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Companion Herbs: The Ultimate Guide

companion herbs

When it comes to gardening, companion planting is an age-old practice that has been used to great effect. Companion planting involves growing different plants together in order to increase yields, improve soil health, and repel pests without resorting to harmful chemicals. One of the key components of companion planting is the use of companion herbs, which can provide a range of benefits to your garden. In this guide, we'll take a closer look at what companion herbs are, how they work, and how you can incorporate them into your own garden.

What are Companion Herbs?

Companion herbs are simply herbs that are planted alongside other plants to provide various benefits. These could include improving soil health, attracting beneficial insects, deterring harmful pests, or enhancing flavor in vegetables. Some common companion herbs include basil, chives, parsley, and thyme.

Benefits of Companion Herbs

Companion herbs provide a range of benefits to both the plants they are grown alongside and the garden as a whole. Here are some of the key benefits:

Improving Soil Health

Certain companion herbs, such as clover and alfalfa, can help fix nitrogen in the soil, which is essential for plant growth. Other herbs, like comfrey and borage, have deep roots that help break up compacted soil and improve drainage.

Attracting Beneficial Insects

Many companion herbs, such as dill and fennel, are attractive to beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies. These insects feed on harmful pests like aphids, mites, and whiteflies, helping to keep your garden healthy.

Deterrents for Harmful Pests

Some companion herbs, such as marigolds and catnip, have strong scents that repel harmful pests like nematodes, mosquitoes, and cabbage moths.

Enhancing Flavor in Vegetables

Certain companion herbs, such as basil and oregano, can enhance the flavor of vegetables when planted alongside them. For example, planting basil alongside tomatoes can help improve their flavor and aroma.

How to Incorporate Companion Herbs into Your Garden

Incorporating companion herbs into your garden is relatively simple. Here are a few tips:

Choose the Right Herbs

by choosing the right companion herbs for the plants you want to grow. For example, planting chives alongside carrots can help deter carrot flies, while planting basil alongside tomatoes can enhance their flavor.

Plant in the Right Location

Make sure to plant your companion herbs in the right location. Some herbs, like mint and lemon balm, can be invasive if not kept under control, so it's best to plant them in containers or in a designated area of the garden.

Rotate Your Crops

To prevent soil-borne diseases from building up, it's important to rotate your crops each season. When planning your crop rotation, consider incorporating companion herbs into the mix.

Consider Interplanting

Interplanting involves planting different crops together in the same space. For example, you could plant lettuce and radishes together, with dill and cilantro interspersed throughout. This can help maximize your garden space and provide additional benefits.

Companion Herbs: Planting Combinations

Here are some common planting combinations for companion herbs:

Basil and Tomatoes

As mentioned earlier, planting basil alongside tomatoes can help enhance their flavor. Additionally, basil is a good companion plant for tomatoes because it repels harmful pests like aphids and whiteflies.

Chives and Carrots

Planting chives alongside carrots can help deter carrot flies, which can damage the roots of the plants.

Dill and Cucumbers

Dill is a great companion plant for cucumbers because it attracts beneficial insects like hoverflies and ladybugs, which feed on harmful pests like aphids and mites.

Mint and Peppers

Mint is a good companion plant for peppers because it repels harmful pests like ants and aphids.

FAQs

1. Can I plant companion herbs in containers?

Yes! Many companion herbs, such as thyme and rosemary, do well in containers.

2. Can companion herbs be used in cooking?

Absolutely! Companion herbs like basil, parsley, and thyme are commonly used in cooking.

3. Are there any plants that shouldn't be grown with companion herbs?

While most plants benefit from companion herbs, there are a few exceptions. For example, planting garlic and onions near beans can actually inhibit their growth.

4. What is interplanting?

Interplanting involves planting different crops together in the same space. This can help maximize garden space and provide additional benefits.

5. How do I know which companion herbs to choose?

Research the plants you want to grow and choose companion herbs based on their known benefits. For example, if you want to grow tomatoes, consider planting basil alongside them to enhance their flavor and repel harmful pests.


Companion herbs are a valuable tool for any gardener looking to improve yields, enhance flavor, and promote soil health. By choosing the right herbs and incorporating them into your garden, you can enjoy a healthier, more productive growing season. So why not give companion herbs a try? Your garden (and taste buds) will thank you!

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