Genovese Basil, also called Sweet Basil, has large, tender, fragrant leaves and sweet, spicy anise flavor. The best basil for pesto. The flower spikes dotted with tiny white edible flowers make a delicate garnish or salad addition. This heat-loving herb is a reliable producer and all-around great Italian basil.
Use it in pesto, pasta and pizza sauce, Caprese salad, antipasto, curries, cocktails, smoothies, dressing, herb butter, oil, vinegar, and herbal tea.
Harvest the leaves and stems from the top part of the plant, and pinch off edible flower buds as they appear, which prevents the leaves from turning bitter, and signals the plant to branch out and grow more leaves, making a bushier plant.
The more you harvest, the more it grows!
- Sweet and spicy
- Grows 2'-3' tall
- Besto for pesto
- Good for containers
- Tons of medicinal benefits!
As a medicinal herb, Basil has been used internally to treat anxiety, colds, colic, cough, depression, diarrhea, fever, flatulence, flu, indigestion, insomnia, intestinal parasites and worms, exhaustion, gastric pain, gonorrhea, lactation problems, migraine headache, nausea, stomach cramps, sore throat, and vomiting, and externally to treat acne, insect bites and stings, loss of smell, skin problems, snake bites.
⚠️ Do not use medicinally while pregnant.
⚠️ Medicinal properties are presented as information only, and are not a recommendation or prescription for use. Consult a medical professional before using any herb medicinally.
SEED PLANTING TIPS
- Botanical name: Ocimum basilicum
- Life cycle: Herbaceous annual
- Hardiness zones: 8-10
- Planting season: Spring, summer
- Days to maturity: 60-80 days; can begin harvesting when 6" tall
- Depth to plant seeds: 1/4" deep
- Days to germinate (sprout): 5-10 days
- Germination soil temps: 70F-75F
- Spacing between plants: 12"-18" apart
- Spacing between rows: 18"-24" apart
- # of plants per sq. ft.: Appx. 1 plant per sq. ft.
- Soil types: Sandy, loamy, silty, rich, moist, well-drained
- Soil pH: 6.0-7.5
- Sun needs: Full sun
- Water needs: High - keep soil moist
- Cold stratify: No
- Frost tolerant: No
- Heat tolerant: Yes
- Drought tolerant: No
- Deer resistant: Yes
- Culinary use: Yes
- Medicinal use: Yes
Good companion plants: Anise, Asparagus, Beet, Borage, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Chamomile, Chives, Collards, Cilantro/Coriander, Dill, Eggplant, Fenugreek, Garlic, Jicama, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Leek, Lettuce, Marigold, Mint, Mustard, Onion, Oregano, Parsley, Parsnip, Pepper, Potato, Purslane, Radish, Rutabaga, Salad Burnet, Shiso, Tomato, Turnip, Yarrow
As a companion plant, it attracts hummingbirds, pollinators, and beneficial insects, and repels asparagus beetles, cabbage moths, cabbage white fly, cabbage worms, carrot rust fly, flies, maggots, mice, mosquitoes, spider mites, thrips, and tomato hornworms.
Genovese Basil is a classic! It's prized for being sweet with undertones of a spicy flavor. You can't beat it's aroma. These plants grow anywhere from 18"-24" inches and is the variety of choice for making pesto and adding to pizzas.
What is Genovese Basil?
The most commonly used basil variety for making pesto, you can harvest these leaves as soon as they are large enough to consume. Genovese basil is also known as "Sweet Basil" and a common ingredient to all Italian dishes. The leaves are spoon shaped, glossy and a dark green shade. It grows best in organic-rich and well drained soil and is an easy to grow annual herb that thrives in areas that remain above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Health Benefits of Genovese Basil
Genovese basil is a known health tonic for expecting mothers and when mixed with tea it increases lactation in mothers. It is also a nerve tonic and young children are sometimes encouraged to chew on the leaves of basil because it stimulates brain cells and can increase memory.
Ways to Consume Genovese Basil
The most popular use is in italian dishes and sauces, especially in genovese sauce and pesto. Genovese Basil goes great in caprese salads and on raw tomatoes for a light, healthy "summery" treat. Mix basil leaves with olive oil and freeze in ice-cube trays for flavored oils when cooking.
See Basil Recipes & Growing Tips on our Pinterest Board
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