Lemongrass – from the grocery store to the garden
I recently came down with a bad cold, congestion and cough. I did a search online and came up with a couple of home brewed options to help with some of those symptoms. Lemongrass tea sounded easy, inexpensive and worth a try.
Note: In most of the ready I found it cautioned pregnant or nursing mothers against ingesting lemongrass without their doctor’s OK.
Another couple of notes:
Lemongrass may help deter mosquitos (sometimes is called Mosquito Grass)
May help with various health issues (colds, digestive issues, sleep aid, lower cholesterol and such)
To make the tea you will take a few stalks of lemon grass, remove the older outside leaves and either cut them up in to ½ to one each pieces or just break up the stalks with a mallet and put them in a pot. For every stalk you use add 2 cups of water.I would recommend 3 stalks and 6 cups of water. Cover with a lid and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain into a cup and enjoy. You can add a little sugar or honey to taste if desired.
The tea made it easier for me to breath and sleep comfortably and I enjoyed the taste.
This all leads into why I came up with this instructable. I had to go to about 5 or 6 stores before I found fresh lemongrass (I am now told that almost every Asian market should have it). I decided it would be easier to grow my own and I really enjoy growing things from the grocery store anyways.
Step 1: Items You Will Need
This is an easy project and requires minimal cost to complete.
Items you will need:
Stalk of lemongrass (I recommend getting three – I like to grow things in groups)
Glass or container to hold the stalks
Flower pot (optional)
When you find a store that has lemongrass stalks try to find a healthy green stalk that doesn’t appear to dry.
Step 2: The Prep Work
Once you get your stalk/s home peel off the outer one or two leaves.
Place the stalks (base end down) in a container with about one inch or so of water. I live in a metropolitan area so I like to leave water that I am using on my plants out overnight for the chlorine to dissipate. I don’t think it would make a difference but just what I do.
I used a rubber band to hold my stalks together so they would stand up (totally optional) and let them sit in the water for a few days.
Photo doesn’t show this but I decided to cut the stalks back about half way once I put them in the water, this was an afterthought.
Step 3: One Down and Two to Go!
On day three I took one stalk and planted it directly into potting soil. No roots were visible yet but I was doing this as an experiment.
Step 4: Thar She Grows!
At 9 days I noticed the first roots on the stalks in the water.
At 11 days I noticed lots of growth from the base shoots.
Step 5: Last Step in the Experiment
To continue with the experiment I planted one stalk into a flowerpot and moved it outside. I will be leaving the final stalk with stay in water for a while longer to see what might happen.
If you live in an area that doesn’t get freezing weather you could try planting this straight from the water into your garden and ship the need for a pot and dirt.
Step 6: What the Future Holds
This will end up growing into a nice ornamental type grass and I look forward to a new herb to try in my budding cooking arsenal.
Thank you and happy gardening!
Step 7: This Is a Project Update.
I started on May 2nd with three stalks of lemongrass.
Today is May 20th and I have one stalk planted in a pot outside, one stalk in a container inside and the final stalk is planting in the ground.
In less than three weeks I have very strong and active root growth, multiple new shoots and lots of regrowth from the original stalks.
I hope this answers any of you progress questions.
As for a planting note, lemongrass does like the sun, doesn’t care for the cold (may be to be container grown if you are in a frost area) and it can grow to very large clumps if the idea conditions are met.
Step 8: UPDATE JUNE 9, 2013
I thought I would give everyone an update on my lemon grass project.
All the plants are currently planted outside, two are in pots and one is in the ground. The plant with the most growth is the first one planted outside. I think the major difference in the growth is due to cutting the stalk down to about 2 inches when planting it.
I would still recommend keeping the stalk long while you wait for roots to form in the water but then cut it back for the final planting. I believe that this will allow all the small shoots around the stalk the opportunity to grow without any difficulty.
Have a great gardening day and thanks for visiting my Instructable.