When planning your vegetable garden, it’s always a great idea to think about pests and common fungal diseases that impact the plants you’re going to be growing.
As I’m planning my 50×50 foot garden, there are a lot of things to think about – and one of the big ones is which herbs and vegetables to plant next to each other. This is when I discovered companion planting.
I love basil, so I’ll be planting basil all over the place in my veggie garden. It seems to do well with most things, but which will it actually help?
Are you supposed to be planting basil all in one area? Do you interweave them with plants they attract beneficial insects for? It is quite confusing, especially for a beginner like myself.
So I had to do some research to see which herbs and plants grow well together and which don’t. This page is a compilation of me trying to figure out what will grow well near basil plants.
Table of Contents
- 1 Common Problems Pests That Impact the Basil Plant
- 2 17 Great Basil Companion Plants
- 3 What NOT to Plant With Basil
- 4 What is Companion Planting?
- 5 What Are the Benefits of Companion Planting?
Common Problems Pests That Impact the Basil Plant
Companion planting is a two way street. Plant A helps Plant B, and/or Plant B helps Plant A.
That said, I like to start with the problems that basil has and that will help us understand which herbs or plants will help basil.
Basil plants tends to attract aphids, Japanese beetles, slugs and snails.
Aphids, the glitter of the garden – they’re everywhere, they multiple by the minute, and they’re impossible to get rid of. I’m so not ready to meet these suckers this year. So I’ll be keeping this list handy as I plan out my garden. Companion planting can help with these problems.
Plants that repel Aphids
2. Japanese Beetles
There are a few plants and herbs that Japanese beetles stay away from in the garden. The scent of these are strong and don’t taste good to the beetles.
These are the plants that repel Japanese beetles:
- White Chrysanthemum
- White Geraniums
3. Slugs & Snails
Plants that repel slugs and snails:
- Black Eyed Susan
There aren’t as many of the plants that repel slugs, so if you’re looking for a good repellant, check out Diatomaceous Earth. It seems to keep all kinds of bugs out of the garden, and it’s an organic method for pest control as well.
If you didn’t catch it by scanning those above, Marigolds are on all 3 of those lists. I think I need to buy more Marigolds seeds, because they seem to be really carry the weight in protecting a lot of plants.
While basil can be started by your kitchen window or grow room, eventually those seedlings will be transplanted outdoors. Knowing where to put your basil plants in the garden bed will help.
17 Great Basil Companion Plants
Basil helps repel asparagus beetles, hornworms, mosquitoes, flies, and thrips. So any plant hindered by those pests will do quite well as basil companions.
Basil is one of the herbs that actually prefers to grow near vegetables, versus other herbs. Keep that in mind when you’re planning your garden.
But in general, you can put basil near almost anything in that garden – it’s the herb that plays well with others.
Here are the top basil companions for your garden:
Anise helps by increasing the essential oils in herbs like basil.
Basil helps repel Asparagus beetles, so planting it near Asparagus will help that plant out quite a bit.
Beets are a fine basil companion, but beets don’t do well near chives or garlic – two big companion plants for basil.
Similar to marigolds, I’m planting a lot of this in 2021 as it’s beneficial for many herbs and vegetables in the garden.
I’ve seen some contradicting advice on this one.
Chamomile helps basil and increases the essential oils in the herb.
Chives have the same soil requirements as basil, and often pair well together.
Growing basil near cilantro is a good idea as it does well next to herbs with similar sunlight and watering requirements (i.e. Basil).
Basil, garlic and tomatoes seem to do well together.
Grapes have quite a few pests that like to come eat the plant. Basil helps grapes out quite a bit with it’s insect repelling qualities.
Basil and marigolds work well together and repel each others more devastating pests. Marigolds are a great basil companion.
Basil helps repel some of the pests attracted to oregano.
Can parsley and basil be planted together? Yes, basil grows well with parsley as they both require similar amounts of sunlight and water.
Peppers do well when planted near basil, as basil helps repel spider mites, mosquitoes and flies that are often attracted to them. This is especially true for bell peppers and chili peppers.
Similar to the basil and tomato companion planting amazingness, basil is said to help improve the flavor of your peppers as well.
Basil is said to do quite well near petunias. Petunias are a great companion plant for your herb garden because they repel all kinds of pests like asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, aphids, and tomato worms.
Basil is said to help enhance the flavor of potatoes as well. They also help attract beneficial insects to your garden like bees and butterflies.
Basil and tomato plants growing together is like a happy marriage. They complement the others best qualities and love being companions.
Plant basil near tomatoes to help repel garden pests and worms that are attracted to tomato plants.
Basil can actually make your tomatoes taste better and vice versa.
What NOT to Plant With Basil
While basil plays well with most plants in your vegetable and herb garden, it is not a good companion plant for these.
Planting rue and basil near each other is said to limit their growth potential. So avoid this pair if you can.
Thyme prefers a drier soil and doesn’t mind sandier soil conditions, whereas basil needs more moist, nutrient dense soil.
Similar to thyme, sage likes sandier soil and is more tolerant of a dry environment. Basil is quite the opposite, which is why they wouldn’t do well near each other.
Cucumbers are okay to plant near basil, just keep in mind that they can impact the taste of your cucumbers since they are mostly water.
What is Companion Planting?
Companion planting in my eyes is figuring out which plants and herbs to put near each other in the garden (and which to keep far apart) based on the insects they attract, as well as the soil conditions they promote.
A plant that generally grows well in sandy soil won’t do as well next to a plant that needs a ton of nutrients and a good potting soil. Some plants in the garden like extra sunlight, while some do well with some shade.
What Are the Benefits of Companion Planting?
Organic Pest Control
Companion planting is a good way to control garden pests in an organic way. By planting an herb that repels asparagus beetles, a common hindrance to asparagus plants, you’re able to better control that beetle population and have a more bountiful asparagus harvest.
Attracting Beneficial Insects
Basil helps attract beneficial insects and pollinators, such as bees and butterflies to your garden. These can help companion plants grow larger and stronger.
This can be both a pro and a con for companion planting. While basil can help tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes taste better, it can make cucumbers taste pretty…basil-y.
So you’ll want to keep this in mind when deciding what to plant nearby and what grows well together in your vegetable and herb garden.
All in all, growing basil is not super tough and is great for beginners. It pairs well with most things in a veggie garden, so the time spent stressing over what is a good basil companion and what isn’t, your time could be better spent elsewhere in my opinion.
Go ahead and stick your basil plant in the garden and enjoy your harvest!