Having your herb garden at home is a culinary delight and a beautiful sight. However, sometimes, there is just not enough space for growing multiple herbs.
If you have limited space in your garden and want to know what herbs can you plant together, this is the place for it. Let’s talk about companion herbs and how they thrive well with each other.
What Factors Should You Consider?
If grown right, herbs can bring a lot of value and taste to your kitchen table. Additionally, they add to the aesthetic of the living space, and most of them smell amazing.
When you are growing herbs together, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. These include herb height and irrigation.
Of course, if a herb needs more water than the other, you would not grow the two together.
Some herbs, like fennel, grow quite tall while others, like coriander, do not grow much in height. If they are growing side by side, it will look ridiculous. Also, the pot might topple off in the bigger herb’s direction.
Make sure you grow herbs with similar watering needs together. For example, sage and thyme do not require as much water content as basil or parsley.
So, avoid planting them together as you might overwater or underwater them.
If you are a forgetful Mary and have a track record of killing plants, start with growing drought-resistant herbs.
Once you have learned how to take care of them, you can start growing herbs with higher moisture requirements.
Here is something that every herb gardener should know:
Plant mint separately.
Mint has invasive properties, which means it can take over other plants, limiting their space and resources.
While mint has many beneficial properties, it is not very friendly with other plants. Even if you want to grow different mint varieties together, be careful about it.
For example, growing spearmint and lemon mint will give you a new mint variety as they both cross-pollinate. You can make your fun botany experiment out of it, but you can’t expect to bring it to your dinner table.
Some herbs just do not get along well. Do not grow them together as none of them will be able to grow to its full potential.
Some plants prefer dry and sandy soil, while others like to live in moist and fertile soil. So, keep the herbs’ soil requirements in mind before planting them together.
You should also consider the spacing between herbs. Some herbs take more space to grow, while others grow more vertically.
Do not grow the herbs too close together as they will invade each other’s space.
When you grow two or more herbs in one pot, they compete for water and nutrients. Thus, you should make sure that plants have enough space between them while plotting.
What Herbs Can You Plant Together in a Pot?
Some herbs do not merely live well together but also help ward off insects, increase pollination, and help their companion herb grow better. Here are some herbs that grow well together:
Catnip is considered a sedative for cats, as it stimulates hyperactive behavior in your feline buddies. However, catnip is not just for cats but also ensures the well-being of your garden.
When catnip is in bloom, it attracts bees to the garden that play a role in pollination. Additionally, catnip’s fragrance repels aphids, beetles, ants, and cockroaches.
If you have enough catnip plants, they can ever ward off mice and rats.
You can grow catnip and hyssop together as they both are mutually beneficial. Also, catnips and beets grow well together.
If your cat keeps tearing apart your herb garden, grow catnip at the border of the patch. This will keep cats away from the inner plants.
Chives are very friendly plants, and they grow with almost all other herbs. If you have a rose patch at home, you should plant chives around it as chives deter Japanese beetles, which destroys roses.
Since chives are pollinators, they assist the growth and survival of herbs around them. They also repel garden pests keeping other plants safe from invasion.
You can grow chives with celery, cucumber, and peas. They are also known for enhancing tomato growth and carrot’s flavor.
Basil is among one of the favorite culinary herbs, but it is much more than it. It helps in repelling insects from the garden, keeping other herbs safe. Thus, if you grow basil close to other herbs, it can aid their growth.
However, be careful when growing basil with other plants as it is not compatible with all herbs. Do not grow basil and rue together at any cost.
You can grow basil with parsley, chili, and oregano but not with sage because these two are not compatible together.
Chamomile is also a great companion plant for basil as it helps in its proper growth.
Basil makes a great companion for tomatoes on pizza and in the garden. Grow them together so that you can find all your pizza toppings in one place.
As mentioned earlier, mint is not a great companion for other herbs. You can grow it with cabbage and tomato plants, but keep it away from parsley as the two don’t get along at all.
If mint gets the right growing conditions, it can spread rapidly and reduce the availability of soil and resources to herbs growing in close vicinity.
Therefore, if you want to grow mint, grow it in a pot rather than in the garden. In this way, it will not affect the growth of other plants in your herb garden.
You can also grow mint near vegetables such as radish and kale. It also helps in warding off flies from carrot and onion plants.
Even if you are a mint-lover, there is a limit on how much mint you should have in your garden. If you give mint space and resources, it will soon take over the entire garden.
So, as much as it helps with keeping aphids at bay and deterring insects, you should be careful about its invasive growth patterns.
Parsley is very easy to grow due to its versatility. It grows particularly well with tomatoes as they both enjoy sun exposure and moist soil.
Never plant parsley and mint together as it would be a total failure. These herbs don’t prefer to grow together.
Dill is an insect-attractant and keeps your garden filled with butterflies, honey bees, and ladybugs. If you want the praying mantis to grace your garden with its majestic presence, plant dills.
Along with bringing colorful and pollinator insects to the garden, dill also deters spider mites and aphids. You can grow lettuce, corn, asparagus, and basil with dill.
Dill also grows well with veggies, including onions and the cabbage family. Do not grow dill with lavender as they do not grow well close to each other.
If you like Rosemary and would like to grow it in your herb garden, we have bad news. Rosemary does not like the company, and it only grows well with sage.
Other than that, it does not make a good companion for herbs. But, if you grow veggies in your garden, Rosemary can be family to them. You can grow rosemary around the vegetable patch for protection against pests.
It grows well with broccoli because it keeps insects away.
They both have a mutualistic relationship as broccoli nourishes the soil for proper growth of Rosemary in exchange for protection against pests.
Keep Rosemary away from all herbs and vegetables, such as carrots and peppers. It is best to grow Rosemary in a pot to avoid affecting other plants.
There is no doubt that cilantro is one of the most liked herbs for culinary experts and food-lovers. Cilantro is a loving plant that grows well with most herbs except fennel.
When you grow the two together, they fight for food and water. This affects the growth and survival of both herbs. Instead, grow cilantro with dill, basil, yarrow, and lavender.
Cilantro is also one of the few herbs that can grow with mint. However, keep it away from fennel as they compete intensely with each other, resulting in dryness or even death.
Sage is an essential part of most rituals and promotes spiritual healing. Since it has a distinct aroma, most people also like to burn sage in their homes.
Above, we talked about how Rosemary does not like to be around other herbs, but sage is an exception. It also prefers to grow around fruits and veggies such as cabbage, carrots, and tomatoes.
Even if you do not use sage, you should consider growing it in your herb garden as it attracts insects for pollination. In addition to that, the sage blossom is quite a delightful sight.
If you are new to growing plants or struggle to keep them alive, you should grow oregano. Despite being a culinary wonder, it is a low maintenance herb.
You do not have to water it every day as it only needs water when the soil is dry. So, you should plant it with a herb that does not require a lot of water.
For example, it can grow with basil as they both have similar irrigation requirements. They also supplement each other’s growth, making great garden buddies.
Coriander is pretty easy to grow and handy to have in your garden. There was a time when coriander was only part of every South Asian dish, but now it has found its place in the Western world too.
Like many other herbs, coriander attracts insects for improved pollination. It makes a good companion for parsley, anise, and dill.
Since it needs a lot of water for growth, make sure that you do not grow it with a herb having lower water requirements such as oregano.
Botanical experts call tarragon the nurse plant as it promotes the flavor and growth of other plants around it. So, if you have tarragon growing in your garden, it would be beneficial to other plants.
The best thing about tarragon is that it grows well with everything. You can grow it with any herb you want. Also, tarragon keeps pests away as its smell drives away insects.
If you do not add garlic to your food, you are missing out on a lot of flavors. Garlic not only makes your food delicious but also keeps insects away from the garden.
The smell of garlic is so pungent that it drives away rabbits too. Think of garlic as a one-herb-army for your garden as it also deters mold and fungus.
Being compatible with most of the herbs, you can grow garlic anywhere in your garden with almost any plant. Just keep garlic away from parsley, sage, and peas.
It grows exceptionally well with chamomile and dill. Chamomile can also enhance the flavor of garlic when grown together.
When growing thyme, make sure to keep it with plants that enjoy the same light conditions. Rosemary and thyme are great companions as they both do not require a lot of water and thrive well in direct sunlight.
Why Should You Grow Herbs Together?
You do not necessarily have to grow herbs together, but if you can, you should. Along with helping your herbs grow better, companion growing also improves the appearance of your garden.
First of all, companion planting helps in saving space. Not everyone has a lot of space in their yard or garden for growing some extra herbs. Companion planting allows you to use a small patch in your garden for growing multiple herbs.
Besides, you can also grow herbs together in pots. For example, if you live in an apartment and do not have a lawn, you can have your little herb garden on the window sill or in the kitchen.
Also, planting the right herbs in one place improves productivity and establishes mutualistic relationships among your garden’s components.
For example, growing chives in the same pot as carrots increase the length of carrots and enhance their flavor.
If you grow the right herbs together, you would not have to add chemical fertilizers or pesticides to your plants.
Certain herbs deter insects, pests, and animals such as rats and rabbits. They protect the other plants from harm and reduce the need for chemical pesticides.
In addition to protecting, some herbs also act as attractants. They attract insects and birds for pollination.
This is very important if you want to make your garden beautiful because your plants need pollination for flowering.
What happens if You Plants the Wrong Herbs Together?
Here’s the thing about herbs:
They do not have universal compatibility.
While some herbs thrive well in companionship, others might lead to the death of plants around them.
Along with knowing what herbs can you plant together, you should also know which herbs to never plant in the same pot. Incompatible herbs planted together can lead to:
All plants compete with each other for water and food. However, the competition is not that intense with all plants.
If you grow very competitive or invasive herbs with another plant, it will limit the supply of essential nutrients to its companion.
For example, fennel and cilantro are highly competitive with each other. Their competition for resources is so intense that both plants can end up dead.
It is better to grow such herbs separately, but if you have space constraints, try to grow them with plants that are equally competitive or do not need a lot of resources to survive.
Lack of Compatibility
Sometimes, it is not the herbs that are harming each other but their requirements. For example, if you grow a herb with low water requirements with a herb that needs more moisture, you might end up killing both of them.
Consider this: How will you water them? If you water too much, you will kill the herb that prefers dryness. Conversely, if you water too little, the water-loving herb would not be able to survive.
Similarly, some herbs require direct sunlight, while others like partial or indirect sunlight.
These herbs should not be grown together.
Plant the shade-loving herbs in one pot, away from the sun-loving herbs. Also, herbs that grow in different seasons should be grown separately, so that their growth patterns do not affect each other.
Do your research well, or you will have no salad toppings during the growing season. That would be a bummer, right?
Having your selection of herbs at home is something that would make any food-lover drool. While growing herbs might not be so hard, there are some rules to follow.
If you have limited space, you can grow herbs together as many herbs cohabitate well. Some even make living conditions better for their partners.
However, you should ensure that you are growing compatible herbs in one pot or patch for better results and smooth planting experience.