Lemon Grass

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by JAS, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    My son received a Thai cookbook for Christmas and has given me a grocery list...

    Can you grow lemon grass as an annual in zone 4? I know they have it in seed catalogs, but has anyone tried it? Not sure where to find any in my small area other than the internet. Also, wild lime leaves, ugh....
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Lemon grass is strictly tropical and frost will kill it. Zones 7 and warmer are generally safe for it. Several friends grow it here but take it up in the fall and plant back divisions in the spring.

    Martin
     
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  3. cathleenc

    cathleenc Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can buy dried lime leaves - a nice substitute for fresh.
     
  4. Zilli

    Zilli Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So they keep it growing inside during the winter?

    I have a couple of AeroGardens (http://www.aerogarden.com/) and I was thinking about trying to grow it in one of those.

    I don't use lemon grass but my 22-year-old son does a lot of cooking with it. I think he may even order it on-line because the stores around here don't carry it.
     
  5. rags57078

    rags57078 Well-Known Member

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    Zilli , check any asian stores
     
  6. Zilli

    Zilli Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There aren't any around here.

    I think the closest we might find any would be about 80 miles away.
     
  7. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    I wintered a whole clump over one time by simply digging it up and putting it in a 5-quart ice cream pail. Divided it in the spring and gave it all to several Indian gardeners. Several Hmong friends now have it every year in their plots. Don't know what they do with it over the winter but they cut it off about two inches above ground level before taking it home. Still looks about the same when they bring it back in the spring. Thus they must keep it nearly dormant during the winter months.

    Martin
     
  8. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking of growing it as an annual and digging it up for the winter. Not sure if that works with grasses. Wonder if you could just grow in in a large tub, like a house plant?
     
  9. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    You don't have much choice. Searching around says that it will not do well in an unheated greenhouse since it likes warm and humid conditions. Looks like you bring it in and hope to have it survive long enough to be set back out. I suspect that there's a reason why my Hmong friends cut it back before digging it up. It's not that they want the leaves because they leave most of them behind or give them to others. I'll find out the answer in May if they return to the community gardens.

    Martin
     
  10. K.B.

    K.B. Well-Known Member

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    The thicker bases of the leaves (shoots) are what we harvested. The upper leaves didn't seem to have much use.

    Even mulched over winter in central NC, we lost our plants due to cold weather.
     
  11. Limon

    Limon Well-Known Member

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    If you decide to bring it in for the winter, keep it safe from cats. They love to munch on it. I have a gigantic clump outside that I planted a few years ago. It's been snowed on a few times, but no prolonged deep freezes. It dies back, but so far it's come back from the roots and bigger every year. I'm right on the zone 7 border, though.