Aromatic Plants

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus)


  • Lemongrass grows abundantly in the state of Kerala.
  • The essential oil of lemongrass is widely used in soaps, perfumes and for extraction of an aroma chemical, citral. Vitamin A is synthesized from citral. Lemongrass is a drought tolerant, perennial, aromatic grass growing to a height of 1.2 - 3.0 meters.
  • The crop can be cultivated throughout Andhra Pradesh either as a rainfed or irrigated crop in poor and marginal soils, waste lands and alkaline soils (PH 9.6).


  • Krishna, Pragati and Cauvery are improved varieties of lemongrass suitable for cultivation in Andhra Pradesh. OD-19 is an old and established variety.


  • Lemongrass is propagated either through seeds or rooted slips.
  • The crop is grown through slips in Andhra Pradesh. The land is prepared to good tilth by ploughing, harrowing and planking.
  • The crop can be planted on flat beds or in furrows or on ridges. 10 tonnes of farm yard manure, 250 kg single superphosphate and 65 kg muriate of potash per hectare are applied basally.
  • The slips are planted during rainy season at a spacing of 60 cm between rows and 45 cm between plants (37000 slips / hectre), and the soil around the slips is pressed to avoid lodging of slips during irrigation.
  • If rains are erratic, the field is irrigated at 3 day intervals during the first month and 7 - 10 day intervals subsequently.
  • After the establishment of plants, irrigation schedule is adjusted depending on water holding capacity of tie soil weather conditions.

Interculture - Fertilizers

  • The field is kept weed free for the first 3 - 4 months after plating. Similarly,weeding is done up to 1 month, after every harvest.
  • During the initial phases of crop growth, short duration legumes can be grown as intercrops, thereby profits can be increased.
  • The crop is fertilized with 30 and 45 kg urea / hectare, 40 and 90 days after panting, respectively.
  • For each harvest, 75 kg urea per hectare is applied in two equal splits.,
  • In Zinc deficient soils, 25 - 60 kg Zinc sulphate per heactare is applied lemongrass crop is free from any pests or disease in Andhra Pradesh. Micronutrients and growth regulators may be sprayed for each harvest.

Harvesting - Profits

  • First harvest is taken 4 - 5 months after planting. Subsequent harvests are obtained at 3 - 4 month intervals for 3 - 4 years.
  • Lemongrass flowers in winter season. The flowering stalks are to be harvested and discarded from time to time. Otherwise the crop yield gets adversely affected. MThe dead and dried leaves and tillers are also to be removed atleast once in a year to encourage growth of fresh tillers.
  • Lemongrass gives 250 - 300 kg oil and a net profit of Rs. 75,000 - 90,000 per hectare per year under irrigated conditions and 60 - 80 kg oil and a net profit of Rs. 18,000 - 24,000 per hectare per year under rainfed contions.


  • The osil is extracted fro the leaves by usual process of distillation so mentiuoned in palmarosa.
  • Freshly harvested grass as such or after cutting into small pices are used for the extraction of the oil.
  • The recovery of oil from the grass ranges from 0.3 - 0.8 per cent. It takes about 4 hours for complete recovery of the oil.