How to Grow Your Own Lemongrass Indoors
If you love Asian cuisine then you should be very familiar with lemongrass. This lemony scented and flavorful herb is a popular choice in your favorite Thai, Chinese, and Indian dishes. Part of the reason for that is that it grows in abundance in hot Asian climates and it has been a natural choice there for centuries.
That popularity has now been transplanted into wester homes and just about everywhere else on the planet as well. It’s such a versatile and tasty herb with a lot of health benefits as well. In many cultures it’s even used to make medicinal tea.
You don’t have to wait till takeout night to enjoy some lemongrass with your meals though. It’s now widely available in most grocery stores and you may want to consider growing your own as well. If you live in a northern climate though, you will have to keep your lemongrass gardening indoors. As a tropical herb it does not do well in the cold.
Fortunately it’s known to thrive when grown in pots or containers indoors and it doesn’t require as much attention as some other herbs. Here are some guidelines you may want to consider when growing your own lemongrass indoors.
Start with a Glass
The cool thing about lemongrass is that you don’t have to start from seeds. In fact the best way to start growing your own is to buy a few stalks from the grocery store. Once you get them home place them in a glass with a few inches of water.
Make sure to replenish the water often and wait for routes to begin to sprout. Once the roots begin to appear it’s then time to graduate from the glass you started them in. Just like us lemongrass has needs that change over time if you want to grow your own successfully.
Transplanting to Pots
It’s now time to move your lemongrass from the glass into plant pots. Unlike other herbs lemongrass will do better in bigger pots. If you have a nice wide open room a couple of large plant pots filled with lemongrass can really accentuate the look of the room giving it a natural homey feel to it.
Place your lemongrass in the biggest pots you’re comfortable having in your home and you’ll have the most success. We’re not suggesting that you should turn your home into an indoor jungle, but big pots are ideal.
Keep Well Watered
Some plants can survive on very little water – lemongrass is not one of them. This herb needs lots of water and it needs to have its water supplies replenished often. Make sure your soil is always moist to the touch, but just make sure you’re not drowning your plants.
It’s a bit of a balancing act when it comes to finding the right amount of water for your lemongrass, but it doesn’t take too long to get the hang of it. With a little bit of patience you’ll find the right watering formula in no time.
It Likes the Sun
Remember – lemongrass is a plant whose origins can be traced back to warm muggy Asian climates found quite close to the equator. The plant is used to lots of sunlight and the more you can give it the better your results will be.
Your plants should receive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight exposure each day if you want them to continue growing. If you place your plants in a shady corner of a dark room it won’t be long before you’re standing there scratching your head wondering where it all went wrong. Consider getting yourself a sunlamp.
Never Let it Get a Chill
As we’ve stated this is a plant that’s used to warm moist climates. There isn’t a lot of snow at the equator and if you try to leave lemongrass outside in the winter and you live in a northern climate the end result will be dead plants and an unhappy gardener.
You have to keep your lemongrass indoors and keep it away from cold drafty windows. Even that slight bit of exposure to the cold can be harmful to your plants. If you avoid the chill you’ll have a lot more success growing your lemongrass indoors.
Under the right conditions you’ll be amazed at how well your lemongrass will grow. When grown in its natural habitat it’s not unusual to see lemongrass that’s up to 5 feet tall.
That’s why we said earlier it’s best to place your lemongrass in the largest pots you’re comfortable having in your home. Just a couple of large pots with lemongrass planted in them can provide you with all the lemongrass your family will need. That’s good news if you like to add a little Asian flavor to your dishes at dinner time.
Nutrient Rich Soil
When you’re growing plants that are capable of growing up to 5 feet tall it only make sense that they need a lot of nutrients. The soil you place them needs to include a nutrient rich formula and it should be replenished with fresh potting mix every few months.
The constant process of watering your plants in their pots will drain the soil of its existing nutrients and unlike soil outside it has no natural way of renewing its nutrients. You have to take the place of mother nature in this case.
Even if you’re doing a great job replenishing the nutrients in your soil on a regular basis it’s still a good idea to add fertilizer as well. If you give your plant a fertilizer boost at least once a month you’ll have lemongrass plants that are eye-catching and, more importantly, full of rich flavorful stalks ready for you to harvest when you need them.
Using fertilizer on a regular basis will add a bit of expense, but in the long run it will be far cheaper than buying your lemongrass at the grocery store and much healthier as well.