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Time to groom your citronella

October 15, 2010

Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) is a useful mosquito repellent and lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a famous Thai spice. Both grasses grow well in the Chiang Mai monsoon gardens, and may even be used for making hedges, up to 150 cm tall.

However, like all grasses, there are periods of senescence when the leaves turn brown. Such leaves mix with new leaves, which is why your massive citronella may look eternally untidy unless you do something about it. Also, a citronella hedge may grow much wider than originally intended, so grooming is necessary. Simply cut it about 30 cm above ground, using a hedge clipper. The next day you will see the new leaves emerge. you can also take the opportunity of harvesting some lemongrass, either for cooking, for sale or for propagation. You can do the same thing with the citronella, but be careful since the leaves are very sharp.

Eric Danell

Citronella two days after grooming. The lawn is brown due to the previous shade of the citronella leaves.

One Comment leave one →
  1. mami permalink
    October 15, 2010 8:55 AM

    i had no idea that citronella is a grass and lemongrass’ sister! and that could be so tall… citronella we could buy in the dryland isn’t all that effective for repelling mosquito but when there is such abundance, one could actually use it everywhere, and i bet it works. wow i learned something today! thank you.

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