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Pesto Besto Sweet Italian Basil Ocimum hybrid

  • Sun
Flower Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
Mature Size
2'6" 2' 76cm 61cm
Height: 18" - 2'6"
Spread: 12" - 2'
Height: 46cm - 76cm
Spread: 30cm - 61cm
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  • Details

    18 - 30 Inches
    12 - 18 Inches
    12 - 24 Inches
    46cm - 76cm
    30cm - 46cm
    30cm - 61cm


    Pesto Besto is the most amazing seed basil you’ve ever seen. This is truly a game-changing plant—it is the most downy mildew resistant seed grown Italian sweet basil. Downy mildew is a disease that often plagues basil. This large, vigorous plant produces a high yield of usable, deliciously aromatic leaves. The more you harvest, the better it grows. It’s time to make the switch from your old basil to Pesto Besto. You’ll never look back!

    Basil is notorious for being quite susceptible to downy mildew. Pesto Besto, however, has excellent resistance to Downy Mildew, which will keep plants growing and producing for home gardeners throughout the entire season. This is an amazing improvement in basil.
     For best flavor and leaf production, harvest and or pinch regularly to promote fresh tender growth.  If heavy flowering happens late in the season that will likely affect taste, but when it is actively growing new leaves and shoots it will have its best flavor. 
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    Fragrant Foliage
    Disease Resistant
    Foliage Interest
    Heat Tolerant


    Plant Type: 
    Height Category: 
    Garden Height: 
    18 - 30 Inches 46cm - 76cm
    12 - 18 Inches 30cm - 46cm
    12 - 24 Inches 30cm - 61cm
    Foliage Colors: 
    Foliage Shade: 
    Container Role: 

    Plant Needs

    Light Requirement: 

    The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).

    Maintenance Category: 
    Bloom Time: 
    Grown for Foliage
    Hardiness Zones: 
    10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
    Water Category: 
    Border Plant
    Edible Herb
    Uses Notes: 

    Oh, the flavor of sweet basil!
    It took years to create this amazingly aromatic, easy-to-grow basil that’s about to become the star of your herb garden. Its incredible vigor and resistance to downy mildew means you will have plenty to harvest for fresh pasta dishes, bruschetta and more all summer long. Expect each plant to reach 18-30” tall and spread up to 2’ before flowering.

    Maintenance Notes: 

    Harvest sprays of leaves by cutting stems just above two new sprouting lateral branches to get lush regrowth. One of the most common disease issues in basil is downy dildew.  This basil is downy mildew resistant and has little to no seed set. If it does happen to produce a few flowers, pinch them off and it will continue to produce leaves to use in your kitchen.

    Pesto Besto plants will reach full size in about 4-6 weeks after transplanting them from a 4” container into the landscape or a larger pot. Your location and temperatures can impact how quickly the plant grows for you. In any case, you should be able to start harvesting from your plant pretty regularly within a few weeks after transplanting to your garden or patio planter.  Pesto Besto is usually late to flower, but flowers may sporadically appear. The flowers can easily be pinched off.  You’ll be making pesto to your hearts content in no time!

    Pesto Besto can aslo be grown from seed. 

    Start indoors 6 weeks before the last frost, then transplant outdoors once temperatures consistently remain above 65°. To maximize germination ,keep the soil moist at 70°F to stimulate sprouting.


    • Days to Germinate – 5-10 days
    • Transplant to Harvest – 40-50 days
    • Planting Depth – 1/4”
    • Plant Spacing After Thinning – 12”
    • Row Spacing – 24”
    • Exposure – Full sun (6+ hours)
  • 2 Reviews

    Browse reviews from people who have grown this plant.
    • I am so glad that Proven Winners has this plant to sell online for 2024. I bought this plant in 2022 online from PW and I was amazed at the size and bushiness of the plant. The taste was fresh and strong, a great addition to any salad or dish. I also made pesto to have for twice a month for a year, all from just one plant. Forward to 2023 and big disappointment on my initial yearly order, and Pesto Besto was not sold online, only offering in seed form, which I didn't want. I bought the Amazel Basil, that turned out to be also great, very similar to the other, but not as bushy. When it came time to plant the Amazel Basil in the same pot I had used for the Pesto Besto, but with new dirt, I notice that in the old pot with the old dirt there was a tiny leaf about 1/8 of an inch sprouting up. I picked it up, thinking it was a weed, but something made me smell it, and lo and behold it was a miniature old Pesto Besto plant. It was so small that I didn't think anything would grow, but this seedling plant that you could hardly see, grew to full size, even bigger than the Amazel Basil that was growing on a different pot side by side! Somebody should write an ode, to this plant, since it's amazing! Thank you PW for having it available for 2024. BTW, the flowers at the end, I leave for the pollinators. They love it. I don't clean my pots until the spring, so I'll be extra careful, looking at any seedlings that resembled weed, to not be thrown out.

      Lillian E. Davids
      , North Carolina
      , United States
      , 20 weeks ago
    • This grew very well in my vertical Greenstalk garden. Great flavor and it didn't go to seed like other basils I've grown. Will definitely make this part of my garden each year. It might also be fun to grow indoors this winter!

      Shelly Coleman
      , Washington
      , United States
      , 2 years ago
  • 1 Award

    Award Year Award Plant Trial
    2021 Top Performer University of Guelph
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