West Indian Lemongrass
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Lemongrass is an easy to grow tropical grass with long thin leaves that grow in tall clumps. The plant's leaves and stems have a distinct lemony citrus fragrance as well as a strong citrus flavour. Young shoots can also be prepared as a vegetable. Due to its height, it can be grown as a scented, ornamental grass. Lemongrass has various uses such as culinary, medicinal, cosmetic, essential oils and as insect repellent.
Start harvesting as soon as plants are 30 cm tall and stem bases are at least 1 cm thick. Leaves and stalks can be harvested throughout the growing season. Young stalks can be pulled by hand or cut at ground level and the leaves trimmed and discarded.
Divide the root ball and replant immediately.
Sow seed in Spring. Keep moist until germinated.
Cut off at least 2 cm from the end of the leaves of a lemongrass stalk, and put the base end in a glass of water in the sun until roots sprout. Transplant when roots are 2 cm long.
Lemongrass is a light feeder
Attracts useful insects
Attracts honey bees
Repels harmful insects
Repels some insects, like mosquitoes and whiteflies.
Lemongrass can be planted in a pot at least 30 cm across, in a wind protected area either outdoors or indoors, provided they receive enough light.
Asia, India and Sri Lanka
Hot humid conditions
Soil PH preference
South American folk medicine used the grass for treating hypertension, inflammation, nervousness, sleep disorders, infection, fevers and gastrointestinal disorders.
Stems and leaves are edible
Few pests bother lemongrass. Occasionally lemongrass will be affected by leaf blight and indoor plants may be attacked by spider mites.
Lemongrass are great as a borderplant for vegetable gardens.
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