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Discovering Lemongrass

Oct 12, 2010

After reading about all of the wonderful health benefits of Lemongrass I planted a tiny pot of it this spring.  Other than making a couple of pots of tea from the fresh leaves I have done nothing with it - until yesterday.

There is always a pot of broth simmering in our crock pot stuffed with greens, herbs, bones and assorted vegetables.  I am convinced that these types of broths are a cure for whatever ails you.  Yesterday I added a handful of the chopped lemongrass stalks and after straining it this morning found it was the best tasting broth ever!  Even cold!

Now I need to get to work cutting and freezing the stalks so that I can enjoy them all winter long.


I never imagined Lemon Grass that big & impressive in the landscape! I can imagine Lemon Grass improving broth - with it's lemony, fruity tang. I often put citrus juice or vinegar in soup broth - have just been adding apple cider vinegar to a bean & vegetable soup broth for the tang, which you don't taste as acid. The founder of our Sustainability Center here pointed out that people used to grow herbs in the old days because they supplied a sense of the flavors that were not readily available before foods were shipped everywhere in all seasons. :-| For example, Lemon Balm gives a sense of citrus & grows in a cold climate.
I grew and overwintered lemon grass succesfully in W. Oregon for several years in large pots, inside an unheated greenhouse. It would dip below freezing just like outside, usually the temp difference was only a couple degrees, but keeps the ice/snow off. During the growing season I would put the clumps into wine barrel planters, then before frost in late fall, I would dig up at least part of the plants and bring them inside to winter in pots of soil & mulch. They don't really take root but it keeps them over till spring. I like lemon balm very much but it reseeds like crazy! If you grow it be sure to provide for some control of the spreading... like shearing off the tops after flowering and before it sets seed. I like to keep pots of lemon balm & mint together, for a quick herbal tea.
It might live outside in a shed/ leanto to keep the wind off of it here in S.C. We never get much below 14 degrees here in zone 7b/8a, around Columbia. A heavy mulch & wind protection, what do I have to lose, if it going to die anyways. I have an acre of small pines & weeds that the comfrey , lemon balm & other mints can have. If it feeds the humming birds & natvie bees, all the better.
Glad you have discovered the joys of lemongrass. Here in tropical Australia it grows year round. In fact I love to use it as mulch (seems to deter bugs) and it is also great to heat up the compost heap. As I keep cutting back the tops the stems develop thick and juicy. These roots are used in Thai recipes. You might be able to winter some over in a pot indoors.
Lemon Grass in South Carolina?!! Thanks G9, for thinking outside of the garden box! I have pasted up the lemongrass because it will die out here. But your photo is is worth a thousand words. Thank you, Jessica for the cold weather plant lemon balm. Gillian, waste not want not, the parts not frozen can be mulch & it deters bugs. WOW.

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