Lemon basil - plant, care and recipes


With lemon basil, basil and lemon taste meet. Here you will find tips on planting, grooming and delicious recipes.

© Iva / The lemon basil is also known as the Ocimum Americanum and probably has its origin in East Asia. What is particularly striking is the very strong scent of lemon and the strong aroma of the plant. Therefore, it is often used as a spice or as an ornament for desserts.


  • 1 The ideal location for lemon basil
  • 2 Lemon basil cultivation at a glance
  • 3 lemon basil care
  • 4 lemon basil usage & recipes
Lemon basil is an herb plant that grows only one year. The usual growth height is around 30 cm. For optimal growth, the plant should be sheltered from the wind, but warm and sunny. Sowing is carried out in a special soil. A sowing substrate is also suitable, although it should be permeable to air. It is important that the temperature for sowing is at least 20 degrees Celsius. As soon as the first leaves appear, you can plant them out in the bed or in the pot.

The ideal location for lemon basil

It is possible to grow lemon basil in a pot or in a bed and combine it with other varieties of basil. Lemon basil likes a very sunny and warm location. In contrast, the plant can handle wind less well. It is therefore important that the Ocimum Americanum is only put outdoors from May and at higher temperatures. Although warmth is an important factor for successful growth, lemon basil needs a lot of water and benefits from being fertilized regularly.

Overview of lemon basil cultivation

  • Sowing can take place from mid-March, indoors, in a pot
  • Carry out outdoor cultivation from May or later
  • Sowing should receive a lot of light
  • Spread the seeds only on soil that is already slightly moistened
  • Soil should be loose and sandy

Note: Lemon basil can also be bought directly in the pot. The pots are often placed in the kitchen, because the spice is then ready. However, the lemon basil should be separated and divided into at least three pots. This makes the plant grow faster and more vigorously. Due to the division, the plant can also recover and is not constantly put under stress by the removal of the leaves. This allows a plant to be used longer in the kitchen.

Lemon basil care

Basil reaches an average height of 30 cm, but plants up to 40 cm are also possible. Lemon basil is not hardy and can only one year be used. The maintenance requirements of lemon basil are relatively low. It is important that the plants are warm and sunny and regularly receive water. It is important to ensure that there is no waterlogging.

When harvesting, the small leaves must be removed first. The reason for this is that the lemon basil can perform photosynthesis more effectively over the largest leaves. In this way, the growth is supported and the plants can grow denser.
© HosseinBasirat / | Snap off the purple flowers for better growth Important: Between June and July, the lemon basil will develop purple flowers. The flowers should be removed. They can affect the growth and aroma of the plant.

Lemon basil usage & recipes

Lemon basil can be used to refine dishes and desserts. It is also possible to prepare drinks with the aromatic basil.

Lemon basil lemonade65 g of sugar, 20 large leaves of lemon basil and 3 lemons are required
  • The sugar is boiled together with 65 ml of water until it has completely dissolved (refined sugar).
  • The lemon basil leaves are now washed and dried.
  • Then they should be grated roughly and then come to the warm sugar.
  • Let the mixture steep for about 30 minutes.
  • Squeeze as many lemons until you get 100 ml of juice.
  • Pour the refined sugar through a sieve and squeeze out the basil.
  • Add the lemon juice and approx. 600 ml of cold water to the sugar.
  • Bottle lemon and basil lemonade and store in the refrigerator.
Water with lemon basilLemon basil has a very aromatic taste and can therefore be used well to give water a tasty aroma. 1.5 l of mineral water, five leaves of lemon basil and a lemon are necessary.
  • Wash the lemon and cut it into slices.
  • Place the lemon slices together with the lemon basil leaves in a jug / carafe.
  • Then the water is poured on and everything is chilled.
Lemon basil syrupFor homemade, long-lasting syrup made from lemon basil, 12 lemons (BIO), 1 kg sugar and three stems of lemon basil are required. - makes about 1.5 liters of syrup.
  • The untreated lemons are washed and dried.
  • Then peel and squeeze the lemons.
  • The juice is poured onto the lemon peel and poured with 1 kg of sugar and 600 ml of water.
  • All together should cook for about five minutes.
  • Then the washed basil comes into the pot and the stove is turned down.
  • Let the brew steep for an hour.
  • Then the brew is poured through a sieve and boiled again.
  • Pour the lemon basil syrup into a sterile bottle and keep it around the fridge.