Lemongrass: It’s About the Stalks, not the Leaves

I’ve had this lemongrass plant for over a year. It has been through one winter in the garage and I am surprised it survived. Lemongrass love warm weather.

Recently, I decided to cut the lemongrass to enjoy its beautiful smell in the house. I have smelled the plant and it smells great. So I cut the leaves, erroneously, thinking the smell was in the leaves.

Lemongrass leaves

It turns out that the leaves are not the part of lemongrass that is used. The stalk is what is important! I decided to cut the leaves off somewhere below where they start, and not knowing, I was cutting the stalk in the middle.

I did some Internet searching and realized the stalk is where all the good stuff is. So, I went back and cut the rest of the stalks, and cut the leaves off of the partial stalks I had in my gardening basket.

Lemongrass stalks, peeled

As you might be able to see in the first photo, lemongrass stalks are purple. The purple color indicates a thin, crispy shell (like the most exterior onion layers) that should be removed. Underneath are the green layers, and these are the fragrant layers.

Then, I chopped the green stalks into tiny bits and dried them. Lemongrass can be used in soap making, soups, or even just boiled on stovetop to make the house smell nice.

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