Herbs can make any meal a lot tastier. They can also make for amazing ornamentals in your garden. And more importantly, they help vegetable plants thrive.
But what if you want to plant these herbs with other herbs? How can you know which ones are ideal and which aren’t?
Well, it’s actually no rocket science. Learning what herbs can be planted together is not only easy but comes with a wide array of benefits for any herb garden.
Below, we explain everything you need to know about planting herbs together and more – check it out!
Benefits of Planting Herbs with Other Herbs
Companion planting is one of the most valuable things in any crop garden. And when it comes to planting herbs with herbs, the benefits are many. Here are some to consider:
- Fewer pests and more pollinators
- Higher essential oil content on every herb
- Better taste and appearance due to component-sharing
- Efficient use of space and soil
- Less disease due to limited spread
There’s almost no downside to planting herbs together. Having said that, can you grow them all together? Let’s answer that question below.
What Herbs Can You Plant Together?
The general rule to planting herbs together is the environment. If the species you’re testing need the same temperature, soil, humidity, and sun exposure – that’s a pair you can grow together.
In short, you can find whether some species can grow together by looking at their needs. If they demand similar factors, there’s a high chance they can be grown together.
With that in mind, here are a few types of herbs you can consider planting together:
The mint family is one of the easiest-to-grow plants out there. Herbs like spearmint, catmint, orange mint, lemon balm, and peppermint all grow quickly and spread across large areas.
You can plant all these mints together. It is vital to know that planting alongside other herb species can be damaging because they spread fast and drain away nutrients quickly. So be careful.
Some herbs require a lot of sun to thrive. These include chives, caraway, dill, summer savory, tarragon, and bay. The advantage of each is their sun-loving features and their ability to survive in both hot and relatively cold environments.
Other herbs also thrive in constant sunlight. However, these prefer drier and hotter climates. Plants like oregano, rosemary, sage, lavender, thyme, and marjoram fit this description. Planting some of these species together can be an excellent experience.
These prefer less sunlight and more shade, as well as tons of moisture. You can plant these herbs in hydroponic gardens perfectly, and they will thrive.
Species like parsley, basil, and chives grow well in moist environments, and they will thrive together. They work well either in gardens or pots.
Some herbs have a slight scent and taste of lemon. These include lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemon thyme, and lemon basil. While you can say they are several different species that require different needs, they also grow well together regardless of the environment due to their unique nutrient use.
Best Companions for Herbs
We mentioned how different types of herbs grow together. However, we left tons of different species out. Even more important, we didn’t mention what other benefits each species offers. Below, you can find more about that:
Anise tends to be a quick-growing plant. For that reason, it works best with other fast-growing species. When you plant anise and cilantro together, for example, you can boost both plants’ growth exponentially.
Known as a taste-giving herb, it works well alongside many vegetables and fruits. However, basil does exceptionally well with oregano. Both plants share tons of chemicals that make them taste fantastic if grown together.
One of the main advantages of borage is how well it attracts pollinators. When planted alongside anise, for example, you can help both herbs grow quicker and spread faster (if that’s what you’re looking for).
Herbs that have shallow roots will find caraway to be an amazing partner. Because caraway has long roots that break the soil down, it works well alongside short-rooted marjoram, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
Another taste-giving herb is chamomile. You can plant it alongside most cruciferous vegetables. However, it does best when paired with basil as it increases the oil content, making both plants taste and smell stronger.
Capable of increasing oil content in other herbs, chive is an almost perfect companion for any other species. We recommend it alongside mints and strong-smelling varieties like oregano and basil. It also works as an aphid-repelling herb, making it even more useful for tons of different plants.
Because dill requires moist soils and loves moderate sun exposure, it works incredibly well with herbs like chives, parsley, and basil. Dill improves soil richness, so it has an almost direct effect on growth.
One of the best pests traps out there, hyssop works especially well with plants that have colorful flowers. That’s why it’s an excellent companion for lavender, catmint, and rosemary. Even chives can benefit from hyssop’s ability. Not to say all these herbs love the same kind of sunny environment.
If you want to improve the taste of other herbs, plant lavender around. It does especially well with basil and oregano because they repel aphids. In turn, lavender will give these edible herbs a sweeter taste.
You can grow marjoram with pretty much any vegetable with excellent results. As for herbs, you will find it better for chives, basil, and thyme. It can also be a decent companion for rosemary and sage, given the right conditions.
Regardless of what type of mint you’re talking about, it grows well with other kinds of mint. However, when paired up with oregano, for example, you can enjoy a pest-free garden as well as stronger scents from both plants.
This is one of those herbs you will place alongside vegetables to give them a mild improvement in flavor. As for herbs, oregano has several companions: thyme, savory, sage, rosemary, chives, parsley, and even basil. They all grow with better scents, taste and with fewer pests or diseases alongside oregano.
One of the best pollinator-attracting herbs, parsley works exceptionally well with flowering herbs. This includes lavender and catmint. However, you will find the best results when planted with cilantro, oregano, and basil.
Few herbs repel moths and beetles like rosemary does, thanks to its spicy scent. It is not the friendliest of herbs when planted alongside other herbs, though. But when placed close to sage, you will enjoy quicker flowering, improved taste, and fewer pests.
If you’re looking to give sage a boosted fragrance, then plant it close to rosemary. However, the main benefit of sage comes from its ability to deter carrot flies, cabbage moths, fleas, and beetles. It also works neatly when close to thyme and oregano.
One of the few ornamental herbs out there, tansy makes for an excellent pollinator-attracting option. It works well alongside yarrow. The bit of toxicity tansy has makes it less than ideal for other species.
Believe it or not, thyme is one of the best companion herbs. Not only it grows well with many vegetables, but it also thrives alongside yarrow, parsley, savory, dill, lavender, lemon verbena, and chives. Surprisingly, it also withstands fennel toxicity as well as sage and rosemary potency.
Any aromatic herb you can think of will do decently well alongside yarrow. This includes thyme, cilantro, sage, rosemary, and mint. By improving essential oil production, yarrow becomes a go-to companion for improved taste and scents.
Growing Herbs Together: Outdoor vs Indoor
With all the herbs and their favorite companions noted, you may be wondering whether the results are the same if you plant outdoors or indoors. Here, we want to explore how the results may differ accordingly:
Companion Herbs for Outdoors
Most herbs prefer outdoor environments over indoor ones because of sun exposure. However, not all herbs thrive in a lot of sun exposure.
Similarly, some herbs prefer excellent drainage, as they detest humidity. But others will love moist soils over dry ones.
Space is another critical factor. Some species will require a lot of room to grow well and may struggle in pots or small gardens.
And lastly, some herbs will live even in temperatures that go too low or too high, while others will die either way.
If you’re growing herbs outdoors, make sure they require the same environment. And more importantly, prepare the environment accordingly for the plants to thrive.
Herbs that love outdoors include:
It’s worth mentioning that herbs like tarragon, basil, and marjoram can be grown indoors in their first few weeks. You may want to take them out for boosted growth later on.
Companion Herbs for Indoors
Doing companion planting indoors is not easy, as it typically requires you to plant the herbs in the same pot or planter. This reduces space, drainage, and nutrient availability exponentially.
Luckily, some herbs love this kind of environment. You will notice that species with a particular affinity to moisture and shade will thrive indoors.
Space is sometimes unnecessary with indoor species, as they often use density to produce more humidity and proper air circulation.
One problem with indoor herbs, however, is drainage. Even if they like humidity, it’s vital to keep the space decently dry to prevent unwanted diseases.
Among the herbs for indoor growing, you can find:
It is essential to know that you can also grow outdoor herbs indoors as long as you ensure proper light exposure (using grow lights, for example) and increasing pot drainage.
Worst Companion Planting for Herbs
Herbs are widely used as garden companion plants. However, not all herbs are beneficial, and not all of them can be combined. So, to help you become a more knowledgeable gardener, we’ve compiled a list of herbs that should never be planted together.
Rue can be grown as both a herb and an ornamental plant. In addition, Rue, a great plant with a medicinal legacy in folklore, is excellent for accent plants. Certain plants, however, do not get along with Rue. For example, you should avoid planting Rue with basil and sage, as this will stunt the growth of these plants.
Although it makes an excellent mouth freshener and spice, fennel is not well known as a companion plant. Fennel is allelopathic to most herbs and vegetables. Fennel should always be grown separately because it can kill many plants. You should also avoid combining fennel with dill, coriander, and caraway.
Rosemary is an excellent herb that complements a variety of cuisines. In addition, this herb has been shown to repel moths and beetles. It is not, however, the friendliest herb in the garden. Planting rosemary with mint and basil should be avoided.
Dill is another simple herb that should not be combined with sage, anise, fennel, or lavender.
Wormwood could make an attractive ornamental plant in your garden. On the other hand, Wormwoods should not be combined with any other plant. This herb contains a high concentration of absinthian, which is toxic to most healthy plants. As a result, painting wormwoods in isolation is the best option.
Now that you’ve learned what herbs can be planted together, it’s time to put your hands to work.
Herbs are among the easiest-to-grow and most pleasant plants you can have in your garden. Regardless of whether you’re growing them for consumption or mere ornamental purposes, you’ll find them exceptional for any garden.
So, did you learn how to give your herbs the perfect growing partner? We hope so. In that case, get to work – those herbs won’t grow themselves!