Alphabetical Plant Listing

Companion Planting With Herbs

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

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

StockCreations, Shutterstock

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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