Garden design can be a complicated process when multiple plant varieties are involved. Specifically, trying to fit all desired plants, herbs, flowers, or vegetables into your garden while making sure your garden design stays cohesive.
Many gardeners know the benefits of vegetable companion planting, but it’s also beneficial to companion plant with herbs. Herbs are a wonderful addition to your garden, offering healing benefits, adding flavor to culinary dishes, and a nice fragrance.
When it comes to incorporating herbs into garden design, however, it’s important to understand what herbs grow best together and what requirements are needed to grow them.
What Are Herbs?
Herbs cover a broad category. Herbs are defined as any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume. In short, herbs can be defined as the leaf part of plants.
Most herbs come from plants without woody stems, but there are some herbs, like the bay leaf, rosemary, or lavender, that do have woody stems.
Growing Herbs: Kitchen Herbs, Uses Besides Cooking
Fresh or dried herbs like rosemary, mint, thyme, basil and sage are known for their use in the kitchen, especially for seasoning or garnishing delicious meals. However, herbs have been used throughout history, across many cultures, for a wide variety of uses besides cooking.
Herbs have been used throughout history for medicinal purposes, skincare, haircare, perfume, teas, and even to improve sleep. Herbs are a nice addition to your garden that can provide fragrance, texture and offer many different uses, but read on to find out which herbs to plant together to create a successful herb garden.
Companion Planting: Planting the Right Herbs Together
Herbs are most commonly planted in containers because of how easy it is to move them. As long as the container has sufficient drainage, almost any type of pot or container can be used for growing herbs.
Whether you grow your herbs in a container or garden bed, however, it’s best to companion plant your herbs. Below are tips on how to determine the right herbs to plant together:
- Knowing the growing conditions, such as the water and sunlight requirements for each herb, will help determine whether herbs should be planted together
- Some herbs enhance each other’s flavor when planted together
- Other herbs protect each other from pests
- Some herbs attract beneficial bugs to enhance growth
- Some herbs provide shade for their companion herb
While herbs are most commonly known to companion plant well with vegetables, what about other herbs?
Growing Herbs: Which Herbs Pair Well Together?
There are certain herbs that pair well with many different kinds of herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary and sage. It’s important to note that mint is not a good companion plant and should be grown alone because it can easily overtake other herbs by aggressively spreading.
Recommended herb companions that have similar growing conditions include:
More recommended herb companions that have similar growing conditions are:
Lastly, this is a great trio to plant together:
- Lemon Verbena
Growing Herbs: Herbs That Should Never Mix
Just as there are herbs that bring the best out of each other, there are other herbs that will sabotage each other if planted together. As a general rule, we already know mint should be planted alone. Additionally, be mindful to never pair herbs together that require different growing conditions.
Don’t plant Mediterranean herbs that love moisture with herbs that thrive in dry environments. It’s best to stick to categories when growing herbs, and never veer outside of them. Don’t mix herbs that fall into any two categories from below.
- Mediterranean herbs that love moisture
- Mediterranean herbs that like dry environments
- Lemon herbs
- Minty herbs
Designing Your Herb Garden with Hortisketch
Companion planting in your herb garden allows gardeners to reap the full benefits of herbs. Taking advantage of beneficial relationships with other herbs will allow your herb garden to thrive.
Use Garden Savvy’s Hortisketch to design your garden with the herbs chosen as companion plants based on our advice in this blog. Simply drag and drop your desired herbs onto your gardening space. We provide you with accurate spacing for each plant, including growing space, row space, planting depth. Print your plan or screen shot and use on your mobile device. Start your free trial today!
Gardeners grow at Garden Savvy! We provide gardeners with the best tools to plan a garden, organize a garden, and research a garden, with Hortisketch, our Garden Manager and our catalog of gardening Suppliers. Get started on your dream garden today.