While planting herbs in a backyard garden or on the kitchen window, people might not care much about growing many herbs in the same pot and are not quite aware of what benefits and harms one herb can procure from the other herbs.
If you are an enthusiastic gardener planning to grow herbs or vegetable plants in your garden, you must know which herb acts as a companion if you plant it with your basil herb. It will help you save time and money and make your gardening experience more satisfactory.
Basils are very low-maintenance plants to grow in the backyard herb/vegetable garden or kitchen window pots. People prefer planting this herb because they produce a delightful fragrance. Their leaves are of great use in adding flavors to pizza or salads and used in pasta sauce to make its taste more authentic.
Grow basil as a companion plant in your garden as it will help bring beneficial insects to your other crops and repel bugs that can damage your plant.
If we talk about the companion plants, Basil acts as a thespian. But which plant acts as a companion to Basil is the main question whose answer you will get in this article.
However, before jumping to that portion, you should first understand companion planting.
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What is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is the process of planting various plants together in one place. It is an effective way of making coexistence beneficial for plants. Plants are susceptible to several diseases, rots, and attacks from insects and pests.
Companion planting strives towards solving such issues. It uses other plants to deter pests or insects or provide essential nutrients to the plant requiring a companion. The plants benefit each other and co-exist as companions, thus providing you with a serene garden to adore.
What Are The Benefits of Companion Planting?
Companion planting helps deter insects, pests, forages, etc., that feed on your plants. Companion planting comes with many benefits. It eradicates the threats associated with the plant and provides it with a safe condition to grow and thrive.
It also helps keep several diseases at bay without requiring any chemicals. Many companion plants attract beneficial insects and pollinators to enhance pollination and scare away unwanted pests and insects.
The best part about companion planting is that it improves plants’ flavor, so you get delicious fruits and vegetables out of your garden. Not only that, but you can also enhance the growing conditions for the plant by using a companion as a shade or ground cover.
Moreover, the companion plants add essential nutrients to the soil, fulfilling the deficiency plants may face. They also enhance nitrogen in the soil, a necessary nutrient for any plant.
Companion Plants for Basil
Following are the few plants that you can grow with the Basil for beneficial outcomes:
Tomatoes work great with Basil whether they are served together on the dining table or planted together in the garden. Both Basil and tomatoes need the same amount of water and sunlight for their growth, and that is why both are companion plants to each other.
The intense fragrance aroused from the basil plants keeps hornworms and flies (which are dangerous for tomatoes ) far away and helps tomatoes grow faster and healthier.
Gardeners who have tried growing these two plants together conclude that both plants have a better taste than when planted separately.
One more plus thing is that you can harvest both plants simultaneously.
Chamomiles are low maintenance and easy to grow plants like Basil and hence work as a companion plant for many herbs involving basils.
Chamomiles are supposed to stimulate the abundance of essential oils in Basil. It enhances the flavor of Basil in culinary uses and makes it more effective as a bug repellent in the garden.
But while planting chamomiles with Basil, one should always be aware that there are two species of chamomile; Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile.
German chamomiles are what grow best with basils because they are annual varieties and need less care and maintenance than the roman chamomiles. And, like basils, it grows for a year before dying on its own, no matter how well you care for it.
Tip: When planting chamomile with Basil, always use the grown herbs as they will start their process earlier and help you save time.
Also Read: Raspberry Companion Plants
Marigolds and basils are natural pest repellent pairs planted together at the same spot. By growing some by the side, they double up the aromatic shield around them.
Make sure to plant them very packed together to have optimum pest control.
One good thing about marigolds is that they only grow up to 12 inches and are small and bushy, so they work as a very eye-catching boundary for the herbs in your backyard garden.
The French Marigolds are the best to grow with basils because they produce a chemical from their roots that supplies pest control for so long, even after the marigolds have succumbed.
Nevertheless, ignore Mexican marigolds to grow alongside the basils because they produce strong chemicals which can be harmful to the herbs.
Tip: You should first plant the basils in your garden and then make holes around the basils to plant marigolds. A spacing of 18-24 inches between both the plants is perfect for them to benefit each other.
You should water when the soil feels scorched and never let the soil become moist as the plant begins to decompose.
4. Pepper Plants
Peppers are one of the suitable matches for your basil herbs. Both of them are the perfect pest controllers and hence when planted together, make a potent repellent for bugs, flies, mosquitos, and thunder bugs.
Pepper grows in humidity, and basils are a source of snagging moisture and heat from the atmosphere and hence, provide a friendly environment for the peppers to grow.
Likewise, pepper leaves produce a subtle shield for basils to protect them from harsh weather effects. Aesthetically, the green pepper leaves present an eye-catching view in your garden, which lightens the mood when looked at.
Eggplants most often get damaged by insects such as mealybugs, aphids, and garden moths.
So, experienced gardeners suggest planting it with basils as they generate an aromatic smell that repels these insects and makes a safe growing environment for eggplants near them.
Marjoram is a perennial herb that is identical to oregano in flavor and use. It’s a strong herb that thrives in the light (6 to 8 hours of the day) and water, similar to what Basil requires.
This herb pairs well with Basil and various other herbs and plants. Marjoram attracts beneficial insects that eat hazardous pests like aphids, which are a significant concern in basil production.
Tip: Retailers offer potted marjoram plants that you can grow next to your basil herb in well-drained garden soil. It is the modest method for producing marjoram alongside Basil.
Borage is a beautiful purple-flowered plant that grows annually. They are suitable for basils to grow alongside because they help attract good insects and are repellents for earthworms that can damage basil herbs.
Another benefit borages bestow is that they can extract minerals from deep inside the ground/soil and draw them to basils to benefit them.
Since borages produce nice purple flowers, it gives your backyard or kitchen garden an exceptionally aesthetic look.
Tip: When planting borage with basils, start by seeding the borage first because they grow much faster than basils.
Another very low maintenance and easy to grow herb for your garden, oregano, is very compatible with Basil and some other herbs.
The good thing about oregano is that they are perennial herbs, capable of attracting good insects and repelling harmful bugs and pests away from Basil and other herbs planted around it.
They are a good match for Basil because they also need water once the soil is dried up and can survive under full or partial sun explore like basils. They can endure over or under watering, so you need to water it when you water basils and allow the soil beneath it to dry in between watering cycles.
- Cut the stem above the node and lay it in water to start oregano cuttings planted with basils.
- Allow it to grow until the roots appear (this will take a few weeks).
- Plant it alongside your basils and let it grow with your basil herbs.
Asparagus is a blooming plant growing throughout the year whose young stems are mainly eaten as a spring vegetable. Basil and asparagus are suitable to grow because they both work in each other’s favor.
On the one hand, where basils repel the asparagus beetle, which feeds on the fragile tips of young green asparagus stems, on the other hand, asparagus works as a magnet for ladybugs which eat aphids and other pests that are harmful to the growth of your basil herb.
Plants to Avoid Planting With Basil
In the earlier section of the article, we mentioned a few companion plants you could grow with Basil. In this section of the article, we will provide you with a list of plants you need to avoid planting with Basil. Read on to know more.
Sage and Rue
Sage and Rue are the plants that do not go well with basil. It is because Sage and Basil prefer different growing conditions. Moreover, Sage grows well in drier soil compared to basil. The same holds for Rue. Hence, these plants must not be used as companions for each other.
Fennel is another plant you can’t use as a companion plant to basil. It is known to attract pests that prove disastrous to basil. Moreover, Fennel is not well suited to many other plants. Hence, it can not be your choice for companion planting with basil.
Cucumbers and basil are no good friends. They compete with each other for nutrients, water, and other resources, thus making co-existence difficult. Moreover, they affect each other’s flavor. So, you will never get good Basil or Cucumber harvest if you plant them side by side.
Common Rue is another addition to the list of plants you must avoid planting with basil. Rue affects the growth of basil. It also attracts pests and insects disastrous for Common Rue. It can make basil susceptible to many diseases. Besides, it deteriorates the taste of basil and makes it more bitter.
Thyme and basil grow under different environmental conditions. Hence, they do not make great companions for each other. The soil conditions for Thyme and Basil are quite the opposite. While Thyme requires drier and sandy soil, basil grows well in moist soil. So, the two of them can not exist together.
Companion Plants to Grow With Your Basil Herbs
There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to have a successful basil companion planting. Suppose you don’t know which plants are suitable and which ones to avoid during campaign planting. Your Basil and other plants will suffer, and you, too, will have a very unpleasant gardening experience.
Hence, for better growth of the plants and a pleasant gardening experience for you, choose the plants with the same water and sunlight needs, and grow those plants together in the same pot, making a suitable atmosphere for one another.
While sowing, you can plant 4 to 6 basil plants together. But as they show leaves, you should only keep 1 or 2 plants together in a pot.
You can plant tomatoes about 12 inches away from basil. The two plants grow well when they are close together.
The lifespan of basil depends on the surroundings you plant it in and how well you take care of it. It can survive for six months indoors without the threat of cold weather. It can live up to 4 to 5 months outdoors in warm and sunny conditions.
The best time to grow basil is Spring. You can do it after the final spring frost.
Coffee grounds act as fertilizers for basil and boost the soil’s nitrogen content.
Many gardeners don’t believe in companion planting for basil herbs, but experts highly recommend this procedure for the better growth and yielding of basils and their companion plants.
But they have complete knowledge about what works and what does not work for your herb when combined with other plants is crucial. Since we have gone through plants that will work in favor of Basil, knowledge of which plant can harm your herb when planted together should also be a concern.
Cucumber, fennel, and herbs are a few plants that should be kept entirely away from your basil herbs to prevent damage to both of them.