Lemon basil is one of the herbs with nice leaves and the scent that is exotic. Many planters have fallen in love with this plant. It has unique characteristics as well but to use this plant at its best you have to have the right knowledge in harvesting it properly. Its a good plant to add to your citrus herbs.
This plant belongs to the family of basils. It has specific needs so you can harvest well. The rich taste usually comes from the essential oil you can extract from it which you usually get in the early morning. This is the same reason why the herb garden will smell great in the hours before the sun rises. This is a good point to remember when you want to harvest it and have the best kind. The rich fragrance that you can extract from the essential oils is at its peak in the early hours of the morning.
Cutting the top part of the lemon basil leaving it growing back faster and better. Trimming the plant from time to time will make the stem stronger and it will grow bigger. The taste will also become more intense. Trimming is also necessary because the tip tends to wither and if it’s not cut the plant may die. You can use sharp scissors for doing this. After a few days you can cut the middle stems and the plant will become healthy again. This is important because it is ideal to harvest the plant just six inches down the cuttings which will help it retain the same good quality.
In harvesting the leaves you can either use the scissors to cut or use your hands to lightly pinch them but you have to get the ones on top. The right time is when it is already producing flowers. Pinch or cut the ones that are already out so you will let it have more leaves the next time it blossoms. Cutting after you harvest is also a good tip so the plant can absorb more nutrients.
The fresh type has the best flavor. You can dry it by putting a string on the stems and tie them up in a bunch and hang it to dry. The best place is in a warm place of the house. You can later crumble it to provide smaller particles and you can put them in a clean jar and seal it to retain the scent and flavor.