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Lemon Basil (Ocimum citriodorum) has a strong lemony smell and flavour. It contains the chemical called citral which is found in citrus fruits. Lemon Basil is widely used in Indonesia, where herbs are essential in everyday cooking; excellent in raw summer salads and with fish and duck. The white flowers are also edible and add a zesty garnish to your salads.
Sow the lemon basil seeds from February onwards inside or outside from May, in small pots, or in fine seedbed.
Just cover the seeds with fine compost/soil, can be grown inside all year round, germination 10-15 days, keep the soil slightly moist, do not overwater. Basil needs a temperature of 18 Celsius and above to germinate successfully.
Transplant outside in June, to a sunny/partly shady position. Plants like slightly dry conditions and the concentration of the essential oils will be higher.
Keep picking the leaves to encourage further production.
Pick the leaves just before flowering if you want to dry and keep them. To preserve the full flavour of the leaves the best is to freeze the leaves or chop the leaves and mix with water then make ice cubes with the miture. Excellent in summer cocktails.