Growing lemongrass and tamarind

A quick Google search will give lots of ‘how to’ guides on growing your own lemongrass plant, so I won’t go into masses of detail here. Basically you just get a stalk of lemongrass, put it in water until it’s grown roots about an inch long, plant it in a pot and leave it in a sunny place to carry on growing. I did this a while ago and I now have a lemongrass plant with three stalks. It was getting a bit pot bound so I’ve potted it up today in the hope it may sprout some more stalks- I’m a bit reluctant to cut any off to use in cooking until there are more of them!

The pictures are a bit crap, but you get the idea:

Now I’ve potted it up, this plant doesn’t fit on the sunniest of my windowsills anymore, so I’ve had to move it to a slightly shadier spot. I’ve put it in a miniature greenhouse where I’ll keep it misted to try to replicate the humidity of its natural habitat and we’ll see how it goes.

Some time ago, I also managed to germinate some tamarind seeds from shop-bought tamarind pulp, and I now have two tamarind plants. I’m not expecting them to grow much bigger, but I’m glad they’ve made it this far. I also like the way their leaves fold together at night:

It seems quite apt to be writing about tropical plants when we’ve enjoyed the hottest days of the year so far this weekend (a sweltering, clammy 32⁰C). However, the chilly UK winter will soon be on its way and my lemongrass and tamarind will no doubt be shivering in their pots, clutching a mug of tea and a hot water bottle. In the meantime, I’ll keep slapping on the factor 50 sun cream and will try to squeeze in as much beer gardening as possible while I still can.