Get Growing Hawaii: lemongrass

lemongrass lemongrass root prepping lemon grass

I will openly admit it, I had no idea how to begin a lemongrass plant until I started composting the kitchen scraps from Redwater Cafe.  There in the midst of the “chop and drop” veggie scraps from the labors of many busy chefs sat the small fragile roots of the end cuttings of lemongrass.  I had never really thought about it prior, but when I saw the end pieces, I did what any thrifty farm girl would do, and planted them immediately in an area where my chili peppers grew.  I nearly forgot about them until, as I was pulling weeds, there were the beautifully formed shoots of lemongrass, waiting for harvest.  The luxury of garden plucked lemongrass was completely new to this midwesterner turned Hawaii farmer.  There were coconut milk curries awaiting these flavorful stems…I had to get cooking, but first, my forward thinking self cut the roots off and separated them and replanted them all about the garden.

I highly recommend this lovely herb in your tropical garden, and even your higher elevation garden (I am at 2700ft in Hawaii.) It sits quietly and stately anywhere you plant it.  Tall and grassy as the name illuminates, it becomes a year round herb that can be grown out of your kitchen trimmings.  Trust me, when you are not paying big bucks in the shops, you will find lots of uses for it.  The fragrance is divine, and treat it well with enriched compost and it will prosper. For some ideas to get your plantings inspired, see and check out this lemongrass knot tying video too!

Written by squash and awe

My love of food and cultures have taken me around the world, dropping me into my current location in Hawaii. I have been loving cooking, photography, gardening, baking, and outdoor adventuring, since back when I was filling a Girl Scout sash with badges. My locations may change, and my activities continue to grow in number, but deep down inside, I still love curling up with a good book, squealing about in a classic car, and making stick-to-your-ribs meals out of homegrown goods.

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