can lemon grass grow in Melbourne
24 December 2013 01:22 AM
You can grow lemongrass in your area. It will need sun and a good soil and it will die back in the winter and re sprout when the weather gets warmer.
Lemongrass is a wonderful herb used to add a zesty, citrus flavour to many Asian soups and stir fries.
It grows into a lovely arching grass clump that looks great in many garden locations not just the herb patch. It also makes a great pot plant and will thrive on a warm balcony. A word of warning though the leaves have sharp edges and should be handled with care.
There are two common types of lemongrass which are native to the Indian and southern Asian regions:
West Indian Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is the more commonly used type for cooking (chopped/crushed stalks), in teas (leaves) and in perfumes. It grows easily in any warm climate and gets up to 90cm. East Indian Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) grows taller (up to 1.5m), has purple tinges to the stems and prominent pinkish/purplish seed heads. Can be used in cooking and teas.
How To Grow & Maintain Lemongrass
Ideally lemongrass prefers regions with warm, dry winters and hot, wet summers but it does readily grow outside of these conditions eg as far south as Melbourne and inland Australia. It will need protection from frost in these areas so choose a sheltered location or grow in a pot which can be moved around.
Lemongrass can handle a wide range of soils but prefers rich, free draining soils where possible. Improve poor soils with compost and manures for better growth. Use eco-flo gypsum to improve drainage in clay soils.
Lemongrass should receive at least half a day of full sun and is drought tolerant once established.