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23 Great Companion Plants for Oregano

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There are 23 companion plants for oregano and another 4 plants that should not be planted with it. The friendly fruits, vegetables, and herbs will benefit more from this little herb than they give back to the oregano itself.

Oregano or Origanum vulgare is a highly aromatic member of the mint family, but is not considered a type of mint. With high amounts of carvacrol in its leaves, oregano is useful to both plants and humans as a natural insect repellent.

Use it as a companion plant to deter pests or trap insects or rub it on your palms as a bug repellant. This versatile herb is delicious to eat and has so many uses. Be sure to benefit your garden with companion plants for oregano.

Oregano Plants Make An Excellent Pest Repellent

Garden plants are commonly plagued by a variety of insect pests. Oregano is a great companion plant because it repels (or acts as a trap crop) for:

  • Aphids 
  • Cabbage Worms which are also known as cabbage maggots and cabbage loopers
  • Flea Beetles
  • Slugs
  • Whiteflies – oregano attracts whiteflies and acts as a trap crop for some plants
  • Asparagus Beetles
  • Armyworms 
  • And more

Because it does attract whiteflies and a few other insects, oregano should be used in partnership with other companion plants to create a diverse garden environment. This will help manage various insects better than just using oregano as a companion to all the crops below.

I love that oregano’s uses as a culinary ingredient, health food, and pest repellent are so diverse.

Companion planting with oregano

1. Asparagus

Asparagus on a plate.
Asparagus on a plate.

Benefits: Oregano repels asparagus beetles.

A kitchen garden is not complete without oregano as it is very popular in both Mexican and Mediterranean foods. As a companion plant, it deters many pests. Asparagus is notoriously plagued by asparagus beetles and the oregano scent repels these beetles.

Oregano prefers loose dry soil, so it is important to not overwater your asparagus bed if you have oregano nearby. Regular harvesting of oregano leads to fuller, healthier plants.

2. Beans

Different kinds of beans close up.
Different kinds of beans close up.

Benefits: Oregano repels aphid pests from beans.

Both bush beans and pole beans can benefit from being planted near oregano. Oregano’s strong aromatic nature repels aphids which are common bean pests. Beans are a staple in the garden, but as a companion to oregano, they are mutually beneficial because of their nitrogen-fixing traits.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli in a wooden bowl.
Broccoli in a wooden bowl.

Benefits: Oregano repels aphids, cabbage worms, cabbage moths, and flea beetles. It acts as a trap crop for whiteflies which are known to damage broccoli.

Broccoli is best grown in loose well-drained soil which makes it an ideal companion for oregano. Oregano can be planted in the soil or in a pot near broccoli and other brassicas.

4. Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts in a wooden bowl.
Brussel sprouts in a wooden bowl.

Benefits: Oregano deters many pests that are common in the brassica family including broccoli above.

Late fall is made so much sweeter by a late harvest of beautiful brussel sprouts. Like other cole crops, brussel sprouts reach maturity later in the season. Pairing with oregano and other herbs ensures fresh edibles during the entire growing season.

Brussel sprouts look like mini cabbages, are wonderful oven-roasted, and are so easy to make. Definitely consider adding these to your garden if you have never tried them!

5. Cabbage

Cabbage on a wooden cutting board.
Cabbage on a wooden cutting board.

Benefits: The strong smell of oregano repels aphids, cabbage worms, and other brassica pests. It attracts as a trap crop for whiteflies which eat the oregano instead of the cabbage.

If you have ever tried to grow cabbage, you have probably had the unfortunate experience of having the plants eaten down by these horrible green worms…cabbage worms. I remember the first time I visited a friend and saw her sprawling abundant garden. It looked different from my garden.

My worm-eaten cabbages were all planted in one raised bed. She on the other hand had about 10 different vegetables and flowers growing in a 4×4 bed.

And her cabbages, tucked next to flowers and onions and herbs like oregano were huge, healthy and without a bunch of wormholes.  Simply planting them in healthy soil next to plants that repelled insects made a HUGE difference!

6. Cantaloupe

Fresh cantaloupe close up.
Fresh cantaloupe close-up.

Benefits: Oregano repels beetles, fleas, cockroaches, aphids and a wide variety of other pests!

Cantaloupe is such a sweet addition to the garden and the insects think so too. It can be difficult to grow. It requires plenty of fertilizer and water and regular attention to make sure it isn’t getting eaten as it grows.

Common cantaloupe pests include aphids, armyworms, crickets, cucumber beetles, cutworms, darkling beetles, dried fruit beetles and earwigs. While oregano will not repel all of these, when used with a variety of companion plants, it is part of an excellent insect defence!

7. Cauliflower

Cauliflower on a wooden kitchen counter.
Cauliflower on a wooden kitchen counter.

Benefits: Oregano repels aphids, cabbage worms, cabbage moths, flea beetles, and whiteflies which are known to damage cauliflower.

If you enjoy a wide variety of brassica plants, it is important to do some careful garden planting. Even though cauliflower is a great companion to oregano, it should not be overplanted with vegetables like cabbage, brussel sprouts, and kale because they are all prone to the same pests.

Be sure to spread these out in your garden with oregano and other herbs to repel insects.

8. Corn

Corn growing in the field.
Corn growing in the field.

Benefit: Oregano deters deer.

Deer do not enjoy the scent of oregano or other aromatic herbs. Planting these around your corn makes your garden less inviting to deer.

Once deer start eating in a particular garden, it can be difficult to get them to change their habits, so being proactive is essential.

9. Cucumber

Fresh slices of cucumber.
Fresh slices of cucumber.

Benefit: Oregano repels pests that feed on cucumbers and its flowers attract pollinators and beneficial insects.

If you are planning to grow cucumber, consider growing it vertically. Research indicates that growing cucumbers up a trellis leads to much higher yields.

The cause of this increase is the improved air circulation and sunlight. This arrangement allows oregano and dill (another favourite companion of cucumbers) to be planted in close proximity without getting choked by the vines.

10. Eggplant

Four eggplants on a wooden kitchen counter.
Four eggplants on a wooden kitchen counter.

Benefit: Oregano’s aroma masks the sweet smell of eggplants and deters insects from finding and eating them.

Eggplant is a delicious and unique vegetable prized in Mediterranean cuisine and an excellent substitute for meat. Oregano should be grown in a pot near eggplant to repel aphids and flea beetles as well as other pests.

Eggplant prefers heavier watering, so keeping oregano in a pot will allow both to thrive.

11. Grapes

Grapes hanging on a tree.
Grapes hanging on a tree.

Benefits: Oregano repels many insect pests including aphids.

Grapes attract many kinds of harmful insects and benefit from having a variety of companion plants to repel these pests. Vineyards can benefit by having oregano and other companion plants along the borders and near individual plants.

Oregano and grapes do especially well together because of their similar growing conditions.  Both prefer drier soil and grow well on hillsides.

12. Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi on a wooden kitchen counter.
Kohlrabi on a wooden kitchen counter.

Benefits: Oregano repels aphids, cabbage worms, cabbage moths, and flea beetles. It attracts whiteflies and acts as a trap crop keeping them away from kohlrabi.

Kohlrabi is a delicious member of the brassica family that tastes like a cross between cabbage and potato. It is excellent roasted in the oven and is easy to prepare and use. It should not be planted with other members of the brassica family which all tend to attract the same insects.

13. Lavender

Lavender growing in the field.
Lavender growing in the field.

Benefits: Oregano shares similar growing requirements.

A fragrant garden is rich in colour, scents, and beneficial insects. Lavender is commonly used in recipes, drinks, essential oils, and herbal remedies. Known for its relaxing properties, lavender is highly prized and is very useful in dried form.

In a herbal garden, it is great to plant with oregano and other plants which prefer well-drained to slightly dry soil. It does not like wet feet.

14. Marjoram

Marjoram close up.
Marjoram close-up.

Benefits: Both Marjoram and Oregano enjoy similar growing conditions preferring good drainage and loose soil. They can easily be planted together to repel aphids and other pests and attract pollinators to a garden.

Marjoram is commonly mistaken for oregano.  Oregano is sometimes called “wild marjoram.”  Marjoram’s scientific name is Origanum majorana while Oregano’s name is Origanum vulgare. Marjoram and Oregano share the same genus name but the species are slightly different.

Compared to a taste test, Oregano has a warmer woodsy taste and Marjoram is milder and sweeter in taste and smell.

15. Parsnips

Parsnips in garden
Parsnips in garden

Benefits: Oregano’s strong smell overpowers the smell of parsnips’ more delicate leaves that sap-sucking insects like and repels them away from the parsnips.

Parsnips are long white root vegetable that resembles a carrot. In recipes, these can be used similarly to potatoes…roasted, mashed, or in soup. Oregano can act as a trap crop for oregano when fine hairs on its leaves catch small pest insects. When oregano goes to flower, it will attract beneficial insects like a syrphid fly which feeds on aphids benefitting the whole garden.

16. Pepper

Red peppers growing in the garden.
Red peppers growing in the garden.

Benefits: Oregano boosts pepper performance by attracting bees and other pollinators and repelling sap-sucking insects like aphids.

Peppers of all kinds are essential in most vegetable gardens. These should be rotated from season to season and grown in rich soil away from other nightshade plants and regularly amended with compost or old manure. Peppers prefer full sun and very warm growing conditions similar to oregano.

17. Pumpkins

Pumpkins laying on the ground.
Pumpkins laying on the ground.

Benefits: Oregano repels insects like aphids, squash bugs, squash-vine borers, and cucumber beetles. Its flowers attract pollinators.

There is probably no other vegetable with such happy memories as pumpkins. We all love them which is why it is so frustrating when they rot out or get damaged and don’t finish growing. Let’s talk about ways to prevent that from happening.

Pumpkins are particularly attractive to sap-sucking insects like aphids, squash bugs, squash-vine borers, and cucumber beetles. So it is essential that they be interplanted with a variety of companion plants to combat these insects.

That can mean planting flowers and herbs to repel insects, planting companion plants to attract good predators and of course, plants to attract pollinators.

Companion planting with pumpkins can be a good strategy as well as physically removing the insects into a bucket with a bit of soap when you see them on your plants. Our chickens enjoy snacking on these bugs when the neighbours clean insects out of their gardens.

18. Rosemary

Repotted rosemary in backyard garden
Repotted rosemary in the backyard garden

Benefits: Oregano and rosemary have similar growing conditions.

Your herb or vegetable garden will benefit from both oregano and rosemary being planted nearby. Both plants enjoy looser, well-drained soil and both repel insect pests.

The leaves of both plants can be dried and used in the kitchen. If you have an abundance, consider using both to make the herb insect spray described below.

Other good rosemary companion plants include aubergines (eggplant), chives, beets and many more.

19. Squash

Yellow and green squash close up.
Yellow and green squash close up.

Benefits: Oregano repels aphids and squash bugs and other sap-sucking insects that destroy squash vines and plants.

Squash planted in rich soil can start growing quickly and setting fruit only to wither and the vine dies almost overnight. If you have had that happen and you look forward to your fall squash crop, you will be so excited to use oregano and other companion plants to protect your beautiful produce!

Use oregano plants paired with physical insect removal and oregano herb sprays for more effective deterrents.

20. Strawberries

Strawberries in a bowl in the garden.
Strawberries in a bowl in the garden.

Benefits: Oregano increases strawberry fruit production by attracting bees and other pollinators. It also repels insects like aphids that destroy berries.

A childhood with berries in the garden is sweet indeed. But just planting strawberries does not ensure there will be a great crop. They need pollinators and oregano flowers to draw in bees. A cute pot in the middle of the berry patch can then be moved to another spot in the garden when the strawberries are finished producing.

21. Tomatoes

Tomatoes on a wooden kitchen counter.
Tomatoes on a wooden kitchen counter.

Benefits:  Oregano increases tomato fruit production by attracting bees and other pollinators. It also repels pests that damage tomatoes.

Tomatoes love many kinds of companion plants, but they do not like to be planted near anything from the nightshade or brassica family. Of course, tomatoes need plenty of airflows to prevent fungal infections, so any companion plant including oregano should be at least 12 inches αway.

22. Thyme

Thyme growing in  a pot.
Thyme growing in a pot.

Benefits: Oregano and thyme enjoy similar soil requirements and do well together in a herb garden with loose well drained soil.

Thyme’s fragrant aromas provide similar benefits to plants as oregano. It can be planted in the ground or in a pot. The plant leaves can be used in cooking, essential oils and in homemade garden sprays like the one below to repel insects.

23. Watermelon

Fresh slices of watermelon.
Fresh slices of watermelon.

Benefits: Oregano repels damaging insects from watermelon vines and fruit.

Mark Twain once said, “Watermelon is the chief of this world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat.”

Watermelon has a unique history of being grown over the last 5000 years. What started as a tough, drought-resistant plant used as a source of water has been cultivated into the sweet garden gem we know today.

Enjoy the fruits of your labour by being proactive in protecting your watermelon. Insects can lead to fruit damage and rotting before it is even ripe. By planting oregano in pots nearby, many insects can be stopped. Pair companion planting with other forms of insect management.

What not to plant with oregano

1. Mint

Mint close up.
Mint close-up.

Oregano and mint are from the same family (Lamiaceae family). There are 3500 varieties of plants in this family, but not all share the same growing requirements. Mint and oregano are both prone to spreading plants which is why pots are often used. Additionally, mint prefers more water which can lead to overwatering for oregano when they are planted near each other.

Other companion plants for mint that do work would include bok choy, brussel sprouts, cabbage and plenty more.

2. Chives 

Chives growing in pans
Chives growing in pans

Chives do not make a good companion to oregano because oregano likes soil that is drier and sandier. Other herbs that do not pair well with chives include sage, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram, which also like the same drier soil.

3. Basil

Basil close up.
Basil close-up.

Basil prefers soil that has more water. Oregano likes to be in the dirt with less water. Ideally, if they are planted near each other, one or the other is in a separate pot so they can be properly watered.

There are plenty of better companion plants basil such as carrots, beans, beets and more.

4. Raspberries

Raspberries close up.
Raspberries close-up.

Oregano can repel many harmful insects, but it can attract other harmful insects. Planting near raspberries may be self-defeating and cause more harm to the raspberries than good.

Choose Oregano Companion Plants That Enjoy Similar Soil Conditions

Oregano is commonly grown in Mediterranean environments with a warm climate and loose well-drained soil. It prefers gravely or chalky soil and does very well on hillsides. It is hardy and thrives with regular pruning.

Because of its aromatic compounds, oregano is an excellent companion plant for most garden plants. However, it is ideally grown near plants that prefer similar gardening conditions.

If you want to use oregano near plants that do not like loose well-drained soil…or if the soil is heavy and wet,  planting oregano in a pot is an excellent option. This allows it to maintain its ideal soil conditions and be closed in close proximity to the plant it is benefiting.

How to Make Oregano Insect Repellant

DIY insect repellant.
DIY insect repellant.

Oregano contains high amounts of carvacrol, a natural insect repellent. In addition to being useful as a companion plant, it can also benefit plants by being sprayed with a solution made from oregano leaves.

In his book, 100 Greatest Gardening Ideas, Jeff Cox describes how spraying plants with herb sprays masks the smell of garden vegetables and fruit and confuses the insect pests.

Steps To Make Oregano Spray:

  1. Gather oregano in a pillowcase. It can be gathered alone or with other herbs that repel insects. You will need about 4 cups of herbs…loosely packed for every gallon of spray.
  2. Next, take a hammer and pound the herbs inside the pillowcase (or other fabric bags).
  3. Place the crushed herbs into a bucket and cover it with water. (1 gallon of water for every 4 cups of oregano or other herbs you started with.)
  4.  Stir the leaves in the water and place the covered bucket in the sun. Stir several times that day.
  5. The next day, add a couple of drops of dish soap to evenly distribute the plant oils.
  6. Strain the plant matter out through the pillowcase or cheesecloth. Use gloves to avoid irritating your skin.
  7. Fill a spray bottle with your new oregano-herb spray. Spray on a few test plants coating the top and bottom parts of the leaf. If all is well, spray on more of your crop.
  8. You will be able to tell if the spray is working if the problem insects start moving to other unsprayed plants. If the solution is effective, continue to spray the rest of the plants.
  9. Reapply after each rain.

Infographic of Companion plants for Oregano

Companion Plants for Oregano Infographic

FAQ About Oregano

Is oregano a good companion plant for tomatoes?

Oregano is an excellent companion plant for tomatoes as its high levels of carvacrol help repel sap-sucking insects. In addition, its beautiful flowers attract beneficial predator insects and pollinators.

Where is the best place to plant oregano? 

Oregano prefers loose, well-drained soil. The best place to plant oregano is in slightly rocky soil on a hillside, or in a pot. However, it can be planted straight in the garden with other plants that have similar water requirements.

Can oregano be planted with other herbs?

Yes, oregano can be planted with many other herbs. Some herbs that like the same type of soil include lavender, thyme, rosemary and marjoram.

What can you not plant near oregano?

Oregano should not be planted near mint, chives and basil. These plants prefer to be watered more regularly leading to soil this too damp for oregano. If you want to plant oregano in a herb bed with these plants, be sure to put oregano in a separate pot.

In addition, it is not recommended that oregano be planted near raspberries as oregano can attract pests that will damage raspberries.

Companion Plants for Oregano Can Yield Huge Benefits From A Small Herb

It may be tempting to think your garden is complete with a small pot of oregano in the kitchen window or on the back patio.

After all, how much oregano do you really need for cooking? Oregano has demonstrated itself to be a powerhouse in the plant world, capable of protecting nearby plants and acting as a trap crop for pesky insects.

So as it turns out…you may want a lot of this little herb. A bit tucked here and there in the ground and in pots could be the best thing you do for your garden next year!

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