Name: Ocimum × citriodorum (aka Ocimum x africanum or Ocimum citriodorum) ‘Pesto Perpetuo’ aka variegated basil
Type of Plant: No matter what you call it, this is an annual herb that is both tasty and beautiful.
Why I love this plant: This basil grows tall (18 inches to 2 feet) and thin. It doesn’t flower and the pale green leaves that are edged in white are very ornamental. It is also as basil-flavor-filled as the green Italian basil, so it is perfect for cooking and garnishes. I have found that ‘Pesto Perpetuo’ isn’t very susceptible to basil downy mildew…it’s not impervious, mind you, but the plants are among the last to fall and make it through the entire summer for me, lasting longer than lemon or spice basil. Use this plant in containers or gardens…it can be used as a central, upright element in containers and in gardens looks best when massed.
A Word to the Wise: Like other basil plants, this one loves the heat. Don’t plant it outside too early in the spring…wait until the temperatures overnight are reliably above 50 degrees. Try not to get the foliage wet when the plants are watered. If you use overhead watering, don’t sprinkle the foliage too frequently.
Do you know where the seed for this impressive basil can be purchased??
Thank you for all the useful information you so generously send out to us through various channels. You are appreciated!
Thank you, Irene. It means a great deal to me to hear this…thanks for taking the time to write.
Is the pesto perpetual organic and non-gmo
It is a non-gmo plant. How a plant is grown determines if it’s organic or not, so you’d have to ask about that to the people who are growing the plant or the garden center that sells it.
Where tod buy these seeds
Doty – you can’t grow this from seed. It’s a plant that’s propagated by cuttings.
Do you need to prune this basil? I bought one that was a foot tall. This, too, is my favourite type of basil.
You don’t need to prune but if you use the basil over the summer you’ll be pinching the top pieces off to help branching. It’s a tall, thin plant no matter what.