Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) is a tropical grass, growing in a clump, with the foliage forming a fountain shape, which can be grown in the UK in warm sunshine. The bulbous white base is used; cooked in many Asian dishes and are used to infuse teas and other refreshing beverages. The tender first few inches of the leaves can be used also, chopped or grounded.
Lemongrass can be sown from seed or by propagating, which is to divide the root ball up and re-plant. This is best done in springtime. To sow Lemongrass seeds, sow in modular trays and keep them in a warm and sunny position indoors.
The Lemongrass plants should be planted out in a sunny and sheltered spot during early summer, after hardening off. They will require protection during cold spells or moving indoors if they are in a large container, which is often the preferred method to growing Lemongrass. During winter, if it is kept in a warm and bright position, you will get an extended crop. However, it is generally treated as an annual plant.
Lemongrass will need watering regularly during dry spells. You can add mulch to deter weed growth and retain the moisture.
Harvest the Lemongrass by cutting down to approximately 3-4inches from the base, removing the stringy, coarse leaves or by cutting a small clump from the root ball after tipping it from the pot. Scraggy foliage can be removed in autumn to keep the plant looking attractive.
You can maintain Lemongrass plants if you have a sufficiently warm and light position during the colder months for them.