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Herb 101: Lemon Grass

by Uldreich Sam Crisostomo October 13, 2017

Herb 101: Lemon Grass

Lemon grass is a grass like plant with long slender foliage growing to about 2-3 feet tall.  Leaves are grayish-green in color.  Stems and leaves impart a strong lemon flavor when used in cooking.  Because lemon grass is not winter hardy in colder climates, it is best grown as a container plant.

Lemon grass is easily grown from stem cuttings or divisions.  If lemon grass is found in the produce section of the grocery store, those stems can often be rooted.  When grown in pots use pots with ample drainage holes and filled with a prepared soil mix.  Outdoors place the container in a full sun location and water as needed to keep soil moist. Do not overwater as that can lead to root rot.  Fertilize about every two weeks with a general purpose liquid fertilizer. Before frost, move the plant indoors to a very bright light area for the winter.  While indoors, water as need and reduce the frequency of fertilizer applications.  

Lemon Grass is an herb largely popular for its citrus flavor with a trace of ginger. It is widely used in cooking, served to spice various Asian cuisines from Thai to Filipino dishes. Lemon grass is not only good for flavoring but it has been traditionally used as herbal medicine to treat various medical condition.

Leaves are used to flavor fish, soups, curries, sauces, and teas.  The stems and leaves are used in Vietnamese and Thai dishes.  Larger parts of the stalk can be added to stews or soup and removed much as you would a bay leaf.

Uldreich Sam Crisostomo
Uldreich Sam Crisostomo



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