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Basil, Pesto Party

Short Description

Our favorite Italian basil for making pesto. Aromatic and packed with flavor.

Full Description

‘Pesto Party’ is the latest-flowering basil from seed, letting you enjoy a preponderance of aromatic fresh-picked leaves deep into the season. Basking prettily in your favorite patio container, well-branching plants produce a continuing flourish of fragrant leaves infused with sweet Italian basil flavor. Late-to-bolt plants are paragons of tolerance to downy mildew—no other basil comes close.
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Item # Product
Item#: 55370A
Order: 1 Pkt. (100 seeds)
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Item#: 22728
Order: 3 Plants
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Product properties

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

50 days

Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.


Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

18-24 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

12-18 inches

Additional Uses Additional ways in which the product may be used in the garden.

Container Plant

Plant Shipping Information

Plants begin shipping week of:

May 07, 2018

Click here for Spring shipping schedule


Item 22728 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state

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Fresh Garden Herbs
Anyone can grow fresh gourmet garden herbs in just a small space or container.
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Growing Basil
It’s the most popular garden herb, easy to grow, and comes in an incredible selection of colors, shapes and flavors.
Watch video
  • Basil

    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: May-02 - Last Date: May-30
    First Date: Mar-07 - Last Date: Mar-21
    First Date: May-02 - Last Date: May-30

Basil may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, or sown directly in the garden, or planted as a potted plant.

Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Sow basil seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit
  • Sow seeds ¼ inches deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots.
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • Direct sow in average soil in full sun after all danger of frost when the soil is at least 60 degrees F.
  • Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth. 
  • Sow seeds evenly and cover with ¼ inches of fine soil. 
  • Firm the soil lightly and keep evenly moist. 
  • Seedlings will emerge in 7-14 days, possibly longer in cooler soils.

Planting in the Garden:

  • Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
  • Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
  • Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
  • Use the plant tag as a location marker.
  • Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.
  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. 
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For herbs, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated. Basil should not be allowed to dry out.
  • Pinch the stems to encourage bushiness. Pinch flowers off to prolong the harvest.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Discard plants after they bloom.
  • Pinch leaves from the tips of the stems as needed starting 60-90 days after the seedlings have two sets of leaves.
  • If fresh, pick early in the morning for highest oil content.
  • For drying or freezing, harvest leaves that have their maximum oil content, just before flowering.
  • To harvest the leaves, pinch the stems just above a set of leaves as needed from the top. This will also help keep the plants bushy.
  • Do not harvest too much of the plant at one time as this may weaken the plant.
  • Flowers are also edible and may be used as a garnish.
  • To dry, cut whole stems on a dry morning. Tie stems loosely together in small bunches and hang in a dry, airy location out of the sun. Basil may also be dried on a cheesecloth or a window screen in a dry, shady location. When thoroughly dry, store in a tightly sealed glass jar in a dry, dark location.
  • Basil may be frozen dry on a cookie sheet and then sealed in zip lock bags, or it can be minced and frozen in an ice cube tray in water or olive oil.
  • You can also preserve basil using sea salt. Place a layer of sea salt on the bottom of the container you will use. Place a leaf on top of the salt. Add a layer of salt to cover the leaf so the leaves do not touch each other. Make as many layers are you have room for and seal the container and place in the refrigerator.
Full Sun
Days To Maturity
50 days
Life Cycle
18-24 inches
12-18 inches
Additional Uses
Container Plant
Sow Method
Direct Sow/Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Spring, Summer
12 inches
Basil, Pesto Party is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 6.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Party Poppin’ I started these from seed last year, and these chatty little socializes were breaking the ice in no time! I wish I had more photos of the mature basil plant but I put the more mature party hoppers in a window planter on my city apartment balcony underneath Burpees Tomato, Power Pops Hybrid plant, and between the two, they kept the party going all summer long! This was a great deal for the price and my roommates loved cooking with the flavor :)
Date published: 2018-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Grew well, nice flavor This variety grew well without much fuss and had a lovely flavor. Was sad to see it go when the cold came. Will plant again.
Date published: 2018-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best basil yield in years! We had lost several crops to powdery mildew, and needed to find a more resistant variety. The Pesto Party basil proved more resistant than anything else we had tried. We didn't harvest until mid September, and the plants still showed no signs of mildew at that late date. The plants were not as tall as other varieties, but produced large numbers of healthy, dark green leaves. We will definitely be buying Pesto Party again. Thank you Burpee!
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good basil i love to grow basil at home and this was very good
Date published: 2017-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Grows Beautifully Have it growing on my deck in a planter. Growing very well
Date published: 2017-07-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Terribly Bitter Grew this for the first time because it was was supposed to be disease resistant (which it has been beautifully), however it is terribly bitter! The three plants I bought and planted this spring are huge and gorgeous and very bushy and full--- I've pruned them regularly and have not allowed them to seed, but despite that they have a very severe bitter taste, so much so that I cannot eat them. I don't think it is anything I am doing... I will not grow these again. It is a huge disappointment that I will have to pull these huge beautiful plants and trash them.
Date published: 2017-07-13
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