Lime Basil Herb Care – Learn How To Grow Lime Basil Plants


By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

What is lime basil? A close cousin to the more common lemonbasil, lime basil herb has a zesty flavor and a sweet, citrusy aroma. Limebasil is used in a variety of dishes, including chicken, fish, sauces, fruitsalad and Thai dishes. It also makes delicious, refreshing iced tea. Growinglime basil isn’t difficult, and the herbs can be planted in the garden or grownin containers. You can even grow lime basil plants indoors on a bright, sunnywindowsill. Read on to learn more about this citrusbasil variety.

How to Grow Lime Basil

Lime basil plants are commonly grown as annuals. However,the plant is perennial in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. Place theplant where it receives at least six hours of sunlight per day.

Lime basil herb requires well-drained soil. If drainage ispoor, dig in a little compost before planting. If you’re growing lime basilherb in a container, use a good quality commercial potting mix.

You can start lime basil seeds indoors in late winter, aboutsix to eight weeks ahead of the last frost in your climate. However, mostgardeners prefer to buy starter plants at a nursery or garden center.

Allow 12 to 16 inches (25-35 cm.) between plants. Lime basilprefers good air circulation and doesn’t do well in a crowded bed.

Check potted basil plants daily during hot weather asconditions dry out quickly. Keep the foliage as dry as possible to preventdisease. Avoid sprinklers and, instead, use a hose to waterbasil plants at the base.

Feed lime basil plants every four to six weeks during springand summer using a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength. Avoidover feeding, which will weaken the citrusy flavor.

Snip leaves and stems and use them in the kitchen as oftenas you like. The tangy flavor is most pronounced when the plant is harvestedbefore blooming. Cut lime basil back if the plant begins to look spindly.Regular trimming will keep the plant bushy and compact.

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What Garden Plants Need Lime and What Doesn’t

What Garden Plants Need Lime works like magic on many plants by reducing the acidity of the soil, thereby increasing pH levels.

For those of you not familiar with the pH level, it describes how much acid or alkaline is in your soil.

If there’s too much acidity in the soil where you live, along with high levels of other toxic materials such as aluminum, garden plants will struggle to get the nutrients they require to thrive and survive.

With the pH, it’s possible to calculate how much lime is needed to reduce the acidity so your selection of plants will flourish.

Since not all plants require lime, we’ve put together this handy guide to give you an idea of what garden plants need lime and what doesn’t, as well as how to go about the liming process.


Popular Types of Basil

Red rubin basil is already a specific category and there are no other types that fall under it. To educate you further, in this section, we will have a look at the other types of basil that are available:


Growing Basil Everything You Need To Know

Growing Basil Varieties

Before we get into the nitty gritty about growing basil in your garden, let’s talk basil varieties. There are types of basil you may never have even heard of, but you should considering adding them to your herb garden.

  • Genovese Basil – this is your classic sweet basil with just a hint of spice. Perfect for your pesto recipes or Italian dishes. Get Seeds for Genovese Basil Here
  • Italian Basil – Italian basil has large fragrant leaves and can be used much like the Genovese basil. Get Seeds for Italian Basil Here
  • Purple Basil – a stunning addition to any garden! The fragrant basil has gorgeous purple leaves. It is perfect for vinegars and as a garnish. It will do very well in a pot or small garden. Get Seeds for Purple Basil Here
  • Greek Basil – one of the most hardy herbs I’ve ever grown! It has a strong flavor and is great for seasoning a variety of dishes. It is widely used by chefs. Smaller leaves than a traditional basil. Get Seeds for Greek Basil Here
  • Lemon Basil – this basil has a lovely lemony flavor and a little goes a long way! I love it for chicken dishes. Very easy to grow indoors or outdoors. Get Seeds for Lemon Basil Here
  • Other basil varieties to consider: Licorice Basil, Cinnamon Basil, Thai Basil, Red Velvet Basil, Lime Basil,
  • Genovese Basil – this is your classic sweet basil with just a hint of spice. Perfect for your pesto recipes or Italian dishes. Get Seeds for Genovese Basil Here
  • Italian Basil – Italian basil has large fragrant leaves and can be used much like the Genovese basil. Get Seeds for Italian Basil Here
  • Purple Basil – a stunning addition to any garden! The fragrant basil has gorgeous purple leaves. It is perfect for vinegars and as a garnish. It will do very well in a pot or small garden. Get Seeds for Purple Basil Here
  • Greek Basil – one of the most hardy herbs I’ve ever grown! It has a strong flavor and is great for seasoning a variety of dishes. It is widely used by chefs. Smaller leaves than a traditional basil. Get Seeds for Greek Basil Here
  • Lemon Basil – this basil has a lovely lemony flavor and a little goes a long way! I love it for chicken dishes. Very easy to grow indoors or outdoors. Get Seeds for Lemon Basil Here
  • Other basil varieties to consider: Licorice Basil, Cinnamon Basil, Thai Basil, Red Velvet Basil, Lime Basil,

Growing Basil Soil Requirements

Basil is a fairly easy herb to grow with very little soil requirements. Make sure your soil in enriched with some good compost, plenty of drainage with a pH of 6 or 7 ( what is soil pH? ).

Growing Basil Planting

I prefer to start my basil plants indoors and transfer them to my raised beds or pots when the soil will stay warm. When starting seeds you only want to lightly cover with soil and keep the soil moist during germination. You can certainly start your basil with an established transplant from a garden store as well. Basil should be planted where it will get at least 6 hours of sun and 12 to 18 inches apart. I have found the more space you give basil, the bigger it gets!

Caring for Growing Basil

Your growing basil should need little to no additional fertilizer as it a light feeder. It likes moist soil but do not let it get soaked too often because this can lead to root rot and fungus. Basil can occasionally have pests like aphids but generally the biggest issue with growing it is making sure the soil isn’t soaking wet for too long.

Growing Basil in Containers or Indoors

Basil will do very well in a container. Make sure your pot can accommodate a large basil plant. The pot should have good drainage as well and be set in an area that gives it the 6 – 8 hours of required sunlight. You can grow more than one variety of basil in a single container if it is quite large.

You can also grow basil indoors! Again you’ll want a larger pot with good drainage. Keep your indoor basil where it will get adequate sunlight – in a windowsill or near a sliding glass door should work if sun comes in for at least 6 hours there.

Your basil plant may require re-potting because they grow quickly and get large. Keep an eye on it.

Harvesting Basil From Your Garden

One of the most wonderful thing about growing basil is the ability to continually harvest the leaves! You’ll want to harvest your basil when you plant is over 6 inches tall and has some leaves to spare. Simply pinch the leaves, gently, from the stem. You can also use scissors but I find pinching goes much faster. You should also pinch off flowers from your basil plant to keep it producing leaves. Pinching the flowers will also encourage the plant to get fuller as well.

You’ll want to harvest all the basil leaves before your first frost! Don’t worry, it is an annual so it will come back!

Storing the Fresh Basil

Once you’ve harvested your basil you’ll need to store what you do not immediately use.

  • Keep Fresh Basil in your fridge is best done by putting them in a mason jar and covering them loosely with a plastic bag. This should keep them fresh for a week or so.
  • Drying and Dehydrating Basil is great for large batches of basil. There are several methods to accomplish this task. See Drying Your Herbs
  • Freezing basil is a wonderful way to preserve the fresh flavor! Wash the leaves then blend in a food processor with just enough water to make it a puree. Pour the basil puree in to ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen you can pop them out and put them in food storage bags for later use. I recommend using silicone ice trays for this task.

Basil as a Companion Plant in Your Garden

Basil can be a wonderful companion plant for your vegetable garden! Plant near your bell peppers, beans, beets, tomatoes, asparagus, tomatoes, cabbage and eggplants. Basil will make your tomatoes taste even better!

How to Use Fresh Basil

Most people think pesto when it comes to fresh basil. And pesto is amazing! But you can use it to make infused oils, in your salads, as a pizza topping, and to add lovely flavor to chicken and seafood dishes. Using fresh basil will always give you the most flavor much more than dried basil.

Growing Basil for Medicinal Purposes

Basil is said to be a powerful medicinal herb with many uses.

  • Can reduce fevers
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Reduces pain
  • May be a cancer fighter
  • Fights the development of diabetes
  • Protects the liver
  • Boosts immunity
  • Reduces stress

Growing basil in your herb or vegetable garden is really beneficial. It is a hearty plant that will give you more than enough basil for your dishes all year long!



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