What herbs can and Cannot be planted together?

Answered by James Kissner

When it comes to planting herbs together, it’s important to consider their individual needs and characteristics. Certain herbs have specific requirements and can either benefit or hinder the growth of other herbs when planted together. Let’s explore which herbs can and cannot be planted together:

1. Fennel and Cilantro: These two herbs are incredibly competitive and should not be grown together. Fennel has a tendency to spread and take up more space, which can inhibit the growth of cilantro. It’s best to give each of them their own separate space to thrive.

2. Rue, Sage, and Basil: While each of these herbs has valuable culinary uses, they can damage each other when planted together. Rue secretes a substance called rutin that can inhibit the growth of basil and sage. Therefore, it’s advisable to keep these herbs separate to avoid any negative effects on their growth.

3. Dill and Lavender: These herbs have different soil preferences, making it challenging to grow them together successfully. Dill thrives in acidic soil, while lavender prefers alkaline soil. Since their soil requirements are conflicting, it’s best to plant them in separate areas.

4. Mint and Other Herbs: Mint is known for its vigorous growth and ability to spread rapidly. If planted alongside other herbs, it can quickly take over and suffocate them. To prevent this, it’s recommended to grow mint in containers or in its own designated area to avoid it overpowering other herbs.

5. Rosemary and Thyme: Rosemary and thyme are excellent companions and can be planted together without any issues. They have similar preferences for well-drained soil and sunlight, making them compatible growing partners. Plus, their aromatic scents complement each other in the garden.

6. Basil and Tomatoes: Basil and tomatoes are great companions and are often planted together. They not only grow well together but also enhance each other’s flavors when used in cooking. This pairing is commonly seen in many gardens and is a popular combination for both culinary and visual appeal.

7. Parsley and Chives: Parsley and chives make a harmonious duo in the garden. They have similar growing requirements and can be planted together without any negative effects. Both herbs are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, making them a wonderful addition to any herb garden.

Remember, these are just a few examples, and there are many other herbs with specific planting considerations. It’s always a good idea to research the requirements and characteristics of each herb before deciding which ones to plant together.

In my own experience, I once made the mistake of planting fennel and cilantro together in a small garden bed. As the season progressed, I noticed that the cilantro struggled to grow and eventually wilted away. It became clear that the fennel’s competitive nature was hindering the cilantro’s growth. Since then, I have learned the importance of understanding each herb’s needs and planting them accordingly.

To summarize, it’s crucial to consider the compatibility of herbs when planting them together. Some herbs can inhibit each other’s growth, while others thrive when planted alongside specific companions. By understanding these dynamics, you can create a harmonious herb garden that allows each herb to reach its full potential.