By Jennifer Poindexter
When you research gardening, it’s common to read articles on companion planting, but have you ever considered which plants you shouldn’t grow near each other?
If you’re interested in starting an herb garden, you should pay close attention to this type of information.
It’s vital to set your plants up for success, or you may never get to enjoy a full harvest. If you’re in the midst of planning your herb garden, take note of these tips.
Here’s a list of herbs you should never plant together:
What You’ll Learn
- The significance of knowledge on incompatible herb pairings in gardening.
- The herbs that should not be planted together and the reasons why.
- Practical tips on setting your herb garden for a successful harvest by considering each herb’s specific needs and characteristics.
Herbs You Should Never Plant Together
Herb gardens make a beautiful addition to any home. They’re functional, provide a nice aesthetic, and can be an excellent way to grow your gardening skills.
If you’re planting an herb garden around your home, here are the herbs you should avoid planting near each other:
1. Herbs to Avoid Planting Near Peppermint
Peppermint is a great plant to have around. However, when growing this herb, be sure you don’t grow it too closely to other mint varieties.
The reason being is when different types of mint are grown in close proximity, they lose their own characteristics.
Another herb which should never be grown with peppermint is parsley. Peppermint (like other mint varieties) has a tendency to take over with a sprawling root system. Therefore, peppermint can make it difficult for parsley to thrive.
2. Herbs to Avoid Planting Near Spearmint
Like peppermint, spearmint shouldn’t be grown near other mint varieties or parsley for the same reasons stated above.
Yet, spearmint also shouldn’t grow near rosemary. There are multiple reasons for this mismatch. The first is rosemary is a larger herb and mint can become large, too.
Therefore, this creates a race for space. Plus, these two plants grow in opposite conditions. Spearmint prefers evenly damp conditions, where rosemary needs soil that drains quickly and remains on the dryer side.
3. Herbs to Avoid Planting Near Dill
Dill is a unique herb that provides unique beauty and great flavor. Lavender is a beautiful herb that stands out due to its subtle, colorful blooms.
You may be inclined to grow these two gorgeous plants close to one another, but resist the urge to do so. The reason being is that dill attracts certain insects to the garden that can be lethal for lavender. Dill has the same impact on marjoram as well.
Dill and lavender also have different needs when it comes to soil types and acidity. Dill also grows faster than lavender and can block the sunlight from reaching this plant. Therefore, lavender won’t grow well in the presence of dill.
Another herb which doesn’t grow well with dill is sage. These two plants have different growth patterns which leads to dill blocking the sunlight for sage, as it does for lavender. The herbs also have different moisture needs.
Sage prefers to grow in a location with dryer soil where dill prefers soil that’s evenly damp on a consistent basis. For these reasons, dill and sage aren’t ideal growing companions.
4. Herbs to Avoid Planting Near Rue
When you plant basil or sage too close to rue, the herb will hinder both basil and sage’s growth. If you wish to grow all of these plants together, they should be planted at opposite ends of the garden to avoid this problem.
5. Herbs to Avoid Planting Near Thyme
Thyme enjoys ample sunlight but needs soil that’s well-aerated and drains quickly. On the other hand, parsley and cilantro enjoy sunlight and well-draining soil, but they need a growing location which remains evenly and consistently damp.
If you leave thyme with wet feet, it usually won’t thrive. In this situation, these plants are doomed to fail due to their different watering needs if grown in close quarters.
6. Herbs to Avoid Planting Near Parsley
Parsley is an herb that has more friends than foes in the garden. For this reason, it grows well near most other herbs.
The only combinations to avoid are mint and parsley, along with mint and dill. We’ve already discussed how mint tends to take over a growing space.
This causes issues for parsley since it can easily be rooted out by mint. Similarly, dill tends to grow quickly and can hinder the growth of parsley due to blocking its light if grown too closely.
Take these points into consideration when growing parsley to ensure you set this herb up for success.
7. Herbs to Avoid Planting Near Cilantro
Cilantro is a great herb to grow because you get two products from one plant. You may enjoy cilantro fresh and then enjoy its seed later as coriander.
When planting your herb garden, be sure to avoid planting cilantro near lavender and rosemary. The reason is their moisture needs.
Cilantro prefers soil that’s evenly and consistently damp. Where lavender and rosemary prefer soil that drains adequately and remains on the dryer side.
8. Herbs to Avoid Planting Near Chives
Chives are a great herb to keep around. They’re delicious and beautiful while growing in your herb garden.
However, chives don’t grow well next to all herbs. Oregano is one of the plants that can grow nearby but still needs adequate spacing since both plants have shallow root systems and may end up competing for space beneath the soil.
Other plants which don’t grow well with chives are sage, thyme, and rosemary. All of these plants are known for enjoying dryer soil that’s well-draining and aerated while chives enjoy soil that’s well-draining but evenly and consistently damp.
9. Herbs to Avoid Planting Near Basil
The main herb to avoid planting near basil is sage. These plants are at opposite ends of the spectrum on almost everything.
Basil prefers soil that’s evenly damp and well-draining. Sage prefers soil that remains dry in comparison to basil.
Sage also can slow basil’s growth and have a negative impact on this herb’s flavor. On the flipside, basil attracts pests to the area which can seriously harm sage. Therefore, these two aren’t good companions to share a growing space.
10. Herbs to Avoid Planting Near Fennel
Fennel is an herb that generally grows best in its own space because of its ability to disperse allelochemicals into the soil where it grows.
This can hinder the growth of nearby plants. However, cilantro also doesn’t grow well near fennel for reasons beyond this.
Fennel can slow the growth of cilantro and even open it up to disease when planted nearby. Also, cilantro enjoys evenly and consistently damp soil. Where fennel is known for being drought tolerant. For these reasons, fennel should be grown with care around the herb garden.
These are the herbs which don’t do well when grown together. Avoid these combinations to encourage your herb garden to thrive.
As important as it is to study companion planting, understanding which plants don’t get along in the garden is equally important. Use this list when planting to understand which herbs you should never plant together in your garden.
- Knowing which herbs to avoid planting together is as crucial as understanding companion planting for a thriving garden.
- Different herbs have varying needs and characteristics that can either hinder or promote their growth when planted nearby each other.
- Mint Varieties: Can lose individual characteristics and take over space when planted together.
- Contrasting Needs: Soil moisture and type, light, space, and growth rates are key factors causing incompatibility among various herbs.
- Attraction of Pests: Some herbs attract pests that can be harmful to their neighbors, like dill to lavender and basil to sage.
- Allelochemicals: Fennel disperses substances that can inhibit the growth of nearby plants.
- Avoiding incompatible herb pairings ensures each plant’s optimum growth, preserves their unique characteristics, and ultimately leads to a flourishing herb garden.
Quick Reference Chart for Herbs Not To Plant Together
|Should Not Be Planted With
|Other Mint Varieties, Parsley
|Loses individual characteristics; Takes over space; Affects parsley’s growth.
|Rosemary, Other Mint Varieties
|Space competition; Opposite growing conditions; Affects rosemary’s growth.
|Lavender, Marjoram, Sage
|Attracts harmful insects; Different soil types and sunlight needs; Blocks sunlight for sage.
|Hinders growth of sage and basil.
|Different growing conditions, especially soil moisture.
|Easily rooted out by mint; Hindered by dill’s rapid growth.
|Different moisture needs; Affected by fennel’s allelochemicals.
|Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano
|Competing root systems; Different soil moisture preferences.
|Different soil moisture needs; Alters flavor; Attracts pests harmful to sage.
|Releases growth-inhibiting allelochemicals; Different moisture needs and growth patterns.