Lemongrasses are very useful plants for your garden. They provide food and shelter for many insects, birds, and small animals. Some species of lemongrasses even produce edible berries! But lemongrasses are not only used as food or habitat; they’re also highly invasive weeds that threaten our native ecosystems with their spread. Lemongrade species have been found to cause damage to endangered bird populations, which then in turn affect other wildlife species such as butterflies and bees.
The most common lemongrassy species in North America is Lemongrasses (Lima, Lemaire, Lomangue). These plants grow wild throughout much of the eastern United States and Canada.
They’re often called “wild garlic” because they look like large bulbs of garlic. There are two types of lemongrassy plants: those that form underground stems and those that form upright stalks.
Lemongrasses have a long history of use in traditional medicine. Native Americans used them to treat wounds, coughs, diarrhea, fevers and other ailments.
In fact, lemongrasses were so popular among early settlers that they became known as “Indian Hemp.” Today they’re still widely used by indigenous peoples around the world for medicinal purposes. Lemongrasses are also one of the few plants that’s actually good for your health if consumed regularly. They’ve been proven to contain antioxidants, which fight cell-destroying free radicals and have other beneficial effects on the body.
You can eat lemongrasses like you’d eat any other vegetable. They have a very spicy, tangy flavor that tastes great in salads and stir-fries.
You can also juice them, puree them for sauces, or use them in any other recipe that calls for garlic. There are many other ways to use lemongrasses as well! For example, if you’re feeling a bit anxious or stressed out, try chewing on a few chopped up lemongrasses. The essential oils will help calm you down, and the pungent flavor is quite nice.
The term “lemongrasses” can also refer to a large number of plants that are part of the larger plant family known as the graminaceae. These plants can be used for a wide range of things, from cooking to other types of medicine and even religious ceremonies.
For example, the “wild ginger” plant is sometimes used in place of actual ginger for cooking. The “devil’s shoestring” is used by some Native American tribes for certain religious practices. Other types are used as feed for livestock and even as ingredients in some perfumes. The uses for “lemongrasses” are numerous, so if you come across any in your travels, go ahead and pick them to try out!
How to Grow Lemongrasses:
Lemongrasses are easy to grow from seed. Start your seeds indoors 8 weeks before your last frost, then transplant out after the danger of frost has passed.
You can also plant them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. If you start them inside, plant them about 1/4″ deep and 2-4″ apart. Transplant them about a foot apart.
Lemongrasses prefer a sandy, loose soil. They can grow in all types of soils, but they do require good drainage, so if your soil tends to hold water or is heavy, you may want to mix in some sand or gravel for better drainage.
Lemongrasses prefer consistently moist soil, but not soggy soil.
Sources & references used in this article:
Rust of lemongrass by S Nelson – 2008 – scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu
Effect of bio and organic fertilizers on oil production and chemical composition of lemongrass plant by A Abd El Ghafor, AS El-Leithy, HM Swaefy… – Annual Research & …, 2018 – journalarrb.com
Growth performance and nutrient concentration of ‘Hijau’lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) as affected by maturity stages at harvest by NE Tajidin, SH Ahmad, AB Rosenani… – The Role of Plant …, 2010 – mspp.org.my
Lemon Herbs: How to Grow and Use 18 Great Plants by ES Platt – 2001 – books.google.com
Antibacterial activity of essential oils on Xanthomonas vesicatoria and control of bacterial spot in tomato by GC Lucas, E Alves, RB Pereira, FJ Perina… – Pesquisa Agropecuária …, 2012 – SciELO Brasil
Lemongrass by BP Skaria, PP Joy, S Mathew, G Mathew – Handbook of herbs and spices, 2006 – Elsevier
Studies on intercropping of medicinal, aromatic and spice crops in poplar plantation by BS Gill, A Singh, D Singh… – Indian Journal of Agronomy, 2008 – indianjournals.com