How to care for lemongrass

How to care for lemongrass is no more difficult than most other herbs; in fact I would say it's easier. Once established you can simply neglect the plant. It is quite drought resistant.

LemongrassA strong lemongrass plant

If you want to propagate the plant simply pull out a few stalks making sure some of their roots come with them.

Lemongrass stalks with roots

Use your secateurs to snip off the stems about 6" from the base and put them into some potting soil. A few teaspoons of vermicompost from a worm farm does help stimulate the growth of the roots.

Keep the roots moist. Within a few weeks it will begin to shoot. Don't fuss about the weeds; that is sweet basil in the background by the way with its purple flowers that the bees adore.

Growing lemongrass

Once you are confident the roots have taken then plant it out in the garden; in a sunny spot but not up against a hot wall. Within a year or two you'll have more than enough lemongrass for your cooking.

Split the lower 6' lengthwise with a sharp knife; discard the tough outer layers.

Lemongrass chopped lower two thirds

The plant is quite frost-resistant; it thrives with a minimum of fuss, requiring very little watering. How I love herbs like lemongrass.

You will never need to plant it again. Slowly the base will expand so that you can share it with your friends and family.

It gives the divine flavour of Thai cooking to soups, stews and curries; it's so versatile. You can use it in a herb tea; there is research confirming that it acts as a diuretic if you suffer from swollen ankles in the heat of summer[1].

How to care for lemongrass

How to care for lemongrass is really a piece of cake; get it established and you can neglect it for long periods. It does not require watering.

What is lemongrass good for?

Mukarram et al have shown that lemongrass is rich in three of the four vitamins known to be essential in the prevention of frailty syndrome; namely C, E and folate.

"You can't help getting older but you do not have to get frail."

- George Burns of Two Ronnies fame

Lemongrass is also rich in several important minerals, for example Potassium. That would explain the role it plays in lowering blood pressure.

It is also rich in magnesium, zinc and iron, all extremely important in helping detoxify homocysteine and preventing anaemia.

Various studies have shown that lemongrass essential oil has antiseptic properties; further research is looking to confirm its role in helping to prevent cancer.

Beekeepers use a dab of the essential oil in trap-hives to attract migratory swarms.

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