Ginger lemongrass are no two peas in a pod. These two plants are worlds apart. Ginger is a root and is often characterized in Japanese and other Asian dishes, particularly soups. In the West, it’s used for sweets and sodas, as well as in teas. Ginger is a pungent, strong taste that is renowned for its effects on calming the digestive system when upset and helping to relieve anxiety and nausea. Lemongrass is another spice beloved by the Asian continent, although its use is focused mainly in India and the tropics. It’s often used as a remedy for menstrual cramps, insect repellent, and as a preservative. Lemongrass is very fragrant and tastes like the name implies – like citrus! Together, the two pack a powerful flavor punch.
Both spices are able to be grown at home with a fair amount of ease. While ginger is mainly harvested for the root, the plant itself is attractive. Here’s how each is grown:
Ginger is a versatile plant that can grow anywhere. However, if your area has cold winters, ginger must be grown indoors. The easiest way to grow ginger is to use a fresh root – preferably from a farm stand or somebody else who has grown it, as grocery store ginger is not ideal as it has been treated to stunt growth. Soak the ginger root overnight, especially if its grocery store-bought. Then, slide into smaller pieces. Use a piece that contains a nub or an eye, and plant it so that the nub is facing upwards. It should be just barely below the surface. Keep the soil moist, not wet, and at temperatures of at least 50 degrees. When the leaves all die off, your ginger is ready!
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
This low maintenance plant is most easily grown from store-bought blades. From there, you can repot and expand your lemongrass collection. To do this, take a few healthy stalks and place them in water (just a few inches will do) and put in a sunny place. Once the roots start to develop, you can plant them. This plant needs a lot of sun and water and should be planted in a large pot. It can still be grown in cold places so long as it’s inside during the cold. However, keep it in a sunny spot!
Ginger Lemongrass Tea
If you have both spices in hand, I highly recommend treating yourself to some delicious ginger and lemongrass tea. It’s a soothing tea that makes great use of lemongrass blades that would otherwise go to waste. This tea works great for relieving anxiety, stomach ache, and insomnia.
- Fill a large sauce pan with water. Set to boil.
- Add in 2-3 inches of cubed ginger, about half a cup.
- Then add in a lemongrass stalk that has been sliced lengthwise.
- Add in a lemongrass blade that is dry.
- Cover and let boil. Then, reduce temperature to simmer and leave for about 15-20 minutes.
Voila! Your own delicious hand-made tea.
Ginger lemongrass spices and herbs that can be used for cooking, tea, and therapeutic remedy. Growing them will add great value to your garden.