Bonnie Plants Genovese Basil is classic Italian basil, crucial for caprese salad and to make pasta sauce (sugo) and great pesto! Large, dark green leaves are tender, delicious, and aromatic. This plant loves warm weather, so be sure to wait until all danger of frost has passed before planting. Does beautifully in containers. Slow to bolt as long as you regularly pinch the blooms. Once it has bolted, use the flowers as garnish for salads, pasta, and drinks.
This variety only available during peak planting season in Arizona, California, New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington.
Type Warm season annual
Planting time After last spring frost
Features Large leaves with intense flavor and a wonderful aroma
Light Full sun
Soil Fertile, well-drained but moist
Spacing 15 to 18 inches apart
Plant size 16 to 18 inches tall, 12 to 16 inches wide
Garden use Containers, herb beds, flower beds
Culinary use Italian and Asian dishes
A woody, branching plant, basil is a warm-weather annual that grows very fast in 80- to 90-degree weather. When growing basil, note that two or three plants will yield plenty of fresh leaves for a family of four — unless you plan to make pesto. (To make and freeze a winter’s supply of pesto, plant a dozen or more.) Many gardeners mix various types of basil in their flower beds, where it is ready for a quick harvest anytime. It is also great for containers.
Quick Guide to Growing Basil
Plant basil 2 weeks after the last spring frost. This flavorful herb is perfect for raised garden beds, containers, and in-ground gardens.
Space basil according to label recommendations, usually 12 to 18 inches apart. Grow in fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Consider a premium bagged potting mix for growing in containers.
Give your garden a great foundation by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter into your native soil.
Basil thrives in moist soil, so check moisture levels often and water deeply once the top inch becomes dry.
As basil plants grow to 4 to 6 inches tall, pinch off the topmost branches to promote more side shoots and a taller plant overall. Be sure to pinch off blooms to prevent your plant from going to seed.
Encourage excellent leaf production by keeping basil fed with a water-soluble plant food.
Once basil grows to 6 to 8 inches, harvest leaves anytime by pinching them off.