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Lemongrass is a delicious spice, which is especially used in the Far Eastern cuisine. The smell is like a lemon, although the grass is not from the citrus family. Related is the lemongrass with the sugar cane and corn. It is also one of the sweet grasses.
Lemongrass is native to Asia and therefore needs a tropical to subtropical climate. The citrus-fruity aroma comes from the essential oil citral and geraniol. You can use the lemongrass in the kitchen for cooking. It fits perfectly with fish and meat dishes. In addition, tea and refreshing drinks can be conjured up. For the German winter, the grass is not suitable because it is very sensitive to cold. How to sow the plant properly and planting is explained in the following section.
- Since lemongrass usually does not flower, there are almost no seeds for cultivation.
- Propagation takes place on the vegetative path, ie via the division of the root.
- Even areas that are above the earth can be used for propagation.
- The young plants are obtained mainly in nurseries.
- You can also buy lemon grass in the supermarket and pull the roots there yourself.
- For rooting simply place the purchased grass in a glass of water and wait until the plant roots.
The plant needs a bright and sunny place. So before you plant the plant in a bucket or in the bed, the location should be well chosen. In addition, the plant loves a dry ambient air. You should also make sure at the location that the plant is where it is dry. Lemongrass is also a perennial plant and can overwinter many winters in the home or in a closed and warm room. She loves a humus rich and well aerated soil. Since the plant has a pronounced rooting, the young plant should always be planted deep into the ground. To plant the rooted young plant, you just have to carefully put it in a pot. There, the lemongrass can linger until it is strong enough to move to another location.
If you want to repot the lemongrass, this is done as well as the planting. The best time to repot is, like many other plants, the spring. Carefully take the plant on the existing pot and place it with roots and tuber deep in the soil of the new pot.
Lemongrass - care
As mentioned before, lemongrass needs a lot of sun and lots of light to really grow. A place on the windowsill or on the sunny balcony is the true paradise for the plant. In addition, it should be dry at the site.
- Too much water and watering damages the plant and leads to a root rot.
- In summer, the plant is sufficiently watered two to three times a week.
- In winter, it needs less water so rich once a week or once every two weeks, depending on how humid the earth is still.
Cut and harvest lemongrass
In the main growth phase, ie in summer, the leaves of the Cymbopogon citratus can be cut and used for further processing. Also, remove any yellow leaves as they only damage the plant. Just make sure that you do not touch the tuber when cutting or tweaking, as it is very sensitive. In winter, the plant should be left alone or thinned out only in minimal form.
Overwintering of Cymbopogon citratus
In the summer months, the lemongrass may be outdoors. However, once the thermometer drops to 5 to 10° C, the plant should be placed in a closed room. A conservatory is an excellent solution for the lemongrass. Even a sunny windowsill is great for the Cymbopogon citratus.
Diseases and pests
A known pest is the weeping mosquito, which is also often referred to as a moss fly. This is a mosquito species that is about 1 to 6 mm in size. They have clouded wings and usually occur in large numbers. The Trauermücke feels very well in the soil of flowerpots and also lays their eggs in the damp soil.The diet is about the fertilizer, should it run out, the fly changes over to the plant and damages there roots and tubers. For a young plant, this could have serious consequences. A large plant puts the infestation almost well away.
One method to get rid of the sciarids: Lay a finger-wide layer of sand on the ground. This sand prevents mosquitoes from oviposition. In addition, should be poured from below, as the mosquitoes can only multiply in a humid environment.
Worth knowing about lemongrass soon
- is sensitive to cold and frost
- reacts sensitively to moist ambient air
- Plant needs less water
- easy to clean and robust
- Resistant to diseases and pest infestation
Use of lemongrass
In the kitchen, the leaves of the plant are used, they can be cut as needed to use them directly, but alternatively all leaves can be harvested to freeze them. Even if all the leaves have been harvested, the rest of the plant can remain in the pot, where it then expels again after a short time.
Lemongrass serves as a seasoning for food and is mainly used in Asian cuisine, but it can also be used to make tea or other drinks. It should be used as fresh as possible, because it quickly loses its aroma. As its name suggests, the grass has a taste similar to that of lemons. As a seasoning for dishes only the lower part of the leaves and also the inside is used. For this purpose, the leaves are cut off at the bottom and peeled so that only the white interior remains. This can either be cooked in the food only and later removed or it is cut into small pieces in the food. For a lemongrass tea, lemongrass is cut into pieces with hot water and should then be left for five to ten minutes. In the trade, such a tea is also sold under the name Lemongrass.