Skip to main content

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.


Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at

Popular posts from this blog

Getting started with chickens - Tanya from Lovely Greens

Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

Farmer Liz: You will remember Tanya from Lovely Greens from the first series, she lives on the Isle of Mann and added chickens to her garden about a year ago.  You can leave comments for this post on Tanya's blog.

How many chickens (and other fowl) do you keep, what breed and what do you use them for (meat, eggs, slug control etc)?
Tanya: Around the same time that we were initially thinking about having hens another friend beat us to the punch. She went to the local pet store and bought a flat-pack hen house and chicken run combo and found a local farmer who had dozens of semi-feral chickens running around his property. One night he pulled three down from the trees and my friend took them home in a pet carrier. She named them Miracel, Carmen, and Geraldine and though they’re probably related they were all…

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing mushrooms in my kitchen!

I’ve been wanting to try growing mushrooms for some time. I LOVE mushrooms and we buy them from the supermarket every week, so I was keen to find a way to produce them at home to reduce waste and potentially cost as well.

A few years ago I found out that you could grow mushrooms from the spent mushroom compost from mushroom farms. So we dropped in to a farm on the Sunshine Coast and picked up a couple of boxes for $2 each. I diligently kept them dark and sprayed them with water, but in our climate, I just couldn’t keep them damp enough (and I had to keep them outside because our shed was too hot). I never managed to produce any mushrooms from those boxes, but when I gave up and tipped the compost out onto the garden, mushrooms sprang up everywhere. I wasn’t confident that they were the right mushrooms though, so I didn’t harvest any of those. As the proverb says, All mushrooms are edible, but some only once! I am generally a bit nervous about unidentified fungi.

Since then, I had…