Unlocking the Sunlight Secrets: Growing Lemongrass for Flavorful Success

December 4, 2023 in environment, green living

Article summary and Key takeaways: Lemongrass requires full sun exposure for successful growth and development. It needs a minimum of six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day to flourish. Sunlight enhances the flavor and aroma of lemongrass by synthesizing the compound responsible for its distinct taste. Growing lemongrass in shade can be detrimental to its growth and flavor. When growing lemongrass outdoors, choose a location with full sun and provide shade during peak afternoon hours in hot summers. When growing lemongrass in pots, use a pot with good drainage and a well-draining potting mix. Lemongrass can be propagated from stalks or seeds. When growing lemongrass indoors, provide as much direct sunlight as possible and maintain a temperature range of 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Proper watering is essential, avoiding overwatering or underwatering. Experiment with different growing methods to find what works best for you.

Does Lemongrass Need Full Sun?

Lemongrass, with its refreshing aroma and citrusy flavor, has gained immense popularity in recent years. Whether used in cooking, as a medicinal herb, or as an ornamental plant, lemongrass has become a staple in many households. However, to ensure its successful growth and development, it is crucial to understand the sunlight requirements for lemongrass.

Sunlight Requirements for Lemongrass

When it comes to the ideal amount of sunlight needed for lemongrass growth, it is important to note that this plant thrives in full sun. Lemongrass requires a minimum of six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day to flourish. This extended exposure to sunlight is crucial for the plant’s ability to photosynthesize and produce energy for growth.

Furthermore, sunlight plays a significant role in enhancing the flavor and aroma of lemongrass. The compound responsible for lemongrass’ distinct taste and fragrance, called citral, is synthesized by the plant when exposed to sunlight. Therefore, ample sunlight ensures that your lemongrass will have the potent flavor and aroma that it is known for.

Contrary to a common misconception, growing lemongrass in shade can be detrimental to its growth and flavor development. Insufficient sunlight can cause the plant to become weak and leggy, leading to poor growth and reduced yield. Additionally, lemongrass grown in shade may lack the intense flavor and aroma that is characteristic of the plant.

Growing Lemongrass Outdoors

When it comes to growing lemongrass outdoors, choosing the right location is crucial. Opt for a spot that receives full sun throughout the day, preferably with no shade or obstructions. Remember, the more sunlight lemongrass receives, the better it will grow and develop its distinctive flavor.

Full sun exposure for outdoor lemongrass growth provides numerous benefits. Firstly, it promotes vigorous growth, resulting in taller and healthier plants. It also encourages the production of essential oils, giving lemongrass its characteristic flavor and aroma.

If you live in an area with extremely hot summers, it is essential to protect your lemongrass from excessive sunlight. One way to achieve this is by providing some shade during the peak afternoon hours. You can use shade cloth or place the plants near taller neighboring plants that can provide partial shade. This helps prevent sunburn and dehydration of the lemongrass.

Growing Lemongrass in Pots

Growing lemongrass in pots offers several advantages, such as the ability to move the plant around and control its growing conditions. When it comes to sunlight requirements for potted lemongrass, the same rules apply as for outdoor growth. It thrives best in full sun.

When selecting a pot for your lemongrass, choose one that is at least 12 inches in diameter and has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. A pot with good drainage allows excess water to escape and ensures that the roots do not rot. Additionally, use a well-draining potting mix that contains equal parts of compost, sand, and garden soil to provide the ideal growing conditions for your potted lemongrass.

Propagating Lemongrass

There are two main methods of propagating lemongrass: growing from stalks and growing from seeds. Growing lemongrass from stalks is the most common and reliable method. To do this, simply purchase fresh lemongrass stalks from a reputable source, trim off the tops, and place them in a glass of water. Within a few weeks, roots will begin to form, and the stalks can be planted in soil.

Growing lemongrass from seeds can be a bit more challenging but can be a rewarding experience for those looking to start from scratch. Lemongrass seeds require a warm and moist environment to germinate. Start by planting the seeds in a seed tray filled with a well-draining potting mix, covering them lightly with soil. Keep the tray covered with a plastic dome or plastic wrap to create a humid environment. Maintain a consistent temperature of around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit until the seeds germinate, which can take anywhere from two to six weeks.

Growing Lemongrass Indoors

Growing lemongrass indoors can be a convenient option for those with limited outdoor space or harsh weather conditions. The benefits of indoor lemongrass growth include easy access to fresh herbs year-round and the ability to control the growing environment.

When it comes to sunlight requirements for indoor lemongrass growth, provide the plant with as much direct sunlight as possible. Place the lemongrass near a south or west-facing window that receives at least six to eight hours of sunlight each day. Supplemental grow lights can also be used to provide the necessary light intensity for healthy growth.

Creating the ideal indoor environment for lemongrass involves maintaining a temperature range of 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and providing adequate humidity levels. Mist the leaves with water regularly to increase humidity, especially during dry winter months when indoor air tends to be drier.

Watering Requirements for Lemongrass

Proper watering is essential for the successful growth of lemongrass. It is important to strike a balance between not overwatering or underwatering the plant.

When growing lemongrass outdoors, water the plant once or twice a week, depending on the weather conditions. Ensure that the soil remains consistently moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases.

For potted lemongrass, water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry. Water thoroughly until the excess water drains out from the bottom. Discard any standing water to prevent waterlogging, which can suffocate the roots.

When it comes to indoor lemongrass, monitor the moisture levels in the potting mix. Water when the top layer feels dry to the touch. Mist the leaves regularly to increase humidity and prevent drying out.


Understanding the sunlight requirements for lemongrass is essential for its successful growth and development. Full sun exposure for this versatile plant not only enhances its growth but also intensifies its unique flavor and aroma. Whether growing lemongrass outdoors or indoors, providing adequate sunlight is crucial to ensure a bountiful harvest and a delicious culinary experience.

Remember to experiment with different growing methods and find what works best for you. Whether it’s in a sunny outdoor garden or a cozy corner of your kitchen, lemongrass will reward you with its refreshing scent and zesty flavor.

Question: Can you grow lemongrass in shade?
Answer: No, lemongrass prefers full sun.

Question: How many hours of sun does lemongrass need?
Answer: Lemongrass needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Question: Where is the best place to plant lemongrass?
Answer: The best place to plant lemongrass is in a sunny location with well-drained soil.

Question: Does lemongrass need a lot of water?
Answer: Yes, lemongrass requires regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist.


April 5, 2024

Water pollution is a serious issue with various types and sources. It affects aquatic life, human health, ecosystems, and leads to water scarcity. Chemical pollutants, nutrient pollution, and plastic pollution are major causes. Interesting facts and future predictions highlight the urgency. Government regulations, individual actions, and technological advancements are key solutions. It’s crucial to address water pollution and make a difference.

Read More

About the author 

Alex Roland

Hello! I'm Alex. My journey with energy conservation began at Stanford, where I earned my Master's in Energy Management. I've spent over five years diving into the world of renewable energy and energy efficiency, consulting on some groundbreaking projects. I'm passionate about finding new ways to save our planet through smart energy use, and I'm excited to share my insights and experiences with you.