The Best Herbs to Plant for the Garden and the Kitchen
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!
Flavor: Flavors of cloves, mint, cinnamon
In the garden: Thought to repel whiteflies, mosquitoes, spider mites, and aphids. Plant basil with tomatoes, peppers, purslane, and lettuce.
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.
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.
Flavor: Oniony, but more subtle than onion itself
In the garden: Plant with carrots, tomatoes, and sunflowers. Believed to repel aphids, beetles, cabbageworms, slugs, and carrot flies.
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.
Flavor: Flavor when fresh is anise-like and lemony. Seeds smell similar to caraway, with a sharp taste.
In the garden: Plant with tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, as well as with cabbages and other brassicas. Keep away from cilantro, which it will cross-pollinate with. It works well as a trap crop for tomato hornworms and aphids.
Grows well with: Chives, lemon balm, lemon thyme, and lovage
In the kitchen: Use dill seed for pickling 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.
Flavor: Warm and slightly spicy
In the garden: Good companion to most vegetables and aromatic herbs, like oregano, lavender, and rosemary. Also a good companion to kiwifruit vines.
Grows well with: Basil, chives, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, lavender
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.
Flavor: Menthol and fruit
In the garden: Plant near tomatoes, brassicas, and peas. Deters white cabbage moth, aphids, and flea beetles.
Grows well with: Oregano. NOT parsley. (Note: 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.
Flavor: Strong, zesty, peppery, and spicy
In the garden: Good companion to all vegetables, especially those that are most susceptible to sap-sucking insects like aphids. Plant near peppers, eggplant, squash, beans, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and turnips, as well as strawberries.
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.
Flavor: Tastes tangy and lightly peppery.
In the garden: Plant near asparagus, carrots, chives, and tomatoes. It attracts beneficial insects like parasitic wasps, ladybugs, and damselflies.
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.
Flavor: Piney and lemony.
In the garden: Plant near brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), collards, beans, garlic, and carrots. Deters cabbage moth, bean beetles, Japanese beetles, and carrot fly.
Grows well with: Bay, basil, chives, fennel, lavender, lemon verbena, marjoram, oregano, parsley, sage, savory, tarragon, 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.
Flavor: Earthy and bold. Use sparingly.
In the garden: Plant near brassicas, carrots, lettuce, and beans. Deters cabbage moth and carrot fly.
Grows well with: Fennel, lavender, lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lovage, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory thyme, tarragon
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.
Flavor: Warm and spicy
In the garden: Good companion to most vegetables, particularly eggplant.
Grows well with: Chives, lemon balm, lemon thyme, parsley, rosemary, sage
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.
Flavor: Pungent and spicy
In the garden: Plant near cabbage and other brassicas, as well as strawberries. Deters cabbageworm, whiteflies, and cabbage maggots.
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.
More Common Herbs & Companions
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.
In the garden: Plant with tomatoes, squash, and strawberries. Deters tomato hornworm.
In the kitchen: Use leaves in salads; flowers in soups and stews.
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.
In the garden: Plant with radishes.
In the kitchen: Use with soups, salads, sauces, eggs, fish, veal, lamb, and pork.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!