Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a sensitive perennial herb that is easy to grow in home gardens. It is an aromatic herb that is commonly used for cooking when harvested. Lemon grass grows prolifically when planted in rich soils and full sunlight; a small patch of lemon grass can expand to a sizable clump over 2 feet in diameter in a single season. Harvesting lemon grass regularly is one way to control the growth of the ornamental grass and requires only simple tools.
Plant lemon grass in a sunny location and water regularly to maintain soil moisture and facilitate robust growth. Lemon grass is sensitive to soil temperature and is most productive when soils are consistently between 66 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Purdue University.
Cut lemon grass stalks at the base once they are 1/2 inch in diameter at the base. Lemon grass stalks grow up to 3 feet long, so you may have to dig through the dense growth of the plant to access the base of the plant.
Remove lemon grass leaves and place in the sun to dry; once dry, lemon grass leaves can be stored and used to season soups, tea and meat dishes.
Remove the outer fibrous layers of the lemon grass stalk before cooking with fresh lemon grass.