Did you know that you can grow store-bought lemongrass all year long? If you enjoy lemongrass in your drinks and dishes, then this herb will fit right into your home and garden. In this article, we’ll teach you how to propagate lemongrass so that you can have a fresh supply all year round.
Finding lemongrass isn’t that difficult these days. However, it can’t always be found in groceries, so you might need to head out to local farmer’s markets or Asian groceries where you can usually find the healthiest stalks.
Alternatively, if you’re already growing lemongrass then you can simply use a few stalks from your existing plant. Either option will work just as well.
Once you’ve grabbed your lemongrass bundle, set aside a few clumps of stalks to grow. These will be your starting crop as you begin growing this wondrous herb. Now, you are ready to begin the process of propagating lemongrass right in your own home.
Preparing Lemongrass Stalks
First, check to make sure that your lemongrass stalks are healthy and have their bases intact. The base of each healthy stalk should be pale green or white and slightly bulbous at the end. Starting with healthy stalks is essential as unhealthy ones have a much larger chance of failing.
Avoid getting the stalks with the bases cut off because they can’t be used for propagation. Most of the time, the stalks won’t have roots on them, but this is okay. Don’t worry about this because you can always root them later.
Here are the steps in preparing your lemongrass stalks for propagation:
- Thoroughly clean your lemongrass stalks with water.
- -Remove the leaves that are old or brown.
- Keep the woody outer layers that make up the lower stem.
- Lay them aside and prepare for the next step.
Rooting Your Lemongrass Stalks
For this step, you will need a glass bottle or vase, water, and a sunny location. Once you have these three essentials you’re good to go. Now, let’s continue our quest to root this fragrant herb.
To encourage your lemongrass to root, follow these steps:
- Fill your glass bottle or jar halfway with clean water.
- Gather your lemongrass stalks and place them in your glass container.
- Place your glass container with the lemongrass in an area that receives sunlight.
- Change the water every other day.
- Wait for the roots to emerge.
- Optional - use a rooting hormone to help encourage root growth.
You’ll have to note that some lemongrass stalks can take an average of two weeks to root. Some can root early, but others can take up to three weeks or more to produce roots, so don’t worry if some stalks take longer than others.
During the rooting stage, you probably won’t see any leaves emerging. This should not worry you because most plants prefer to expend their energy in producing roots first instead of leaves.
Lemongrass roots are white and fibrous, appearing at the base after some time. Allow these roots to grow until they are at least three inches long.
By this time, your lemongrass stalks will most likely produce offshoots. These offshoots will encourage your lemongrass to continue growing and dividing.
Once your lemongrass stalks reach this stage, they are ready to be planted in your preferred location. Preparing Your Lemongrass for Planting
Lemongrass thrives in a warm and tropical environment. As much as possible, you should always simulate its native growing conditions to make sure it grows healthy and strong.
When preparing your herb for planting, you should make sure you have the following materials available:
- Rooted lemongrass stalks
- Well-draining soil or potting mix
- Pots or containers with adequate drainage holes
- Optional: compost, worm casting, and other natural fertilizers
- Optional: mulch
With these materials assembled, you can now begin planting your lemongrass stalks. Follow the instructions below, and you should have an easy time growing them.
Prepare your soil or potting mix by getting it out of its bag and loosening the soil. If you want to add natural fertilizers to your soil, mix them in. Slow-release natural fertilizers will help your lemongrass grow faster and healthier.
Place your amended soil or potting mix in the areas or containers where you intend to plant your lemongrass.
Insert your lemongrass stalks into the soil or potting mix, being careful not to damage the roots. Ideally, three stalks per hole or container should be fine.
Make sure that your lemongrass stalks are covered only up to the base. Avoid burying the whole stalk because it can suffocate.
As an option to help you retain water in the soil, place mulch around the base of your lemongrass stalks. Keep an inch of space away from the base of the stalk to discourage your lemongrass from developing rot.
Water your lemongrass stalks until they begin to show more signs of growth.
Caring for Your Lemongrass
Lemongrass is a tropical herb that enjoys warm, sunny climates. Additionally, it thrives in areas that have well-draining soil, abundant nutrients, and frequent rain.
As long as you provide these conditions, your lemongrass will grow even more profusely. Here are some basic growing techniques for your lemongrass:
- Make sure that your plants have access to full sun. Partial shade will cause them to grow slower and produce fewer leaves.
- Avoid exposing them to extremely cold weather. If you live in an area with cold winters, plant your lemongrass in containers to bring them indoors during the freezing months.
- Water your lemongrass regularly but only when the topmost inch of the soil is dry.
- Ensure they are grown in areas that have medium to high levels of humidity. High humidity helps them from drying out.
- Feed your lemongrass with nitrogen-rich natural fertilizers, such as compost, worm casting, and fish emulsion.
- Harvest your lemongrass to encourage bushier growth. You can even divide your lemongrass clumps into seedlings and give them to your family, friends, and neighbors.
How To Propagate Lemongrass
Cultivating lemongrass is very easy as long as its growing requirements are met. One of the most ideal ways is to grow lemongrass indoors as a houseplant and herb.
Not only will it beautify your interior spaces, but you will also have access to this fragrant herb all year long. Now that you know how to propagate them, keeping them indoors is merely the next step to becoming a lemongrass expert!