Companion Planting With Herbs

The Best Herbs to Plant for the Garden and the Kitchen

September 15, 2020
Fresh Herbs in Pots
Teresa Kasprzycka/Shutterstock

Learn about companion planting with herbs! Here are our favorite culinary herbs for the garden—and the kitchen. Find out which herbs and vegetables grow well together, which herbs to plant together, and which herbs go with which foods. Plus, see how to make a culinary herb wreath!

Sweet Basil

(Ocimum basilicum)

Flavor: Flavors of cloves, mint, cinnamon
In the garden: Repels flies and mosquitoes. Plant basil with tomatoes
Grows well with: Oregano and parsley
In the kitchen: Basil combines well with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, zucchini. Works well in salads (tuna, greens, potato, egg). Also, wonderful in pestos, salad dressings, and herb butters. Try basil on bread with fresh tomatoes and mayo.

Basil herb

Bay

(Laurus nobilis)

Flavor: Has a fresh, spicy, balsamic aroma.
In the garden: Plant with beans.
Grows well with: Rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley
In the kitchen: Adds deep, rich flavor when added to the beginning of soups and stews. Good with braised meats, slow-cooked dishes, dried beans, marinades, dried fruit, eggs.

Bay leaves

Chives

(Allium schoenoprasum)

Flavor: Oniony, but more subtle than onion itself
In the garden: Plant with carrots and mustard greens.
Grows well with: Dill, marjoram, parsley, tarragon.
In the kitchen: Chives enliven vegetable dishes, chicken, potatoes, eggs, and cheese dishes. Use in vinegars, butters, and oils. Scatter over salads and soups.

Chives herb

Dill 

(Anethum graveolens)

Flavor: Flavor when fresh is anise-like and lemony. Seeds smell similar to caraway, with a sharp taste.
In the garden: Plant with cabbages. Keep away from carrots.
Grows well with: Chives, lemon balm, lemon thyme, and lovage
In the kitchen: Use seed for pickles and also to add aroma and taste to strong vegetable dishes like cauliflower, onions, cabbage, and turnips. Seeds can be added to casseroles, lamb, fish, and sauces. Use fresh with green beans, potato dishes, cheese, soups, casseroles, meat dishes, pasta, and eggs.

Dill herb

Marjoram 

(Origanum majorana)

Flavor: Warm and slightly spicy
In the garden: Good companion to all vegetables.
Grows well with: Basil, chives, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme
In the kitchen: Excellent in almost any fish, poultry, eggs, cheese (like mozzarella), or vegetable dish that isn’t sweet. Adds warmth and spice to beans, beets, eggplants, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, summer squash, and tomatoes. Add near the end of cooking.

Marjoram herb

Mints 

(Mentha spp.)

Flavor: Menthol and fruit
In the garden: Plant near cabbage and tomatoes. Deters white cabbage moth and flea beetles.
Grows well with: Oregano. NOT parsley. It’s best to plant mint near a companion plant or in its own pot or bed, as it’s a very vigorous spreader.
In the kitchen: It is common in Middle Eastern dishes. Use with roast lamb or fish or poultry and in salads, jellies, or teas. Also adds zing to peas, cucumbers, potatoes, eggplants, garlic, lettuces, carrots, beets, summer squashes, chili, legumes, tomatoes, fruits, ginger, and chocolate. 

Mint herb

Oregano 

(Origanum vulgare)

Flavor: Strong, zesty, peppery, and spicy 
In the garden: Good companion to all vegetables. 
Grows well with: Basil, chives, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme.
In the kitchen: Good in any tomato dish. Use in soups, casseroles, sauces, stews, stuffing, eggs, chili, and pizza. Try oregano with summer squash and potatoes, eggplant, peppers, mixed greens, and onions. Add to a marinade for lamb or game or beef.

Oregano herb

Parsley 

(Petroselinum crispum)

Flavor: Tastes tangy and lightly peppery.
In the garden: Plant near asparagus, corn, and tomatoes.
Grows well with: Basil, chives, dill, fennel, lavender, lemon balm, lovage, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme
In the kitchen: Use fresh parsley in soups, stews, gravies, sauces, and salads. It lessens the need for salt in soups. Great with meat and potatoes. You can fry parsley and use it as a side dish with meat or fish. It is, of course, the perfect garnish. 

Parsley herb

Rosemary 

(Rosmarinus officinalis)

Flavor: Piney and lemony.
In the garden: Plant near cabbage, beans, carrots, and sage. Deters cabbage moth, bean beetles, and carrot fly.
Grows well with: Bay, basil, chives, fennel, lavender, lemon verbena, marjoram, oregano, parsley, sage, avory, thyme.
In the kitchen: Use for poultry, lamb, venison, tomato sauces, stews, soups, and vegetables. Try it finely chopped in breads and custards for a savory tinge. Tastes great on steamed red potatoes or peas.

Rosemary herb

Sage 

(Salvia officinalis)

Flavor: Earthy and bold. Use sparingly.
In the garden: Plant near rosemary, cabbage, and carrots; away from cucumbers. Deters cabbage moth and carrot fly.
Grows well with: Fennel, lavender, lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lovage, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory thyme
In the kitchen: Sausage, poultry, stuffing, lamb, breads. Use in cheese dishes, stuffings, soups, pickles, with beans and peas, and in salads. Excellent for salt-free cooking.

Sage herb

Fresh Tarragon 

(Artemisia dracunculus)

Flavor: Warm and spicy
In the garden: Good companion to most vegetables.
Grows well with: Chives, lemon balm, lemon thyme, parsley
In the kitchen: Great with meat, eggs, poultry, seafood and vegetables such as beans, beets, carrots, peas, summer squashes. Also used in classic French sauces, vinegars, mustards, and dressings.

Tarragon herb

Thyme 

(Thymus vulgaris)

Flavor: Pungent and spicy
In the garden: Plant near cabbage. Deters cabbage worm.
Grows well with: Bay, basil chives, dill, fennel, lavender, lemon verbena, lovage, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory
In the kitchen: Use in chicken broth or stufing marinades for meat or fish, lamb, veal, soups, egg dishes. Also great in tomato or wine-based sauces and works well in oils and butters. 

Thyme herb

More Common Herbs & Companions

Anise
In the garden: Plant with coriander, which promotes its germination and growth.
In the kitchen: Use in cookies, cakes, fruit fillings, and breads, or with cottage cheese, shellfish, and spaghetti dishes.

Borage
In the garden: Plant with tomatoes, squash, and strawberries. Deters tomato hornworm.
In the kitchen: Use leaves in salads; flowers in soups and stews.

Caraway
In the garden: Plant here and there. Loosens soil.
In the kitchen: Use in rye breads, cheese dips and rarebits, soups, applesauce, salads, coleslaw, and over pork or sauerkraut.

Chervil
In the garden: Plant with radishes.
In the kitchen: Use with soups, salads, sauces, eggs, fish, veal, lamb, and pork.

Fennel
In the garden: Plant away from other herbs and vegetables.
In the kitchen: Use to flavor pastries, confectionery, sweet pickles, sausages, tomato dishes, soups, and to flavor vinegars and oils. Gives warmth and sweetness to curries.

Garlic
In the garden: Plant near roses and raspberries. Deters Japanese beetle.
In the kitchen: Use in tomato dishes, garlic bread, soups, dips, sauces, marinades, or with meats, poultry, fish, and vegetables.

Lavender
In the garden: Edging cabbage and cauliflower patches with lavender is one way to repel harmful insects like moths. Plant near fruit trees to attract pollinators but also repel codling moth on apple trees.
Herbal buddies: Basil and oregano are popular companios.

Lovage
In the garden: Plant here and there to improve the health and flavor of other plants.
In the kitchen: It’s a great flavoring for soups, stews, and salad dressings. Goes well with potatoes. The seeds can be used on breads and biscuits.

Summer Savory
In the garden: Plant with beans and onions to improve growth and flavor.
In the kitchen: Popular in soups, stews, stuffings, and with fish, chicken, green beans, and eggs.

Make a Culinary Herb Wreath

Make a culinary herb wreath! It works well as a gorgeous decoration, or let it dry in the kitchen and snip off a sprig for cooking!

Do you use herbs as companion plants? Tell us your favorite combinations in the comments below!

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Reader Comments

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Plan of a Companion Herb garden

Since some herbs don't like others, do you have a plan/layout that would work the best for the major cooking herbs please?

Strawberries

Hello,
I like your website and found it informative and it's funny because of my interest in starting my garden and wasn't even looking for this, I just fell on it. My ?is on planting strawberries, is it best to plant them in the ground or in a box? Should I add fresh soil when planting to get the best results? What should I plant next to them to keep insects or pests from destroying them?

Thank you,
Toni

growing strawberries

The Editors's picture

You’ve come to the right place—Almanac.com, but the wrong page. Here https://www.almanac.com/video/growing-strawberries-and-strawberry-varieties you will find a lot of information about growing strawberries; be sure to review the Qs ans As at the bottom of the page, too.

Here are a couple more pages; some info might be repeated but you might find a few nuggets of info nec to your circumstances, too:

• https://www.almanac.com/news/gardening/gardening-advice/strawberry-varieties-and-growing-tips

• https://www.almanac.com/video/how-grow-strawberries-runners

Best wishes for a bountiful harvest!

 

Printing

I love this article and I want to print it without all the ads.
There no longer is a "print friendly" button anywhere on the page that I could find.

Printing Articles

The Editors's picture

The print button is located at the top of the page below the image, alongside the social media sharing buttons. It’s green and has a small image of a printer. Hope that helps!

A word of caution about some of these

It should be noted that, as wonderful as they are, all kinds of mint and oregano are highly invasive, and will take over any garden space if not kept firmly in check. They are better suited to individual containers if you are not a highly vigilant weeder. There are also companion issues amongst herbs, i.e. sage and chives don't get along, basil doesn't like thyme... A good resource can be found in wikipedia, a list of companion plants - herbs.

herbs and companion planting

So good to know about basil deterring flies and mosquitos. I'm going to grow near the garden plants and all around the deck where we spend family time too! Other herbs that deter mosquitos? I'd love to plant several in and around our space.

mosquito repellent plants

The Editors's picture

Several plants have a reputation for repelling mosquitoes with their natural fragrances, including citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus; C. winterianus), and catnip (Nepeta cataria). The oils in the leaves help to repel the critters, so plant these herbs around the deck and crush a few of the leaves while you enjoy your outdoor living space.

Herbs for Companion Planting

Excellent article. It provides very beneficial information on taking the mystery out of companions in the garden. It further emphasizes the magnificent power of herbs in the garden as protectors and companions,

Thank you

Thank you for your time and efforts. My Grandfather always planted by the almanac he farmed 400 acres in the Dakotas.

How do you plant a herb

How do you plant a herb garden for the Kitchen? Such as container to use, dirt make a box? Have a nice big kitchen window that receives a lot of sun, really would like to do this without the mess off dirt leaking all over the counter. Just maybe 4 or 5 herbs Thank you.

Get a pretty box (wood, metal

Get a pretty box (wood, metal etc.) that fits on the windowsill and then put the individual herb pots into the box. There are herb growing guides on this web site if you go to the gardening section.

how can I print this? I tried

how can I print this? I tried and it would not print, I want to make notes of what goes with what so when planting time comes i what to do, help. Thanks M Dunham

Hello Mary, You can print

Hello Mary, You can print this article by clicking the print button in the upper right of the article under the main photo.  This will show a print-friendly version of the page, you can then choose File > Print from your browser's tool bar.  For further help contact almanacsupport@yankeepub.com

The time is two years after

The time is two years after the original post in this article is still not printing. Your print option is at the bottom of your page after the main article

Printing any web article...

Just a technical suggestion here... ANY article on NEARLY ANY web page can be printed to your printer. You can hold down the <CTRL> key and hit the print key if you're on a desktop. Laptops usually require you to <Right Click> on the main article page (somewhere in the text of the article, NOT on an AD or 'white space) and choose 'Print'. There's always a way to print an article. And I know it works on this one because I've printed it on both my PC desktop and my Mac laptop. PLUS, I printed it as a PDF so it can be mailed and accessed on my phone.

Oh the joys of this technology life we live! (NOT!!)

Best of luck,

CHIves

Nice to see all the time

Nice to see all the time