How do I grow Lemon Grass?
Lemon grass has long been a part of Asian cooking and the rise in popularity of this cuisine in Australia makes it a useful idea to grow your own. It is a tall grassy-leafed plant that does actually belong to the grass family. It not only looks good but is easy to grow and can be harvested in small amounts without causing any damage to the plant. In fact, some gentle pruning for the kitchen stimulates the plant into becoming an attractive bushy clump. It is a perennial plant that can be propagated by splitting up a large clump if you can find a friend who has already discovered the joys of growing it. Otherwise, purchase a clump in the nursery and either plant it in a medium sized pot or grow it in a sunny well-drained spot in the garden. When harvesting simply cut whatever leaf or stem is needed, being careful not to damage the growing points at the base of the plant from which the new growth will emerge. Peel off the older more fibrous leaves to get to the softer inner stem.

Lemongrass will thrive in warmer areas, but can also be grown in cooler regions. It may die back a bit from frost, however the foliage can be pruned back at the end of winter to let it regrow in spring. An easy way to grow lemongrass in cool climates is to have it in a container, and move it to a sheltered spot or even inside in frosty weather. Lemongrass likes as much sun as possible, a good mulching, and some fertiliser a few times a year. Regular watering will encourage lush growth.

There is an Australian native lemon grass, Cymbopogon ambiguus, which has finer growth. It also has a great lemon fragrance, and can be used medicinally for treating headaches.