Does Lemongrass Need Sun Or Shade?
If you’ve never grown lemongrass before but want to give it a try, you might be wondering whether this useful herb needs full sun or whether it can survive in the shade.
Lemongrass needs around 6 hours of sunlight daily. As it’s a tropical plant, it likes a hot and humid growing environment and will thrive in a bright, sunny spot. However, you can grow lemongrass in a bright spot that receives some shade, but it won’t thrive as well as when it’s grown in full sun.
So, let’s look at the different growing environments and how lemongrass will handle these.
Where Is The Ideal Spot To Plant Your Lemongrass?
Ideally, you want to choose a spot in your garden that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. Lemongrass is native to the tropics and likes it hot and humid. Therefore, you should choose an open spot that receives plenty of sunlight, and that has slightly acidic and well-draining soil.
The more sunlight and heat that your lemongrass gets, the better it will grow. You see, it needs the sunlight to produce adequate amounts of oil that create the lovely lemon flavor.
On the other hand, lemongrass also needs plenty of moisture. So, if your climate is hot but dry, you need to ensure that your plant gets plenty of water. Using a light misting type of irrigation works well for lemongrass because this mist will help to increase the humidity around your plant.
Bear in mind that lemongrass prefers moist soil, but the soil should not become waterlogged. Therefore, in hot climates, you should water your plant every few days to ensure that it’s kept nice and moist.
So, the ideal environment for your lemongrass includes plenty of sunshine, water, and free-draining soil.
Can Lemongrass Survive If Grown In The Shade?
Lemongrass can be successfully grown in a shady spot, but it won’t thrive or grow quite as well. Therefore, if you don’t have a spot to grow your lemongrass in full sun, you can still have some success.
Choose a spot that is bright, even if it doesn’t get full sun all day. It’s important to reiterate that lemongrass does prefer warm temperatures. So, even if you plant it in a semi-shaded spot, the plant still requires plenty of warmth.
The plus side to growing your lemongrass in part-shade is that you won’t need to water it quite as often as the soil won’t dry out as quickly. However, you’re going to find that the growth of your plant will be a little slower, and the flavor might not be as intense when compared to a plant that is grown in full sun.
In addition, if the plant doesn’t receive enough sunlight, it will become quite leafy and thin, and the stalks won’t fatten up as much.
Another thing you can consider is growing your lemongrass near something that reflects the warmth, such as a brick wall that gets plenty of sun on it during the day. Therefore, even though your lemongrass is not getting sun directly, it will still get the reflected sunlight and will grow quite well in this type of situation.
Grow Your Lemongrass In A Pot
If you don’t have a sunny spot in your garden for your lemongrass, why not grow it in a pot instead. You’ll need a fairly large pot that has plenty of depth to accommodate the growth habit of this plant.
When you do this, you can easily move your plant around to ensure that it gets as much sun as possible. This means that if your patio gets plenty of morning sun but is heavily shaded in the afternoon, you can place your plant on the patio in the morning and then move it to a different spot in the afternoon.
Even if you only do this every few days, it will still ensure that your plant gets as much sun as it needs to grow lush and produce all that glorious flavor. If the pot is quite large, you can easily place it on a stand that has wheels. This way, you won’t have to lift it when you want to move it to a different spot.
Another advantage of growing lemongrass in a pot is that you can move it around to also enjoy the lovely lemony fragrance and to help with repelling insects such as mosquitoes.
Lemongrass Can Even Be Grown Indoors
As you know, lemongrass won’t survive outdoors in extremely cold winters. For this reason, many people like to grow this flavorsome herb indoors. And, you can do this quite successfully too.
Ideally, you want to choose a nice, bright sunny windowsill to grow your lemongrass on. Or, at least place your lemongrass as close as possible to the brightest window in your home.
But what about if your home doesn’t receive enough light, especially during the winter? Don’t worry. There’s a solution. You can successfully grow your lemongrass in your home by using an efficient grow light.
The benefit of using a grow light is that it not only provides your plant with plenty of light, but it also provides warmth as well. Just ensure that the air inside your home is not too dry. If it is, you can remedy this simply by using a humidifier to help increase the moisture and humidity around your plant.
Remember, too, that once the weather starts to warm up outside, you can easily place your plant outside and allow it to bask in the warm sunshine. Then, you can bring it back indoors if the night temperatures are still a little low.
The added benefit of growing lemongrass indoors is that it will fill your home with its lovely lemon fragrance.
Ultimately, lemongrass is fairly forgiving and will grow in a variety of different environments. However, to ensure that your plant thrives and is full of flavor, it’s best grown in full sun and kept nice and moist.