Herbal plants

Caring for & Using Lemongrass

The fresh taste of lemongrass is typical of Southeast Asian cuisine. The herb tastes particularly good with fish, poultry and seafood. It is an integral part of Thai curry pastes. A plant is very productive and long-lasting with little care. Lemongrass is ideal as a potted plant that can be on the balcony or terrace from the end of May to September. Frost -free overwintering is important.

Botanical name: Cymbopogon citratus
Other names: West Indian lemongrass, lemongrass, sereh
Use: for fish or meat dishes, wok dishes, curries, soups, desserts, as tea
Origin: Southeast Asia
Taste: lemony, fresh, exotic
Color of stem: light green
Special features: the grass is Evergreen and can be harvested all year round. Frost-free overwintering is important. The lower part of the stalks (bulbs) is used for cooking. The leaves themselves are only used for tea. If possible, use young leaves, as these are tender and aromatic.

In which location does the lemongrass feel most comfortable?

The location for lemongrass should be as sunny, warm and dry as possible. Cold, soil compaction and waterlogging are not suitable for the grass. From the end of May, the exotic plant can be planted in pots on the balcony or terrace or planted out in the garden. The intensely fragrant grass develops best in a place in the garden that is protected from the wind and rain, because if there is too much water, the plant suffers and the stalks turn yellow. As a plant that needs warmth, lemongrass feels good all year roundon the window sill. It is important that the location is bright and warm and that there is never waterlogging.

Gardener’s tip: The tropical plant should be back indoors from September. Large specimens can hibernate in the bright stairwell. It is important in autumn and winter that the soil never dries out completely, but that watering is reduced.

How do I water and care for the lemongrass properly?

As with all grasses, growth is greatest when there is sufficient moisture and warmth. Lemongrass grows best outdoors from June onwards. It is important that the exotic species never dries out completely, but is also not waterlogged. The rule of thumb is watering every 2 to 3 days, but the need depends on the temperature, the radiation, the size of the plant and the volume of the soil. Lemongrass prefers nutrient-rich soil, so it’s important that you regularly feed the plants with special herbal fertilizer. Due to the purely plant-based nutrient supply, you can use the herbscontinue to use in the kitchen. If there is no fertilizer, growth is less and the leaf color turns light yellow. You can regularly remove dry stalks. However, be aware that the edges of the sheet are sharp and should therefore be cut with care.

Gardener’s tip: Planted in the ground, summer care is slightly less than for potted plants, but the grass must be dug up for overwintering.

How do I harvest and use lemongrass?

Lemongrass is suitable for fresh consumption, drying or freezing. Regularly cut the stalks a few centimeters above the surface of the earth. It is important that you do not cut too deep, otherwise the new growth will be less. If the growth is good, the grass can also be cut and preserved as a reserve. The exotic herb is ideal for flavoring vinegar or oil. With dried lemongrass you can easily make aromatic tea ormake other drinks. Basically, fresh herb is more aromatic than dried or frozen.

Lemongrass RecipesHere you will find delicious recipes with lemongrass. We’ll show you how to conjure up attractive meals without much effort. Enjoy your meal!

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Tip: Fresh lemongrass can be stored in the fridge for a few days. To do this, wrap the stalks in newspaper. If required, you have the herb practically at hand for 1 to 2 weeks.

What pests and diseases can lemongrass get?

With optimal site conditions, the lemongrass is robust and not susceptible to pest infestation or fungal diseases. Only young plants can be infested with fungus gnats.

fungus gnats

The black insects, two to four millimeters long, are found in and on the earth. The adult animals are only an optical problem. Damage to the young roots is caused by the larvae. Kölle ‘s organic yellow boards, which intercept the adult animals, are suitable for fighting. Dry soil is another way to minimize infestation.

spider mites

Due to low humidity and warm room air, spider mite infestation can occur. Improve the conditions and spray the lemongrass regularly with low-lime water. Affected leaves should be removed generously.

FAQ — Frequently asked questions about lemongrass

How is lemongrass propagated?

The common method of propagation is the division of large specimens. The best time for this is May and June.

Is Lemongrass Perennial?

The exotic grass is perennial, but not hardy. You can simply overwinter the spice and harvest it for many years.

Can lemongrass be left in the room all year round?

As a houseplant, lemongrass can be in a bright and warm place in the room all year round. Ensure an even water supply and fertilize with herb fertilizer once a month from May to August. Annual repotting in fresh soil is beneficial. When repotting, make sure there is a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot.

How can you use lemongrass?

You either add the very finely chopped pieces to the food or you add long sections for flavoring. You can simply remove the long straws after cooking. If you tap the herb lightly, the aroma can develop better. You can use the leaves to make aromatic tea. Use the lower part of the stalks (the so-called bulbs) for cooking.