What Herbs Grow Well Together?

Companion planting vegetables is common practice for many gardeners, but planting beneficial herbs together is just as important. This practice maximizes benefits to surrounding plants by attracting pollinators, repelling pests, and reducing your watering workload, meaning happier plants and less work for you. Garden expert Christina Conner discusses her favorite herbal pairings and which combinations to avoid.

Herbs that grow well together. Close-up of a raised bed containing herbs such as parsley, marjoram, sage, thyme, and mint thriving in a garden setting.


Companion planting vegetable gardens is an ancient and common practice for home gardeners, the most well-known trio being the “Three Sisters” planting of corn, pole beans, and squash, cultivated by the Iroquois and the Cherokee for hundreds of years. Every plant in the trio benefits each other –  the corn provides a trellis for beans, the beans provide nitrogen for the soil, and the squash protects from pests and provides shade for the soil. But did you know there are herbs that grow well together, too?

There are many reasons to plant an herb garden beyond their culinary uses. Much like companion planting veggies, the traits of certain herbs make them grow well together by attracting pollinators, repelling pests, and providing much-needed shade to companions. Disharmony occurs when herbs spread aggressively, need different growing conditions, or are allelopathic, stunting the growth of nearby plants, so some should never be planted together. 

I like to think of co-planting herbs as recipes; different elements all come together and meld into something delicious. But, like recipes, some are complementary, while others are incompatible.

Complementary Combinations 

A great way to work smarter and not harder in your garden is by co-planting your herb garden with plants benefitting each other

I find it helpful to have a few “groupings” of herbs throughout the garden instead of a single herb garden to distribute the benefits of herbs evenly and reduce the spread of disease that can happen when the same plants are planted too closely. These herbs should be planted close together—but what does “close” mean exactly? Typically, they’re planted within one to three rows of each other

In all of these plant pairings, feel free to leave out what you don’t need and use the rest. For example, if you have no use for bay leaves, leave that out and plant the others. 

Basil, Oregano, Parsley 

Close-up of basil and oregano, each growing in separate pots wrapped in craft paper, presenting lush green foliage with aromatic leaves.
Grow your own pizza ingredients with basil, oregano, and parsley.

Have you heard of a pizza garden? Sadly – actual pizzas don’t grow fresh from the vine, but all the ingredients used to make pizza do! Basil, oregano, and parsley are excellent herbs for a pizza garden because of their similar growing conditions. Basil is a well-known companion to tomatoes and grows well with garlic, onions, and bell peppers. Its oils also repel mosquitos and flies. If you really want to dive into the pizza theme – try planting wheat in your backyard.

YouTube video

Bay Laurel, Rosemary, Sage

Close-up of three black pots of Bay laurel, rosemary, sage, and thyme exhibiting a variety of textured leaves: bay laurel's elongated, dark green leaves; rosemary's needle-like foliage with a grayish-green hue; sage's velvety, gray-green leaves; and thyme's tiny, oval-shaped leaves.
Grow your own bay leaves for cooking and natural insecticide.

Dried bay leaves are sold in teeny tiny jars in the spice aisle for a hefty markup. Growing your very own Laurus nobilis is a great way to dry your fresh bay leaves for soups and stews and have a beautiful plant. 

Bay laurel is a Mediterranean plant that grows best in mild climates with full sun and well-drained soil on the drier side. Rosemary and sage are herbs that grow well together with bay laurel. Because of their shared growing conditions, these plants are great companions.

For a natural insecticide, do an alcohol extraction of the herbs. Try combining dried bay laurel, cayenne pepper, peppermint, and tansy and sprinkle the mixture around the garden. 

Cilantro, Chives, Dill

View of a bed with dill and cilantro growing. Dill features feathery, delicate leaves with a vibrant green color, while cilantro presents flat, finely divided leaves with a bright green hue.
Cilantro thrives with sun, moist soil, and compatible herb neighbors.

Think about growing conditions – cilantro, also known as coriander internationally, grows best in full sun with afternoon shade and consistently moist soil. Chives and dill have similar growing conditions, making them excellent neighbors for cilantro. Anise, a spice and herb with a licorice flavor, aids in cilantro’s seed germination as a bonus. 

With their strong scent, chives repel insects like beetles, cabbage worms, slugs, carrot flies, and aphids, which is particularly helpful when planted near tomatoes and carrots. Flowering chives paired with flowering dill attract predators of the Colorado potato beetle, which eats away at eggplants and potatoes. 

Mint, Lemon Balm, Thyme  

Mint and oregano, coexisting in a single container, exhibit contrasting foliage: mint's rounded, serrated leaves with a bright green color, alongside oregano's small, oval-shaped leaves with a darker green hue.
Mint and oregano grow well together in a container.

While mint is not typically known for playing nice with others due to its tendency to spread aggressively, lemon balm and thyme are great matches for co-planting since they all belong to the mint family

While they are all great companions, keep them confined to a large container or raised bed—you don’t want other herbs dragged in!  

Note: While catnip is also a strong spreader, avoid planting it near mint as mint is toxic to cats. We would still encourage you to plant catnip to allow the cat distribution system to work as intended.

Friends to All 

Some plants make great friends with nearly every plant by attracting beneficial insects and enhancing the flavors of surrounding plants. With no enemies, here are a few great herbs that grow well together with almost any other plant in the garden:


Chamomile showcases delicate, fern-like foliage and produces small, daisy-like flowers with white petals surrounding a bright yellow center.
This tiny fragrant flower enhances herb flavors and repels pests naturally.

With no enemies, chamomile is a must-have for an herbal or veggie garden. It’s great for attracting pollinators, repelling pests, and enhancing the flavor and essential oil production of herbs. The herb itself can be used for teas, tinctures, and even as a natural insect repellent for humans and pets. 


Yarrow presents fern-like foliage and produces clusters of tiny, flattened white flowers.
Yarrow attracts beneficial insects and protects your garden borders.

Not only is yarrow beautiful in the garden and as a cut flower, but it’s a tremendously helpful companion to herb and veggie gardens. It attracts and provides a habitat to native bees and beneficial insects like lacewings, lady beetles, and parasitic wasps, known predators of pests like aphids, flea beetles, and potato bugs. Rather than planted in garden beds, yarrow is best planted along garden borders. 


Marjoram displays small, oval-shaped leaves with a grayish-green hue and slightly wavy edges.
Enhance flavors and attract pollinators with this versatile herb.

Marjoram, an herb used to infuse a woody and citrus flavor into salads, dressings, sauces, and meat, is a friend to all herbs. When planted near other herbs and vegetables, it enhances their flavor, encourages the growth of surrounding plants, and attracts a slew of pollinators, including honeybees, bumblebees, hoverflies, moths, and butterflies.   

Forbidden Plantings 

Though there is much mixing and matching, there are a few herbs that should never be planted together. Herbal foes and adversaries should be planted at least two to three rows apart, or more if you can! 

Rue, Basil, Sage

Close-up of the Rue plant featuring finely divided, fern-like foliage with a bluish-green coloration and distinctively downy undersides.
Exercise caution with rue, as it stunts basil, sage, and mint growth.

Rue, also known as herb-of-grace, is an ancient medicinal herb. However, you’ll likely never come across it as it’s not a common culinary herb. But just in case you’re an aficionado or it suddenly comes back in popularity, do keep in mind that it’s an arch nemesis of basil, sage, and mint, stunting their growth via an allelopathic compound.

Sage does poorly with basil due to their opposite growing conditions—basil likes moist soil, while sage prefers dry soil. Sage has some allelopathic properties, meaning it produces natural herbicides in the soil to inhibit the growth of neighboring plants. However, the jury is still out on how much of an impact cultivated sage has on neighboring plants. 

Mint, Parsley, and Other Tender Herbs

Close-up of a woman's hand harvesting parsley from a bed of mint and lemongrass herbs.
Mint elevates drinks and deters pests, but watch its spread.

Cocktails, mocktails, and tea all taste better with a little dash of mint. When planted nearby, it enhances the flavor of peas and keeps away pests.

While mint is great in many ways, it’s an aggressive spreader and can quickly outcompete tender herbs like parsley in the garden. Mint is best planted in a container far away from other plants. It can also be planted with other spreaders that can stand their ground, like lemon balm, thyme, or oregano. 

Fennel, Cilantro, Caraway 

Close-up of growing fennel and cilantro plants. Fennel presents feathery, fern-like leaves with a bright green color, while cilantro showcases flat, finely divided leaves with a vibrant green hue.
Plant fennel with caution, but enjoy its versatile culinary uses.

Fennel is a known public enemy of most neighbors but for different reasons than mint. Fennel releases an allelopathic compound, discouraging the growth of many other plants, including caraway, beans, carrots, tomatoes, and some brassicas. Cilantro is an especially poor companion for fennel because it impedes fennel’s seed production, one of its most beloved features. 

That doesn’t mean you should avoid planting fennel completely – nearly every part of the plant can be grilled, sliced, dried, or used as a garnish. It has a rich history in medicine and folklore but is now used primarily for culinary purposes. Fennel is found in teas, salads, stews, slaws, and even desserts. 

If planting fennel, use a large, deep container or plant it several feet away from its enemies. Some garden literature suggests growing dill near fennel, but I don’t recommend this, as cross-pollination may lead to an unappealing bitter flavor. 

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that herbs that grow well together are those that share sun, soil, and growth habits. There are a few exceptions, like allelopathic plants or plants that crowd out their neighbors. 

Not only are herbs a treat for the senses and in dishes, but they also have lots of other benefits for the garden. By grouping beneficial herbs and veggies, you’ll maximize the benefit to your garden by attracting pollinators and repelling pests. 

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