Lemongrass belongs to Cymbopogon citratus species. It is used commonly as culinary and medical herbs. However, many of you don’t know much about this plant as it is only popular in tropical countries. On the other hand, you still find people have these plants inside their houses in the West. In today’s article, we would like to instruct you on how to grow lemongrass indoors. It is much easier than you might think. Let’s kick right in!
Can You Grow Lemongrass Inside?
Well, the answer is a “Yes”! This idea comes from the fact that we don’t have much space for gardens in big cities, so people make little gardens created from multi-material boxes growing either colorful plants or herbs like lemongrass.
Besides, these Cymbopogon citratus species can hardly survive the severe cold in winter. Therefore, growing them inside the house where you can adjust the temperature can solve the issue. In the next part, we will tell you how people grow this plant within their houses.
How To Grow Lemongrass Indoors?
Lemongrass Growing Conditions
Firstly, let’s talk about the growing conditions of lemongrass. As mentioned above, as a tropical plant, it needs a lot of sunlight and high temperature. You can find them popular in Africa, Asia, and Australia. To grow this plant indoors, make sure you have the below conditions:
- Put the plant where it can get a lot of natural sunlight (at least 6-8 hours a day).
- Assure the air temperature not below -90C, and the soil temperature must be around 250C – 300C.
- Keep the soil moist instead of soggy.
These conditions must be maintained during the growing time of the plant. Thus, you will have to check and adjust them every day.
There are supplies that you must prepare before growing lemongrass. Let’s check what they are!
Due to biological experts, mature lemongrass can reach up to 5 feet in good living conditions. Therefore, prepare planters that are 12 inches in width for better propagation of the plants. And you can choose the ones that are made of either cement or high-quality plastic.
One of the most important factors for cultivation is soil. You should use potting soil instead of the garden mix (garden soil), although both of them are to grow plants at home.
Potting soil consists of coconut coir, pine bark, vermiculite, and perlite. It is lightweight and water-absorbed. The feature we like the most about this soil is its high capacity of holding nutrients.
In some cases, you can add a layer of coconut coir into the planters if needed, as it will help retain the moisture.
Lemongrass Bulb Or Seeds
The last things you need to have in your hands are lemongrass seeds, bulbs, or clumps. It depends on what is more convenient for you.
- If you start planting with the bulbs, remove lower old leaves, place them in a glass of water. Then renew the water every day until the roots sprouted.
- In case you want to grow the new plants by seeds, choose healthy and beautiful seeds with no termites.
- If you already have some lemongrass clumps within your garden, just divide them carefully into smaller clumps. Then, collect the robust ones with roots to replant.
Recently, we have been asked: “Where can I buy lemongrass?”. Well, if you live in tropical countries, then it seems not to be a big deal! Because you can buy it in local markets, supermarkets easily.
Whereas, in subarctic climate countries, customers may hardly find fresh lemongrass sold popularly. They are only available in big supermarkets as imported products or in gardening shops. Meanwhile, lemongrass seeds are purchased frequently in offline stores, via e-trading platforms such as Walmart and Amazon.
Guide In How To Plant
After having all the necessary equipment prepared, it’s time for you to start planting. To begin, let’s sterilize the planters before tamping down growing substrates inside, layers by layers. Depending on what materials you have, follow one of these below methods:
Method 1: How To Plant Lemongrass From Stalks
Dip the rooted stalks into the soil. The depth is approximately an inch below the ground. For better growth and spreading of the plant, make sure the roots are not gathered.
Method 2: How To Grow Lemongrass From Seed At Home?
The sowing process requires a bit of time and carefulness to do. First, you have to sprinkle the seeds on the potting soil surface. Next, cover them with a thin layer of growing substrates. Then, check whether the seeds have their parts ¼ inches deep below the surface.
Method 3: How To Grow Lemongrass From The Transplant
This is the simplest way to multiple cultivate the lemongrass indoors. Firstly, you have to cut the roots and leave ½ inch attached to the stalks. Don’t worry! Because as long as the roots are still there a bit, the plant will survive and increase in size and shape later.
Then, plant the separated clumps into planters respectively, below the growing substrate layers 1-1,5 inches.
Now, you almost have your planting process done by placing the planters inside your apartment. Take care of your little garden with optimal conditions for growing plants!
How Do You Care For Indoor Lemongrass?
In this part, we will give you detailed instructions on taking care of lemongrass.
Lemongrass is not a picky plant. It grows strongly either outdoor and indoor if you provide basic living conditions as below:
- Keep the soil at a proper concentration of moisture. Although this plant loves water for its growing, don’t give it too much as the soil should not be too soggy. The reason is that water molecules will fill in growing substrate pore instead of oxygen. As a result, the plant won’t have enough oxygen for metabolism and respiration processes.
- Sprinkle extra nitrogen fertilizer once every two weeks. We will explain right now! This type of fertilizer plays an important role in many living substances, so is lemongrass! The plant extremely needs nitrogen for its biochemical, physiological needs, and especially for its growth.
- Trim lemongrass leaves every week. As time goes by, your plants will expand their leaves in every direction to catch the light. You might think it is not necessary to cut the overgrown leaves. But we advise you to do it regularly so that every plant doesn’t have to fight against each other for the sunlight.
- Do occasional pruning to keep your lovely plants growing lush and beautiful. Let us explain to you further! Due to the biological features of the Cymbopogon citratus family, lemongrass hibernates in the winter. It means they stop growing, although the metabolism process still carries on.
- Therefore, winter is the best time to cut the plants with only a few inches left on the ground. You will be surprised by thicker lemongrass clumps when the spring arrives.
- Cut the yellow and reddish-brown color streaks off as these signs consider that your plants are getting attacked by diseases. By removing these parts, you will prevent the fungus from spreading out to other healthy individuals.
Besides, we suggest you keep the plants dried, avoid watering from above. In a worse case, you may have to do pruning and spacing to isolate infected areas.
After months of looking after your lemongrass garden, harvest them when you see it is at your knees’ level. Hence, you can cut them all year round. Avoid harvesting more than one-third of the plants at the same time. Here are what you have to do:
- Choose chubby stalks to cut
- Use a sharp knife and cut the single stalk at its ground level
- Make sure you create equal space between the plants after cutting
When you do the collecting process right, it will urge the new sprouts to grow.
Applications Of Lemongrass
If you have ever tried fresh lemongrass or products made from this plant, then you know what does lemongrass taste like, right? The taste will be different from individual to individual. Generally, its smell is compared to lemon mixed mint fragrant. And the taste is a bit bitter. We use lemongrass for various purposes:
- For daily cooking: Marinating meat and fish, curries paste, salads, and stir-fried dishes.
- For refreshment drinks: Lemonade, tea, cocktails, soda (lemongrass-basil soda)
- For health benefits: used as an oil for spa activities and medicinal uses to release pain, prevent infection and increase the blood cells.
- For home decoration purposes: A minority of people grow this beneficial plant to decorate their houses to make their living area greener and fresher.
The Bottom Line!
In our family, we often grow new lemongrass from its existing bulbs to enlarge our herb garden. As a result, it now has become a familiar herb in our indoor farming. By this article, we hope you have had a great time reading and getting to know how to grow lemongrass indoors for your beloved home. Good luck!