How to Harvest & Care for Lemon Basil

When to Plant Lemon Basil Seeds

Since lemon basil is a delicate plant, it is best to plant its seeds in warm weather. Most likely March or April. However, it depends on the climate of your area. The weather temperature shouldn’t be lower than 60F° (15C°) during the day and night time.

I recommend planting the seedlings indoors in pot soil for about 5 to 6 weeks before moving it outdoor. It should be strong enough to be transplanted to ground soil once it has produced at least 2 leaves of its set.

This superb herb plant can survive winter only if you place it indoors. That is because lemon basil loves warmth. And in addition to that, this plant is annual. Once it finishes its life cycle, it, unfortunately, dies.

The process of planting lemon basil is not as complicated as it may seem, it is quite easy. It only needs a little extra care, but it is definitely worthwhile.

If you live in a tropical area such as North America, North Australia, Malaysia, where the weather is humid and damp; and also the temperature is always between 68F° to 95° (20C° to 35°), then you are able to plant it at any season outdoors.

How To Plant Lemon Basil

Get your seeds, a pot with holes on the bottom, and pot soil mixture ready! Fill in the desired pot with soil and then poke little holes. Put the seeds a finger apart from each other (Do not put the seeds too deep.) Cover them with soil again gently. And then, water the pot lightly (do not soak the pot.)

Lemon basil seedlings would be able to germinate and grow faster if the right conditions are provided. Placing the pot indoors would be the best choice. The place needs to be warm as mentioned before. The cold temperature would not allow the germinating process to occur. Water only when you notice the soil dry.

If you want to plant lemon basil during winter and you are worried about the temperature, use a plastic container with a plastic cover (such as cake or cookies plastic containers). The container needs to have holes as well to drain out the excess water. Plant your seeds, water them, and then cover them. Let them grow for about a couple of weeks until the initial growth. Note that covering the container would require less watering as the soil will not dry fast. You can keep the plant either in a pot or transplant it to the ground if the weather gets warm.

You would also need to provide 24h/7 light for better results. You do not need to get those special grow lights for plants. The normal white light will do.


How to Care for Lemon Basil

Basil in general is a great repellent for pests with all of its varieties. Lemon basil can repel some insects naturally, so you do not need to worry much about that. However, you need to stay on the lookout for any spider mites, slugs, or snails. You can check my other blog post about how to treat spider mites fast.

You can use fertilizers after 5 or 6 weeks if you want even faster results.

Be careful on how and when to water your plant. For example, I water my plant only in the early morning. Make sure to avoid touching the main branches of the plant with water to avoid diseases (Mildew)

Once the plant grows a little bit taller, you can prune it to encourage the growth of the other stems. There are many ways how to store and preserve your lemon basil leaves once you harvest them.

If you want to obtain more lemon basil for free, wait until the plant blooms its white beautiful flowers. After that, let them turn brownish in color like in the picture below. Rub the flowers and you should obtain little tiny seeds. You can choose to either save them or harvest them directly.

Lemon Basil.
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