Lemongrass (Schisandra) is a deciduous or evergreen plant belonging to the Schizandra family. According to information taken from various sources, this genus unites 14–23 species.
In this article you will learn how hard to grow lemongrass? Or is it completely easy?
|Bloom Time||May – June|
|Flower Color||Flowers are white, but over time they turn pink|
|Hardiness Zones||5 zone|
|Native Area||Korea, China, Japan|
How to grow lemongrass plant? Lemongrass is a deciduous vine, reaching a length of 10 to 15 meters. Its shoots curl along the support and reach 20 mm in diameter. The peeling bark of the stems is dark brown. The shoots are covered with a light yellow smooth bark. The length of dense sheet plates is about 10 centimeters, and the width is about 5 centimeters, they have a wedge-shaped base, a pointed tip, and an obscure toothed edge. Their front surface is naked, dark green, and the back is lighter and there is a slight pubescence on the veins. The leaves have petioles, reaching a length of 20-30 mm, they are painted in red-pink color. Foliage and shoots have a lemon scent. The dioecious flowers reach 15 mm in diameter, they also smell like lemon. After opening, the flowers are white, but over time they turn pink. They are located in the leaf axils on drooping pedicels. The fruit is a composite polyberry (multileaf), which has a racemose shape and is about 10 centimeters long. They include juicy red berries, inside which are the seeds of this plant. Lemongrass blooms in May-June, and the duration of its flowering is from 1.5 to 2 weeks. The fruits reach full maturity in September.
Lemongrass fruits are used for making jams, jelly, and soft drinks. They are also used in the confectionery industry, they are used to preparing fillings for sweets. Its juice is used for bunching wines, and aromatic tea is prepared from foliage and bark. Schizandra berries are used as a medicinal raw material.
Now we are ready to answer the question: “how to grow lemongrass”?
What Time to Plant
How to grow lemongrass indoors? In regions with a mild climate, lemongrass is planted in open soil in October, but in general, this procedure is recommended to be carried out in spring, or rather, in the last days of April or the first days of May. An area suitable for planting should be sunny and protected from cold winds. Experienced gardeners recommend planting at least three lemongrass bushes at once, while keeping a distance of 100 cm between them. When planting a plant near a building, at least 150 cm must be retreated from it, in this case the water flowing from the roof will not fall on the root system of lemongrass.
How to grow lemongrass? And, of course, how to grow lemongrass in pots? First, you need to prepare a hole for planting. Its diameter can vary from 0.5 to 0.7 m, while the depth should be 0.4 m. At the bottom of the pit, it is necessary to make a drainage layer of broken brick or rubble, while its thickness should be about 10 centimeters. After that, the pit should be filled with soil mixture, which includes turf soil and leaf compost (1: 1), 200 grams of superphosphate and 0.5 kg of wood ash should also be poured into it. It will be possible to plant seedlings after half a month, during which time the soil in the pits will have time to compact and settle.
How to grow lemongrass in a pot? For planting, it is recommended to use two or three-year-old seedlings. At this time, they reach a height of only 10-15 centimeters. Their root system is very well-developed, so adaptation to a new place takes very little time. It should be noted that after the plant is planted, its root collar should be flush with the surface of the site. The soil in the near-trunk circle must be properly compacted. The planted plant needs abundant watering. Along the edge of the trunk circle, it is necessary to make a roller of ten-centimeter-high soil, thanks to it, when watering, the water will not spread. After the liquid is absorbed into the soil, the surface of the trunk circle will need to be covered with a layer of fertilizer.
Lemongrass saplings planted in the open ground quickly take root, but at first, they need protection from direct sunlight. It is very simple to care for such a plant, you need to water it on time, not very deeply loosen the surface of the trunk circle and remove weeds. During severe drought, the foliage of this plant must be sprayed with water. In a drought, an old plant also needs to be provided with regular watering and spraying, while on average about 60 liters of water should be consumed per bush, which must be heated in the sun.
How to grow lemongrass from cuttings? The first pruning of this culture is carried out after 2 or 3 years have passed after planting in open soil. At this time, the rapid growth of the root system should slow down, and the leaves, on the contrary, begin to develop more rapidly. From the growing stems, you need to choose 3–6, and the rest should be cut to the root. As a rule, pruning is done in the autumn, when all the foliage has fallen off. However, if the bush is very thickened, then this procedure is performed in June or July. In the winter or spring months, pruning is prohibited, since at this time of the year there is intense sap flow in the liana, so if you cut off the stems, this can lead to the drying out of the bush, which will cause it to die.
Schizandra will also need regular pruning, for this it is necessary to cut out all dry, small, injured, disease-damaged, or pest-damaged branches, as well as those that contribute to thickening. You also need to shorten the excessively long side shoots, while they should have no more than 10-12 buds.
Roots should be cut as needed throughout the season. To renew the vine, the stems, which are about 15-18 years old, must be gradually removed, while they should be replaced with young root shoots.
This culture is extremely difficult to tolerate a transplant. At the same time, even a slight drying of the root system negatively affects the well-being of the plant. In this regard, experts do not recommend propagating lemongrass by dividing the bush. If you cannot do without a transplant, then thorough preparation should be made before digging out the plant. First, you need to make a new planting hole and prepare the required amount of soil mixture. Only after that, it will be possible to transplant the liana itself.
Such a plant can be propagated by seeds, root systems, cuttings, and branches. Do you know how to grow lemongrass from stalks? More on this later.
Growing from Seeds
How to grow lemongrass from seed? To grow lemongrass from seeds, it is recommended to sow before winter using freshly harvested fruits. They can also be sown in springtime. To do this, the seeds should be freed from the seedlings, then they are stratified for 8 weeks. The prepared seeds are sown inboxes filled with seedling soil mixture, while they are buried in the substrate only half a centimeter. Cover the containers on top with paper. You need to water the crops every day. How long does lemongrass take to grow from seed? The first seedlings should appear 7-15 days after sowing. They should be protected from direct sunlight. Crops are watered 1 or 2 times with a solution of potassium manganese of pinkish color.
When the third or fourth true leaf plate begins to develop in the seedlings, it will be necessary to transplant them into larger boxes, while the distance between the plants should be about 50 mm. Everybody knows how to grow lemongrass in containers, but planting in the open ground should be done in the first summer weeks, but the seedlings must first be hardened within 15 days. The landing site must be shaded. During planting, a distance of at least 10 centimeters should be maintained between seedlings. So that the bushes do not suffer, in winter they will need to be covered with fallen leaves or spruce branches. These seedlings can be planted in a permanent place only after they are 2 or 3 years old. So, now you know how to grow lemongrass from seeds.
Schizandra Pests and Diseases
Not a single harmful insect settles on lemongrass, most likely this is due to the specific smell of this plant. Also, the plant has a fairly high resistance to diseases.
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