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Companion Planting With Herbs

Best Herbs to Plant in the Garden for Culinary Use or as Companion Plants

Companion Planting, Herb Garden, Companion Plants, Vegetable Garden, Herb Repel Pest, Herb Deter Pest

Companion planting with herbs is the practice of planting certain herbs near each other to benefit each other’s growth and health. For example, basil is known to improve the growth and flavor of tomatoes, while mint attracts beneficial insects and repels pests.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

  • The plant: Basil is one of the world’s most popular and widely used culinary herbs. Sweet Basil is the quintessential Italian culinary herb, most famous for its use in pesto. It is also used for flavoring salads, tomato sauces, soups, vegetables, chicken, egg, and fish dishes. Citrus-scented and spice-flavored Basil varieties work well in Asian recipes. 
  • Attracts / Repels: Basil naturally repels asparagus beetle, carrot fly, tomato hornworm, mosquitoes, flies, and whiteflies. It also attracts bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to the garden.
  • Companions: Basil is a valuable addition to the vegetable garden and an excellent companion plant for asparagus, tomatoes, peppers, parsley, lettuce, asparagus, beans, beets, cabbage, eggplant, marigolds, potatoes, or oregano. Avoid planting Basil near Rue (Ruta graveolens) and Sage (Salvia officinalis).

Basil, Ocimum basilicum, Sweet Basil

Bay Leaves (Laurus nobilis)

  • The plant: Cultivated around the Mediterranean since Roman times, Bay Laurel is a slow-growing, evergreen shrub or small tree of densely pyramidal-oval habit. It is prized for its aromatic, narrowly ovate, leathery leaves. Their flavor is slightly bitter with a strong, aromatic quality. Bay leaves are often used in small amounts as a seasoning in dishes such as soups, stews, sauces, and marinades, imparting a subtle, earthy flavor. The leaves can be dried or used fresh, and it is important to remove them before serving as they can be tough and inedible.
  • Attracts / Repels: Bay Laurel will deter weevils and moths, so plant it in various garden areas to ward off pests. Alternatively, crush its dried leaves and spread them around to deter insects.
  • Companions: Bay Laurel grows well with beans (snap beans or dried beans) and most herbs, including parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

laurus nobilis, bay laurel, bay leaves, aromatic herbs

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

  • The plant: Chives have been a popular culinary herb used in cooking for over 5000 years. Grown for the mild onion flavor of their leaves and their pretty flowers, Chives are rewarding little plants to grow outdoors in the garden or indoors in pots. They are used to add flavor to soups, stews, and sauces, to season omelets or scrambled eggs, to add flavor to dressings and marinades, or as a garnish for salads.
  • Attracts / Repels: Chives flowers attract bees and other pollinators to the garden, while their onion scent helps deter carrot flies, Japanese beetles, and aphids. 
  • Companions: Chives are good companions to tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, roses, squash, strawberries, sunflowers, and aromatic herbs such as dill, marjoram, parsley, and tarragon. Chives are bad companions for beans and peas.

chives, allium schoenoprasum, herb, aromatic herb

Guide Information

Plant Type Herbs
Genus Artemisia, Mentha, Ocimum, Origanum, Rosmarinus, Salvia, Thymus

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

  • The Plant: A popular culinary herb noted for its attractive foliage and flowers, dill is an upright annual with feathery, aromatic, blue-green foliage and beautiful flat umbels of tiny yellow flowers in summer. With a taste reminiscent of anise and parsley, the leaves may be dried or frozen for later use. However, they have the best flavor when harvested fresh from the garden. Dill complements soft cheeses, white sauces, egg dishes, seafood, chicken, salads, soups, and vegetable dishes.
  • Attracts / Repels: Dill repels cabbage looper, cabbageworm, spider mites, and tomato hornworm. It also attracts beneficial insects, including ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies, which feed on aphids and other pests. The nectar and pollen produced by the flowers attract pollinators such as honeybees and bumblebees, which can help improve overall crop yields.
  • Companions: Dill is often planted with vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, potatoes, and tomatoes, which benefit from the insect-repelling properties of dill.

Dill, anethum graveolens, herb, aromatic herb

Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

  • The Plant: Native to the Mediterranean region and Western Asia, Marjoram is a bushy sub-shrub forming a mound of highly aromatic, ovate, gray-green leaves. The leaves are more delicate in flavor than those of its cousin, oregano. Marjoram is a popular herb in cooking, particularly in Mediterranean and European cuisine. It is used to flavor dishes such as soups, stews, sauces, meats (especially poultry and lamb), vegetables, and stuffings. It can also be used to season marinades and dressings. Marjoram is often used in herb blends such as bouquet garni and herbes de Provence.
  • Attracts / Repels: Marjoram attracts beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, and hoverflies. These insects are attracted to the nectar and pollen produced by the small, white, or pink flowers of the marjoram plant.
  • Companions: Marjoram is a friend to all plants and helps improve growth and flavor. It is commonly used as a companion plant in vegetable gardens with celery, corn, eggplant, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, and tomatoes. It pairs well with other herbs, such as basil, chives, oregano, parsley, sage, thyme, lavender, and rosemary.

Marjoram, Sweet Marjoram, Origanum majorana

Mint (Mentha)

  • The Plant: Mint is a versatile and valuable herb with a wide range of uses and benefits that continues to be widely used and appreciated. There are over 30 different species of Mint, including Peppermint, Spearmint, and Apple Mint. Peppermint is the most commonly used Mint for its flavor and aroma. In cooking, Mint adds flavor and freshness to salads, sauces, and cocktails. Dried Mint is used to make mint tea or as a seasoning for various dishes.
  • Attracts / Repels: Mint flowers are a source of nectar for beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and predatory wasps, which help pollinate nearby plants or prey on garden pests. Mint has a strong scent that can deter pests such as aphids, black flies, cabbage loopers, cabbage moths, cabbage worms, cabbage maggots, flea beetles, squash bugs, whiteflies, and ants.
  • Companions: Mint is an excellent companion to many vegetables, including beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, corn, eggplant, lettuce, marigolds, onions, peas, radishes, roses, and tomatoes. Do not plant it near parsley or rue.

Mint, Spearmint, Peppermint, Mentha, Herb, Aromatic Herb

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

  • The Plant: Oregano is a bushy, rhizomatous, woody-based perennial with square stems clothed with small, aromatic, rounded to ovate leaves. Each leaf is covered with many glands, which, when broken, exude the familiar fragrance of this herb. From midsummer to fall, loose panicles of tiny, two-lipped, pinkish-purple or white flowers are produced above the foliage. The flavorful oregano leaves are commonly used, either fresh or dried, as culinary herbs for various dishes, including meats, fish, salads, Greek and Italian dishes, and tomato-based dishes and sauces.
  • Attracts / Repels: The flowers attract bees and beneficial insects. Oregano oil has antimicrobial properties and is used as a natural insecticide. It can help deter certain pests and insects, such as the cabbage butterfly and the cucumber beetle.
  • Companions: Oregano is often grown alongside cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, peppers, pumpkin, and zucchini.

oregano, origanum vulgare, herb, aromatic herb

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

  • The Plant: Native to Europe and the Mediterranean, Parsley is a bushy biennial forming a dense rosette of rich green, triangular, aromatic leaves finely divided into curly or flat leaflets. Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and B, and minerals, including potassium, iron, copper, and manganese, parsley is cultivated worldwide for its aromatic edible leaves, which may be used fresh or dried in salads, vegetable and egg dishes, sauces or as a garnish. It is one of the most popular herbs for growing at home in gardens and containers.
  • Attracts / Repels: Parsley repels asparagus beetles and attracts beneficial insects like hoverflies, parasitic wasps, ladybugs, and damselflies.
  • Companions: Parsley is an excellent companion to asparagus, carrots, onions, roses, and tomatoes. It pairs well with most herbs, including basil, chives, dill, fennel, lavender, lemon balm, lovage, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, summer savory, and thyme. Do not plant it near mint plants.

Parsley, Petroselinum crispum, herb, aromatic herb

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

  • The Plant: Rosemary is a beautiful evergreen shrub with intensely aromatic, needle-like leaves and clusters of small, pale blue or white flowers. It has a strong, pungent, slightly bitter flavor and aroma, making it a popular herb in many types of cuisine. In addition to its culinary uses, rosemary has a long history of use in traditional medicine for its potential health benefits, such as its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and memory-enhancing properties.
  • Attracts / Repels: Rosemary attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies and deters cabbage loopers, cabbage moths, Mexican bean beetles, Japanese beetles, carrot flies, slugs, and snails. 
  • Companions: Rosemary is an excellent companion to cabbage, beans, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes. It pairs well with most herbs, including basil, chives, fennel, lavender, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, parsley, sage, summer savory, tarragon, and thyme

Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, Herb, Aromatic Herb

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

  • The Plant: Sage is a bushy, spreading evergreen sub-shrub with strongly aromatic, finely veined, silver-gray leaves. In early summer, it sends up whorls of camphor-scented, two-lipped, lavender-blue flowers on short, upright flower spikes. Sage is widely cultivated for its fragrant leaves, which are used in cooking and as a natural remedy. Sage has a strong, slightly bitter flavor and is used to season various dishes, particularly those that are savory or meat-based. Sage can be grown indoors or outside.
  • Attracts / Repels: Sage attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies and deters cabbage loopers, cabbage maggots, cabbage worms, beetles, black flea beetles, and carrot flies. 
  • Companions: Sage is a good companion to beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, and lettuce. It pairs well with most herbs, including fennel, lavender, lemon balm, lovage, oregano, parsley, rosemary, summer savory, tarragon, and thyme.

Sage, Garden Sage, Salvia officinalis, herb, aromatic herb

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)

  • The Plant: Tarragon is a woody-based, upright perennial prized for its narrowly lance-shaped, aromatic leaves. It has a distinctive anise or licorice flavor and is often used to flavor sauces, marinades, and dressings. Tarragon is also used to add flavor to poultry, fish, and egg dishes. The leaves of the tarragon plant are used fresh or dried. Tarragon makes a great garden or container herb.
  • Attracts / Repels: Most pests do not like tarragon. 
  • Companions: Tarragon is a good companion to most vegetables. It pairs well with most herbs, including chives, lemon balm, parsley, rosemary, and sage

Tarragon, Biting Dragon, Dragon Plant, Estragon, French Tarragon, True Tarragon

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

  • The Plant: Thyme is a dwarf, aromatic shrub primarily grown as a culinary herb in herb gardens. It forms a low cushion of branching, woody stems clothed with small, dark gray-green leaves. Spikes of small, whorled, white, or pink flowers appear in late spring to early summer. The leaves are highly aromatic and frequently used fresh or dried as a seasoning in various culinary applications, including soups, sauces, vegetables, meat, and fish dishes.

Common Thyme, Garden Thyme, Pot-Herb Thyme, English Thyme, Tomillo

Other Great Herbs to Grow in the Garden

Borage (Borago officinalis)

  • The Plant: Native to the Mediterranean region, Borage is a spreading annual boasting a profusion of open racemes of beautiful, star-shaped, bright blue flowers from early summer to the first frost. The flowers are also edible with a fresh cucumber flavor. They add beauty and flavor to salads and can be candied in desserts. Not to forget, they float beautifully on cocktails.
  • Attracts / Repels: Borage is a magnet for bees, honeybees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. It also attracts a wide variety of beneficial insects, such as parasitic wasps, hoverflies, and lacewings, which prey on garden pests. Borage deters cabbage worms and tomato worms. It also acts as a slug and snail trap, deterring these garden pests from your favorite vegetables.
  • Companions: Borage is an excellent companion plant in the garden, adding trace minerals to the soil and aiding any plants it is interplanted with by increasing their resistance to pests and disease. It does well with cabbage, strawberries, summer squash or winter squash, and tomatoes.

Borage, Cool Tankard, Talewort, Tailwort

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

  • The Plant: Catnip is a vigorous perennial forming a spreading clump of branched stems with aromatic, gray-green, toothed leaves. From late spring to early fall, they are topped with long, dense spikes of small white flowers spotted with violet. Catnip has been used as a natural remedy in traditional medicine and is believed to have calming and relaxing effects when used in teas or tinctures. Its fresh leaves, rich in mint flavor, may be added to soups, sauces, vegetables, or pasta as a culinary herb.
  • Attracts / Repels: Catnip is a repellant for certain insects, including ants, aphids, cabbage looper, Colorado potato beetle, cucumber beetle, flea beetle, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, weevils, mosquitoes, and cockroaches.
  • Companions: Catnip is a good companion plant for bee balm, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, chamomile, eggplant, mint, potatoes, plums, radishes, roses, and yarrows.

Catmint, Catnep, Catnip, Cat in Clover, Cat's Heal-All

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)

  • The Plant: A key ingredient in French cuisine, Chervil is a beneficial herb to grow in home gardens for its lacy, anise-flavored foliage, health benefits, and as a companion plant to attract beneficial insects and get rid of aphids.
  • Attracts / Repels: Chervil attracts bees, butterflies, and a wide variety of beneficial insects, including ladybugs and hoverflies. These predatory insects will prey on your garden pests such as aphids. Chervil is also said to repel slugs.
  • Companions: Chervil is a good companion plant for broccoli, carrotscilantro, dill, lettuce, radishes, and yarrows.

Chervil, Common Chervil, French Parsley, Hedge Parsley, Garden Chervil, Cerfeuil

Garlic (Allium sativum)

  • The Plant: Cultivated for several thousand years, garlic is a perennial vegetable grown as an annual herb. It is related to onions, leeks, and chives and produces aromatic, strongly flavored, edible bulbs which consist of teardrop-shaped cloves enclosed in a white, inedible, parchment-like skin. In late spring, thin, long, green shoots sprout from the ground. Edible, they are tender and delicious when young and add a delicate garlic flavor to salads, soups, and sauces.

Garlic, Churl's Treacle, Clown's Treacle, Common Garlic, Poor Man's Treacle, Stinking Rose, Rustic Treacle, Camphor of the Poor, Nectar of the Gods, Serpent Garlic, Rocambole

Lavender (Lavandula)

  • The Plant: Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region but widely cultivated in many other areas for its fragrant and attractive flowers and essential oils. It is known for its relaxing and soothing properties and is used in aromatherapy, skincare products, and as a natural remedy for various health conditions. Lavender is also famous as an ornamental plant and is widely used in gardens and as a potted plant.
  • Attracts / Repels: The richly fragrant flowers attract bees and other pollinating insects to the garden. Lavender is known to have insect-repelling properties and is sometimes used to repel pests such as moths, flies, codling moths, and mosquitoes.
  • Companions: Lavender is a good companion plant for beans, apples, oranges, pears, and pomegranates. It pairs well with basil and oregano.

Lavender, Lavender color, English Lavender, Lavender Flower, Spanish Lavender, Lavender bush, French Lavender, Types of Lavender, Lavandula, Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula stoechas

Best and Worst Companion Plants for Basil
Best and Worst Companion Plants for Bush Beans
Best and Worst Companion Plants for Mint
Best and Worst Companion Plants for Sweet Potatoes
Best and Worst Companion Plants for Tomatoes
Companion Planting With Annuals
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

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