Lemongrass is a beautiful specimen clumping grass, as wonderful to grow for its ornamental value as for its long lemon scented leaves and enlarged fleshy bases used for Asian cooking. It is a much more forgiving plant to grow than most gardeners think, adapting from dry heat to partial shade and moist conditions. It can be planted around outdoor living areas for its fresh lemony scent and reputation to repel mosquitos. Lemongrass is a very safe ornamental grass to grow near walkways or where children play. Unlike many ornamental grasses, it doesn’t have the sharp edges that can cut skin. It is a tough plant, so if the kids run through it it will regrow easily. And if you have cats, or especially dogs, be sure to grow one or two for them to snack on. It is a wonderful treat for pets, aiding in digestion and giving them sweet breath!
Plants can get large, 3 feet tall and wide. Though a fast grower, it will not spread invasively. Use the leaves for teas, cooking, and pot pourri. The fleshy bases can be dug out or cut off and used for cooking, especially Thai or Vietnamese cuisine.