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Need Help Growing Lemongrass

growing_lemongrassI’ve planted some lemongrass stalks that I bought and rooted in water. When they had a strong root system I planted them in a pot and put them on a southwest window sill. I’ve tried to maintain moisture and fertilized, but unfortunately not only have they not grown but they are slowly withering away. I hope you can help me figure out what I can do to keep them alive and hopefully get them to grow into a decent plant. I live in the south of Spain where the climate is warm and dry most of the year, but I have to keep delicate plants indoors in winter as we are at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains and get frosts. Thanks, Diane

Answer: It’s always difficult to fully diagnose the exact cause of plant failure, but here are some suggestions to try again.

I see about a 50/50 rate of suggestion as to starting lemongrass in water or soil. Most who recommend water rooting do suggest to transplant directly to soil. However, the cell structure of water roots is different from that of soil roots, so it’s imperative to keep the soil generously moist in the early days of transplanting. You can even cover the plant with a plastic bag to seal in the humidity. Another method to move the plant to soil is to daily add soil to the water to allow the roots to transition in cell structure.

You might also just try using soil to start the lemon grass. Just make sure it’s well draining. You will want to cover the pots to keep the moisture in.

Keeping the plant in a warm sunny spot is important, as well. If there is a draft from the window, you might try moving it to a warmer spot and make sure it’s getting as much full sun as possible.

Do not fertilize the starts. Let them show active growth before applying any type of fertilizer. Most plants don’t need a lot of fertilizer except when blooming or fruiting, to help boost that process.

Give it another try, and maybe test both methods and see which works best for your conditons.

Happy gardening,

Karen

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