There are many great companion plants for rosemary. Below are 17 great options as well as 9 plants you should avoid.
Rosemary, scientifically called Salvia rosmarinus, is a low, woody perennial plant with thin and needle-like leaves which are fragrant and evergreen. Native to the Mediterranean, the flowers of this plant may come in blue, white, pink, or purple.
It is also known as Rosmarinus officinalis, its former scientific name. The plant produces an essential oil, hence its scent. It has medicinal uses in traditional medicine, including alleviating physical pain and improvement of body systems.
Rosemary is usually cultivated as a garden plant used in cooking, and it brings several benefits to plants around it. Its scented oil attracts and repels different insects. Its presence deters some pests and helps improve other plants’ flavors.
This is the idea of companion planting. You want your plants to benefit in some way from one another by the order of your planting arrangement. Certain specific crops and shrubs are planted near each other for advantages.
Such advantages may include attracting beneficial insects, deterring crop pests, and helping growth in the companion plant. Reading further, you will learn of seventeen(17) good and nine (9) bad companion plants for rosemary in your garden.
Table of Contents
Good Companion Plants for Rosemary
Alyssum is a plant with a sweet scent likened to that of honey. Its beautiful and small flowers are brightly colored, usually in any shade of white, cream, pink or light purple. It provides numerous benefits for rosemary.
Alyssum lures aphids away, while the aroma of rosemary is strong enough to keep pests away from it. The alyssum plant also attracts useful insects that help with pollination and it fills bare spots in the garden to discourage the growth of weeds.
In all, it is beneficial to plant alyssum near your rosemary as the plant allures pollinating insects and fills in gaps that would otherwise be occupied by weeds. Rosemary plants also help keep pests away from it.
You can plant aubergines beside rosemaries as well. An aubergine is a purple egg-shaped fruit from a large plant of the nightshade family which bears the same name. It is native to the Old World and usually eaten as a vegetable.
Aubergines are more popularly known as eggplants. They are susceptible to Colorado potato beetles, pests that eat away at them and destroy them. Rosemaries’ strong odor keeps these beetles at bay.
Rosemary is beneficial to aubergines in more ways than one. Besides the fact that they mask the fragrance of aubergines and help to keep bugs away from them, rosemaries also add to or improve the flavor of these fruits.
Growing beans in your garden boost nitrogen levels in the soil.
Beans and other legumes are good companion plants for this reason. Boosting the soil’s nitrogen levels helps in the growth of the crops, their metabolism, and their yield.
Planting beans near your rosemary also helps it by supplying it with nutrients. The scent of rosemary in turn deters the growth of bean beetles, pests that attack beans. Beans are not able to protect themselves from these pests.
Bean beetles eat into the plant’s leaves and photosynthesis, a necessity for its growth, becomes harder. So the scent of rosemary draws bean beetles away.
Beans in turn provide rosemary with nutrients and boost the soil’s nitrogen levels.
Beets are edible plants with a taproot portion, known as beetroot, and green leaves. The roots are deep purple in color, eaten raw, boiled, or roasted. The green leaves may be boiled or steamed, eaten alone, or with some other dishes.
Planting rosemary in close proximity to beets repels insects. This is because the strong scent of essential oils produced by the rosemary plant drives off beet-eating insects. Rosemary is very beneficial to beets.
Although beets do not provide much benefit to your rosemary, they are easy to grow and do not fight for root space with it. They are also able to help fill gaps that would otherwise have weeds while benefiting from the scent of your rosemary.
Brassicas are plants in the genus Brassicaceae, the cabbage and mustard family. This biological group includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, rutabaga, turnip, and other cruciferous vegetables.
Sowing any vegetables in this family near rosemary in the garden is good. This is because the strong smell of rosemary keeps insects like cabbage moths (which lay cabbage worms or cabbage loopers on them) away.
Rosemary does this by masking the scent of the brassicas so that these plant pests do not get drawn to them and destroy your crops. Brassicas benefit from the presence of rosemary around them.
Like brassicas and many other crops, specific insects attack carrots when they are planted. These are known as carrot flies. Carrot flies can identify your plant by smell and then lay eggs in the soil around it.
When these eggs hatch, maggots emerge and eat away at the outer layer of the carrot’s roots. To avoid a situation like this in your garden, you may plant your carrots in close proximity to rosemary.
Rosemary masks the smell of carrots and so carrot flies would be unable to detect these plants. Carrots can in turn help your rosemary plants thrive by controlling the presence of weeds that compete for soil nutrients in your garden.
One of the best rosemary companion herbs is the chive. Chives are green flowering plants that produce edible green leaves and bright whitish pink or whitish purple flowers. They are used to add flavor to and adorn food.
Chives are beneficial to most plants in the vegetable garden. They have a sulfur-based oil that helps keep insects which keep plant pests away. They may be planted beside rosemary as their beautiful flowers attract useful insects.
In addition to repelling pests and attracting pollinators, it is advisable to grow chives near your rosemary to enhance the taste of your herb. A combination of the scents of these two plants is sure to reduce the presence of harmful insects.
Companion planting rosemary and lavender works very well because both plants have similar origins (in the Mediterranean) and similar care needs. Plants with the same care requirements tend to do well when grown together.
Lavender is a genus of flowering plants (Lavandula) in the mint family. Native to the Old World (Afro-Eurasia), plants of this genus are cultivated for ornamental, medicinal, and culinary purposes.
The beautiful lavender (a shade of purple) flowers of this crop attract, much like rosemary, several pollinators. Planting them together ensures the presence of beneficial insects in your garden.
Lavender is a great companion and is more tolerant of cold climates.
Marigolds are good companion plants for rosemary. They are herbaceous plants with green, pinnate leaves and brightly colored flowers which may come in white, yellow, orange, or golden but most popularly in yellow.
Like rosemary, marigolds are believed to have a repellent effect on crop pests. Planting these two side by side keeps insects away. Some of such include aphids, beetles, cabbage loopers, corn earworms, nematodes, and squash bugs.
The flowers of marigolds are also very attractive. As a result, they encourage pollinators and other useful insects to come to them. Rosemary and marigold are a very suitable pairing for companion planting.
Oregano is a species of flowering plant in the biological family Lamiaceae, the mint family. This plant is woody, with opposite leaves and pink to purple flowers. While it is usually cooked and eaten, it may be used as an ornamental plant.
It serves as a good companion plant for rosemary. Because it grows fast and can easily take over an area in your garden, it is advisable to grow it in a pot of its own and then keep this pot near the rosemary in your garden.
The benefits of oregano come from its scent and flowers. Like that of rosemary, the scent of oregano keeps harmful insects away from your garden. Its attractive flowers on the other hand attract pollinating insects.
Growing onions alongside your rosemary are advantageous to both plants. Both onions and rosemary have strong scents that keep off several kinds of pests from attacking the crops grown in your garden.
Rosemary has beautiful flowers that encourage the presence of pollinators. The aroma of rosemary keeps several crop pests away from your onions and in turn, the aroma of onions deters bugs from attacking your rosemary plant.
This combination does not guarantee the absence of pests in your garden but it certainly helps create a balance in your garden. Onions are also known to improve the flavor and taste of rosemary when planted together.
A parsnip is a flowering plant related to carrots and parsley. It is an edible root vegetable like the aforementioned and they all belong to the same botanical family. The harvested root is usually cream-colored with leafy greens above it.
Rosemary is a good companion plant for parsnips for the same reason that it is good for carrots. Parsnips tend to attract carrot flies but the strong odor of the rosemary plant helps keep these insects away when in close proximity.
Parsnips also attract predatory insects that feed on several crop pests, protecting the plants around them. Their roots produce a substance toxic to several insects like fruit flies, pea aphids, and red spider mites.
13. Pepper Plants
Cultivating pepper alongside rosemary in your garden fosters a symbiotic relationship (a relationship that benefits both the parties involved) between the two plants. There are about 1,000 to 2,000 species of pepper plants.
Rosemary improves the taste and flavor of pepper, aiding its growth as well. It is also able to attract beneficial insects that ward off pests. Its scent is able to repel insects like aphids, thrips, and whiteflies.
Rosemary also makes a good ground cover, reducing the amount of soil left bare and in turn the evaporation rate of the soil after watering. Peppers help rosemary by keeping away certain harmful insects.
Another crop you should consider growing around rosemary in your garden is radish. Radishes are edible root vegetables eaten mostly as crunchy and pungent salad vegetables. They come in different colors, shapes, and sizes.
They both bring benefits to each other. Radishes usually possess beautiful flowers and leaves that attract beneficial insects to the rosemary plant. These insects may help in pollination or biological control of crop pests.
The scent of rosemary (and any other strong-smelling herb) is a deterrent to several pests that might want to attack your radish plants. Radishes may however attract flea beetles which damage the leaves of certain kinds of plants.
Sage, or common sage, is a woody, evergreen shrub with grayish green leaves and flowers in any shade of color from blue to purple. Like rosemary, it belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae and has roots in the Mediterranean.
Because sage and rosemary have similar origins, they should be cared for in like manner. This makes them compatible with each other and an excellent pair for companion planting. The combination even saves space in the garden.
Growing sage and rosemary together makes for a strong-smelling section of your garden and plant pests are warded off. Rosemary also helps in the growth, health, and taste of sage while sage helps keep dangerous insects away.
One of the few plants that grow well in close proximity to strawberries is rosemary. Slugs and other pests are known to be very attracted to strawberries, making it undesirable for several crops to be planted beside them.
Be that as it may, rosemary has a powerful scent that keeps these pests away. It masks the smell of strawberries and in doing so protects them to an extent. Strawberries also add some value to rosemary.
Strawberries add beneficial nutrients to the soil, acting as a sort of fertilizer for rosemaries. They have been known to enhance the flavor and taste of rosemary too. Companion planting involving these two is beneficial.
Thyme is one of the few herbs that serve as good companions for rosemaries. It is an aromatic evergreen herb in the mint family that is native to the Mediterranean. Its care needs and those of rosemary are alike.
Thyme repels worms that would otherwise destroy and kill off rosemary. Rosemary wards off some other crop pests within the garden with its strong scent and provides shade for the smaller thyme plant.
Rosemary and thyme like and dislike similar plants. Although they can grow well together, it is advisable to leave some space between them while planting. This is because they both need adequate root space in the soil.
Bad Companion Plants for Rosemary
We have discussed some garden crops that grow well besides rosemary. Explained below are some plants that you should never place beside rosemary in your garden for reasons also stated hereunder.
Basil, or great basil, is a tender plant in the mint family that is used as a culinary herb. Although it is used throughout the world in several cuisines, it is native to the tropics of Central Africa and Southeast Asia.
It is not advisable to plant basil and rosemary together as one would thrive and the other would die. This is because they have very different water requirements as basil requires more water for its growth than rosemary does.
Another bad companion plant for rosemary is celery. Celery is a marshland plant grown to be consumed as a vegetable. Its leaves and stalks may be used in cooking but this depends on the variety and location of the plant.
Although the fragrance of rosemary can deter pests from celery when they are planted together, this is a bad idea. Like basil, celery is one of those plants that need high amounts of moisture to survive.
On the other hand, rosemary does not need too much water to thrive. If these crops are grown side by side in your garden then one may have adequate water while the other has too little, or while the other has too much moisture.
Also known as zucchinis, courgettes are herbaceous plants harvested when their fruits have immature seeds and soft, edible outer layers (epicarps). Fruits harvested at this point are known as summer squashes.
Rosemary provides courgettes with benefits by attracting pollinators and repelling pests. However, courgettes need way more water than rosemaries to thrive and so they should not be planted together in your garden.
The planting of cucumbers and rosemaries side by side has adverse effects on the rosemaries. The cucumbers however benefit from the rosemaries as the latter have beautiful flowers that attract pollinators to the former.
Rosemary does not require as much water as a cucumber. To grow them in close proximity would mean drowning the rosemary or denying the cucumber water. Also, cucumber needs soil with high nitrogen content.
Mint is yet another bad companion plant for rosemary. Mint and rosemary plants should be distanced from each other in the garden. Inadequate spacing can result in competition between the plants.
Mints are overpowering herbs that take up a lot of root space and compete with other crops. It is more advisable to grow mints in their own pots where they do not inconvenience your other garden plants.
In addition to rosemary and mint competing for soil space in the garden, they have different moisture needs. While mint requires damp soil, rosemary thrives in drained soil. The two are not compatible and should not be planted together.
Rosemary does not benefit from growing beside pumpkins. It is naturally repellent to insect pests and this is mostly due to the strong fragrance that the plant has. However, rosemary is susceptible to mildew.
Plants like pumpkins that are prone to mildew infection and root rot should not be cultivated close to rosemary. Your herb cannot protect itself from mildew and root rot so planting pumpkins beside it puts its health at risk.
7. Sweet Corn
Sweet corn is another plant with care needs different from rosemary. Rosemary is a good companion for sweet corn but sweet corn is a bad companion plant for rosemary. Planting them together is not advised.
Several herbs, rosemary inclusive, help sweet corn because they deter pests from harming the plant. That aside, due to the fact that sweet corn has deep roots and requires a lot of moisture, your rosemary may drown if grown beside it.
Tomatoes and rosemaries should never be grown together. Companion planting involving these two is detrimental to both parties. Tomatoes need more water than rosemaries and rosemaries may deprive tomatoes of nutrients.
Fungal diseases like blight are rampant with tomatoes as they grow. Rosemaries can only protect themselves from pests and not diseases like this. Also, planting them side by side may lead to overwatering for the rosemary.
If rosemary is watered according to the tomato’s water needs, its roots dampen, its leaves become discolored and the plant may die. If a tomato is watered according to rosemary’s water needs, it becomes underwatered.
Because rosemary does not require as much moisture, the tomato may get dehydrated and die off. Another detriment for your tomato as a result of this relationship is that rosemary can use up some soil nutrients that the former would need.
In its growing season, watermelon requires moisture, not too much but more than rosemary needs, to grow properly and healthily. Because of this discrepancy between water needs, planting them together is not recommended.
Although watermelons benefit from flowering plants like this one (because they attract beneficial insects for pollination), rosemary does not benefit from watermelons. It instead is overwatered as a result of this pairing, which may lead to poor health and even cause death.
Video about companion plants for Rosemary
Infographic Companion Plants For Rosemary
What can you not plant next to rosemary?
Some crops you should not plant next to rosemary in your garden are basil, celery, courgettes (zucchini), cucumbers, mint, potatoes, pumpkins, sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelons, other summer squashes, and any other plants that require lots of moisture.
What are good companions for rosemary?
Some good companion plants for rosemary include alyssum, aubergines (eggplants), beans, beets, brassicas, carrots, chives, lavender, marigolds, marjoram, oregano, onions, parsnips, pepper plants, radishes, sage, strawberries, and thyme.
Can rosemary be planted with other herbs?
Rosemary is not very compatible with other herbs, especially mint. The only herbs that rosemary may be comfortably planted with are lavender, marjoram, oregano, sage, and thyme.
Can you plant rosemary with tomatoes?
Tomatoes and roesmary should not be planted together do to fungal diseases, watering, and soil issues. See tomatoes in the section about bad companion plants for more details on why.
Although it does not grow the best with herbs, rosemary is a good companion plant for vegetables like brassicas and root vegetables. Briefly discussed above are seventeen (17) good and nine (9) bad companion plants for rosemary.
Companion planting has resulted from many years of farmers planting several crops together and realizing what pairings work or do not work. Some combinations benefit both parties, some benefit one without harming the other, some benefit one while harming the other, and some harm both.
Good companion planting either results in benefits for both parties or brings one crop advantage without harming the other. When the relationship harms one or both crops, the pairing is regarded as a bad companionship.
Some benefits of companion planting are that it helps to keep insect pests away, encourage beneficial insects, improve soil nutrients, help with the growth and taste of crops, provide ground cover, shade crops from excess sunlight, and mark plants.
Rosemary requires full exposure to the sun, slightly acidic to neutral well-draining but rich soil, even watering but not too much moisture, pruning, warmth, and moderately dry climate conditions. It does not need fertilizer but small amounts help.
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