Lemongrass, or Cymbopogon Citratus, is a clumping grass that has amazing, citrus-scented leaves. The leaves and stems are popularly used in Thai and Veitnamese dishes, but they have many other uses, making C. Citratus a valuable addition to your garden.
Lemongrass is a perennial that thrives in zones 9 and 10, but it can be kept in pots in cooler zones. Grown outside, lemongrass can grow from 3-5' tall and up to 4' wide. Mine went from a little clump of maybe 12” to a massive 7' tall monster in less than a year - and with multiple haircuts! Don't worry, indoors and/or in pots, you can expect it to grow much more slowly. If your plant is in a container, you probably won’t see any flowers, but a very large or outdoor plant might show a few stalks of green flowers that give way to seeds, similar to rice and other grasses.
Lemongrass prefers full sun and a soil that is rich and moist. In containers, use a mix of one third compost, one third topsoil, one sixth peat moss and one sixth vermiculite. Feed container plants liquid fish emulsion and seaweed once a month during the summer. Use a pot that is at least 12" and keep the soil well-watered but not drenched. When the temperatures cool, over winter your Lemongrass in a sunny South or East facing window.
Once your plant is at least a foot tall, leaves and stems can be harvested continuously. The leaves can have paper-sharp edges, especially if you rub against the grain, so take care when harvesting and handling them, especially if your plant gets big.
You can use the leaves and stems fresh, dried or frozen. Dry C. Citratus in a dehydrator or by keeping small bundles in a warm place that is out of direct sunlight. Freeze in ice cubes with either water or oil.
Lemongrass is most well-known as an ingredient in recipes. It can be used in stir-fries, soups, and pastas, with tofu and with lots of different vegetables. But it is quite versatile and also makes a refreshing addition to tea blends, potpourris and scent sachets.
Lemongrass is not bothered by pests and in fact, can be used to make a great bug repellent. But if you do keep your Lemongrass indoors, you may find one pest that surprises you- your cat! Cats love to eat Lemongrass leaves, I catch my cat snacking every time she passes by them.
Astrologically, Lemongrass is ruled by the planet Mercury, the sign of Gemini and the element of Air.
Mercury represents the mind. Gemini is an energy of quick, two-sided thinking. And Air is also about intelligence, mental faculty and communication.
Lemongrass can stabilize the mind. It supports quick-thinking and lends mental focus. Lemongrass can connect two-sided thinking and ease that sense of being wishy-washy, or having moods that morph on a whim.
Lemongrass is refreshing and invigorating.
It clears away old conditions, and is great for cleansing away unwanted energies. Use it as a wash, in a bath, in a tea or even in a room spray.
Lemongrass tea is mentally rejuvenating and calming for the nerves. It eases the mental fatigue that can come from a racing mind. It improves mental dexterity and can even give memory a boost. Try making a memory boosting tea by combining it with rosemary.
You can also try adding it to your bathwater to initiate a fresh start in your life. Use it together with lemon zest, mint, rosemary and epsom salt to add a zing to your next soak.
Or make a yummy scented spray! Spritz the room when you need to clear the energy or even just clear your head. This will freshen up an office with stale energy, clear out your living room after a visit from your complaining In-laws and even wake up your mind during that dreaded 2:30pm slump.
Lemongrass is also great to utilize during Mercury Retrograde. Just spritz into the air to keep the channels of communication clear.
If you like learning about plants and planets in this way, check out this article I wrote about Roselle Hibiscus or click here to watch my FREE class about Growing your own medicine in your backyard or home.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.Please read the descriptions carefully, do your own research and practice common sense and safety.
Always consult your physician before using or ingesting any herbal remedies.
Test any new herbal with a small sample before utilizing a full application. A small percentage of people have allergies that even natural, organic substances may aggravate. A substance that is completely harmless and even healthy for one person might cause an allergic reaction in someone else. Use at your own risk
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