The Lemon Grass Experiment

by Rochelle Greayer

in Eating + Drinking, Plants

Every year, I try out things in my garden that I have no idea what will come of them….as I potter around my garden I see the remnants of last years experiments and I am pondering what will be this years projects.  (I am thinking of trying to propagate my favorite hydrangea by cutting, among other things).

Last year, on a whim, I bought a lemon grass plant.  A complete $3 impulse buy, I was armed with no knowledge of growing this thing and only the fond memories of Thai Coconut martinis and a legendary party where homemade lemongrass syrup was a key ingredient.

I slapped it in the ground and did nothing (absolutely), only to be rewarded with a giant beautiful bounty of grassy stalks.  I didn’t even bother to check it was hardy.  This spring, I am discovering that it is not….but I don’t care,  I am spending the $3 x6 at least this year.  Or if I happen to see it fresh at the grocer first, I will try and root the stalks (I have read it is quite happy to throw out roots and thrive).

Nothing bothered this thing and it grew to enormous proportions in a single season.   So this years plan….put it in lots of containers.  Why? — because it is easy, cheap, beautiful, and edible….and capping off the sweep — it repels mosquitoes.

We are calling this experiment a winner!

What are you trying out this year?  As I evolve the rest of my seasonal experiments….I will share my results and I hope you will too. 

image from metafro

Geoff April 27, 2012 at 9:54 am

Several years ago I did the same thing with lemongrass. I scored some at the asian market and rooted it in water. The rooting took an absurdly long time, 6 weeks or some such. I then transplanted it to pots and shifted it outside in May (never put anything in the ground before Mothers Day) where it utterly failed to thrive, just like my rosemary. I brought it back inside in the fall and both it and the rosemary thrived all winter. Return to the deck outside in spring and they just kind of sit there, getting wind-burned and looking miserable. I think we’re on our third or fourth spring and I’m going to leave them sit indoors. I don’t know if it’s the lack of humidity or the wide day/night temperature swings here in NoCo but they just do not love the great out-of-doors.
New for this year is a completely re-done front garden that I have to manage not to kill. Including a bunch of plants I’ve never had before, so it’s fraught with danger.

Tina April 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I have to ask. Just what is that creature? It resembles a bachelor uncle of mine. There’s something very appealing about it but I can’t quite put my finger on it (there’s not much appealing about the uncle, I’m afraid, hence the “bachelor” status.)

rochelle April 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Ha! Tina — I have no idea…but found him oddly appealing too….more so than perhaps a bachelor uncle.

Kate May 1, 2012 at 5:13 am

Oooooooh Sounds like you’re onto something! We’re working a bunch of native grasses into our front yard, maybe I should chuck in some lemon grass to the mix for a bit of yummo!!

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