Lemon Grass – Plant
Lemon Grass is a fragrant herb which is increasingly being used in teas, beverages, herbal medicines.
Lemon grass is a tropical herb packed with strong citrus flavor. The lemon taste is prized in Asian cooking, as well as in teas, sauces, and soups. In the garden, lemon grass forms a tall, grassy clump 3 to 5 feet tall. Its appearance rivals that of many ornamental grasses and can easily fulfill a similar role in the landscape.
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The Lemongrass plant, Citronella Grass, or Cymbopogon citratus grows largely in clumps. A perennial-type grass with long, thin, flat greenish-grey tinged reeds, occasionally throwing off curious, butterfly-like flowers.
Uses For The Lemon grass Plant
The citronella grass has some very useful applications, especially when extracted into lemongrass essential oil. The manufactured oil finds its way into many different purposes, from perfume to essential oils used in aromatherapy.
The most popular applications comes from its use in soaps, sprays, lemon balm, dog collars, candle and everything in between as an effective insect repellent against annoying pests like mosquitoes.
Lemongrass is a tropical plant and as such will grow best in warm, sunny and humid conditions of the tropics and subtropics. The plants can be grown at temperatures ranging from 10 to 33°C (50-91.4°F) but will grow optimally at temperatures between 25 and 30°C (77–86°F).
As a clumping grass, lemongrass can be easily propagated by dividing stalks from the rhizome of a well established plant. The rhizome is best divided in the Spring in areas where the plant can be overwintered outdoors. In colder areas, the bulbous shoot base can be saved after harvest and stored for use the following Spring. The bulb can be divided prior to planting by slicing through the rhizome with a sharp spade or trowel.
Commercially grown lemongrass is planted at a higher density than in the home garden with a within row spacing of 20 cm (8 in) and 40 cm (16 in). In the home garden, plants should be spaced between 90 and 150 cm (36-60 in) apart. Prepare the soil for planting by working in 2 to 4 inches of compost.