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How I use herbs - Lemongrass

Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus is a fragrant tropical grass.  It can be grown in the sub-tropics and has many uses in the garden, as well as the kitchen.  There are a few different species and I note that Australia has a native lemongrass.  I think I'm actually growing the related Cymbopogon flexousus, due to the red stems of my plant, they all have similar properties though.

eight acres: how I grow and use lemongrass
dried lemongrass

How to grow lemongrass
Lemongrass grows in clumps and is easily propagated by division.  I got my plant from my father-in-law who has some prolific specimens in his garden near Bundaberg.  I'm not sure why my plant doesn't do as well, maybe I'm not watering it enough, or just in a slightly cooler climate here.  It does die back in frost, but regrows in spring.  Its in a drier corner of the garden, so it does well to keep growing even when I don't give it as much attention as I should.  

When lemongrass grows in thick clumps it can be useful for stabilising erosion and for protecting other plants from pests or small grazing animals (such as rabbits).  More information about using lemongrass in a permaculture food forest here.  It would also be useful as a mulch plant if it was growing well.

eight acres: how I grow and use lemongrass
its really hard to photograph grass

How to use lemongrass

Do you grow and use lemongrass?  Any tips?

My other posts about herbs:

How I use herbs - Mint, Peppermint and Spearmint

How I use herbs - Aloe Vera

How I use herbs - Basil

How I use herbs - Ginger, galangal and turmeric

How I use herbs - Marigold, calendula and winter taragon

How I use herbs - Soapwort

How I use herbs - Comfrey

How I use herbs - Nasturtium

How I use herbs - Parsley

How I use herbs - Borage

How I use herbs - Herb Robert

How I use herbs - Purslane

How I use herbs - Chickweed

How I use herbs - Neem oil

How I use herbs - Rue, tansy and wormwood

How I use herbs - Brahmi

How I use herbs - Yarrow

How I use herbs - Arrowroot

How I use herbs - Lucerne (afalfa)

How I use herbs - Lavender

How I use herbs - Rosemary and Thyme

How I use herbs - Oregano or Marjoram

How I use herbs - Sweet Violet

How I use herbs - Gotu Kola


  1. Thanks for the tips .....yes it does like to be a bit damp, you could try an unglazed terracotta pot (plug the drain hole with a cork,or silicone first) filled with water (it will seep out gradually into the soil) or a large plastic container with a drip hole, either way you just fill them up every so often while they sit near the plant.

    Have you tried to extract the fragrance in any way to,use in your soap making? that would be a lovely refreshing soap.

    1. Hi Liz, loved your blog 'is it worth raising beef.cattle' when I googled cost of raising cattle for eating. Your info is really useful, thanks. We are on 8 acres too & sounds as though we are doing similar things on our farms..if u r interested u can find us on Instagram as 8acrepaddock.
      Will follow your blog with interest.

  2. Liz, I just checked Green Harvest to see which one we bought and it is the same as yours and they call it East Indian. Ours goes crazy here and hardly gets watered. There is a huge clump down the back which I really should do something with. I also have some growing near the back door in the herb garden.

  3. Hi,Liz. Yes, I grow lemongrass in a couple of spots in the garden. I find it's very hardy and thrives under our back verandah next to our little watertank where it gets some early morning sun but where I also give it the odd drink, when I remember, as I'm filling my watering can.

  4. I love making lemon grass and ginger sauce for asian style lamb with water chestnuts

  5. I grow it in an area that gets hard frosts and sometimes even snow! It's in a big pot that lives on a sheltered north facing fence and is moved in the winter ( first frost to a south facing porch ). It looks ghastly by the end of winter, but comes good again in mid spring. I also have a curry leaf tree that I do the same with :) I use the lemon grass in hot drinks ( fresh usually ) and in Thai curries and Asian slow cooker dishes. I have also used the stems to infuse in a syrup to drizzle over a coconut cake!

  6. I was growing the East Indian one the same as you, and found that it didnt create the nice big bulbs that I like to cook with. Our local market had some of those bulbs and I purchased those, rooted in a bit of water and planted out. so now I have both types. The East Indian type grows really huge here in the tropics and I often would cut it way back down and use it as mulch. I never watered it any differently to any of the other plants. (I water deeply with a soaker hose once or twice a week if there has been no rain.) I like to add some chopped lemongrass bulbs and coconut cream to my rice as I am cooking it. Yum

  7. I couldn't be without my lemongrass. I love making a refreshing tea from it with dried nettles added, and in Thai curries. Dogs love to eat it too, :( so I have it growing in a couple of large pots that I move about to avoid the frost and the dogs.


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