Scientific Name: Ocimum americanum
Common Name: Basil 'Lime', Lime-Scented Basil, Hoary Basil, Hairy Basil, Limehairy
Lime Basil is an open-pollinated species of basil native to Africa, India, China and South-East Asia where it has been grown and collected from the wild for centuries.
Lime Basil leaves contain a high concentration of the essential oil citral, giving them their distinctive lime aroma and flavour. Lime basil can be used to give a slightly different twist to any recipe that normally calls for basil. Lime basil pairs excellently with fish and other seafood and can also be used to make pesto. The tasty leaves make a great addition whole in salads or they can be chopped finely and added to salad dressings and vinaigrettes. Lime basil leaves alone or mixed with other herbs can be infused with boiling water and drunk as a tea.
Choose a growing site for lime basil that receives full sun or light shade. Ensure the soil is free draining, build a raised garden bed for your basil plants if your soil is compacted or heavy with clay. Dig lots of organic fertiliser, compost, well-rotted manures and worm castings through your vegetable patch prior to sowing lime basil seeds. Mulch around basil plants well to retain moisture, keep their root systems cool and suppress weed growth. Pinch out and harvest the tips of your basil plants as they grow to encourage them to put out additional side shoots and become bushier. Fertilise lime basil plants monthly with an organic liquid fertiliser or dynamic lifter. Pinch out the flower shoots as they form to prolong the life of your lime basil plants. Water lime basil plants regularly, daily is ideal. This variety is resistant to most of the pests that attack other varieties of basil.
When To Sow:
Sow lime basil seeds from September to December in cooler and temperate regions of Australia. In subtropical regions of Australia sow lime basil seeds from August to December. Lime basil can be grown successfully all year round in tropical regions of Australia.
How To Sow:
Sow lime basil seeds 6mm deep, spacing or thinning plants to about 20cm apart to give them room to grow.
Lime Basil seeds take between 7 and 10 days to germinate once sown.
Time To Harvest:
Lime Basil takes between 10 and 11 weeks to produce decent quantities of leaves, although individual leaves may be harvested sooner.