Common name: Lemon basil, A frican basil, Hairy Basil, Lemon Basil
Scientific name: Ocimum x africanum
Plant history & use:
Lemon basil is a hybrid basil that arose by crossing Ocimum americanum and Ocimum basilicum. It has a special lemony taste and aroma that makes it excellent for cooking, especially in South American, African and Asian dishes. It is usually a bit milder than common basil (Ocimum basilicum) and can be used fresh or dried.
Lemon basil is often used in salsas, stews, marinades and as a flavoring in drinks. Its light taste and fresh aroma also make it excellent for making tea.
Lemon basil also has medicinal properties. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and can help relieve symptoms from colds and headaches. The herb has also been used to treat stomach upset and high blood pressure.
Lemon basil is an excellent plant for growing in the garden or in pots on a sunny patio. It is easy to grow and produces a generous harvest of flavorful leaves. It is also a beautiful plant with bright green leaves and beautiful white flowers.
So if you're a foodie or a gardening enthusiast, lemon basil is definitely a plant you should try growing. It provides both good taste and health benefits and is easy to care for.
Lemon basil thrives in full sun or partial shade with good drainage. It requires regular watering but the soil should not be too wet. Put in a pot with plenty of room for the roots and the Lemon Basil can grow into a perennial small tree , like the Holy Basilica . However, this requires that you move the plant inside before winter, as Lemon Basil is sensitive to frost. You can also plant directly in the ground in a greenhouse if you make sure that the winter temperature does not fall below 0 ºC. Alternatively, grow directly in the ground as an annual.
Cut off inflorescences to encourage growth of foliage. However, the inflorescences are edible and aromatic as well.
Lemon basil is also known to be resistant to pests and diseases, and thus works well as a natural protection for the plants you place it around. However, it is still important to keep an eye out for any signs of fungal or insect infestation.
To get a rich harvest of healthy leaves, it is important to keep the soil moist, but not wet. It is also important to give the plant enough nutrients and space to grow.
To sow lemon basil, fill a pot or seed container with moist, well-drained soil. Spread the seeds evenly over the soil and press them down gently. Then cover the seed with a thin layer of soil or sand to hold the seeds in place.
To conserve moisture, cover the seed with plastic wrap or a plastic bag with air holes. Then put the seed in a warm place with good drainage and leave it until the seeds have germinated. It usually takes between 5-15 days for the seeds to germinate.
Plant position: partial shade/sun
Height: 30-150 cm
Germination time: 5-15 days