As more people look for ways to help cleanse their bodies of chemicals and move to a more sustainable way of living, lemongrass is growing increasingly popular. With a number of positive medical uses, lemongrass can be very helpful in easing pain caused by ailments. Though lemongrass seems positive, people don’t yet know how it is grown.
Common lemongrass growing questions often arise: why you should plant lemongrass, how can you grow lemongrass, does lemongrass need a lot of water, can you grow lemongrass from cuttings, is lemongrass invasive, why is your lemongrass turning brown or yellow, and many more.
Lemongrass is incredibly easy to grow and beneficial for many reasons. Read on to learn more about what lemongrass is, why it’s beneficial, and other common growing questions related to lemongrass.
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Why Should You Plant Lemongrass?
Though not yet scientifically proven to provide any medical benefits in treating ailments, lemongrass is colloquially considered to be an important herbal remedy for a number of diseases and bodily issues. That’s why lemongrass is often used in traditional remedies.
Should you plant lemongrass? Yes! Why not?
You should plant lemongrass because it can benefit your health. The plant is rich in Vitamin A, an important component in preserving eyesight and having a productive immune system. Lemongrass can also prevent bacteria and yeast growth and serves as an antioxidant.
Lemongrass is rich in flavonoids, a chemical compound widely regarded as engaging in antioxidant behavior, helping to limit the toxins in your body. It also contains quercetin, a specific type of flavonoid that engages in anti-inflammatory activity. That said, lemongrass is generally considered helpful in reducing swelling and other types of inflammation in your body.
While these are the scientifically determined benefits to lemongrass, many people also allege it helps with a variety of other issues. Many people use lemongrass to limit dandruff, reduce pain, lower cholesterol, prevent high blood pressure, increase energy, reduce the risks of diabetes, and treat many other conditions.
However, note that while lemongrass may not hurt you, it may not necessarily help solve these conditions either.
How Can I Grow Lemongrass?
After considering the multiple uses and positive health effects lemongrass provides, you may think to yourself that “There’s nothing to lose! How do I grow it?”
You can grow lemongrass at home, and it’s best to plant it in the ground. Lemongrass is incredibly resilient and can survive and thrive in hot climates. Ensure your lemongrass gets plenty of space and grows in healthy, moist, rich soil.
Understanding how to grow Lemongrass is relatively simple, but there are many important aspects for you to consider.
Consider the Soil
Lemongrass grows best when grown in mineral-rich and loamy soil. That means that the soil should absorb moisture easily and expel it so that your plant won’t drown. You can purchase this soil at most planting stores or use supplements such as fertilizer, manure, or compost to supplement your soil’s richness.
Does Lemongrass Need A Lot of Water?
Many plants that grow in arid climates don’t need a lot of water to survive. Other plants need water almost daily just to be able to grow the smallest amount. Does lemongrass need a lot of water and if so, how much?
Lemongrass needs a lot of water in its early stage of growth. For the best results when growing lemongrass, keep the first inch of soil moist. Many planters recommend using mulch or another similar substance to help enrich the soil further and help it to maintain its moisture.
Over time, the lemongrass will become resistant to drought once the plant and its roots are well-established. However, it’s important that the plant gets plenty of moisture before this point (source).
Pay Attention to the Temperature
While some plants prefer the shade or cooler regions rather than the hot sun, lemongrass thrives in it! Planting lemongrass in the middle of a field or other sun-heavy region is encouraged.
Lemongrass loves weather 60°F (15.6°C) or above, though it can survive until about 40°F (4.4°C). It’s very susceptible to frost, so if you’re trying to maintain your plant through the winter, be sure to bring it indoors!
Consider Prunning and Harvesting Your Lemongrass Plant
If you’re hoping to keep your lemongrass plant alive for a long time or hoping to use it for its medicinal properties, pruning and harvesting your lemongrass plant is essential.
To help the plant survive and grow again after winter, cut the grass to about 6 inches tall. Do the same if you want to harvest the plant. You can use the stocks for several different purposes. Generally, preventing this overgrowth will help to keep your plant healthy!
However, it’s also true that too frequent pruning and harvesting can cause your plant to lose much of its nutrients and die. Don’t prune or harvest the plant if it’s less than 8 inches high.
Can I Grow Lemongrass From Cuttings?
If you decide you want to grow your Lemongrass plant be sure to decide whether or not you want to grow lemongrass from seeds or cuttings. Both have great growth potential, but which one works best?
You can grow lemongrass from cuttings. The method is easy and often recommended. Growing lemongrass from cuttings provides the plant with a stronger root system and an increased ability to grow.
Simply plant these clippings like you would with seeds. With plenty of sun, warmth, and water, these clippings will grow into a beautiful and healthy Lemongrass plant with a large, strong root system. If the plant grows too thick, separate some of the root systems into another plot; otherwise, the plant will grow too large and die.
Troubleshooting Lemongrass Growing Issues
While growing lemongrass is generally easy to do, you might encounter issues with growing your plant. Below are some issues you might encounter in growing your lemongrass plant and how they can be solved.
Why Are My Lemongrass Leaves Turning Brown or Yellow?
Sometimes, after a month or months of healthy and sustained growth, we begin to notice that our lemongrass plants are turning brown or yellow. Is this natural? Is this good? Can we prevent it?
Your lemongrass plant is turning brown or yellow because there is something wrong with it that has to do with the watering phases. If your plant is any color other than green, this means that there is likely an issue that needs to be addressed.
The challenging thing with growing lemongrass is that when the plant turns yellow or brown, it could be the result of either too much or too little water. Understanding this difference is important because you want to ensure that you’re not further contributing to the problem.
Suppose you water your plant every day, and the soil is moist, but the plant is still changing colors. Then you’re likely overwatering the plant. In doing so, you’re making the plant absorb too much water, reducing the number of nutrients the plant is taking in. If this is the case, wait until your soil has drained before watering your plant again. It’ll allow the soil to restore the nutrients and let the plant restore itself.
Alternatively, if you find that your plant’s soil is very dry and that the plant isn’t watered frequently, you’re likely not watering your plant enough. If the lemongrass doesn’t receive the amount of water it needs, it can’t process the nutrients in the soil it needs to produce sugars that keep it alive. If this is the case, water your plant frequently so that the soil is always moist but not soaked.
Why Is My Lemongrass Not Growing?
Sometimes, despite giving your lemongrass plenty of water and healthy soil, your plant still can’t seem to grow. Why? And how can you make it grow?
Your lemongrass is not growing because your plant cannot get the sunlight it needs to break down the nutrients in the soil or because there is no room for the lemongrass to establish a root system. Keep in mind that lemongrass requires a lot of sun and plenty of space to grow.
Lemongrass requires a lot of suns to grow. Lemongrass, similar to most other plants, engage in the process of photosynthesis to grow strong and healthy. During photosynthesis, plants take nutrients in the soil, carbon dioxide from the air, and water to convert these compounds into energy. However, some of these chemical reactions used to convert these compounds rely on sunlight (source). If your lemongrass isn’t receiving the light it needs, it won’t grow.
Lemongrass also needs enough room for its roots to spread. Ideally, lemongrass likes to have about two feet diameter to grow. It gives the plant plenty of room for its root systems to establish and the plant to germinate. If your lemongrass doesn’t have the room it needs either because the space is too cramped or crowded with other plants, it likely won’t grow.
Disease in Lemongrass Plants
Sometimes, after our plants have begun to grow and all of the conditions are correct for lemongrass growth, the plant seems like it’s beginning to die or is simply not growing correctly. Why is this the case?
Lemongrass, not unlike other plants, is susceptible to disease. In particular, lemongrass plants are susceptible to a rust disease caused by the fungus Puccinia nakanishikii. It can turn the lemongrass leaves brown and kill the plant.
Caused by fungus spores that have spread to the plant either by wind or water, when these spores attach to the lemongrass, they spread throughout the plant, turning it brown, drying it out, and killing it (source).
The best way to handle when your lemongrass plant is sick is by pruning out any stems that might have browned and been infected and by watering the plant at the soil level.
By removing the infected stems, the spores are removed from the plant’s habitat itself. Any remaining spores will either die when separated from other spores or kill the host stem, making it unable to reproduce. Watering at the plant’s base rather than above prevents the spores from spreading to other parts of the plant, thus saving it from any remaining disease.
Why Is My Lemongrass Drooping?
Sometimes, after plants generally have active and strong initial growth, they begin to droop or slow in growth. Some plants do this naturally, but should your lemongrass plant droop? How can you stop your lemongrass from drooping?
Your lemongrass is drooping because the plant is too dried out. The plant does indeed droop to some degree naturally, but if you are seeing it drooping so much that it concerns you, that likely means your plant isn’t receiving enough water.
Fortunately, restoring the strength to lemongrass is rather easy. Be sure to water your plant more and prune out any dead stems. Doing so will allow all of the resources to go into the healthy stems that need more water and strengthen new growths as they come in.
Is Lemongrass Invasive?
While understanding lemongrass’s tendency to grow may not explain issues you have growing the plant, understanding how quickly it spreads will help you maintain the rest of your garden and other plants growing in it.
Lemongrass is not an invasive plant. When planted, the grass will grow rapidly from the clippings or seeds and will likely grow very thick in that area, but it’s unlikely to spread to other areas or plants in your garden.
Under the right conditions, you’ll have such a thick and full lemongrass plant; you might not know what to do with it. Fortunately, it won’t run through the roots and grow more, preventing it from becoming invasive.
Lemongrass is both an incredibly easy and incredibly useful plant. With some ways to harvest its benefits and the ease of growth, growing lemongrass in your garden or yard may be a great decision for you and the plants around it!
When planting lemongrass, follow the recommendations listed in this article, and be sure to monitor the plant’s growth to ensure a healthy plant!