East Indian Lemongrass
Highly decorative with purple colouration at the base of the stems and outer sheath, this perennial lemongrass is commonly grown for its essential oils distilled from the highly aromatic stems and foliage. Harvest the outer leaves for use in herbal teas, or plant for it's pest repellent properties. Also known as Cochin Grass or Malabar Grass, this species is a little tougher than West indian Lemongrass, and suited to a wider range of climates, although it will still need protection in cool and cold climates.
Naturally preferring areas with dry winters and wet summers, lemongrass can grow in most areas of Australia with a little extra care. In cold climates, protect from frost or dig up a few stalks in late autumn to overwinter in pots. Improve soil with compost and well-rotted manure prior to planting. Leaves have sharp edges, so always wear gloves when handling. Divide in spring if needed. Drought tolerant once established.