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Lemongrass - lots of leaves, thin stem

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Justin starts with ...
Whenever I try to grow lemongrass, I end up with a huge amount of leaves, but only a very thin stalk. I give it a hair cut every now and then, but it just grows back and the stem doesn't get any fatter. Any ideas why this might be? Thanks.
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Justin
Melbourne
24th November 2008 8:28am
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John says...
Are you sure its lemon grass and not soemthign similar?
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John20
Perth
25th November 2008 10:25am
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Pauline says...
I have the same with mine, and they are definatly ones sold as lemon grass 'herb'.
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Pauline
Adelaide
25th November 2008 10:21pm
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Justin says...
Sold as 'lemon grass' and smells like lemon grass. Actually, I have just heard from my friend in Japan who is growing this. Two bought from the same nursery and looked exactly the same. One is in a well drained spot and has lots of leaves and a thin stem, while another is in a poorly drained spot with a thick stem. Maybe that's it.
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Justin
Melbourne
26th November 2008 8:51am
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HappyEarth says...
how old is your lemongrass? It will take a year or two to develop thick stems. No -give it plenty of water and no haircut

hope this helps :)

Rich
www.happyearth.com.au
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HappyEarth1
Wollongong
26th November 2008 9:20am
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John Denington says...
My lemongrass is about 2.00 metres tall & seeding. we are moving house shortly & I wish to take a small clump. Is it possible at this time of the year or should I just collect some seeds. When might the seeds be ready to harvest.
Thanks,
John Denington
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John Denington
Brisbane
7th June 2009 8:59am
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amanda says...
Hi John, U may want to get your plant checked - it doesn't look like any lemon grass I have seen? My current one from Vietnamese family in town - would u like me to post a photo?
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amanda19
geraldton.WA
7th June 2009 11:22am
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Andy says...
Hi John
My lemon grass plant looks much like yours. I have tried propogating from seeds.. always without success. I then carefully broke away a few outside stalks, being careful to retain the roots, and repotted them. They are all growing well.
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Andy
Sunshine Coast
7th June 2009 5:28pm
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Speedy says...
Hi Folks,
If you've grown 'lemongrass' from seed, chances are that it's not the lemongrass you want for stems for use in Asian food.

Looking at the photos posted here in this thread, it looks like 'East India Lemongrass' (Cymbopogon flexuosus).

Ive noticed this being sold as seedlings and seed in nurserytrade for the last 10-12 yrs.
It's a nice scented grass in it's own right, as are most Cymbopogon spp. I've grown/seen,
but it's just not the same as the true lemongrass (C.citratus).

I've only had the true lemongrass flower for me once in the last 25yrs of growing and using it.
I watched closely for seed, but there was none.

Get a division from someone growing the real thing or one from a nursery that has obviously been grown from division.

You should have decent stems to harvest within 6-8 months.

Replant from division every 1-2 yrs to keep fresh young vigorous plants on the go, depending on how much you use.

In humid climates it grows quickly but can get a rust in the lvs. and
lose vigour if the clump gets thick (usually after 2 1/2 to 3yrs).
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Speedy
Swan Hill, Vic
7th June 2009 9:51pm
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randey says...
i have been growing the real lemon grass for about 10 years now and every so often i dig it up and divide it. for the first five years i didn`t divide it and set fire to it like i do with my sugar cane. it scorched the growth a bit but got rid of all the deadfall and the new shoots just go crazy. i have a lot of asian friends whom i have given clumps to and all agree that it is the tastiest grass they have had.
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randey
perth
7th June 2009 9:58pm
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Speedy says...
Burns well doesn't it!
I saw a whole 15m row of it go up once.
start one end, burned to the other in about a minute and a half.
Vwooosh!
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Speedy
Swan Hill, Vic
7th June 2009 10:21pm
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amanda says...
hmmnn..sounds like they are related to african fountain grass 2 me.... :))

Randey - was it tasty cos it was burnt do u think or because u have a special plant?
I am an asian soup junkie so use heaps of this - interested in the tasty aspect...always...
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amanda19
geraldton.WA
7th June 2009 10:50pm
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Rahaidi says...
Hmm those pictures don't look like the lemongrass that I grow here in Perth. Seems too long and as you say too thin. Perhaps another variety of it.

They tend to grow very easy and vigorous here. I tend to divide them and mound them up when planting. I know they love chook poo. This will green them up for awhile. Too fatten them up leaves are cut about half way. They also like full sun to fatten them up otherwise shady areas will make them to leafy long and ...thin.

They're easy to propagate. Just go to your local local asian grocery or even coles and try to get ones that have a bit of stalk and simply dunk them in water half way and wait for it to grow some roots. Better if you do this in the warmer months though.

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Perth, Western Australia
8th June 2009 11:23am
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Tran says...
Yes I aggree with Rahaidi.
Those lemongrass John has, belongs to red variety that does not produce stalk just very tall bush. The smell is identical to the other one. My friend in Innisfail has some when I visited last year.
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Victoria
8th June 2009 11:42am
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randey says...
hi amanda, i let the grass go after its been burnt and wait for the new shoots to appear then hit it with a bit of blood and bone and some poo. and away it goes. leave it for a few months to harden up and pick away. and yes amanda a good hot and sour soup aaargh i can taste it now.
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randey
perth
11th June 2009 6:44pm
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amanda says...
Ah Randey - Tom YUM! don't get me started! i harvest the L'grass and freeze it - it's so much better to cook with after that - chops up really easy!

I am after a good recipe for chinese hot n sour!? I have a great/authentic one for vietnamese pho soup.
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amanda19
geraldton.WA
11th June 2009 9:02pm
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randey says...
sorry amanda. friends of mine used to own a malaysian restaurant and every time we went there it was waiting for me. i will try and get his recipe although he doesn`t usually part with anything
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randey
perth
15th June 2009 11:36pm
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randey says...
hi rahaidi, where do live in perth?. i can dig you up a clump if you like. let me know
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randey
perth
15th June 2009 11:38pm
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Rahaidi says...
Thanks all the same R but I have them growing pretty well in my area NOR.

Rahaidi
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Perth Western Australia
16th June 2009 1:09pm
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amanda says...
Randey..buggar! A Vietnamese work-mate taught me how to make Pho soup. I also have an authentic nepalese Thupka recipe. Both delicious. Maybe he might swap?????
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amanda19
geraldton.WA
16th June 2009 11:54pm
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randey says...
can but try amanda. see my note on the dragon page
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randey
perth
17th June 2009 7:50am
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sue says...
Seedless lemon grass..... mine is the same. I have been carrying around cuttings of the same plant for 15 years and walla .... no seed.
The quality of the oil is fantastic too. People have been buying packets of Lemon grass seed over here and growing it I am concerned that it may spread. hence is the seed bearing plant C.flexulosus and not C. citratus. Does the seed grown variety spread at all?
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sue15
lord howe
5th August 2009 11:43am
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culebra says...
I used to have what i believed to be the real deal. it was great stuff, excellent for stems. unfortunately it died last summer (too dry). I now have another type which produces moreso leaves rather than stems.
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culebra
Melbourne
5th August 2009 12:33pm
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trikus says...
Speedy , bang on ,, I have seen local seedling guy trying to sell the same red stemmed thing as Lemon Grass . He insisted it was the 'real thing' . **Edited by Moderator**
Thats the trouble with common names , as a few things are called lemon grass , but only 1 species gives the nice fat stems .

I had a good clump I shared around with many when I lived down south . A Vietnamese mate I gave some to , really cultivated it . He had dozens of clumps , that he picked from , taking the biggest bit and planting the smaller bits back straight away . I wished I paid more attention to the many other weird things he grew .
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Trikus
Tully
6th August 2009 9:33pm
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Brad says...
This link indicates that there are two edible lemon grasses:
"Only two of the 55 species of Cymbopogon are used as lemongrass. The East-Indian lemongrass(Cochin or Malabar grass) and the West-Indian lemongrass are typically used for cooking."

It seems like the West Indian is propagated and supplied by division, but the East Indian by seed.
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Brad2
Perth
21st October 2009 12:49pm
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Brad says...
I've just been given some lemongrass potted up by friends. I've got a 30cm pot with 3 clumps (1 larger, 2 quite small). The leaves are mainly green but there's some brown and a bit of rust. Should I:
1) separate the clumps to plant out?
2) chop the leaves back to encourage fresh growth?
3) do anything about the rust?

Based on what I just read, I'm planning on them going in a bed that gets morning sun and winter shelter from the house (warmer, drier). The soil is sandy with added organics and I'll keep the water up in summer.

Any recommendations are welcome as I've not grown it before. thanks
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Brad2
Perth
21st October 2009 12:56pm
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Speedy says...
Hi Brad,
3 clumps in a 300m pot.
up end it and plant them out seperately.
They should come away nicely this time of year.
You should be able to use them this season.
To overcome rust, keep them vigourous and the rust will disppear til cold weather slows the plants down again and/or they get too big.
There's no real escaping the rust when clumps get congested or cold weather.

I usually divide off a clump and grow new plants every yr or so.
:-)
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Planet Erf
24th October 2009 11:54am
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Brad says...
Thanks speedy.
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Brad2
Perth
24th October 2009 3:36pm
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au0rey says...
Hi Speedy,

I have five small clumps of lemongrass which I got from kmart and flowerpower...I didnt know there are more than one type of lemongrass.

Mine has a bit of purplish tint on the young stems now. I am looking at the ones which grow fat and used for asian cooking. I hope i didnt buy the wrong one.

How do you differentiate between'East India Lemongrass' (Cymbopogon flexuosus) and lemongrass (C.citratus)? Is the latter the one used for asian cooking?

Would you be able to see it from the pictures?

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24th December 2009 10:54am
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Bill says...
If you can buy some lemongrass from your supermarket and pot it up into some damp compost and keep it warm it will grow.

You will get the proper plant.

Bill
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Bill10
England
25th January 2010 7:39am
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Original Post was last edited: 25th January 2010 9:37am
CinCin says...
Hi,

I have just cultivated two very large lemongrass plants that my father planted in my front garden - they had taken off and were almost to the point of taking over the garden!

I am wondering if new plant will grow in the area where I removed the lemongrass, as there are still a lot of roots left in the soil.

I've still got on plant left in the garden and I'd hate to lose all my lemongrass so I might try seperating some of it and putting some in a pot.

Do I just pull a bit out, trim it back and repot it?

Thanks
C
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Cin
Central Coast
15th March 2010 8:21pm
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t2winn says...
Hi
Lemon grass is difficult to die. You can take out the whole plant. Cook the top and left 1" stem with the roots. Replant the 1" stem and another batch of lemon grass will come out. My dogs love to eatlemon grass and they usually chew on the new comers and still the lemon grass continue t grow
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t2winn
Arizona, USA
12th July 2010 12:34am
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snottiegobble says...
The more I compare my original L G with 2 pots I bought recently the more I suspect I have been duped. These new clumps have very thin stems (amongst others) almost like normal grass( very weedy looking) & so quite unlike the original that has fewer but thicker stems & bases. However I have seen some Asian recipes where the grass leaves are tied into a knot & used for flavouring (instead of throwing away) so I suppose this other grassy L G could be used just in this manner?
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/ Busso smack in the middle
12th July 2010 5:13pm
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snottiegobble says...
Amanda take a Google at Vietnamese lemongrass chicken recipe, its soooooooooo yummy!
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/ Busso smack in the middle
12th July 2010 5:17pm
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amanda says...
Hey snottiegobble - I am into winter stodge recipes at present - but will do. Like your new address!
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
13th July 2010 11:56pm
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Rev says...
to confuse matters further theres palmarosa grass too
looks like giant reddish west indian lem grass
different scent though...
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Rev
North Qld
14th July 2010 12:39am
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DebD says...
Thats good news really. Lemongrass leaves are the "gold". Harvesting it 4 times a year increases the oil content. Boil the leaves and spray your orchid with it. It is antifungal and antibacterial. Have a cup after you finished spraying the trees and golden staph will never touch you. happy lemongrassing
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DebD
 
8th October 2010 11:10am
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Brad says...
If it's antifungal, why does lemongrass get rust?
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Brad2
Como, Perth
9th October 2010 11:08am
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Mira says...
It must be different type of Lemongrass,you should try the one with fat tree and less leave they have them both type at bunning. good luck
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Mira
Perth
29th August 2011 8:14pm
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Mike says...
I have a few clumps with some fat stems and many thin ones.When i fertilise them and water them they thicken up.Twice a year or so I chop the dead leaves off and trim them back and fertilise them.Every few years when they get to be unrult mats I pull them up and replant a few stems
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Cairns
29th August 2011 8:33pm
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snottiegobble says...
The real lemongrass likes good fertile moist soil except in winter when the dampness can kill it by rotting away the stems at ground level. In Vic. it was paramount that I dug it up, potted it & placed it in a dry area with little watering. Even here in Sth west WA my clump showed signs of stress by having rotting old outer leaves near the base. Fortunately the white inner cores used for cooking were unaffected. ( Yes, lemongrass chicken was on the menu, yum!
BTW I think it is safe to say that if your lemongrass goes to seed it is NOT the true culinary plant used in so many asian recipes!
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso (smackin the middle)
30th August 2011 8:01pm
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au0rey says...
i wrapped my clumps of lemongrass with translucent plastic after staking four corners and used laundry pegs to hold it in place. That helps it against the cold winter. Now that the weather is warming up i have removed the protection. They surely look better compared to no protection last winter, and will quickly continue to grow wo having to recovere themselves. They r in their 2nd to 3rd year but the stems are still thin. I think i hve planted the clumps too thickly should have divided it before planting. Lemongrass with pork chop plus fish sauce and oyster sauce then grilled is extremely delicious!
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au0rey
melbourne
30th August 2011 10:58pm
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Ann says...
hi all i have lemongrass for wholesale if anyone want to purcharse contact me .0448777474
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ann
darwin
8th September 2011 12:58pm
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Mira says...
Hi there,

Lemon grass goes to seeds are not the real lemon grass we use for cooking. I have both of them growing in my garden the one goes to seed and the real one. I bought both of the types at Bunning ware house. I was surprise the one which goes to seed are skinny and bushy and woody. I decided to pull the one which goes to seed. I atttached the photos of the real lemon grass :)
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Mira
Perth
18th September 2011 10:30pm
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Mira says...
Hi Auorey,

Just saw the picture of your lemon grass there, I am sorry to say that yours one are the woody skinny lemon grass that not used in Asian cooking. See my pictures of lemon grass attached on my previous one, the picture number 3 you can see the different of the lemon grass you have and I have. The lemon grass we use in Asian cooking are much more fat and never goes to seed, and the color is light green and not purple. Make sure when you buy get the fat one and light green color. I bet now you already found the real lemongrass cause I saw your comment wrote in 2009 ;)
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Mira
Perth
18th September 2011 10:40pm
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Xuka says...
We are exporter lemongrass from Vietnam, if you are interested in any style of lemongrass, please feel free to contact us

Thanks and best regards,

Nhung Nguyen (Ms)

Viet Delta Co., Ltd
20/5 Dinh Bo Linh, Ward 24, Binh Thanh District,
Ho Chi Minh City .
Tel: 84.8.35114928
Fax:84.8.38998085
Sales exporter
Email: sales19@vdelta.com.vn
Skype: nguyen.nhung94
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Xuka
Vietnam
10th September 2012 11:57am
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