Lettuce Leaf Basil

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Easily Grown Tasty Alternative to Lettuce

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Genus: Ocimum

Species: basilicum

Variety: Lettuce Leaf

Open Pollinated

Full Sun

Soil pH 5.5 to 6.5

Hardiness zones 9 to 11

Days to Germination: 5 to 10 days

Days to Maturity: 70 to 75 days

Foliage Color: Green

Bloom Color: Off White

Plant Height: Avg. 10 to 14 inches

Frost Sensitive - Don't plant it too early in the spring.

Lettuce Leaf Basil

So long as the temperature is right lettuce leaf basil is one of the easiest types of basil to grow. Seed, water and voila off it grows.

Lettuce leaf Basil has very large, puckered leaves with a mild sweeter taste and just a hint cloves. It grows well indoors and fares well outdoors in the correct climatic zones and seasons. It is not tolerant of cool weather at all, night time temperatures should be consistently above 50F before placing outside.

The leaves work well in pesto and similar culinary endeavors but work great in salads, sandwiches or as a wrap. It is a flavorful deviation from lettuce.

Basic Care of Basil

Water - Basil requires ample and persistent water. Mulch to retain moisture in warm weather is advisable.

Delicate flowers on Basil are attractive however they are a sign your plant is going to seed and production will decline at this point. If you are not looking to harvest seeds, you should pinch off any flower stems as they appear.

Temperature - Basil thrives in warm temperatures and heat. It will turn black and die off in temperatures approaching the mid 30s F. Temperatures should be at the very least in the 70s around the clock.

Optimal Growth Temperature 65 to 85 F

Germination Temperature 70 to 75 F

Pests and Disease


Basil has some enemies, Beetles, particularly Japanese Beetles, love Basil as much as people do and have been known to completely skeletonize whole plants. Aphids are also a problem at times. Most varieties are also subject to various plant diseases such as black spot, gray mold and fusarium wilt.