Lemongrass is a non-hardy perennial, native to the tropics that is extremely easy to grow as long as you have sufficient room in your garden. Lemongrass will quickly grow to about three feet tall by three feet wide.
To grow your own lemongrass, plant it about 18 inches apart in any well-drained, full-sun garden. The grass stalks will begin to mature to about a ¼-inch to ½-inch thick in late summer. Harvest these thick stalks at the base of the plant with pruners or a sharp knife.
While the stalks are the most useful part of the plant, the foliage can also be used. The stalks can be frozen and the leaves can be dried to use later. Both the stalks and the leaves add a lovely lemon flavor and aroma to soups, sauces and especially tea. In fact, lemongrass is one of my favorite herbs for making tea.
To make your own lemongrass tea follow these quick, simple steps:
- Cut two stalks off your plant
- Remove the top leaves and cut the stalk to about 6 inches long
- Remove the outer layer of skin off the stalk
- Bruise the bottom of the stalk with a heavy object or crack/twist the stalk to help release the flavors
- Pour boiling water into a cup
- Add the two lemongrass stalks and let steep for about 10 to 15 minutes (you can also steep this with your favorite tea bag)
You can add a bit of sugar, honey or cinnamon to the tea if you want to spice it up some more. Additionally, when you need to stir your tea, lemongrass stalks act as a perfect stirrer!