8 Best Basil Companion Plants In The Garden (And 5 To Avoid)

Looking to get the best yield from your basil plants? Knowing the best plants to pair with basil as a companion plant can be challenging.

Basil is an excellent plant to have in any garden. But, if you don’t dedicate the necessary effort to grow it correctly, it might end up just occupying unnecessary space in your garden. 

In this article, I’ll share how basil companion plants can repel pests, enrich soil nutrients and even enhance taste, plus walk you through the exact plants you should be planting, and the ones you should stay away from.

Key Takeaways

  • Companion planting with basil offers numerous benefits, including repelling pests, enhancing soil nutrients, and improving flavor in your garden.
  • Some of the best companion plants that work really well with basil are tomatoes, bell peppers, asparagus, marigolds, and a few more I mention later in the article. These plants provide shade and attract beneficial insects while improving the soil.
  • It is important to avoid planting cucumbers, fennel, and thyme alongside basil as they can affect growth and flavor or attract pests.

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Benefits Of Companion Planting

companion plants for basil

Companion planting is the art of growing different plants together in order to benefit each other’s growth and protect against pests. As you can imagine there are countless benefits for your garden.

With companion planting you can enhance the growth and health of your plants, and manage pests organically, without having to use harmful chemicals.

The symbiotic relationship between companion plants allows them to share nutrients, moisture, and shade, ensuring none of your plants are deprived of essential nutrients.

Plus, they form a natural barrier against common pests and diseases that may otherwise harm your garden.

Why Basil Makes a Great Companion Plant

As a gardener, and husband to a wonderful cook, we love growing basil in our garden. Apart from its aromatic fragrance and culinary uses, it’s known as a superstar in the world of companion planting.

Basil significantly improves the growth and health of plants around it by sharing nutrients, moisture preservation techniques, and providing shade when necessary.

With its rich organic matter content, not only does this herb replenish soil nutrients but also improves its quality and fertility over time.

One irresistible benefit that basil brings to your home garden is its ability to serve as an organic pest control measure.

Its distinctive aroma creates a natural barrier against pests such as thrips, aphids, whiteflies, and tomato hornworms- keeping your other plants safe from damage.

More so, attracting beneficial insects like ladybugs or bees comes pretty easy with these lush green leaves swaying proudly amidst your vegetation.

On another note – have you ever wondered why food tastes so much better fresh from the garden?

Well, part of that comes from the plants you choose to plant near your basil. The synergistic effect created enhances flavors while brightening up meals without effort!

So whether for improved crop yields or heightened taste profiles – cultivating this fragrant ally ensures multiple rewards for every gardener out there.

Characteristics of Basil

Plant Family
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil, keep soil consistently moist
Mature Size
Typically 1-3 feet tall
Soil Requirements
Rich, well-draining soil; pH 6.0-7.5
Sunlight Needs
Full sun to light shade
Temperature Tolerance
Warm-season herb, sensitive to frost; thrives in USDA zones 3-11
Growth Habit
Annual herb
Flowering Period
Flower Color
White or lavender
Foliage Characteristics
Green, aromatic, and tender leaves
Propagation Methods
Seeds (direct sowing) or cuttings
Pruning and Maintenance
Regularly harvest leaves to encourage bushy growth; pinch off flower buds to prolong leaf production
Common Pests and Diseases
Aphids, whiteflies, downy mildew
Companion Planting
Tomatoes, peppers, oregano, and other herbs
Edible Parts
Edible leaves and flowers (used in culinary dishes and teas)
Wildlife Attraction
Basil flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies
Special Care Instructions
Basil can be sensitive to overwatering, so water moderately; protect from cold temperatures and frost

The 8 Best Basil Companion Plants

basil companion planting

Knowing which plants are good companions for basil is vital for the prosperity of your garden.

Basil has the ability to thrive alongside several different plants such as tomatoes, bell peppers, asparagus, and marigolds (to mention a few). Let’s take a look at my preferred companion plants for basil. 

1. Tomatoes

As a gardener, I can’t emphasize enough the symbiotic relationship between tomatoes and basil. This perfect duo not only improves each other’s flavor but also enhances overall plant health.

With basil and tomato plants near each other, they are less likely to be raided by insects thanks to our little green friend’s natural pest-deterrent properties.

Basil lures beneficial bugs like ladybugs, bees, and butterflies that keep harmful pests at bay ensuring robust growth for your juicy tomatoes.

Plus, with their leafy tops providing necessary shade to delicate basil plants beneath them, it’s easy to see why these two make an unbeatable team in enhancing soil fertility while promising wholesome harvests for every home garden.

Just don’t forget – diligent watering and proper drainage are key to keeping basil and tomatoes thriving together!

2. Bell Peppers

One of the best companion plants for basil in your garden is bell peppers. Not only do they enhance the flavor of basil, but they also have numerous benefits when grown together.

Bell peppers can help improve the growth and health of both plants by allowing them to benefit from each other’s nutrients, moisture, and shade.

Additionally, planting bell peppers alongside basil attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs, bees, and butterflies that naturally control pests.

These taller pepper plants also provide the necessary shade for basil, protecting it from sun damage.

You’ll be pleased to know that bell peppers serve as markers in your garden too, helping you keep track of different plant varieties.

Remember to take proper care of your bell peppers with regular watering and adequate soil drainage to ensure their optimal growth alongside your beloved basil plants.

3. Asparagus

Asparagus is an excellent companion plant for basil in the garden. Not only do they grow well together, but basil actually helps protect asparagus from the pesky Asparagus beetle.

Plus, basil attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs that prey on these beetles, providing natural pest control.

By planting basil alongside your asparagus, you can create a mutually beneficial environment that promotes improved growth and health of both plants.

Remember to choose a sunny spot for your basil and asparagus duo, as they both love sunlight. Also, make sure to provide adequate water and ensure good soil drainage for optimal growth.

With this dynamic pairing in your garden bed or container, you’ll enjoy thriving plants and delicious harvests all season long.

4. Marigolds

Marigolds are also great basil companion plants. They not only add a burst of color to your garden, but they also attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, bees, and butterflies.

These helpful bugs actually help control pests naturally, keeping your basil plants safe and healthy. Marigolds also provide necessary shade for shorter plants like basil, protecting them from sun damage.

When it comes to soil quality and fertility, both basil and marigolds benefit from companion planting. Plant these superstar flowers next to basil for improved growth and pest control!

5. Potatoes

Potatoes are one of the best companion plants for basil in a garden. When planted together, these two plants benefit each other in multiple ways.

Potatoes provide much-needed shade to basil, especially during hot summer days, keeping the delicate herbs cool and preventing them from wilting.

Additionally, growing basil near potatoes helps repel certain pests that commonly attack potato crops, such as Colorado potato beetles and aphids.

The strong aroma of basil acts as a natural deterrent to these unwelcome visitors.

Also, when harvested or disturbed, potatoes release volatile compounds into the soil that can inhibit some soil-borne diseases harmful to both potato plants and other neighboring crops.

This symbiotic relationship between potatoes and basil ensures improved growth and health of both plants while increasing overall crop yields in your garden.

6. Root Vegetables

Root vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots, are excellent companion plants for basil.

These underground crops not only offer a compatible growing environment but also provide much-needed shade to protect the basil from excessive sunlight.

When planted together, root vegetables and basil create a mutually beneficial relationship that improves the growth and health of both plants.

Plus, when harvested together, the flavors of these complementary crops enhance each other, resulting in tastier dishes straight from your garden.

7. Garlic

Garlic is a great companion for basil in your garden. Not only does it repel pests naturally, but it also improves the flavor and health of your basil plants.

Garlic acts as a natural barrier against common pests like thrips, aphids, and whiteflies, keeping them away from your precious herbs.

Plus, garlic enhances soil quality by adding organic matter and nutrients to the ground. This helps replenish vital minerals for both the basil and other neighboring plants.

The taller garlic plants also provide much-needed shade for basil, protecting them from scorching sun damage during hot summer days.

If you want to boost the growth and productivity of your basil while warding off unwanted pests, be sure to plant basil and garlic next to each other!

8. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are one of the best companion plants for basil, and they offer a range of benefits to your garden.

These vibrant flowers not only enhance the aesthetics of your garden but also play a crucial role in improving the growth and health of your basil plants.

Nasturtiums act as natural barriers against pests and diseases, making them an excellent choice to plant alongside basil.

They attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, bees, and butterflies that help control pests in your garden, ensuring that your basil plants stay protected.

Planting nasturtiums alongside basil can actually enhance the flavor of both plants.

These flowers also contribute to soil improvement by adding organic matter and nutrients, thereby boosting soil quality and fertility for your basil plants.

5 Plants To Avoid Planting With Basil

basil companion plants

Companion plants to avoid growing with basil include cucumbers, fennel, thyme, common rue, and sage due to competition for resources or their ability to attract pests.

1. Cucumbers

While cucumbers are one of my favorite plants to grow, they are not the best companion plants for basil. While they may grow together, planting them too close can actually affect the flavor and growth of cucumbers.

The strong scent emitted by basil can impact the taste of cucumbers and even stunt their growth.

It’s best to keep these two plants separate in your garden to ensure the health and productivity of both.

Remember, doing proper research on companion planting is crucial for a successful garden.

2. Fennel

Fennel is considered one of the worst plants when it comes to companion planting with basil. While both plants have their own unique qualities, they simply don’t get along in the garden.

Fennel contains certain compounds that can inhibit the growth of nearby plants, including basil.

This means that if you plant fennel too close to your basil, it could hinder its growth and affect its overall health.

To ensure a thriving basil plant, it’s best to keep fennel at a safe distance in your garden and opt for other compatible companions instead.

3. Thyme

Thyme is one of the plants that you should avoid growing alongside basil in your garden.

While both herbs have their own unique qualities, they have different growing requirements and may end up competing for resources like water and nutrients.

Thyme prefers well-drained soil with low to moderate moisture levels, whereas basil thrives in moist soil conditions.

This difference can create a challenging environment for both plants, leading to stunted growth or even plant failure.

To ensure the success of your basil companion planting, it’s best to steer clear of thyme and focus on other compatible options instead.

4. Common Rue

One plant that should be avoided as a companion for basil is common rue. While it may have some medicinal benefits, common rue can hinder the growth and health of basil plants when grown together.

Rue competes with basil for nutrients and light, which can result in stunted growth and poor development.

It’s best to keep common rue away from your basil to ensure the optimal health and productivity of your basil plants.

5. Sage

Sage is not a suitable companion plant for basil due to its competitive nature. Sage competes with basil for essential nutrients and light, which can hinder the growth of both plants.

It is best to keep these two herbs separate in your garden to ensure that they both thrive individually.

By avoiding planting sage near your basil, you can allow each herb to reach its full potential without any interference.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right companion plants for your basil can make all the difference in your garden.

By selecting tomatoes, bell peppers, asparagus, marigolds, and other compatible plants, you not only improve the flavor and growth of your basil but also create a thriving ecosystem that repels pests naturally.

On the flip side, it’s crucial to avoid planting basil alongside cucumbers, fennel, or thyme as they may hinder its growth.

So remember to choose your basil’s companions wisely and watch your garden flourish with health and abundance!

FAQs About Great Companion Plants For Basil

What Should Not Be Planted Next To Basil? 

There are a few plants that should not be planted near basil. These include fennel, rue, sage, and mint.

They can inhibit the growth of basil or negatively affect its flavor. You also want to avoid planting basil alongside asparagus plants and taller plants that may overshadow the basil.

What Plants Go Well With Basil? 

Basil has several companion plants that it grows well with, including tomatoes, peppers, and oregano.

These plants and herbs help enhance basil’s growth, repel unwanted pests, and attract beneficial insects your garden will love.

Are There Any Herbs That Shouldn’t Be Planted Together? 

While many herbs can be planted together without a problem, there are a few combinations to avoid.

Avoid planting herbs like mint, which has invasive tendencies, with other herbs in the same bed, as it may crowd out and overtake the other plants.

It’s best to give mint its own container or separate garden area to prevent it from spreading uncontrollably.

Can You Plant Basil With Rosemary? 

Yes, basil and rosemary can be planted together. They are compatible herbs and can coexist well in the garden.

They have similar sunlight and soil requirements and can provide a pleasant combination of flavors and aromas when used together in culinary applications.

Rosemary is a perennial herb that could overshadow basil. If you’re going to plant them together make sure there are at least 2-3 feet between the two plants.

How do companion plants benefit basil in the garden?

Companion plants offer several benefits to basil in the garden. They can attract beneficial insects that help control pests, improve soil health by providing additional nutrients or suppressing weeds, and enhance pollination for increased yields.

Can I plant other herbs alongside my basil?

Absolutely! Many herbs make excellent companions for basil. Some popular choices include parsley, cilantro/coriander, and dill.

Planting them together creates a beautiful herb garden while also benefiting each plant’s growth and aroma.

What are the benefits of companion planting?

Companion planting has numerous benefits such as improving soil fertility, maximizing garden space, attracting beneficial insects, deterring pests, and enhancing overall plant health.

What are some plants that basil helps?

Basil has a variety of different benefits. Plants like tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, marigolds, and parsley typically will see better flavor, fewer pests, and more overall plant growth and health.

Is basil a good companion for tomatoes?

Yes, planting basil with tomatoes is a great combination. It benefits both plants and makes them thrive.

Does basil help deter pests and diseases?

Yes, basil has natural repellent properties that help protect neighboring plants from pests and diseases.

Can basil improve the flavor of other plants?

Yes, planting basil near certain plants can improve their flavor, such as tomatoes and peppers.