Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum
Native: Probably Africa, but in cultivation for so long that it cannot be verified.
Hardiness: Frost-sensitive annual
Plant Dimensions: 8″–16″ tall, 20″ wide. Low, spreading habit.
Variety Information: 1 ½”–2″ long, lime green, narrow, elliptical leaves with a strong, lemony scent and flavor. White flowers (if allowed to bloom). Lemon basil, also called Thai lemon basil or Lao basil, is used in traditional Indonesian, Laotian, and Thai cuisine.
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Attributes: Good for Containers
When to Sow Outside: 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 60°F, ideally 65°–85°F. Successive Sowings: We recommend 3 or 4 successive sowings every 3 weeks after initial sowing.
When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting outside. Transplant when your nighttime temperatures are above 50°F.
Days to Emerge: 5 – 10 Days
Seed Depth: ¼”
Seed Spacing: A group of 2 seeds every 12″
Row Spacing: 12″
Thinning: When 2″ tall, thin to 1 every 12″
Harvesting: Basil flavor is best before the plant flowers. Harvest up to 1/3 of the plant at a time, leaving enough for the plant to be healthy and keep producing. Harvest prior to a frost; basil is very frost sensitive.