Fake lemongrass?

tarheel10September 12, 2013

Hi everyone,
I bought this "lemongrass" thinking it would repel pests, but all it has done is attract little beetles called Two-Lined Spittlebugs. There are three or four of them on it every day (two small for my cellphone camera, sorry).

I broke off a piece and it was aromatic, but I couldn't say for sure whether it's citronella or not. Since it's not repelling bugs, I'm thinking it might be a cheaper aromatic grass.

What do you think? Have I been had?

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donna_in_sask

I doubt lemongrass would do much to repel pests...I do grow it for cooking purposes however. My lemongrass has much wider leaf blades than yours, and the leaves smell heavily of lemon when rubbed. Next time you want to grow lemongrass, go buy some from the grocery store. Put it in a bit of water and it will root in no time.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 7:30PM
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surya55_gw

I agree; it should smell like lemon when you rub it in your hands. It does look like lemon grass to me; albeit a small one and I don't believe it repels anything. Is it possible to move it to another sunny location away from the bugs? Keep in mind, it is a tender perennial.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 9:20PM
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gardengal48

Lemongrass is what citronella is derived from.......and citronella has a very good reputation for a natural insect repellant. At least for mosquitos :-)).

All species of Cymbopogon are considered "lemon grass" and used by various cuisines depending on the species native to that locale. It should have a distinct citrusy scent, ribbed blades and a fattish swelling at the root end, often tinted pink. Very easy to grow indoors over winter.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 5:30PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

AFAIK, all the 'pest repelling' aromatic plants must be crushed to release their essential oils to be effective - they do nothing just left alone & growing...

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 10:28AM
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