By Jennifer Poindexter
Are you a fan of companion planting and looking for something new to grow alongside your rosemary plants? If so, you’ll be pleased to know that you have quite a few options to choose from.
But what if you’re new to companion planting? Don’t worry because I’ll be providing information on this as well. I’m going to walk you through the benefits and reasons why people choose companion planting as a gardening method.
Plus, I’ll share which plants grow best near rosemary and what rosemary requires in a growing space. Here are your options for companion planting with rosemary:
What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is when you choose to grow two types of plants near each other because there’s a benefit to one or both of the plants.
In some cases, plants can help repel certain insects or diseases from another plant. Should you choose to grow low-growing and taller plants together, they provide the benefits of the low-growing plant serving as a weed barrier while the taller plant can provide shade.
There are some plants which are great for encouraging greater growth in other plants. Some herbs produce a chemical which encourages plants to grow.
Plus, some plant combinations can improve the flavor of one or both of the plants by growing near one another.
The final reason why gardeners choose companion planting is because there are some plants which invite beneficial insects into the growing space.
This can help with keeping pests away and also encourage better pollination. If you think you’d like to give companion planting a try with your rosemary plant, here are a few options to help you with this.
Companion Plants for Rosemary
When companion planting rosemary, or any plant, it’s important to choose options which have similar growing conditions.
Many times you’ll hear people discourage planting herbs near one another because they frequently compete for water and nutrients.
However, there are some herbs which can grow near one another without causing an issue. Here are a few herbs which can serve as a companion plant to rosemary:
Chives are one of my favorite herbs. They’re beautiful in a landscape due to their rich colors, and chives taste great as well.
However, they also serve as a wonderful companion to rosemary. This herb not only deters aphids from your rosemary, but it also is known for improving both the flavor and growth of rosemary when grown nearby.
Thyme is a beautiful herb to grow and great for culinary uses, too. Be mindful when using thyme that a little can go a long way as this is a very fragrant and flavorful herb.
Should you choose to grow rosemary and thyme together, you may be pleased with the results. These plants have similar growing conditions, and their fragrances are mutually beneficial when keeping pests away.
Sweet alyssum is a gorgeous flowering herb which is typically treated as an annual in most growing locations. This plant originated in the Mediterranean areas, so it prefers a warmer growing climate. This herb is typically enjoyed for its beautiful small blooms and aesthetic purposes.
However, alyssum could be a great companion to your rosemary plant. Rosemary is great for keeping unwanted pests away from your alyssum plants. In return, the alyssum uses its blooms to invite pollinators and other beneficial insects to the growing area.
Oregano is a low-growing herb with rich green foliage. It remains hardy in planting zones five and higher. As it comes back each year, the mound of herbs becomes larger, adding subtle beauty to the growing location.
Another bonus to growing oregano is it works well with rosemary. These two plants thrive near each other due to their similar growing conditions.
Lavender is another flowering herb which adds color to your growing location and a touch of classic beauty.
If you’re interested in growing lavender alongside your rosemary, you should try it. These plants also have similar growing conditions which makes them a great pair. Plus, they both attract pollinators to the growing location.
Sage is a favorite in herb gardens due to its unique foliage and flavor profile. If you’re interested in growing this herb in your garden, you might be pleased to know it makes a great companion for rosemary.
This herb does well as a companion because the two plants have similar growing conditions. Plus, rosemary is known for encouraging better growth and flavor in sage.
Marigolds are a flowering herb. These plants produce vibrant colors and a potent fragrance which is why they’re frequently used around the garden. They make beautiful row markers and their fragrance is great for deterring pests.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that marigolds make an excellent companion to rosemary. Between both plants’ aromas, it’s a great reason to grow them together in a secluded growing environment or to team them up in a larger setting. They can protect each other and any other plants grown near them as most pests don’t enjoy their fragrances.
Our last companion for rosemary is marjoram. This is another herb with deep green foliage that adds life to any area where it’s planted.
However, marjoram makes a great companion for rosemary as well. Marjoram is known for improving the overall health of rosemary, and it also releases a chemical into the soil which (when absorbed by rosemary) encourages stronger growth.
These are the herbs you should consider a companion for rosemary. Look at the benefits of each and decide which is most useful to rosemary and your harvesting goals.
Plants to Avoid Growing Near Rosemary
You have an idea of which plants make good companions for rosemary, but do you know which plants to avoid?
We couldn’t send you on your way to start a new gardening journey without warning you of two plants that should steer clear of your rosemary plant.
The first plant to avoid is mint. I personally enjoy growing mint. It’s vibrant, fresh, and useful. Yet, if you aren’t careful how you grow it, mint can become a menace.
In truth, mint is known for being an aggressive plant. If you plant it in the ground, it can easily take over a growing location.
Therefore, it’s wise to grow mint in its own container away from other herbs. If you were to plant mint near rosemary, the two would compete for resources.
Unfortunately, due to mint’s aggressive nature, your rosemary would probably be the one to lose out in that relationship.
The other plant to avoid growing near rosemary is basil. Though basil is a favorite of many to grow in an herb garden, it doesn’t pair well with all plants.
If you’re familiar with growing rosemary, you know it prefers well-draining soil that’s allowed to dry out fully before more water is added.
This is where many people struggle with rosemary because they provide too much care to the plant.
Basil is the opposite. It prefers well-draining soil that remains evenly and consistently damp. The two have different growing conditions and if you try to maintain one plant’s ideal conditions, the other one is going to suffer.
For this reason, it’s best to keep basil and rosemary in different growing locations.
Now that you understand which herbs don’t grow well with rosemary, let’s ensure you understand what rosemary needs to thrive under your care.
Growing Conditions and Care for Rosemary
Planting companions around rosemary is a great way to encourage a healthier garden space. However, you must understand what it takes to keep rosemary healthy.
Otherwise, your companion planting efforts will have little impact on the overall health of rosemary.
To begin, know that rosemary is a hardy plant in zones eight and nine. If you don’t live in these planting zones you have a few options.
The first option is to grow rosemary as an annual. The next option is to plant rosemary in a container, then plant the entire container in your garden.
This way, when the temperatures begin to drop, you can dig up the container and move it indoors without disturbing the roots.
Your final option is to incorporate rosemary into your container garden. Otherwise, rosemary needs warm temperatures (nothing below 30-degrees Fahrenheit), full sunlight, and even moisture without being left in an oversaturated state.
It’s recommended to grow rosemary in a terracotta pot as it dries faster and more evenly than other styles of pots.
Rosemary only needs fertilizer if it’s showing signs of stress, and you should repot the plant anytime the roots appear bound. This should occur approximately once per year.
You now know which plants grow best with rosemary, which plants to avoid, and you have a general understanding of companion planting and the benefits which come from it.
Plus, you should have a basic understanding of what rosemary needs in a growing space. If you’re ready to try companion planting in your garden, consider starting with your rosemary plants. You could find growing an ideal companion nearby could boost your harvest and overall experience of raising this herb.