Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Basil
Ocimum americanum 'Lime'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ocimum (OSS-ih-mum) (Info)
Species: americanum (a-mer-ih-KAY-num) (Info)
Cultivar: Lime

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

29 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow after last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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By Kauai17
Thumbnail #1 of Ocimum americanum by Kauai17

By Kauai17
Thumbnail #2 of Ocimum americanum by Kauai17

By dmj1218
Thumbnail #3 of Ocimum americanum by dmj1218

By gapchwillow
Thumbnail #4 of Ocimum americanum by gapchwillow

By gapchwillow
Thumbnail #5 of Ocimum americanum by gapchwillow

By gapchwillow
Thumbnail #6 of Ocimum americanum by gapchwillow

By juhur7
Thumbnail #7 of Ocimum americanum by juhur7

There are a total of 8 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Sherilou On Jun 19, 2013, Sherilou from Panhandle Gulf Coast, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I planted Lime Basil all around the perimeter of my garden as a deer and mosquito repellant... it really works! A big bonus is that the honey bees absolutely love the blooms. I also noticed that vegetables, growing right next to the Lime Basil, had no pests... even the stink bugs stayed clear of it.

A trading pal of mine said that it smells like Fruit Loops Cereal. It's a really wonderful citrus scent. An easy-to-grow plant that's surprisingly heat and drought tolerant.

Positive mrhank On May 22, 2012, mrhank from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

LOVE THIS PLANT! Grew four groups of Basils from seed this spring and thought I'd see how they stacked up comparatively. Genovese, Sweet, Red Rubin and Lime. Started them all on the potting bench in small seedling pots (dozens of 'em) and worked 'em up to larger pots and then into the gardens.

The Lime was the smallest and most different (it isn't Ocimum basilcum) and my initial thought was that it was not going to be a favorite. HOWEVER, of all my various seedlings the LIME had the highest survival rate from tiny seedling to well-rooted plantable stock... so I put it in the garden in many places. Wow am I glad I did.

The plant is smaller than basilicum but it is healthy, thick and vigorous everywhere The color is lime green not the deep green of Genovese. And the flavor is unbelievably potent... no hint of basil at all... just lime (to be accurate, I've not planted a bunch of other Lemon/Lime varieties). I've planted it several places over gladious bulbs and the combo looks good to me: large sword shaped glad leaves piercing a bouquet of lime green.

It does best in parts of my garden that aren't just baked by the sun (South Texas - ouch). If something near it can blow and give it just a hint of shade from time to time (the cluster of glad leaves), it seems to appreciate it.

As another commenter noted: it RACES to flower. I go out and pinch off several dozen little inflorescences every morning on my way out the door. EVERY DAY. (I can see how this might be a problem... I like doing this as it is quick and easy and makes me look closely as different parts of my gardens every morning for 5 minutes.) Very happy with it now.

Looking forward to seeing how it makes through the whole season.

Will grow again next year.

Positive gapchwillow On Apr 28, 2008, gapchwillow from Macomb, IL wrote:

I grew my basil from seed sown in a container partially sunk in the ground for moisture retention. There were probably 10-12 plants in the pot and they grew into the amazing mound shape that you see in my photo. I recently moved to a new construction house sadly lacking in landscaping appeal so this was quite welcome. From a distance the basil looked like an ornamental shrub planted next to my patio! The butterflies and bees loved the flowers and I loved using the fresh leaves for cooking. I left the plants over winter and they were visited by numbers of juncos who feasted on the seeds. I hope I'm able to duplicate the results this year.

Positive dmj1218 On May 1, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

For basil, this one smells really nice and strong (scent holds up well in the heat also) is a small-leaved variety and I found it to grow just fine in a pot. The smaller leaf varieties tend to do better for me in pots than the large leaf types. Probably because they require less water in Houston summers. I'll give it a positive rating, but then there are few basils I dislike!

Neutral Breezymeadow On Sep 1, 2005, Breezymeadow from Culpeper, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I grew this from seed this year for the first time, & from what I'd heard from other gardeners & cooks, expected to be "wowed", but instead ended up rather disappointed.

Sowed seed indoors in late March & had 100% germination within 4 days. Planted out in large deck containers in late spring.

While my regular "Sweet Italian" Basil & "Sweet Dani" Lemon Basil took off & produced a bounty of leaves, the Lime remained rather small & stalky with tiny leaves by comparison. In addition, keeping it deadheaded is a full-time job - it runs to seed at supersonic speed.

I was also somewhat disappointed in its flavor, finding it nearly indistinguishable from lemon varieties. Since I do have seed left, will probably give it another chance to "wow" me next season out in the garden, but won't hold my breath.

I'm giving it a neutral rather than negative rating in deference to the possibility that it might not be a good container basil. Will re-review next time after trying it out in the garden.

Positive Kauai17 On Jul 25, 2005, Kauai17 from Leander, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is my new favorite herb. I love it! Planted it back in the Spring and it took off very quickly. It has grown very fast and flowered several times. Think key lime pie because that is exactly what it smells like. The bees and butterflies flock to this herb!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Emerald Lake Hills, California
Lawndale, California
Menifee, California
Paramount, California
Miami, Florida
Panama City, Florida
Welaka, Florida
Macomb, Illinois
Anderson, Indiana
Ewing, Kentucky
Saucier, Mississippi
Saint Louis, Missouri
Silver Springs, Nevada
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Houston, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas

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