Lemongrass can be grown from seed, from seedlings, and also by dividing up existing clumps. It’s an easy herb to grow and also looks attractive in the vegetable or herb garden. Plus, you can use it as an edging plant if you want to.
It takes around 75 to 100 days to grow lemongrass from seed. It is faster to grow lemongrass from stalk cuttings (60 to 90 days) or divisions (30 to 60 days).
Let’s look at all the different ways that you can grow lemongrass at home.
Growing Lemongrass From Seed: How Long Does It Take?
If you want to grow your own lemongrass from seed, it will take around 75 to 100 days before the stalks are ready to harvest to use in your cooking.
Lemongrass seeds take around 10 to 25 days to germinate. You need to keep your seeds in a sunny spot and keep the soil moist to assist in germination. Lemongrass seeds need plenty of light to germinate, so only cover them lightly with soil or potting mix.
If you have a short growing season, it’s best to start your seeds indoors in very early spring in order to give your plants a head start. Make sure that you put your seeds in pots on a nice warm and sunny windowsill. The soil needs to be warm and moist for the seeds to germinate effectively.
Once the seedlings are around 3 inches tall, you need to thin them out. When eventually planted either in the ground outside or in large pots on your balcony, they need to be spaced around 1 foot apart. This gives the plants enough space to produce their lovely, large clumps.
Therefore, if the plants that you’ve grown from seed indoors have reached 3 inches in height and it’s still not warm enough to plant them outdoors, you might need to thin them out to one plant per pot.
For this, you’ll need pots that are at least 12 inches in diameter. Fill each pot with good quality potting mix that has added slow-release fertilizer. Carefully take the 3-inch seedlings out of the germination tray and plant each one into its own pot.
Keep these pots in the brightest spot you can find indoors, and make sure that you keep the soil nice and moist at all times without causing waterlogging.
Once the weather has warmed up outside, you can take your pots outdoors. At this stage, you can either plant your lemongrass into the ground or keep them in their pots. If you want to keep them in their pots, place these in a nice, sunny position on your deck, patio, or balcony.
Given the right conditions, your lemongrass will grow relatively quickly, and you should be able to start harvesting the young stalks within 3 to 4 months.
If you would like to know more I wrote a complete guide about growing lemongrass from seed.
Growing Lemongrass From Cuttings: How Long Does It Take?
If you want to speed up the process to harvest, you can always grow your lemongrass from stalk cuttings. Doing it this way will allow you to start harvesting after only about two to three months.
Cuttings can either be taken from existing plants, or you can even use some stalks that you purchase from the grocery store or an Asian market.
To take your own cuttings, cut some stalks from an established lemongrass plant about an inch from the ground. Use a sharp knife with a clean blade. The part of the stalk that is left in the ground will regrow.
Prepare your stalk cuttings by cutting off the top and leaving around 3 to 4 inches at the bottom of each stem. If using stalks that you’ve purchased from the grocery store, make sure that you don’t cut off any of the bottom parts of the stem; otherwise, no roots will form.
Place your prepared cuttings into a glass of water, making sure that the bottom part of each stem is submerged. Place this on a bright windowsill, and be sure to change the water on a daily basis. It should take around two to three weeks for each stalk to produce enough roots for planting into soil.
You can then plant each stalk into its own 12-inch pot or plant directly out into the garden if the weather is warm enough. Make sure you keep your plants nice and moist, and you should be able to harvest some nice, tender stalks after about two to three months.
Growing Lemongrass From Divisions: How Long Will It Take?
You can get even faster growth by growing your lemongrass from divisions. With this method, you divide an already existing plant into individual clumps. By doing this, you should have some new harvestable stalks within a month or two if the weather is warm and humid.
To grow lemongrass from divisions, you need to have access to an existing clump. This could be one growing in your own garden, or you could ask a friend or neighbor who has this plant growing in their garden.
The best way to divide a lemongrass plant is to dig it up completely, making sure that most of the roots are intact. Before starting to dig, make sure that the soil is moist, as this will make the job easier.
Once you’ve dug up a clump of lemongrass, you can divide it into individual stalks. Make sure that each section has several healthy roots attached. You can now plant each division into its own pot or into a different spot in your garden.
You can divide lemongrass clumps either early in spring or late in the fall before frosts are due. This way, you can overwinter your lemongrass in pots indoors over the colder months.
If you don’t want to dig up the entire clumps, you can gently remove some of the outer stalks by gently pulling them upwards until they separate from the main clump. Make sure that you have plenty of roots attached to the stalk that you’ve pulled up.