Lime Basil

As the name implies, lime basil has a citrus scent and flavor that make it ideal for use with poultry and fish. It’s not a difficult plant to grow if you want it fresh in your garden. You need to provide the plant with a warm, sunny environment averaging around 80 degrees daily, with about four hours of sunlight.

This basil seems a little more heat tolerant than sweet basil, but it still requires moist (not wet) soil and a good size pot. As the basil plant grows pinch back the flowers so it produces more leaves that also have better aroma and flavor than un-pruned plants produce.

When you want fresh leaves for any purpose, snip off only 1/3 of the basil branch. This opens up the rest of the plant for new growth without shocking it. At full height this particular herb grows between 1 to 2 feet tall, making it a beautiful addition to garden borders. Better still, on warm summer days you’ll smell the scent on the wind – it’s like natural aromatherapy!

lime basil, basil plants, growing basil
Have you grown, tasted, cooked with or had any experience at all with this basil variety? If you have, I'd love to hear about it! Share your experience here.

Colder Climes

 lime basil, basil plants, growing basilIf you live in a four-season environment it’s best to start this basil indoors about 7 weeks before your growing season begins. Between 5 days and 2 weeks after planting, seedlings appear, growing about 2” tall. These can be transplanted into your garden. Within a month you’ll have basil leaves big enough for use in salads. The plants mature in two months.

Culinary Uses

You can use this basil cultivar in any way you’d normally use culinary basil. It’s excellent in pesto, makes a refreshing addition to potato salad, and acts as a substitute for parsley in both garlic bread or on scallops, or as a pasta garnish. Because basil is considered a sweet herb you might consider making a lime basil jelly or jam, or add some basil to cocktails like Mojitos.

Hint: To change things up from time to time, try swapping out this basil for lemon basil for zest in recipes.


Lime basil, having the aroma of two specific herbs, provides a lovely combination for aromatherapy. The main effect is one of refreshment and easy a weary mind. Individuals with colds will find that it decreases congestion similarly to lemon. People who suffer from stress related disorders often find that a lime basil tea doubles as both aromatherapy and good bi-daily additive to keep nervousness and anxiety to a minimum.


In Ayurveda, healers use basil plants to improve digestion, support the nervous system, and aid with alertness. However this herb is counter indicated for pregnant women, epileptics, and should be avoided before bed as it sometimes disrupts the sleep cycle.

Overall this basil offers the same benefits as culinary basil. Note however that this is not Holy Basil, which has slightly diversified applications.

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Lime Basil has a delightful flavor delicate enough to add pizzas to deserts like vanilla ice-cream yet strong enough to enhance baked eggplant. I especially …

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