I grow Lemongrass in clumps along the boundary of our plot to deter rabbits and raccoons from visiting but by my back door is also a supply-clump for kitchen use. A nursery owner once told me that its sap is a good mosquito repellent but mosquitoes can’t resist me, their Asian meal, I guess. 😦
The gardening department of a thrift store has requested contribution of some Lemongrass in containers to their herb counter which has led to my speedy propagation ritual. Very, very, simple.
Wear gloves, then select and cut, with a sharp knife, thick healthy stemmed ones, just 1/4″ below the soil level. Do not disturb the roots within the soil.
Cut off the top razor sharp leaves, leaving about 14″, then peel off any brown layers and the 1st 2 outer green layers. Wash off soil.
Re-cut the base, making sure there is a short clean “stem”. Soak in 2″ of water and leave them where they get a few hours of morning sun. Change the water on alternate days.
I prefer to root them in water than to just dig from soil and re-pot, as digging will break the roots and sometimes the cuttings do die.
Rooting in water allows close monitoring of root and shoot growth which is important since it will be going to a new home.
The other important point which I rarely mention is: in case, just in case, some soil fungus or disease has developed in the soil of their growing area (*touch wood*, I hope not) it will not be spread to other yards.
When I saw Lemongrass sold for $7 – single plant in medium size pot; and $14 – 3 plants in a larger pot (I won’t mention names of the stores), I almost had a heart attack! 😯
UPDATE: I received an email asking if store bought ones can be propagated. Yes, they can. Look at the base where they were cut, select ones that are least brown with clean cuts. 2″ above that should be nice and thick, about 3/4″ diameter, and they should be 12-14″ in length. At the top, if you see an inner cut-off leaf springing out & growing taller than the outer leaf, that’s an indication of a strong plant determined to live longer. (Happy Lemongrass Growing!)