I'm interested in hearing feedback from people who have experience growing lemongrass as a perennial. I live in USDA zone 9a. Has anyone grown lemongrass as a perennial in zone 9a or colder? How much cold do you think it could take?
I'm in zone 8b, and I have a lemongrass plant that I bought as a small start last winter. I put it in a large clay pot and kept it indoors in a south-facing window until May, put it outside in a sunny spot all summer, then brought it back in when it started to look like it was having a rough time last month. It doesn't seem to be able to deal with cold weather very well at all.
I usually bring ours in over the winter. So far we have had just light frost and it seems to tolerate that just fine and even grow some more during the warm spells but I'll be digging it soon. I left a clump last year in a more protected spot and we had an unusually warm winter with a few lows into the twenties...it came back bigger than ever. Other years I have lost anything I've left in the ground from low temperatures, into the teens and single digits.
I used to divide and pot it to bring it in but a friend told me she just digs it and puts the plants barerooted in a bucket in the house where it wont freeze, so I am trying this. Then I'll divide and set out in the spring.
I know there are at least a couple varieties and I don't have any idea what mine is...it was a plant exchange trade eight yers ago.
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Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
I grow it here every year. Were borderline zone 7/8, our winter lows down to 15 or so once or twice with an average for mid to low twenties. Small plants will die, larger plants will die back, but re sprout in the spring if I leave them. Which grow fast enough in our hot summers to give a crop again in the fall. Usually I harvest the whole thing for eating and overwinter divisions in a unheated greenhouse or shelterhouse. Only because I'm going to dig it up for harvesting it, and if I put back unrooted divisions back they won't survive.
The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka