Lemongrass is a key ingredient and widely used in many South East Asian cooking. I use them a lot when I cook curry’s, Tom yum soup, and sambal. It’s easy to grow them. Back home in Malaysia, they grow like weeds. However, it’s a bit different trying to grow them here in London. Therefore I am writing on growing lemongrass in a cold climate.
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I have been growing lemongrass mine from fresh lemongrass stalks they sell in the supermarket. Just soak them in water till they start rooting. It takes about 10 days. After they have been rooted just transfer them to a pot or ground or raised bed filled with well drain compost. They grow well in a sunny spot indoors or outdoors. There are lemongrass seeds available to buy. However, I found out that they don’t germinate very well or easily. Therefore, it is much easier to root lemongrass from stalks rather than trying to sow from seeds.
If there is desperate need to grow lemongrass and there are no stalks available in supermarkets here is a link to buy a packet of lemongrass seeds online.
They don’t need much watering and just need some multipurpose or manure compost. I grow mine outdoors and come autumn when the night temperature starts to drop less 8 deg cel at night I dig them up and put them in a sunny spot indoors. Either that or I just harvest them and root some more for the next years season. They freeze very well in the freezer once harvested.
So comes autumn one can either lift the lemongrass plant up and plant them indoors or simply just harvest them. They don’t grow much indoors in winter, just stay dormant as there isn’t enough natural sunlight in the winter. Don’t leave them on the ground in the winter as cold prolong frost will kill them. Unlike in tropics where they grow like weeds all year round. So either dig them up or harvest them.
One may not think much of growing lemongrass at home as it can be so readily available from supermarkets if you live in big cities. In rural areas like in the countryside of Europe where it’s not that popular. You pay a premium for a lemongrass plant. I bought 5 stalks at Chinese grocers for £0.79, garden centres in rural Italy a lemongrass plant is going for 7.50 euros!!
Lemongrass is a great herb to use in south-east Asian curries and cooking. I use to make curry spices.