Lemon basil is a hybrid between regular basil and African basil, primarily grown in northeastern Africa and southern Asia. But, you can try growing it yourself, too! Lemon basil has a distinct lemon aroma that is especially pungent when chopped or cooked. To maximize flavor, it’s best to add lemon basil at the end of the cooking process. Growing lemon basil provides you with a tangy, aromatic flavor that pairs well with fish and other dishes that use the lemon fruit itself. Lemon basil plants are pretty and add dimension and texture to any herb garden—plus, lemon basil care is simple and easy.
- Full sun (six to eight hours)
- 6.0 to 7.0
- 4 to 9 as an annual
- 10 to 11 as a perennial
- 10 to 12 inches apart
- Water every 7 to 10 days
- Grows up to 1 1/2 feet tall
- Narrow, elongated, light-green, oval leaves
- Lemon-scented white flowers
- Can be grown from seeds or transplants in well-drained soil
- Great in poultry and fish dishes, on salads, preserved in oils and vinegars—or even as an added flavoring for cookies, scones, and other baked goods
Do you grow lemon basil? If so, please tell us your top tips for ensuring a bountiful harvest and exactly how you use it.