Plant Finder Tool

herb

Lemon Grass

Cymbopogon citratus

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Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus) at Rainbow Gardens

Lemon Grass foliage

Lemon Grass foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 feet

Spread:  30 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  8b

Description:

A frost-tender clumping perennial grass that is widely used in Southeast Asian cuisine for its lemony flavoring; it is also an impressive ornamental grass with gracefully arching, strap-like leaves that are light green; will grow near black walnuts

Edible Qualities

Lemon Grass is a perennial herb that is commonly grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. The fragrant grassy light green leaves with hints of gray can be harvested at any time in the season. The leaves have a zesty taste.

The leaves are most often used in the following ways:

  • Cooking
  • Seasoning
  • Freezing
  • Tea

Features & Attributes

Lemon Grass' attractive fragrant grassy leaves remain light green in color with hints of gray throughout the year. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.

This is an herbaceous evergreen perennial herb with a shapely form and gracefully arching stems. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition. This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Aside from its primary use as an edible, Lemon Grass is sutiable for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Herb Gardens
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Lemon Grass will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 inches. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant is quite ornamental as well as edible, and is as much at home in a landscape or flower garden as it is in a designated edibles garden. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Lemon Grass is a good choice for the edible garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Herb  Container 
Applications
Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features

Disclaimer - This Plant Finder tool is an online resource representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact the store directly for current availability. It does not include our entire selection of plants, so be sure to visit our store to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.