How To Grow Citronella Plant From Cutting – A Step-by-Step Guide For You!

Learning how to grow citronella plants by cutting is the first step to successfully growing this herb in your garden.

Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) is a native species of plants widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions. It belongs to the grass family Poaceae and it is commonly known as lemongrass. Citronella is a perennial herb that grows up to 1.5 meters high with green, lanceolate leaves; that is why it is also called lemongrass.

Citronella grows throughout the world but is not considered a garden plant because it requires large areas of land to grow, and it can be invasive when growing in disturbed soils. The most common use of citronella is for its essential oil, which is used as an insect repellent and as a fragrant agent. Citronella essential oil is used in many products such as soaps, candles, detergents, cosmetics, and perfumes.

The plant has several names, including lemongrass, lemon balm, and lemon weed. This article will give you instructions on how to grow citronella plants by cutting.

How to Grow Citronella Plant From Cutting

Growing citronella from a cutting is easy as shown below:

Step 1: Prepare the citronella cutting

Citronella needs a lot of sun and humidity to grow. Ideally, it should receive around six hours of sunlight per day. Citronella is a tall herb, which can grow up to 6 feet! You can also buy citronella cuttings from a nursery near you. Citronella is a tropical plant, so it likes to be close to the heat.

Prepare the citronella cutting

Learn more about: How To Grow Chives From Cuttings

Step 2: Prepare the potting soil

Citronella needs good drainage, so you’ll want to mix your potting soil with peat moss or perlite. Make sure you have enough drainage holes in your container.

Step 3: Plant your cutting

Cuttings are easy to plant. Just dig a hole where you want to plant the cutting, put the cutting into the ground, and cover it with dirt. Use a rooting compound to aid growth. Citronella doesn’t need too much water, but you may want to give it some water after planting.

Step 4: Water the cutting

Citronella needs water regularly to keep it growing. You can water it once every one to two weeks in the warmer months. When you water it, make sure you keep the water off the leaves. If you water it too often, the leaves will turn yellow.

Step 5: Fertilize your plants

Citronella is a low-maintenance plant. It doesn’t need much fertilization. If you’re worried about using too much fertilizer, use a light amount and add more as needed.

Step 6: Keep the cutting healthy

Citronella is a very easy plant to grow. It’s not bothered by pests or diseases. However, if you want to keep your citronella healthy, you’ll need to keep it well-fertilized and watered.

Step 7: Harvest your citronella

Once your citronella is about 5-6 feet tall, cut it down to the ground and leave it there.

Perfect Growing Conditions for Citronella

To successfully grow citronella from cutting, you will need to grow it in the best growing conditions that include:

Proper soil preparation

This includes adding organic matter and fertilizer to your soil. This is important because citronella is a slow-growing plant and requires good drainage.

Proper light conditions

Citronella requires full sun but will tolerate partial shade as well.

Proper pH level

Citronella needs neutral to slightly acidic soil that is moist, but not too wet. The citronella cutting that you purchase should be fresh.


Fertilization is essential for citronella plants. You can fertilize them in spring or fall with a complete organic fertilizer. You can also add nutrients to your soil by planting a citronella bed cover crop, such as fava beans or a winter rye cover crop.

Light conditions

Citronella needs full sun but will tolerate part shade as well. It also needs moist soil. You will also want to make sure the soil does not get too wet but instead stays moist.

The best time to plant your citronella is in spring or fall. The citronella cutting that you purchase should be fresh and not have been sitting in the nursery for too long.

Water management

If you live in a humid climate, or if you have poor drainage, your citronella may not be as successful as if you live in a dry climate. Prepare your soil before planting the citronella plant in the springtime. Citronella will grow best in warm, sunny weather with temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It also needs well-drained soil.

Read more about: A Guide On How To Grow Monk Fruit

Final Remarks

I hope this guide on how to grow citronella plant from cutting has been helpful. And not only answers the question, but also gives you more information on how to provide the best growing conditions.

In this article, we have discussed a variety of information, which includes a brief overview of the citronella plant and its growth process. Citronella is an aromatic herb that has a lot of medicinal properties and has been used for a long time for various purposes including health, beauty, and household. Citronella is native to South America and can be found in tropical areas. It grows in a range of temperatures and requires high humidity.

If you try growing your own citronella plants from cuttings, we would love to know the outcome. Feel free to leave any other tips and tricks in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Propagate Citronella?

Propagation of citronella is the same as other citrus plants, except that it has a much shorter time for germination and longer time to flowering. It should be planted in the spring with seeds. Citronella is grown best when it is in direct sunlight, but can tolerate partial shade.

Will Citronella Cuttings Root in Water?

Yes, but the roots are very short and do not develop as well in water. Citronella cuttings will root best when they are planted in soil.

How Do You Root a Citronella Plant?

Citronella should be rooted in an established plant. Cut the plant at ground level, cutting just below the base of the leaf. Use a sharp knife to cut out a circle of stem and leaves, about 2" wide and 8" long. Put the cut plant in a bucket or tub with a little sand and water. Keep it moist until the roots appear.

Where to Plant Citronella?

Plant in a well-drained location in full sun. Citronella is a fast grower and will make you a good addition to your garden.