Perennial – Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)

Southeast Asian cuisine makes liberal use Lemongrass and its light, lemony flavor.   These days it is readily available in the market with the little looking.  Lemon grass is not difficult to grow, but not a common element of most american vegetable or herb gardens.


  • Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a tender perennial (Zones 9-11)


  • Lemongrass has the appearance of an ornamental grass

How to Use Lemongrass

  • Lemongrass can be fresh or dried leaves in cooking. lemongrass taste is best when used fresh.
  • To use fresh lemongrass, peel and discard the dried outer layers and use the bottom third of each stalk or use when very young.
  • Lemongrass is commonly used in soups, on chicken and fish dishes, as herbal teas and in smoothies.

Substitute for lemongrass

  • Substitute zest from 1 lemon for 2 stalks of lemon grass
  • OR for 1 lemon grass stalk use 1 teaspoon lemon balm
  • OR 2 lemon verbena leaves

Lemongrass Substitutes

  • lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon = 2 stalks lemon grass)
  • OR lemon verbena
  • OR lemon balm
  • OR lemon leaves


  • 2 stalks lemon grass = 1 tablespoon finely chopped
    1 stalk trimmed = 1 teaspoon powdered lemon grass (sereh powder)

How to Grow

  • Grow the plant in a container in full sun and bring it indoors over winter.

Related References