Many of us love to use fresh herbs in our cooking. Some of the more adventurous among us use fresh herbs in their tea! Either way, we can all agree that fresh herbs add something special to our food and beverages.
Growing Lemongrass in pots requires pots of different sizes, rich loamy soil, and enough water to moisten the soil. Regular maintenance, fertilizing, and harvesting together with 6 hours of sunlight daily, will keep the plants growing in tip-top condition.
Growing fresh herbs like Lemongrass is not difficult. Growing anything fresh in your own garden can be rewarding, healthy, and good for the soul! Lemongrass is an easy citrusy plant to grow in any size container.
You don’t have to be an experienced backyard farmer to grow Lemongrass, but if lemon flavors are what you enjoy, growing this wonderful herb will add a lovely aroma to your home and a satisfying lemony taste to your dishes.
Will Lemongrass Grow Well In Pots?
Lemongrass is an easy-to-grow herb. It grows quickly and will spread to cover a pot or garden space of any size. Lemongrass grows best in tropical to moderate climate zones, but you can grow this versatile plant in colder regions just as easily!
Each lemongrass plant can grow to a height of 3 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 meters) tall and up to 2 feet (60cm) wide if left to grow in the ground in a flower bed in your backyard.
If you do not have backyard space or a suitable garden bed available, growing Lemongrass in a pot, whether indoors or outdoors, is ideal!
The best way to grow Lemongrass in a pot is only to plant one stalk in a pot – multiple stalks will produce too many plants, and some could suffocate from lack of space or become top-heavy and tip over.
Growing Lemongrass and other fresh herbs in pots is the ideal way to ensure that you have fresh herbs available for when you need them!
The only rule to remember when growing Lemongrass in pots to keep them in tip-top condition is to provide enough warmth, light, and water for the plant to thrive, and prune and harvest regularly!
The Best Pots To Grow The Perfect Lemongrass In
The ideal sized pot for growing Lemongrass is a 5-gallon (22 liters) or larger pot, with a minimum size of 14-inches (35 cm) in diameter. Lemongrass roots are prolific growers and need space to grow and bulk up – If you use a smaller pot, the roots could break out of the pot!
Of course, you could start growing your Lemongrass in a smaller pot and transfer it to a bigger pot as it grows and spreads. A huge 5-gallon pot is not ideal for growing your Lemongrass on your kitchen window ledge, but the plant will continue growing well when divided and repotted.
You can use any type of pot to grow your Lemongrass in, as long as the pot is filled with moist, rich, well-drained soil.
Follow these basic rules when choosing any type of pot to grow Lemongrass in:
- The pot should be of the correct size to grow the number of required plants. A smaller size for new, growing plants and a larger one for established plants.
- All pots must have good drainage.
- Any type or color will do. Lemongrass is not fussy!
If you don’t have too much available space, you could try growing your Lemongrass and any other herbs in a Garden Tower. This type of system allows you to grow multiple herb plants in a contained space indoors or outdoors.
So, you can grow your Lemongrass in smaller pots inside your home and benefit from the lovely smell and the insect repelling properties of this plant before repotting it.
Once you have repotted your Lemongrass into a bigger pot, find an indoor space to keep it, as once you have experienced the aromatic lemony smell of this herb plant, you will not want to keep it outdoors!
If you are growing your Lemongrass outdoors in pots, make sure that you choose a warm, light spot and water and fertilize it often.
How To Grow Lemongrass in Pots
Lemongrass is a versatile herb that can be grown almost anywhere, as long as the growing conditions are right. In colder climates, the best environment for Lemongrass is indoors as it will not survive the outdoor temperatures.
Three methods to choose from to start growing your Lemongrass:
If you live in a colder climate, you should begin growing your Lemongrass plants at least two months before your region’s last frost date in Spring.
There are two ways that you can grow new Lemongrass plants from cuttings:
- If you already have your own growing Lemongrass plants, cut the stalk from the plant using a sharp knife and about an inch (2.5 cms)above the ground.
Place the stalks into a growing pot filled with potting soil or a growing medium. The base of the stalks should be about 1 inch (2.5 cms) below the soil. Place the pot in a sunny place for about three weeks, keeping the soil moist.
Transplant the growing Lemongrass plant into a bigger pot and place it in a warm space.
- If you don’t already have a growing plant, the best way to obtain cuttings is from your local Asian food market or grocery store. Always pick healthy Lemongrass stalks with green centers and with the bulbs still attached.
Fill up a glass container and place the Lemongrass stalks bulb down in the water. Allow them to soak for a few weeks until new roots begin to grow. Make sure you change the water frequently.
The bulbs are ready to place into a pot once the roots reach a length of about 1.0 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cms).
Fill a pot with potting mix and add a sprinkling of water. Always make sure that the pot has a few drainage holes and is big enough to allow the plant to spread once planted.
Gently trim the tops off the stalks and plant each into a hole in the center of the potting mix. Cover with the potting mix and set the pot in a sunny place.
To prevent transplant shock, always plant the bulbs early in the morning.
Lemongrass is really easy to grow from seeds. Simply sow the seeds into a small pot or grow bag containing a growing medium like vermiculite or potting soil. Cover with a sprinkling of water – make sure the medium is moist but not wet.
The seeds germinate well when planted from January to March, with the first sprouts appearing about 20 to 40 days after planting. The ideal temperature for germination is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).
After the seeds have sprouted, you can transplant them into cups until they grow to a reasonable size or around 3 inches (7 cms), then plant them into their final pots.
As Lemongrass grows in clumps, it is effortless to divide. When digging up the plant while harvesting, you can simply break apart the bulbs with a small garden fork. Each bulb-like base will have its own roots growing from the bottom, with a narrow leaf fan growing out the top of the bulb.
You can choose the ideal size of each bulb for your container. Remember that each bulb will grow and spread, so plant in the correct sized pot unless you keep dividing and repotting every time you harvest the Lemongrass.
How To Care For Potted Lemon Grass
Although Lemongrass is easy to grow, there are ways that you can care for it to ensure optimal growth and thriving plants. By learning how to care for your growing Lemongrass plants, you will always have healthy plants ready for use all year round!
Here are a few rules for caring for your Lemongrass plants:
Sun Or Shade
Lemongrass loves the full sun so make sure that each plant receives at least six hours of direct sunlight every day to meet the plant’s energy needs. If your plant is positioned in the shade and is not growing very well, move it into the sunlight and watch it grow and thrive!
Keep the Lemongrass soil moist for the best plant growth, especially after planting into a fresh pot. Once the plant is fully mature, it will tolerate drought. Placing a 3-inch (7 cms) layer of mulch over the soil will conserve moisture and enrich the soil as it breaks down.
Only water each plant in the morning or late afternoon. Never water over the stalks and leaves but directly onto the soil around the plant.
Lemongrass enjoys rich, loamy soil. Add compost, manure, and leaf mold to the soil at planting time, and always use commercial potting soil when potting a Lemongrass plant.
If the plant grows in the same pot for a few years, replenish the soil annually. Alternatively, if you would like a healthier plant, repot the plant into a new pot with fresh soil every Spring.
Add some manure tea to add valuable trace nutrients to the soil occasionally, to give the plant an extra boost.
Lemongrass grows well in Zones 8 – 11.
Add a time-release fertilizer like 6-4-0 fertilizer to the pot to feed the plants throughout the growing season. Grassy plants like Lemongrass need a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
Temperature And Humidity
Lemongrass is a tropical plant and thrives in hot, humid climates. It is very frost sensitive so if you are growing your plants outdoors in a pot, bring them indoors to overwinter before the temperature hit 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius)
Like most plants, Lemongrass will not grow well if it competes for space and nutrients in the soil with other plants. Remove all the unwanted plants and weeds from around your Lemongrass regularly.
Lemongrass plants will benefit from good pruning if they live for more than one season. Pruning will help produce an abundance of stalks, so removing the dead leaves from each plant is essential. Generally, the first pruning session is 5 to 6 months after planting, with a second pruning after a year.
The very best time to prune your Lemongrass plants is at the end of winter or towards the beginning of Spring during their resting period.
Using a sharp knife, slice the stalk leaving about 6 inches (15 cms) above the ground. Remove all the dead grass from the stalks.
Lemongrass will bounce back and quickly grown new shoots when the warm weather returns.
Harvest every six months, no matter the season. Sometimes Lemongrass is not harvested until each plant reaches its full size to give it a more earthy taste, but they can be harvested while still young plants.
Use a hand trowel or fork to remove the individual stalks with their roots from the clump.
The leafy green stalks are pretty tough, but when snipped, they make an excellent tea. The green stalks can be added to a tasty broth.
Remove the outer white leaves from the stalk as they are too tough to eat, and chop the tender white stalks to add to your dishes. The delicate white stalks freeze well after being chopped, and they are edible when mashed or minced.
Lemongrass can be safely stored in the refrigerator for over a month.
Pests And Diseases
Lemongrass plants have Allelopathy compounds, which means they can inhibit certain plants’ growth for their own survival.
Before placing your potted Lemongrass in its space, check that it will be a good companion to the plants around it.
Rust fungus is a nasty disease that can attack Lemongrass in some areas. Watch out for brown spots or streaks on the leaves. The best way to prevent rust fungus is by only watering the plants at the soil level.
Unfortunately, rust fungus can kill your Lemongrass if it is not dealt with swiftly.
Spider mites love Lemongrass. An infestation can kill or weaken any plant. They present as light-colored specks on leaves and could cause the leaves to fall off. When you spot them on your plants, wash them with a jet of water or insecticidal soap.
Winter Time Care
In colder climates, you can grow a single bulb division in a small container in a warm spot to keep the plant growing through the colder season. Dig up a few stalks with bulbs and roots on. Cut back each stalk to about 5 inches (12 cms) and place in individual pots. Leave in a warm spot until Spring and repot into bigger pots.
Benefits Of Growing Lemongrass In Pots
As we now know, Lemongrass is a beautiful plant to grow anywhere in your home or garden. Some of the benefits of growing Lemongrass in pots are:
- Lemongrass is one of the easiest plants to grow in pots indoors or outdoors
- Lemongrass has insect-repellent properties
- You can grow Lemongrass in any climate
- You can grow Lemongrass by propagation or from cuttings and seeds
- Lemongrass is very easy to maintain and harvest
- Lemongrass growing in a pot will provide you with an endless supply of a fragrant lemony-tasting herb!
Growing Lemongrass in pots could easily be the best decision that you have ever made! Not only are they effortless to grow with little maintenance, but they look and smell fantastic!
You can use Lemongrass in so many ways in the kitchen, and it has so many health benefits! A glass of Lemongrass tea aids digestion and stomach disorders and is often used for detoxing and weight loss.
Overall, there is absolutely no reason why you should not grow this excellent, fragrant, beautiful herb in your own home!
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.