Pesto Perpetuo Basil: Plant Profile and Growing Tips

Genus: Ocimum
Species: basilicum
Variety: Pesto Perpetuo
Full Sun
Soil pH 5.5 to 6.5
Hardiness zones as perennial 9 to 11
Days to Germination: n/a
Days to Maturity: 30-60 days
Foliage Color: Tricolor Lime Green, Creamy white, Dark Green stripes
Non Flowering
Plant Height: 20 to 24 inches claims of up to 4 feet tall
Plant Width: 16 to 18 inches
Frost Sensitive

Pesto Perpetuo is non-flowering and does not produce seed so must be started from cuttings or small purchased plants. The lack of flowers allows more energy to go into the production of foliage which in the case of basil is what you are actually aiming for. It is a patented plant, the patent holder, Sunny Border Nurseries of Connecticut thrives on the fact that it is non flowering as well.

Tricolor variegation makes awesome eye candy for any landscape or garden. Plants grow in a columnar fashion, straight up, reaching a height of around 2 feet tall. With adequate light this basil will fare well indoors over the winter. Hardy outdoors only in zones 9-11.

In the culinary realm fans of traditional Mediterranean / Italian style pesto may be disappointed as the flavor is somewhat Lemony and a tad minty, not conducive to traditional pesto. Herb pesto’s, Melded with other herbs and spices or even a mint sauce for lamb works well.

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.