Table of Contents
Having an herb garden is a great way to bring the freshness of aromatic herbs into your cooking. There are easy-to-grow herbs that you can grow with minimum effort even if you are a beginner. Then there is companion planting where you can plant certain herbs that will complement each other when planted together. It is always handy to harvest a variety of herbs from the same garden space.
In this article, we look at which herbs can co-exist and do well when planted together and other important aspects of planting multiple herbs in the same space. Let’s get started.
What is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is the practice of planting different types of plants together in close proximity in order to achieve certain benefits for one or more of the plants. These benefits can include pest control, increased pollination, improved growth and yield, and improved soil health.
One common example of companion planting is the practice of planting certain plants alongside vegetables in order to deter pests or attract beneficial insects. For example, marigolds are often planted alongside vegetables in the garden because they have a strong scent that can help to repel pests such as nematodes and rabbits. Similarly, herbs such as basil and oregano can be used to deter pests and can also help to improve the growth and yield of nearby vegetables.
In addition to these practical benefits, companion planting can also be used to create a more attractive and diverse garden. By mixing and matching different types of plants, gardeners can create a colorful and visually interesting landscape that is more appealing to both people and pollinators.
Whether you are growing herbs indoors or outdoors, a good strategy would be to apply practices of companion planting to increase the yield and quality of not only your herbs but also other plants. Companion planting is key to your herb garden’s success.
What To Consider When Planting Herbs Together
Different herbs thrive in different climatic, soil, and water conditions, so it is important to choose the herbs that complement one another and grow well together. Otherwise, your garden would not thrive as you want it to.
Let’s look at some of the things that you should consider when growing different herbs in the same place.
Location plays a very important role while growing any plant. If plants have similar sunlight needs, soil requirements, and nutrients for growth, they share the same growth needs and will do well as companion herbs. You need to consider the type of soil, environment, and sunlight needs of each herb to choose the right companion herbs.
Once you find the herbs that grow in the same environment, they can then be planted together.
It is interesting that the nutrients in the soil of one plant can pass to the neighboring plant through the air, water, and soil. These can even have a good effect on the growth of neighboring plants, their taste, and their resistance to diseases.
Herbs have different growth rates. Some can grow very quickly while others take time. Planting those herbs together that grow at the same rate is better compared to planting herbs that have different growth rates. You would not want one herb to outgrow the other. Your herbs should grow side by side without restricting the growth of other plants.
There are herbs that require moisture in the soil for good growth. Herbs that love moisture thrive best in moist soil and a great amount of sunlight. The herbs of this category that you can plant together include basil and parsley.
These herbs grow well in dry soil and a lot of sunlight. The Mediterranean herbs that you can grow side by side are marjoram, sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and lavender.
Mints grow invasively and take over other plants, so mint is not always a great companion plant. But you can plant different varieties of mints together. If given adequate space, you can grow the following together: catmint, orange mint, spearmint, and lemon balm.
Lemon-scented herbs can be good companions for each other, as well as for other plants. They include plants such as lemon balm, lemon basil, lemon thyme, and lemon verbena, all of which have a refreshing, citrusy aroma. These herbs can be grown together in the same garden bed or container, or they can be interplanted with other plants to provide a natural pest deterrent and a pleasant aroma.
Lemon-scented herbs can be used in a variety of dishes, and they are also attractive to pollinators and other beneficial insects. They can be grown in pots or in the ground, and they prefer well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. These herbs can be sensitive to frost, so it’s best to plant them in a location that is protected from cold temperatures.
Some plants that may grow well with lemon-scented herbs include:
- Vegetables: Lemon-scented herbs can be used to deter pests and improve the growth and flavor of a variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and beans.
- Flowers: Lemon-scented herbs can add a pleasant aroma to a flower bed, and they can also help to attract pollinators. Some flowers that may grow well with lemon-scented herbs include marigolds, cosmos, and zinnias.
- Other herbs: Lemon-scented herbs can be grown alongside other herbs, such as basil, oregano, and parsley, to create a flavorful and attractive herb garden.
It is always a good idea to do some research on the specific needs and characteristics of the plants you are considering planting together to ensure that they will grow well together.
Herbs You Can Plant Together
|Herb||Best Companion Herbs|
|Mint||(Grow different types of mint together, as it is an aggressive spreader). Other herbs belonging to the mint family, including spearmint, peppermint, catmint, lemon balm, orange mint, oregano|
|Lemon Thyme||Herbs with a lemon scent, such as lemon verbena, sage, dill, tarragon|
|Lemon Verbena||Herbs with a lemon scent, such as lemon thyme, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano|
|Lemon Balm||Parsley, sage, dill, tarragon, basil|
|Tarragon||Basil, rosemary, chives, sage, cilantro, lemon thyme, lemon balm|
|Cilantro||Tarragon, parsley, basil|
|Parsley||Cilantro, basil, lavender, lovage, oregano, chives, lemon balm, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, fennel, savory, sage, bay|
|Basil||Tarragon, parsley, cilantro, marjoram, oregano, thyme, cilantro, chamomile, lemon balm|
|Marjoram||Lavender, parsley, oregano, rosemary, chives, sage, basil, thyme|
|Lavender||Marjoram, sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley|
|Thyme||Marjoram, oregano, lavender, rosemary, parsley, bay, sage, savory, lovage, dill, chives, basil, fennel, lemon verbena,|
|Sage||Marjoram, thyme, parsley, rosemary, oregano, lavender Tarragon, lemon verbena, lemon balm, fennel, savory thyme, thyme, parsley, lovage, lemon thyme, lavender, bay|
|Oregano||Marjoram, Rosemary, lavender, thyme, basil, sage chives, savory, chives, parsley, chamomile, lemon verbena, mint,|
|Rosemary||Marjoram, thyme, oregano, sage, lavender, fennel, lemon verbena, lavender, savory, sage, parsley, marjoram, chives, tarragon, bay|
|Fennel||Rosemary, parsley, sage, thyme|
|Savory||Rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, parsley|
|Chives||Rosemary, tarragon, dill, parsley, marjoram, oregano, thyme, chamomile|
|Dill||Chives, lovage, lemon balm, lemon thyme, thyme|
|Lovage||Sage, dill, thyme, parsley|
|Bay||Parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage|
|Chamomile||Basil, chives, oregano|
Why Some Herbs Don’t Grow Well Together
The different requirements of some herbs make growing them together a not-so-good experience. These factors include:
- Competition: If herbs tend to compete rather than complement, then they won’t make good companion plants. This happens especially when considering the rate at which these herbs grow. Some are slow growers, while some herbs grow fast and crowd out others. Mint is a fine example of this, being a speedy grower, mint is always best with other varieties of mint. It is important to find herbs that complement each other.
- Perennial And Annual Herbs: Growing annual and perennial herbs is possible, but the perennial herbs are disturbed when the annual herbs are dug out each year and replaced by new plants.
- Aromas or Essential Oils: Some herbs have very strong aromas and essential oils that may conflict with other herbs.
- Place Where You Grow Them: All herbs have their soil and sunlight needs. For example, Mediterranean herbs thrive in nutrient-poor, alkaline, dry soil, and a lot of sunlight. Whereas other herbs like lemon balm need somewhat nutrient-rich soil and a shadier spot to grow. Therefore, you cannot grow these herbs next to each other.
Here is a table that lists which herbs don’t do well together.
|Herb||Herbs That Don’t Grow Well With It|
|Garden Cress||Dill, coriander, chervil, fennel, rocket, parsley|
|Fennel||Coriander, caraway, dill, marjoram, cress|
|Basil||Mint, lemon balm|
|Dill||Tarragon, cress, caraway, fennel|
|Mint||Rosemary (competes with one another for space), chamomile, lavender, thyme, parsley, basil, sage|
Some herbs that go well planted together include basil, chives, cilantro, dill, marjoram, oregano, parsley, and thyme, as they have similar growing requirements and can be used in a variety of dishes.
Basil should not be planted near sage or rue.
It’s generally not recommended to plant rosemary near plants that are sensitive to its strong, pungent aroma. This includes plants such as beans, peas, and brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, and related plants). Rosemary can also inhibit the growth of some plants, such as potatoes, and is generally not recommended to plant it near these types of plants.
Yes, mint and basil can be planted together. They cannot be planted with rosemary, parsley, or other mint varieties.
Mint is a fast-growing and vigorous herb that can spread quickly and vigorously through its root system, which consists of underground runners called “stolons.” Because of this, mint has the potential to outcompete and potentially “choke out” other plants that are growing nearby. Mint can also release chemicals into the soil that inhibit the growth of some plants.
Now, you know about the herbs that grow well together and the herb combinations you should avoid, you can start growing companion herbs at home. Herbs are easy-to-grow plants that provide beautiful garnishes, aromatic flavors, and delicious ingredients for many dishes. Remember when it comes to growing needs, pick the herbs that need similar growing conditions and those that grow at the same pace.
Herbs that grow together can also be planted indoors in small spaces. Check out 5 Best Herbs for Small Spaces – A Quick Guide for more information to help you get set up. You can most definitely get your herb garden thriving together with companion herbs with little to no effort.