Learn how to give it a haircut with my step-by-step pruning guide, when to cut it back safely, and why it's important to maintain your lemongrass clump.When I propagated lemongrass (purchased from the grocery store) for my garden, I started with only three stalks and planted them in the ground once the roots reached a few inches.I don’t often trim it or divide it, but since it’s spring and lemongrass doesn’t really get going again until summer, it was high time to give it a much-needed haircut.Here’s how you can tell your plant is dormant, plus my simple technique for pruning lemongrass and keeping it healthy all year long.In USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and above, lemongrass slows down in winter and doesn’t put out as many new leaves each week.It’s happiest in a dimly lit room that’s kept at 50°F to 60°F (like a basement or garage), where it stays dormant through the cold, dark days of winter.Special note for overwintering lemongrass: Cut the leaves off to keep the plant tidy and manageable, and water sparingly so it stays alive through the winter months.If you’re in zones 8b to 9, your job is easy: simply pull back the frost blanket (or mulch) and cut down the entire plant to just a couple inches above the tender white part of the stalk, removing all the brown leaves.It feels a bit shocking, I know, but as summer creeps closer, your lemongrass will grow back quickly.Once you’ve got the shape you want, you can finesse the cut and go all Edwards Scissorhands on it, trimming random brown tips here and there until your OCD wears off.(Lemongrass is susceptible to rust, a fungal infection that favors warm temperatures and high moisture.). .
How to Prune Lemongrass
The clumps of leaf stalks grow approximately 3 feet tall and provide an ornamental and edible accent to the yard.Although the plant can grow well without pruning, a well-timed trim can improve its appearance and supply a harvest of fresh stalks for the kitchen.4 Prune back lightly in early spring if the lemongrass remained green and healthy or if only the leaf tips yellowed. .
When to Cut Back Lemongrass
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) foliage gives off a lemony aroma and has a light citrus flavor, making the grass stalks a tasty addition to your favorite recipe.This perennial grass grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, although you can overwinter it in pots indoors in any climate.You can cut back the entire plant to a 6-inch height, removing all the old seed heads and dead foliage in the process, in late winter or early spring just before growth resumes.The symmetrical mounded shape of a lemongrass plant doesn't require pruning to maintain, but you may need to cut out dead and damaged stalks throughout the growing season.When pruning out damaged stalks, select those that are obviously brown and dead, overly tattered or showing symptoms of fungal problems such as leaf spotting.Disinfect your knife after each cut, especially if fungus is present, so you don't spread diseases to the surrounding healthy foliage.
How to Cook with Lemongrass Tutorial
Lemongrass can usually be found in the produce section of fancier grocery stores or your local garden-variety Asian supermarket.(Tip: Lemongrass is typically much cheaper and fresher at an Asian market ’cause it turns over more frequently.).I normally start by cutting off about an inch from the root end, and I also trim off the dried-out leaves at the top of the stalk.If you’re using the lemongrass in a stir fry, curry paste, or marinade, peel off the tough outer layers of the stalk until you’re left with the tender core.If the lemongrass will be used in a marinade, curry paste, or stir fry, you just want to use the lower, tender part of the stalk (about 4-5 inches from the bottom).Because you’ll be eating it, use a microplane rasp grater to grate trimmed lemongrass to make sure you don’t have any tough, stringy bits in your dish.You can pound the stalk with a meat pounder or a small cast iron skillet before mincing it very finely.You need to cut against the grain of the fibers or you’re gonna get a bunch of stringy bits in your food.Alternatively, you can pound the chopped lemongrass in a mortar and pestle or blitz it with the rest of your marinade or curry paste ingredients in a blender or food processor.Please note that you don’t eat the lemongrass when you use them in this fashion—fish out the stalks before you serve the final dish (or warn your unsuspecting guests to do so). .
Simple Ways to Cut Lemongrass: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
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Lemongrass, a stiff grass native to India, is widely used as a herb in Asian cuisine.To use lemongrass in marinades, stir-fries, salads, spice rubs, and curry pastes, trim the top and base of the stalks—you want to use only the bottom 4 inches or so.Then peel off any dry or tough outer layers before finely chopping or mincing.To get to that flavor, cut away the thinner top portion of the stalk and the very woody base.Even after peeling, lemongrass is quite fibrous, and it’s best to either use it whole to infuse flavor and then remove it, or chop it very finely. .
The Wonder of Lemongrass Plants
Gardeners wishing to cultivate fragrant plants, ornamental grasses, or landscape plants should also be aware of the exciting possibilities lemongrass opens up.Some all-purpose fertilizer, fish emulsion, or liquid plant food can be added to the soil surrounding your lemongrass plants every two weeks or so throughout the growing season.Place these stalks into several pots prepared with soil.Keep potted plant soil lightly moist.Take care not to over-water a wintering lemongrass plant.Once the stalks have been cut down and repotted, all you need to do is lightly water the soil to keep the roots alive.After the temperature has risen in spring, the stalks and roots can be planted wherever you would like a clump of lemongrass to grow.Harvesting Lemongrass.The root fibers can also be trimmed though a few roots near the base of the plant can be retained to keep the stalk fresh in a glass of water.To do this, take the rinsed, dried prepared stalks and use a sharp knife to cut the stalk into slices 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.1 lemongrass stalk, sliced into two inch pieces.4 Tbsp curry powder (mild, medium, or hot as you prefer).Add ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and curry powder.Add water and vegetable stock to the pot, along with red pepper flakes, lime leaves, bay leaf, and vegetarian fish sauce (if using).Cover and bring mixture to a boil, then stir in potatoes and coconut milk.1 inch of fresh ginger, minced.Cook onion, garlic, and ginger until onions are soft.Stir in red pepper and cumin, cooking until spices are lightly toasted (1 - 2 minutes).Next add the soup base, water, coconut milk, and pumpkin.Allow soup to heat thoroughly (5 - 10 minutes).Serve hot immediately or use an immersion blender to create a smoother dish; allow soup to reheat before serving.One traditional way of using lemongrass is in a hot steeped beverage.A soothing lemongrass tisane can be made with fresh or preserved plant material.While the water is heating, chop lemongrass into portions pieces approximately one inch long.You can also add a little chopped lemongrass to any of your favorite herbal tisane beverages.Whether grown as an ornamental or for culinary use, you will certainly fall in love with. .
Lemongrass 101: How to buy, prep, and grow the aromatic stalks
Most recipes and many cookbooks don’t give you prep instructions or guidance, expecting you to know how to deal with it.Whenever possible, try to get fresh lemongrass for recipes.At a mainstream supermarket, Asian market, or farmers’ market, select firm, rigid stalks and check the cut bottoms for freshness.Lemongrass prepping tips.If a recipe calls for using a machine to make a marinade with lemongrass – and you don’t have a machine, use a Microplane type of rasper to grate the lemongrass stalk.Pieces that eventually splay open can be trimmed and when possible, chopped with a knife.When you see gorgeous, fresh lemongrass, buy five or six stalks and trim them.Freeze the trimmed sections in a zip-top bag for up to 3 months; it retains most of its flavor and is easier to chop than fresh.Select several super fresh stalks (my best sources are farmer’s markets).When harvesting lemongrass, use a paring knife to cut from the base of the stalk; wear long sleeves to prevent the sharp-edged blades from cutting you. .
Lemon Grass for Sale
Make sure the soil is fertile and well-draining.If your lemon grass is in a garden, it should be watered every few days, or whenever the top inch of soil becomes dry.Lemon grass grown in containers typically needs to be watered more frequently, most likely every one to two days in the spring and summer.During the winter, when the plant is dormant, you can water it less frequently.Given the right growing conditions, lemon grass will grow fairly quickly.As far as pests go, aphids are attracted to the sap in lemon grass leaves.Once lemon grass stalks reach a height of 12 inches, and are about half an inch at the base, the plant is ready for harvest.If you do not live in a mild climate where this is possible, then lemon grass should be kept in containers and brought inside when temperatures get too low.Otherwise, lemon grass plants will die over winter, though with the right care, they will be able to start fresh growth when spring rolls around again.Also, be sure to keep it in a well-used part of your home that will be heated throughout winter.If situated in an ideal bright spot, you will see rapid growth during summer months from your lemon grass.If your plant lives in an area with bright but indirect light, it should still grow well, but not as quickly.Lemon grass does not like to be kept in low light or shaded areas and will suffer if it is kept in these conditions.They will benefit from living in high humidity in your home or garden, though as long as light, temperature, and water conditions are right, humidity shouldn’t be too much of a concern and regular humidity found in homes will do just fine.Just take care not to put the plant in areas of dry air, such as near heating vents, as this can dry the plant out very quickly and lead to brown stalks.If you have kept your lemon grass in a container outside during summer, then repotting it before colder temperatures set in when you bring it inside is a good idea.Lemon Grass Uses.To harvest the herb for use in cooking, you will need to locate a suitable stalk and cut it low down, as close to the soil is possible.While the stalks are the most commonly used part of the plant, the leaves are also edible. .