East Indian Lemongrass - Lemon Without the Citrus Tree
This aromatic grass has clumped, bulbous stems becoming leaf blades widely used in Thai cuisine, with a distinct lemon flavor.
A densely tufted perennial with thick stems, lemongrass grows readily in almost any soil. This tropical perennial can be grown as an annual, or dug up and overwintered indoors. Lemongrass contains the same volatile oil as lemon rind, and so the stems impart a fresh, clean, citrussy flavor.
The origin of lemongrass is unknown, but it possibly originated in southern India and Sri Lanka.
Savored in many cuisines, especially Thai and Asian, the green parts of the leaves are used to flavor a variety of foods, and makes a refreshing lemon flavored tea that is said to aid in digestion. Also commonly used for potpourris, candles, perfumes and cosmetics. The coarse, long flat leaves are normally discarded and 4-6" of the bulbous base is used.
Lemongrass likes well-drained soil.
Cut the stalks at ground level. The best portion is the fleshy stalk at the bottom of the plant. Remove the outer layers of leaves to expose the tender heart. The stems and bases can be stored, whole, in a plastic bag in the fridge or frozen.
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Lemon Grass growing in central Texas
Planted a few seeds in a 10 inch pot. Excellent germination. Almost all seeds planted germinated. This spring/summer however has been the driest exceptional drought. Even through some neglect, little water, and periods of shade, this lemon grass grew well--and I did put it through some hell with very little water. Also, I planted it using ordinary garden soil mixed with a commercial potting mix peat, perlite, wood chips and no fertilizer whatsoever. I can only imagine what it would have grown into if I had fed it compost tea or the like. I grew it as an annual let it dry out completely, although I imagine in warm areas farther south it can overwinter well. I did not get to use it in the kitchen but I'm looking forward to spring. I'm also looking to trying it out in the garden patch instead of growing it in a pot. I will update my review when I attempt this in the spring I first plant unknowns in pots especially tropical plants when I don't know enough of their potential invasive. So far pleased with lemon grass seeds.