Having fresh herbs on hand to cook with is a huge benefit for anyone, and they work wonderfully to liven up any meal. However, not everyone has the space required to set up a full herb garden with each herb getting its own space, so this leads people to wondering what herbs can be planted together? The good news is, there are several that you can plant together both indoors and outdoors.
Generally speaking, many of the herbs that like the same environment can get planted in the same container. Herbs that are commonly planted together include marjoram, rosemary, thyme, sage, lavender, and oregano. You want to avoid planting mint with anything as it’s invasive.
If you’re looking for a guide to answer the question, “What herbs can be planted together?”, this is it. We’ll walk you through the different types of herbs, ones that go well together, ones to avoid, and more below.
There are dozens of herbs available, and some of them work better planted right next to one another than others. Knowing which ones will and won’t work well ensures that they all stay healthy.
Types of Herbs and Their Uses
Before you start planting herbs, you need to know the main types available. They include annuals, perennials, and biennials, but there are also full sun and part shade herbs available. The difference between these herb types is the life cycle and the preferred growing environment. Once you know the lifespan of your chosen herbs, you can decide how to grow them and if they need a permanent space in your garden or not.
Annual herbs usually go through their entire life cycles in a year. Botanically speaking, these herbs grow from seed, bloom, and set their own seeds before dying in a single growing season. In some cases, the annual herb can be a perennial in warmer locations. However, it’s not hardy in colder ones, so it’s usually treated like an annual. Some of the most common herbs in this category include:
- Lemon balm
Biennial herbs like parsley and lovage germinate and grow rapidly in the first season before going dormant in cold areas over the winter months and flowering and maturing during the second growth season before dying off. These types of herbs have the best flavor the first year after they seed.
When you’re figuring out what herbs can be planted together, consider their sun needs too. Plants that require full sun are those that grow best in unfiltered, direct sunlight for a minimum of six hours a day. To get the most fragrant and flavorful herbs possible, plant the following in full sun:
Herbs that do well in partial shade can take full sun during the morning hours but they need shade during the afternoon when the sun is at its strongest point. The following are herbs that do best planted in part shade, including:
- Bee Balm
- Lemon Balm
- Sweet Violet
You won’t have to replant your perennial herbs each year. Once you plant and establish them, they come back each year and die back in the winter months. It’s very important to have well-drained soil with perennials. So, if the soil is poor, consider having them in raised garden beds to keep them happy. A few popular perennial herbs are:
What Herbs Can Be Planted Together – Overview
|Basil:||Cilantro, parsley, and tarragon|
|Cilantro:||Basil, parsley, and tarragon|
|Lavender:||Marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme|
|Lemon Thyme:||Lemon-scented herbs|
|Lemon Verbena:||Lemon-scented herbs|
|Marjoram:||Lavender, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme|
|Mint:||Mint family members like catmint, spearmint, peppermint, and lemon balm|
|Oregano:||Lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, and thyme|
|Parsley:||Basil, cilantro, and tarragon|
|Rosemary:||Lavender, marjoram, oregano, sage, and thyme|
|Sage:||Lavender, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme|
|Tarragon:||Basil, cilantro, and parsley|
|Thyme:||Lavender, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and sage|
What Herbs Can Be Planted Together – In-Depth
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to what herbs can be planted together is that generally speaking, herbs that do well in the same environment can go together. Researching what type of soil, environment, and sunlight the herbs prefer will help narrow down other herbs that you can plant.
Not only can basil add a fresh taste to your pasta dish, but it can repel a host of unwanted pests. To answer what herbs can be planted together with basil, the answer is there is a large variety since basil is a great companion plant to chili, oregano, and rosemary. It repels harmful insects like mosquitoes, so a lot of herbs can benefit from having basil included in the container. You will need good drainage and lots of sunlight for it to thrive. However, you want to keep it away from sage and rue. If you put basil in the same pot as tomatoes, it’ll enhance their flavors.
Catnip is very popular with cats. All you have to do is sprinkle this dried herb to make them go crazy, and it’s also a good herb to add to your garden. The catnip plants will bloom and attract bees to the garden, and this helps to pollinate any plants around them. Meanwhile, the scent that catnip releases will work to repel aphids, ants, beetles, cockroaches, and more. Catnip can even ward away larger pests like rats, mice, and weevils.
You can plant catnip on the outer borders of your garden beds with a hyssop. These plants will benefit each other, and they create a nice border. The cats won’t cross this border and get into your garden either as they are usually too preoccupied with the catnip plant itself. It pairs well with squash, pumpkins, and beets too.
Catnip is a very popular herb to help ward away several garden pests, and it can also attract cats to the area.
Chives pairs great with a range of dishes, but it also grows well with a range of plants. Chives are a great partner and companion plant for many vegetables and herbs. These herbs work to ward away pests like aphids, and they can also enhance other plants’ growth patterns. So, what herbs can be planted together? You can plant chives in the same container as rosemary, dill, and mint. It can also enhance the flavor of your tomatoes and carrots.
Cilantro is a great choice for beginner gardeners to work with. This herb type is also called Mexican parsley, and it does best during cooler weather. It makes a great companion plant to lavender, mint, and dill. You do want to keep your cilantro away from the fennel as these are two highly competitive herbs when you plant them in close proximity, and it can result in both plants drying up or dying.
Coriander is another herb that is excellent for beginners to try. It shares the same growing properties as parsley, and it will attract beneficial insects to your space. It enjoys a well-lit, humid environment. However, it will struggle if you expose it to direct sunlight, but it’s a good companion plant for parsley or dill.
Dill is another herb that works to attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, bees, and butterflies to your garden. It will ward off common garden pests like aphids, spider mites, and cabbage loopers. Dill loves growing alongside other herbs like basil and cilantro, and you can also plant it next to lettuce, corn, cucumbers, and onions. However, you don’t want to plant it with peppers, carrots, or lavender.
Garlic is a fun addition to a range of dishes, but it’s also a great companion plant for raspberries and roses. Not only does it boost the growth and health of these plants, but it also discourages aphids from coming. Garlic will help keep onion flies and Japanese beetles away, as well as red spider mites and black flies.
If you plant lemon-scented herbs like lemon thyme and lemon verbena in the same container, they tend to do very well and thrive due to liking the same growing environment.
As the name suggests, Mediterranean herbs love a lot of sunlight with slightly drier soil. The herbs that fall into this category include lavender, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme. You can plant them all in the same container without any problem as long as the container is large enough.
Mint herbs can easily get invasive in your garden, and this is why you shouldn’t plant them with other types of herbs. However, you can plant different mint varieties in the same container or area. Mint does very well planted in longer window boxes or outside. Mints like catmint, spearmint, orange mint, peppermint, and lemon balm can all go in the same container as long as you give them space to spread out. They grow well with cabbage, kale, and radishes too.
Unlike most Mediterranean herbs, moisture-loving herbs require moist soil and a decent amount of sunlight to do well. These herbs include parsley and basil, and you can plant them together.
If you want to attract bees and other pollinators to your garden, plant sage. Not only is sage a pretty herb to grow, but it can attract a range of pollinators and beneficial insects that can help your other plants grow. As far as what herbs can be planted together, sage grows very well planted with rosemary. It can also work well with carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, and strawberries.
Sage is great for attracting pollinators to the garden, and it’s a very earthy herb that is popular in savory dishes.
Tarragon is a nurse plant, and this means that having it in your garden can nicely enhance the flavor and increase the growth of plants next to it. You can’t go wrong with adding tarragon to the garden. Tarragon’s scent will ward away most pests, and you can use it as a barrier to divide up your garden bed into sections. It is well planted by eggplants, and it can increase the flavor of this crop.
You can plant thyme with anything in the cabbage family as a companion plant without any issues. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli all fall into the cabbage family, and they can benefit from thyme planted by it. This herb can help to deter moths, whiteflies, and cabbage root flies.
Medicinal Herbs You Can Plant Together
Some of the most useful medicinal herbs are easy to grow, and we’ve already touched on a few earlier. Popular medicinal herbs that fall into the culinary category include cilantro, thyme, and rosemary. A few other medicinal herbs that you can plant together include but are not limited to:
- Lemon Balm
In order to get a good understanding of the medicinal properties of these herbs, we’re going to touch on them a little more below.
- Chamomile – This herb has a reputation for inducing sleep, and it’s great for helping to soothe upset stomachs and reducing anxiety. It grows with basil and mint very well, and it is supposed to improve their scent and taste.
- Comfrey – You can use it to make an organic fertilizer, and it also works well as compress for minor burns or wounds. This plant adores water, but once it’s established, it’s drought-resistant and hardy due to the deep taproots.
- Lavender – Lavender grows very well with woody herbs like thyme and rosemary. It doesn’t require a lot of moisture, and having a consistently moist soil can lead to root rot. Lavender is popularly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression, and it also has antiseptic and antifungal properties.
- Lemon Balm – This herb prefers partial sun and moist soil, but it can also do well planted right with rosemary and lavender. It also likes to be around fennel, sage, and basil. Lemon balm can help reduce insomnia and anxiety.
- Peppermint – In terms of health benefits, peppermint is a great all-around herb. It’s popularly used to treat anxiety, depression, menstrual pains, nauseas, indigestion, and aching muscles.
Herbs have been used for thousands of years in various treatments for different medical issues, and they’re still popular today in tea.
Harvesting Your Herbs
One of the most fun benefits of figuring out what herbs can be planted together and getting them going is getting to harvest them. There are a few steps involved in harvesting your herbs, and they are below.
When to Harvest:
Most culinary herbs have leaves that are flavorful throughout the growing season, so you can harvest them at virtually any time. Herbs that produce flavor all growing season long include basil, chives, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Annual herbs are ones that you can harvest when they’re around eight inches tall, and perennial herbs should be harvested when they’re between four to six inches tall.
How to Harvest:
When you harvest your annual herbs, you should only harvest the healthy leaves. You can cut or pinch them off if you’re afraid of pulling the stems out of the plant. Annual herbs tend to be leafy, so you can trim them down to roughly four inches and allow them to regrow during the season.
When you harvest your perennial herbs, you don’t want to take more than ⅓ of the plant at a time. Trimming herbs causes them to grow more, but it also lowers the plant’s resistance when it comes to colder temperatures. Don’t cut your perennial herbs if it’s getting close to winter and the dormant period in your planting zone.
Herb Harvesting Tips:
A few quick tips to help you harvest the best herbs include:
- Harvest your herbs before noon as this is when they’re full of nutrients and have the strongest taste.
- If you plan on washing the herbs before you harvest them, you want to water them early in the morning so they dry out before noon.
- Use scissors or knives to harvest your herbs to help avoid pulling the plant from the ground.
Now you know what herbs can be planted together, and we went in-depth on the various herb types you could pick out. You only need a few containers to have a thriving herb garden, and you can get fresh herbs to use in all of your dishes all year-round if you grow them indoors.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.