Growing ‘supermarket’ lemongrass

9 Feb

I’ve realised that I’ve written a lot of cooking-related posts lately, and not so much about the garden. I thought I’d break the drought with a quick post about lemongrass.

When people ask me what edibles they should grow, I tell them to look at what they use most of (particularly expensive stuff that doesn’t store well – like herbs), and concentrate on that.

Lemongrass is a herb that I don’t use often. The problem is that I tend to need it at short notice, then never seem to have it on hand. The obvious solution is to grow it, because it’s dead easy.

I call this ‘supermarket lemongrass’ not because I bought it from the supermarket – I’m pleased to report that I haven’t lapsed from my Coles and Woollies boycott. I mean that it is the type you buy from the supermarket – used in Thai and other South-East Asian cooking, not one of the many other species that are known by the same common name.

I bought my lemongrass from my normal organic fruit and veggie supplier with the sole intention of planting it instead of eating it. Luckily when the bunch arrived some stalks still had some roots on them, because it made my life easier.

All I did was stick the lemongrass in a cup of water, and within 2 days I already had new roots forming. The lighter roots in the picture are the new ones – after only 2 days in water. The stems that were completely trimmed of roots never did sprout successfully.

After I had some successful root growth, I simply stuck them in the ground. It will tolerate semi-shade, so I chose a position next to the asparagus, and envisage having to keep it well-contained so it won’t take over. You could even plant it in a pot if you liked.

So simple as that – give it a couple of months and I will have plugged a hole in my herb supply chain.

5 Responses to “Growing ‘supermarket’ lemongrass”

  1. Liz February 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    Lemongrass is one plant where I get to feel slightly superior to my parents (who are very green fingered) as I can grow it and they can’t – this is all due to climate but it still makes me happy – sad I know. I have two plants – one in a pot and the other in the ground and both are looking particularly happy at the moment. I like your method of sprouting some you bought.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

      Well if your parents can’t grow it, then maybe I shouldn’t get too cocky! My thought process with sprouting the bought stuff was just to ensure that the variety was correct. The number of things I’ve seen in nurseries that are mislabeled is just astounding.

  2. Sydfoodie February 10, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    I found that I planted the darn lemongrass (I can’t remember the origin, I think it was the Thai supermarket), and I have never dug it up to use. Too much effort! I have a container of frozen pre chopped lemongrass which I use instead.

  3. Lilian February 10, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    I failed miserably with lemongrass because it ended up with rust (too humid)… so I got rid of it. I may just try it again in another spot.

  4. Barbara February 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    I never knew there were culinary and non
    culinary varieties of lemon grass until
    I was staying at a friend’s house in
    Thailand and picked some non culinary
    in their yard to cook with. Luckily we
    all survived!

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