How to Grow Lemongrass – A Beginner’s Guide

lemongrass plant growing in garden
Lemongrass, which are known botanically as Cymbopogon citratus, are a type of herb that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing lemongrass as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Lemongrass

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the lemongrass seeds indoors in early spring, transplant outdoors after the last frost. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when lemongrass are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Lemongrass the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing lemongrass in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your lemongrass grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained and fertile, with added organic matter. Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 to 7.5.

1/4″ deep, 12″ apart in rows 18″ apart. 1/4″ deep, 2-3 seeds per pot, thin to 1 seedling per pot. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about 12-15″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your lemongrass seedlings 24-36″ apart when seedlings are 4-6″ tall.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Lemongrass

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your lemongrass. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your lemongrass should be getting full sun

How Much to Water Lemongrass

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your lemongrass do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your lemongrass begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Lemongrass to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your lemongrass grow.

It takes approximately 21-28 days to germinate, and a total of 100-120 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Lemongrass

The best time to harvest your lemongrass is when stalks are 1/2″ in diameter and 12-24″ tall.

Lemongrass can grow up to about 3-5′ tall.

What Can Lemongrass Be Used For?

Food Use: great for flavoring soups, curries, and teas.

Flavor Profile: lemony, tangy, and slightly sweet.

Can Lemongrass Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you can plant 1 plant per 12-14″ container. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your lemongrass around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Lemongrass Safe for Bees?

Yes, lemongrass are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing lemongrass is bee-friendly.

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