact. DO NOT COVER. Lemongrass seeds require light to germinate.
- 4. Cover with a humidity dome or plastic wrap. This will maintain a humid environment. Check the soil regularly to maintain moist but not damp soil conditions. Watering too frequently will lead to too much moisture and rotting seeds. Germination may take 1-3 weeks, so be patient.
- 5. Place in a well-lit and warm location. Lemongrass prefers temperatures between 70-80 F.
- 6. When the seedlings reach about 3 inches in height, it is time to transplant. Lemongrass transplants easily. Space at least 12 inches apart. Because of its preference for warmer climates, lemongrass can be grown as a perennial in zones 9-11 but is treated as an annual in cooler zones.
- 7. To harvest, cut at the base when stalks are at least 0.5 inches thick.
Tips and Tricks
Start Seeds Indoors
Because these seeds have such specific environmental preferences, it is easiest to start them indoors where you have more control. A seed starting mat can help keep the seeds warm if your growing area tends to be on the cool side. Just be sure to check the soil regularly as heat mats can cause the soil to dry out quickly. If kept in a location with good sunlight and warm temperatures, a heat mat may not be needed. In addition to starting seeds indoors, mature plants may also be grown inside. Because this herb is not tolerant of frost, enjoy a longer harvest by bringing them inside as cool fall and winter temperatures approach.
Grow in Containers
Lemongrass is very accepting of being grown in containers. Enjoy your own freshly grown lemongrass from your patio, balcony, and indoor spaces. Growing in cotnainers also makes it easy to move mature plants indoors for the cool seasons. Just be sure to use pots that are at least 12 inches.
Caution, Sharp Leaves
Because lemongrass can develop sharp foliage, it is best to grow these plants away from high traffic areas. As they can get quite tall, we recommend growing against fences, homes, and other structures for a background in the landscape. This will keep passerbyes out of the way, and the lemongrass will help mask tall hardscape materials in the landscape for a more appealing view.
Using Fresh Lemongrass
Nothing is better than using fresh herbs to infuse your food and drinks with flavor. With it being summer time we thought you might be interested in a nice and refreshing drink to kick back and cool down with. Try making this unique Lemongrass Mojito Mocktail after a long day of working outside, when gathering with friends, or just for the fun of it. Remember, when using lemongrass whether for cooking or fresh, crush the stem to release more flavor.