There has been much interest in lemongrass this summer.  Some of this is fueled by Pins on Pinterest mentioning lemongrass as a mosquito repellent.

Some things to know about lemongrass:

  • Lemongrass is the common name for at least two grassy plants from Asia.
  • Lemongrass is related to Citronella which is famous as a mosquito repellent.
  • The two main types of lemongrass:

Cymbopogon citratus – used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking, has an enlarged stem, is only available as a plant.  Can also be used for tea and potpourri.

Cymbopogon flexuosus – used as a flavoring, tea, and in potpourri, stem never enlarges, is available as seeds

Although the photos below show lemongrass at different stages of growth you can see the enlarged base on the plant in the first photo.

If you want to grow lemongrass for cooking choose Cymbopogon citratus and grow it as a houseplant over winter.  If you are only wanting something to control mosquitoes there are many other options including plants which may be more hardy in your area.  Check out this blog post for more ideas:  Mosquitoes on Eat Your Landscape

Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus

Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus

Lemongrass Cymbopogon flexuosus

Lemongrass Cymbopogon flexuosus

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