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A picture of a Lemon Basil

Lemon Basil

Ocimum americanum

Also known as

Hoary Basil, Suurlemoen Basiliekruid (Afr.), Lime Basil, Basil

Photo by Mahomed Desai (CC BY 4.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Lemon Basil

A close up of a Ocimum americanum plant
A close up of a green Ocimum americanum Lemon Basil plant

Lemon Basil Overview

Lemon Basil is similar to Sweet Basil in its cultivation and growth habit. It has an added lemon flavour and aroma in the leaves. It is grown for use in Eastern cooking. Also known by the names American Basil or Hoary Basil, this herbaceous plant is an annual from the Lamiaceae family, originating from across the Tropical and Subtropical Old World. Easy to grow, maintain and can be grown in a container indoors. Lemon Basil can also be grown as an ornamental, it produces pretty, small white-purple flowers.

Common problems with Lemon Basil

Lemon Basil Companion Plants

How to harvest Lemon Basil

Harvest leaves and shoots weekly or as needed, but never defoliate the whole plant!

How to propagate Lemon Basil


Sow seeds in spring. Seedlings will reach 15cm in 3–4 weeks and should be pinched or harvested for the first time to let them branch out. Transplant to thin out.


Soak stem cuttings in water, after a week, roots will begin to appear, leave for 2-3 weeks changing the water every few days, plant out into pots or into the garden.

Special features of Lemon Basil

Pot plant

Provide a sunny position, a well drained medium and give regular waterings.

Repels harmful insects

Repels tomato and potato pests.

Attractive leaves

Attractive flowers

Other uses of Lemon Basil

Medicinal or culinary uses.


Especially in Indian cuisine


Prevent a headache, sooth an ear infection or reduce blood sugar with basil!