Report of National workshop on Protocol Development for Sustainable Governance of NTFP Resources
Cultivation and Harvesting

Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon flexuosus)

This plant belongs to family Poaceae and is a source of obtaining oil from leaves and shoots. This grass provides a lemony smell and is used from various purposes like perfumes for soaps, hair oils, scents and medicines.
Cultivation details :
Soil and climate :
It flourishes in a wide variety of soils ranging from rich loam to poor laterite. Water logged soils should be avoided as they are unsuitable for its cultivation. It requires warm humid climate with plentiful sunshine and rainfall from 225-250 cm.
Propagation :
Lemon grass can be propagated either by seeds, vegetative propagation and rooted slips. It has been noticed that both the both the seedlings and the rooted slips performed equally well. But due to the high cost of transplanting, direct seeding is widely practiced.

After this, the field is irrigated with water so that the land becomes moist. Then the land is ploughed to 5-8 cm deep. The ready slips are dipped in a solution prepared from cow’s urine (one part urine to 10 part water) for 2-3 hours. Then they are transplanted in the deep pits. The planting is done mainly in the last week of May or first week of June. However under irrigated condition it can be cultivated in oct-nov.
Land preparation and spacing :
The land is prepared by ploughing and harrowing, the land is ploughed 2-3 times and farm yard manure or compost is spread over the land. If termites are noticed, then use of neem barks is advisable.
Lemon grass can be planted in furrows and also in plain fields. Planting in furrows will be more profitable and the plants spread to a large area in this type of planting. Therefore after proper plouging & manuring one feet high furrows are made where it is planted and the spacing between furrows to furrows should be 2-2 feet.
Irrigation :
After planting, the crop should be irrigated at every 3 days interval for a month. After that every 10 days it can be irrigated
Manuring :
During field preparation it requires 15 tonnes gobar or compost. After each harvest, minimum of 2-2.5 tonnes of gobar is put in the field. Along with this it requires 60 kg of nitrogen, 16 kg of potash and 16 kg of phosphorus. Potash should be given once at the beginning while nitrogen at every 2-month with an amount of 10 kg/dose.
Harvesting :
The crop is perennial in nature and gives good yields for 5 years. Harvesting is done when it attains a height of 3-3.5 feet, lemon grass is cut leaving 10 cm from the ground. First harvest yields less grass but after this it grows vigorously. After every 90-100 days interval, it yields a good harvest. So in first year we can get 2-3 cuttings where as 3-4 cuttings are obtained in subsequent years.
Yield :
In first year, 2-3 harvests is obtained where as subsequent 3 years also yield 3-4 harvest. Like this the amount of oil also increases. Oil content also depends on the varieties, growth, time of harvest etc. 0.2%-0.6% of oil is obtain as compared the herbage yield. First harvest yields 5-6 g oil/acre and it increases to 20 kg oil/acre.
Economics :
Yield Sale price per hectare after 5 years –Rs.28000/- (80 kg oil @ Rs.350 / kg)
Expenditure – Rs.7500/-
Net profit/hectare/year – Rs. 20500/-
Source :

  • Cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants by A.A.Farooqi and B.S.Sreeramu
  • Cultivation of medicinal plants by Dr. C.K.Kokate, Dr. A.S.Gokhle and Prof. S.B.Gokhle