Not all grasses are created equal. Lemongrass, for example, is a functioning part of many ornamental and herb gardens, a medicinal herb, a pesticide, an oil, a tea and an attractant. If you like Asian food, chances are you have eaten your share of lemongrass as well.
Lemongrass is a native of the grass family, hailing from Asia and Africa primarily. Nutritionally, lemongrass offers vitamins and minerals that help to fight certain conditions and diseases and can be quite useful in your home health remedies.
Benefits of Lemongrass
If you have ever wondered how a citronella candle worked, you may want to plant some lemongrass in your garden. Before long, you will begin to see insects like mosquitoes and whiteflies head in the opposite direction, repulsed by the lemon scent. And before the mosquitos are gone, the honey bees will be hanging around for that same essence. They are attracted to the grass almost as much as the honey bee pheromones.
The most typical use of lemongrass is in Asian cuisine and middle eastern medicinal treatments. Composed of citronella and geraniol which are antiseptics, it can be used as a preservative and antifungal. Lemongrass is often found in soaps, detergents and disinfectants.
How to Grow Lemongrass
As an ornamental grass, lemongrass can hold its own next to many of the other tropical grasses used as anchor plants in your landscape. It is large at maturity to the tune of five feet in height. It’s stems are a grassy green with reddish roots, making it interesting and appealing.
Lemongrass likes a warm climate and thrives in the summertime. In the colder climates, it would do well indoors as a potted plant or outside as an annual, planted in the spring.
Be sure to plant your lemongrass in rich, well-drained soil in an area with a lot of sun. Keep the soil moist but be sure not to over water. Lemongrass can withstand drought conditions but eventually its roots will dry out.
Lemongrass can be quite invasive. It will take over every corner of your garden unless tightly controlled. It should be placed within physical barriers of some type like rocks, fences or even containers. This is precisely what makes it so wonderful for herb and vegetable gardens. It is difficult to kill and easy to grow.
If you are not already on your way out the door to purchase some lemongrass for tonight’s curry or your mosquito problem, remember one more thing. It is a wonderful fragrance for aromatherapy. At the very least, try a lemongrass scented candle and you will feel the stress melt away while the lemony scent fills your home.