Lemongrass Companion Plants – What To Plant With Lemongrass
Lemongrass is a sweet pungent, citrusy plant often used in Asian cooking. It is a sun-loving plant, so companion planting with lemongrass should include other plants that like to bask in plenty of heat and light. Not only is lemongrass a culinary seasoning, but it makes a soothing tea said to aid in sleep. This is an easy plant to grow with light frost tolerance in either the ground or containers. Pair it with plants that have the same growing conditions or make a fun culinary garden with flavors and textures that benefit from its unique sweet tanginess.
What to Plant with Lemongrass
Lemongrass contains citronella, a plant oil with pest repelling properties, especially mosquitoes. Using lemongrass among your patio plantings is an excellent way to enjoy your outdoors in summer without worrying about those disease transmitting insects.
Planting next to lemongrass provides a rich contrast for the golden leaves while the pungent oil helps prevent other pests. You can readily snap off the leaves and cover your skin with the natural oil to protect you and your family from dangerous mosquitoes and your plants from pests, like whiteflies.
If you are new to gardening with this plant, you may wonder what to plant with lemongrass. While many traditional companion planting schemes exist, there is little information on lemongrass companion plants. That doesn’t mean it isn’t beneficial to other species in the garden, but it hasn’t been shown to accent other plant growth.
Nonetheless, planting next to lemongrass can develop a quick pick dinner area that is easy to browse during meal preparation. Many fruits, vegetables and herbs that tend to be part of a recipe using lemongrass also flourish in the same growing conditions.
East Indian and West Indian lemongrass are the two species most commonly used in cooking. The plants need rich, loose soil with good drainage and plenty of moisture to thrive.
Lemongrass Companion Plants
Herb containers on the back porch or patio provide convenient, fresh seasoning choices just off the kitchen. Some great ways of companion planting with lemongrass are by using herbs, which appreciate full sun and well-drained soil. Possible options include:
- Lemon verbena
All of these have culinary and medicinal properties and can be part of seasoning blends for many recipes. Container gardening also allows you to bring the pot indoors if a severe freeze threatens. Remember, lemongrass can get 3 to 6 feet (91 cm.-1.5 m.) tall, so use other herbs at the edges of the pots so they are not shaded by the lemongrass.
Lemongrass is grown in Guatemala, India, Paraguay, England, Sri Lanka, China, and other parts of Indochina, Africa, Central America, and South America. If possible, choose lemongrass companions from the same region such as galangal, ginger, and turmeric, which do well when planted nearby.
Traditional crops include mangos, cucumbers, fennel and onions. Be careful about intercropping, as the roots can spread out and eventually take over an area. In areas under fruit trees, like citrus, lemongrass makes an attractive ground cover, reducing weeds and keeping moisture in the soil.
It is also useful when planted with tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos, who prefer the same growing conditions. As an added bonus, lemongrass goes well in dishes that use these fruits.
Many lemongrass companions might be edible but its lime-toned, grassy leaves make a perfect backdrop for geraniums, hardy hibiscus, and many more summer blooming plants.
Compatible Vegetable Planting
Some vegetables are more compatible when grown in close proximity in the garden than others. These compatible vegetables are used for companion planting, a method of placing various plants in close proximity so they can help one another with nutrient uptake, pollination and pest control while also boosting crop productivity. Using compatible plants to reap these benefits may take some trial and error on your part.
Throughout the growing season, you can gather leaves as needed by cutting them at the base of the plant. To harvest whole stalks of lemongrass, cut the stalks when they're roughly 2-1/2 inches long and nearly an inch wide at the base.
Lemongrass requires liquid to disperse its essential oils. The simplest way to do this is to steep the leaves in hot water for a refreshing tea, or use it to season soups, stews, and marinades. You can also chop any excess stalks and freeze them for up to one year, and leaf pieces for up to five months.
You can also preserve leaves by hanging them upside down in a dark place to dry. Once the stalks are dry, chop them and store in an airtight container to be used at a later time. The dried leaves make a great addition to green tea. Just remember: Drying herbs concentrates their flavor, so for teas and other recipes, you need less dry lemongrass than fresh lemongrass.
Build the pile
Gather brown waste, a source of carbon. This includes wood chips, branches, brown leaves, shredded paper, cardboard (shred to at least two to three-inch pieces) and shredded egg cartons. Add this to the pile first.
Collect green waste, a source of nitrogen. This includes cow or chicken manure, green vegetation, as well as fruit and vegetable scraps.
Mix four basic elements of composting in your pile:
- water and
Follow a ratio of two to three parts carbon to one part nitrogen (2-3:1). Mix or turn the layers together once per week.
Water periodically and don't over-saturate. If you have an open pile, cover it with a tarp to avoid pests and rain. Tear, shred, or chop waste so it will break down faster. Worms add more nutrition to your compost.
Herbs To Plant Together
If you’re considering growing different herbs in one container, then let’s get on with answering the question: “what herbs grow well together?”. Here are 7 herbs you can try together:
Basil is a great companion planting to a wide variety of herbs and plants like parsley, rosemary, oregano, and chili. Since it can repel harmful insects as well as mosquitoes, a lot of herbs can benefit greatly from having it planted in close proximity in full sun with good drainage.
However, basil should be kept away from rue and sage. Placing basil in the same pot as tomatoes can enhance the flavor of both.
Also known as Mexican parsley, cilantro thrives during the cool season. It makes the perfect companion to mint, basil, lavender, and dill.
Keep your cilantro away from fennel, though, as these two plants are highly competitive when planted next to each other, and can result in the drying up or death of both plants.
Another of the 7 Herbs That Grow Well Together In Pots with other herbs is sage. Not only does sage grow pretty, it can also attract beneficial insects and pollinators which can aid in the growth of your other plants.
Sage grows well with rosemary. It can also share the same bed as tomatoes, carrots, strawberries, and cabbage.
Chives are an all-around partner plant for many herbs and vegetables. These herbs can ward off pests like aphids and enhance the growth of other plants.
This herb can be planted in the same pot as dill, rosemary, and mint. It is also known to enhance the flavor and the length of carrots and tomatoes.
Dill is another herb that attracts beneficial insects like honey bees, ladybugs, and butterflies to your garden bed as it discourages the presence of pests like spider mites, aphids, and cabbage loopers.
Dills love growing next to other herbs like cilantro and basil. You can also plant them next to corn, lettuce, onions, and cucumbers. However, keep them away from carrots, peppers, and lavender in your garden.
If you are having problems with aphids, plant mint in your garden. The aroma coming from these herbs drive a lot of pests away.
Plant mint next to your radish, cabbage or kale. This herb also works well together with dill, basil or cilantro.
Sharing the same properties as parsley, coriander is easy to grow. It is known to attract beneficial insects.
Coriander enjoys a humid, well-lit environment. However, it struggles when exposed to direct sunlight. This herb is a great companion to dill or parsley.
You Might Also Like This: Creating An Indoor Herb Garden!
Companion planting is a great help to your garden sustainability. Knowing what herbs grow well together in the same container and planting the right herbs together will not only repel pests, but they can also enhance the productivity and growth of your crops.
Plant companion plants if you don’t have enough space to plant in individual pots. Plus, it looks great too!
When planting an herb garden don’t forget to add something you don’t usually think of when you think of herbs. That way you can grow your experiences and your knowledge of spices in cooking with culinary herbs.
- Lemon Balm
- Lemon Thyme
- Lemon Verbena
- Perennial herbs
- Mediterranean herbs
- Greek Oregano
- Garlic Chives
- Different Mints
- Aromatic Herbs
- Edible Flowers
- Purple Basil
You can have a container herb garden like mine, too. Be sure to use a good container potting mix, as well as small pots and large pot for your container plants.
You can also grow an abundance of hardy herbs in rich soil right outside your own kitchen door. Just choose your favorite herbs and get started in early spring for best results.
I hope this list of 7 herbs that can be planted together helps you to feel more confident about what to plant and where. Just get out there and get started, making mistakes is all part of the process!
Knowing what herbs grow best together will help you plan for a bountiful herb harvest, too.