Which herbs can be planted together? What herbs grow well together?
Growing herbs at home is a wonderful way to add flavor to your food and get healthier. Most herbs have serious health benefits. Combine this with the fact that most herbs are very attractive and easy to grow… It’s a no-brainer that you should be growing herbs.
I started my first herb bed several years ago. I loved the look and smell of the herbs at my local nursery, so I bought a few plants. My first herb bed had chocolate mint, lemongrass, spearmint, parsley, and cilantro.
I was hooked after growing those first few plants. Since then, I’ve grown tons of herbs, from both seeds and started plants, in containers and in my herb bed.
Herbs are simple to grow, don’t take up much space, and are one of the funnest plants to grow.
Companion Planting with Herbs
When you start growing herbs, you’ll find that it can be hard to only grow one or two plants. Well, that’s how I felt anyway. After growing herbs for a few months, I found that I wanted to grow all of the herbs!
I’m lucky enough to have plenty of space for an herb bed, so I can grow a ton of herb plants. But, you may not have (or want) a ton of space for growing herbs. Luckily, herbs do just as well growing indoors in containers as they do growing outdoors.
If you’re growing herbs in a small space, you’re probably wondering which herbs can be planted together. Most herbs can grow well together if you take a few things into consideration, starting with your container and the type of herbs.
Herbs to grow together in a pot
You can grow similar herbs together in a pot or container. As long as the herbs have similar growing conditions that they favor or have similar characteristics, they’ll usually do well when planted together.
I’ve listed more information about grouping similar herbs together a little further down in this post.
Which herbs will grow in one pot
Many herbs are smaller in size, making it easier to pack more into one pot or container.
Some herbs though will need more room to grow. Woody perennial herbs like rosemary can get quite large and may need a container of their own.
Chamomile can also get quite large and may need its own container.
Garlic needs room to grow a bulb under the soil, so you’ll want to give garlic plenty of space. Garlic also grows straight up, with tall, skinny stalks, which can make it look odd when planted with other herbs in a container.
All forms of mint will grow large, spreading out and vining along the surface of the soil. Unless you’re very aggressive with trimming back your mint, you may want to consider growing it in its own container to keep it controlled.
How close can you plant herbs together?
Most herbs are smaller in size and can be packed into growing containers.
Have you seen people growing herbs in mason jars in their kitchen? This works so well because herbs don’t require much space to grow. Therefore you can grow them in small spaces, like mason jars, or you can pack multiple plants into one growing container.
Many herbs will only require roughly 6″ of growing space, some even less!
The amount of growing space that your herbs require will also depend on how frequently you harvest them. The more you harvest, the smaller the herb will be.
With that being said, when you cut from herbs, it often encourages the herb to bush out, which means the plant will need more space in order to bush out.
Like I mentioned before, some herbs will require more space than others to grow. Mint, rosemary, garlic, and chamomile will need more space than parsley, basil, oregano, or sage.
Consider Your Growing Space
What container do you have on hand to grow herbs in? Will you be growing herbs in individual pots, mason jars, a grow tower, or a window box?
The type of growing space that you have will determine how you need to plant your herbs.
Growing herbs in individual pots
A smaller pot, like a 6″ pot, will only hold about 1-2 herb plants. Smaller herbs like parsley and basil can be packed together into a small pot.
A larger pot will allow you to plant more herbs. If you have large planters, you can fill them with multiple herb plants.
Growing herbs in mason jars
If you’re growing herbs in mason jars, you’ll want to stick with about one plant per mason jar. This ensures that each plant has plenty of room for root growth.
It also helps to keep herbs separated if you’re still new to herb gardening.
Growing herbs in a grow tower
This is one of my favorite containers to grow herbs in. Grow towers are made by stacking staggered pots on top of one another. They’re the modern-day version of the terra cotta strawberry planter that your grandmother used to have.
Grow towers allow you to grow a ton of plants in a small space.
It also allows you to grow multiple types of herbs in one space since the different levels are separated from one another. You can fill each level with the soil that a particular herb needs without having to fill the entire container with a certain type of soil.
Grow towers make it possible to grow Meditteranean herbs and moisture-loving herbs all in the same space. No other container gives you that ability. That’s part of why I love a garden tower!
Growing herbs in a window box
A common way to grow herbs is in a window box or another similar long, shallow container. Many herbs don’t need deep soil, so a window box is plenty deep.
One of the benefits of growing in a window box is that you can line your herbs up, making it easy to see them all at once.
Types of Herbs
Let’s talk about the types of herbs because that will be the major factor in which herbs can actually grow together. Sure, you can plant any herbs together, but will they actually grow together?
We want our herbs to actually grow together, right?
There are many ways that you can classify herbs. Some of these are important for knowing which ones will grow together and some of them are just good to know for your general herb knowledge.
Annual, Perennial, or Biennial
There are three growth patterns when it comes to herbs: annuals, perennials, or biennials.
Annual herbs must be replanted each year. These herbs will grow, seed out and then die back. You can lengthen the growing period by growing annual herbs indoors, but eventually, you’ll have to replant or reseed them. Dill, basil, and cilantro are examples of annual herbs.
Perennial herbs have longer growth cycles and will last for years. If you plant perennial herbs outdoors, they’ll grow year after year. Perennial herbs tend to be tougher plants and may have woody stems. This includes thyme, rosemary, lavender, and mint.
If annual and perennials are the extremes of growth patterns for herbs, biennials are the happy medium. These herbs will grow and live for two years. Plan on replanting or reseeding these herbs every other year. Biennial herbs will develop leafy growth in the first year and will flower and see out the second year.
It’s a good idea to take the growth pattern into consideration when planning which herbs you want to plant together. It’s possible to grow annuals with perennials or biennials, but you’ll want to think about replanting.
Perennial herbs will develop established root systems that are deeper and more complex than annual herbs will. If you grow annual herbs and perennial herbs in the same container, you’ll be replanting your annuals each year.
Digging up the old annuals and putting new ones into the container with the established perennials can disturb your perennial roots.
This is one of the benefits of having a grow tower… The plants are grown in the same container but are spaced far enough apart that replacing worn-out plants doesn’t disturb your established plants the same way.
Culinary, Medicinal, Aromatic, or Ornamental
You can also group herbs together based on the use of the herb. Herbs can be classified as either culinary (used for cooking and flavoring), medicinal, aromatic (used for the scent), or ornamental (grown for beauty).
Most herbs will actually fall into more than one category. For example, mint is both culinary and aromatic. Chamomile is both medicinal and ornamental.
The use of the herb doesn’t really determine which herbs can or can’t be planted together, but you may want to consider this if you’re growing herbs indoors.
Herbs that have culinary or medicinal uses are best grown in the kitchen, where you’re more likely to use them.
Don’t let the use of the herb determine which ones you can or can’t plant together. Instead, use this to determine where your herb containers need to go.
Meditteranean, Moisture-Loving, Lemon-Scented, or Mint
This is the biggest factor when deciding which herbs should be planted together. Some herbs prefer lots of sunshine and dry conditions while others can be grown in the shade and love moisture.
Meditteranean herbs flourish with dryer, well-drained soil, and tons of direct sunlight.
Some Meditteranean herbs that like dry conditions and lots of light:
Herbs that enjoy lots of moisture also do well in indirect sunlight or shade.
Moisture-loving herbs include:
For the best results, grow moisture-loving herbs together and Meditteranean herbs together. Don’t try to grow Meditteranean herbs with moisture-loving herbs. You’ll either keep your Meditteranean herbs too wet or your moisture-loving herbs too dry.
Lemon-scented herbs like lemon balm, lemon verbena, or lemongrass can be grown together in a container to create an aromatic group of herbs. Lemon thyme and lemon verbena grow really well together.
You can grow lemon-scented herbs with other herbs in one container but do this with caution. Lemon-scented herbs are strong aromatics and can alter the taste or smell of milder herbs like parsley.
I’ve grouped mint by itself because it needs to be grown in its own container. Mint has very rapid, aggressive growth that will quickly take over other herbs if it’s not pruned back frequently. You can grow different types of mint together in the same container though.
Some of my favorite types of mint are spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, and orange mint. Chocolate mint has gorgeous dark-colored stems and smells like mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Which herbs cannot be planted together?
Don’t plant Meditteranean herbs with some of the leafy, moisture-loving herbs. Keep those two groups of herbs separated.
Be careful when you try to grow lemon-scented herbs with other herbs. The lemon scent can affect the smell and flavor of milder herbs. If you don’t mind that happening, then you can plant lemon-scented herbs with other herbs. Most lemon-scented herbs are insect-repelling, so they can work to keep pests off of your other herbs.
Don’t try to plant mint with other herbs. You can combine different types of mint in one container, but don’t try to grow mint in a container with other herbs. Mint has fast, creeping growth that can quickly smother other herbs.
Some herbs are also really competitive and should be planted in different containers. Fennel and cilantro are an example of competitive herbs. Don’t plant fennel and cilantro in the same container.
Rue, sage, and basil also don’t get along well. They can restrict each other’s growth when grown close together, so plant these in different pots.
Dill prefers acidic soil. Lavender prefers alkaline soil. Because of this, they won’t grow well when planted in the same container. This also follows the rule of planting Meditteranean herbs in different containers than moisture-loving herbs.
Which herbs grow well with chives?
Chives are a common herb that is grown in both culinary herb beds and vegetable gardens. It has many uses in the kitchen and also strong insect-repelling properties.
Many plants grow well with chives, including tomatoes, carrots, and greens.
The herbs that grow well with chives are:
Can you grow basil and parsley together?
Yes. Basil and parsley make wonderful growing companions. Both plants will have a similar size and enjoy moist soil.
Basil and parsley are commonly used culinary herbs and are often used together in dishes, making them perfect to plant together.
Can rosemary and lavender grow together?
Yes, you can grow rosemary and lavender together. Both of these herbs are Meditteranean herbs that enjoy drier soil and lots of sunlight.
Keep in mind that rosemary can get quite large, so if you plan on growing them together, you’ll need a large container.
Which herbs can be planted with tarragon?
Tarragon is an herb that will boost the growth of nearly any herb you put it with. Tarragon will also improve the flavor of neighboring herbs.
It is a perennial, so it’s a good idea to grow tarragon with other perennial herbs.
What herbs can be planted with dill?
Dill is a moisture-loving plant that grows well with many other herbs.
Plant these herbs with dill for the best results:
Final thoughts about which herbs can be planted together
If you’re growing herbs indoors, you’ll get the most use out of your herb containers if you pack multiple plants into one container.
Keep in mind the size and shape of your container when you’re deciding which herbs to plant together.
The most important thing to consider when planting herbs together is to consider the type of herb- Meditteranean vs. moisture-loving, lemon-scented, and mint. Grow Meditteranean herbs together and moisture-loving herbs together.
Don’t try to grow moisture-loving herbs like parsley or basil with Meditteranean herbs that enjoy dry conditions like rosemary and lavender.
Keep in mind that lemon-scented herbs can affect the flavor of milder herbs, so you may want to grow them alone.
Mint should always be grown in a container by itself.
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