West Indian Lemon Grass - Plants - Key Growing Information

Lemon grass plants (Cymbopogon citratus).
SOWING: Transplant (recommended): Plant the lemon grass as soon as possible after their arrival, but avoid planting until all chances of frost are gone. If you will not be able to transplant the lemon grass outside for several days or longer, you can plant the lemon grass in small containers and place them in a greenhouse or sunny window until you are ready to move them outside. Transplanting to the field: Plant ½" deep in prepared soil. Space plants 18-36" apart in rows 3-5' apart. Space the plants closer together if you will be growing them as an annual. Transplanting to pots: Plant ½" deep in prepared soil. To transplant into pots for resale, use one 2 ½" or 4" pot per plant. Container planting is a good option for northern growers who may want to overwinter the plants inside.

LIGHT PREFERENCE:
Sun. Lemon grass also prefers warm, 60-85°F (15-29°C), humid growing conditions.

SOIL REQUIREMENTS:
Lemon grass prefers a nitrogen-rich soil that has a pH of 5.5-7.5. Avoid heavy or clay soil types. Lemon grass grows best in areas with 24-30" of rainfall per year, so frequent irrigation may be needed in drier climates.

PLANT HEIGHT:
20-60".

PLANT SPACING:
18-36" apart in rows 3-5' apart. Space the plants closer together if you will be growing them as an annual.

HARDINESS ZONES:
Zones 9-13. Lemon grass is a tender perennial. Grow as an annual in colder zones, or overwinter the plants indoors.

HARVEST:
To harvest the entire plant, cut the stalks off at the base of the plant. The plant will slowly sprout new stalks. Individual stalks can also be harvested as needed by cutting or pulling them from the base of the plant. Harvesting individual stalks is a good option for growers who want to have a continuous supply of stalks, or for growers who want to harvest only the thickest stalks that can be sold at a premium.

For full cultural information, please refer to the technical sheet, Lemon Grass: Instructions for Growing from Bare-root Plants.

SCIENTIFIC NAME:
Cymbopogon citratus