Genovese Basil

Ideal for Italian, French or Greek recipes.



genovese basil

Key Facts

  • Ideal for Italian, French or Greek recipes.
  • Easy to grow.
  • Takes about 2 to 3 months to grow
  • Seeds available online – Full details on Amazon



  • Genovese basil is originally from the Indian subcontinent but very much linked to Italy.
  • A stronger flavour, very much the basil preferred by chefs – a bit like a combination of aniseed and cloves
  • Ideal for cooking Mediterranean or European Dishes..
  • Days from seed to harvest – about 40 to 70 (2 to 3 months)
  • About 30 to 60 cm high

Typical recipes

Sweet or Genovese basil is the ideal herb to grow if you like cooking Mediterranean or European Dishes.

For example Italian, French or Greek recipes.

Example recipes:

But do you grow either Sweet Basil or do you grow Genovese Basil?

If you buy basil in a shop in the UK then you will most likely get either sweet or genovese basil. (very often called the same)

However, even these 2 European varieties are different.

Where sweet basil has a flavor tasting a bit like a blend of licorice and cloves with a hint of mint. Whereas Genovese basil is a stronger flavour preferred by chefs – a bit like a combination of aniseed and cloves.

So if your recipes require a subtle flavour grow sweet basil at home. On the other hand if you prefer a stronger flavour (ideal for either Italian or dishes containing tomatoes) grow genovese basil at home.


How to grow Basil

Genovese basil is ideally suited for planting outside in a pot on a balcony or terrace or inside on a sunny windowsill (or using lighting)

It loves warm very sunny conditions and hates cold draughts. If you want to grow basil in soil then:

  • Sow thinly into soil at a depth of 6mm
  • Will germinate in 12 to 40 days
  • Thin the seedlings or transplant leaving 38 cm between plants


Growing Basil using Hydroponics or Aquaponics

Basil is one of the most popular herbs to grow using hydroponics – as it will be ready to be harvested quicker than planted in soil.

But in addition it is ideal for aquaponics – especially because it loves nitrogen. In addition, whether using hydroponics or aquaponics you will be able to grow it all year around – providing you with fresh herhs when you want it.

The classic large-leaved Italian sweet basil prized for its spicy flavour and wonderful aroma.

More information on genovese basil seeds


  1. Minze Vries

    Absolute wonderful flavour, and the difference fresh basil makes to your recipes is astounding. Also great to grow using hydroponics or aquaponics

  2. jack

    The plant in the picture looks like Greek Basil – not like sweet basil.

    • Minze Vries

      Thank you, you are quite right.
      Have replaced the picture with the Genovese basil currently growing in my garden

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