Alphabetical Plant Listing

Cymbopogon citratus (Lemon Grass)

Lemon Grass, Citronella Grass, Serai, Squinant, Andropogon citratus


Cymbopogon citratus (Lemon Grass) is a tropical, clump-forming, evergreen grass with a richly aromatic lemon fragrance. Widely used for cooking in Thailand, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, Lemon Grass features narrow, leafy stalks with gracefully arching, strap-shaped, pale blue-green linear leaves, up to 3 ft. long (90 cm). The leaves exude a strong lemony fragrance when bruised. Sprays of green and pinkish brown flowers appear in late summer and fall, but are rarely seen when grown under glass. The leaves and the essential oil of Lemon Grass have been used for many years in herbal medicines to relieve spasms, treat digestive ailments or arthritis pains. The essential oil is also used in perfumery, cosmetics and soaps. Lemon Grass is a natural insect repellent (fleas, ticks, mosquitoes) and is useful for soil improvement and erosion control.

  • Grows up to 2-4 ft. tall (60-120 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in medium moisture, well-drained soils. Tolerates a wide range of soils, but thrives in organically rich loams with excellent drainage. Enjoys warm growing conditions, 69-100°F (18°C and 38°C) and high humidity. In cooler areas, it is best grown in a large container and overwintered indoors.
  • Lemon Grass can be used either fresh or dried. Slice the bottom 4-6 in. (10-15 cm) of the leaf and add it to sauces, rice and noodle dishes, stir fries or casseroles. Leftovers can be placed in plastic bags and frozen. To dry the leaves, lay them out of direct sunlight, then store them in airtight containers and use them for flavoring teas, soups or stews.
  • A beautiful ornamental grass for herb gardens, borders, along pathways or for containers.
  • Virtually disease and pest free
  • Propagate by seed sown at 55-65°F (13-18°C) in early spring, or by division in late spring. Fresh shoots sold for cooking will often root successfully.
  • Native to southern India, Sri Lanka.

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Requirements

Hardiness 10 – 11
Climate Zones 12, 13, 16, 17, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Herbs, Ornamental Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 24" – 36" (60cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 10 – 11
Climate Zones 12, 13, 16, 17, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Herbs, Ornamental Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 24" – 36" (60cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers

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