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20 Companion Plants to Grow with Rosemary and Some to Keep Out

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Rosemary, a perennial herb known for its aromatic leaves and woody fragrance, is a staple in both culinary and ornamental gardening.

Aside from its uses in cooking, rosemary is celebrated for its benefits in a garden setting, where it acts as a natural pest repellent and attracts beneficial insects.

This makes it an ideal candidate for companion planting, a method that enhances garden health and biodiversity.

In this article, we’ll explore 20 plants that thrive alongside rosemary and a few that should be kept at a distance to ensure your garden remains healthy and vibrant.

Best Companion Plants for Rosemary

1. Lavender (Lavandula)

Pairing rosemary with lavender not only creates a visually appealing herb garden but also establishes a strong line of defense against pests. Both herbs thrive in full sun and well-draining soil, making them easy to grow side-by-side.

The strong scents of both plants are known to repel common pests and attract pollinators, enhancing the health and yield of your garden.

2. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Thyme shares rosemary’s love for well-drained soil and full sun, making it a harmonious companion. This herb also benefits from similar watering needs, reducing the effort required for garden maintenance.

Planting thyme near rosemary can help to create a robust flavor profile in both herbs, perfect for enhancing your culinary dishes.

3. Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

Like rosemary, oregano is a hardy herb that prefers similar growing conditions. The proximity of these plants can help to repel a variety of pests while attracting beneficial ones, such as bees and butterflies.

Oregano’s sprawling habit also complements the upright growth of rosemary, making efficient use of space in the garden.

4. Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage and rosemary are a classic pairing in both the kitchen and the garden. Both herbs prefer dry, well-draining soil and minimal watering, which helps to prevent root rot and overgrowth of either plant.

Together, they can create a powerful aromatic barrier against pests, while their leaves can be harvested together for a variety of dishes.

5. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil is a fantastic companion for rosemary as it helps to attract pollinators that are beneficial for the garden.

The presence of basil can enhance the growth and flavor of rosemary while its strong scent helps to mask rosemary from pests.

Additionally, basil requires more frequent watering, which can help maintain soil moisture levels suitable for rosemary.

6. Marigold (Tagetes)

The vibrant blooms of marigold not only add color to a garden but also serve as a powerful pest deterrent.

Planting marigolds around rosemary can help protect it from nematodes and other pests, thanks to the natural insecticidal properties found in marigold roots and foliage.

7. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Chives, with their mild onion flavor, are beneficial companions for rosemary. Their pungent smell is effective at repelling pests, while their small purple or white flowers attract pollinators.

Chives also share rosemary’s preference for full sun and well-drained soil, making them low-maintenance partners.

8. Carrots (Daucus carota subsp. sativus)

The deep roots of carrots can help loosen the soil, improving drainage and aeration around the denser root systems of rosemary.

This relationship allows both plants to thrive, with the aromatic properties of rosemary potentially improving the flavor of the carrots.

9. Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic’s strong scent is a powerful deterrent for pests that might otherwise bother rosemary. Planting garlic around rosemary can help create a protective barrier against various insects and diseases, bolstering the health and vigor of both plants.

10. Onions (Allium cepa)

Similar to garlic, onions emit a strong scent that pests find unappealing. This makes them excellent companions for rosemary, helping to shield it from harmful bugs while benefiting from rosemary’s ability to repel other garden pests.

11. Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)

Rosemary’s strong scent can help deter cabbage moths, which are common pests affecting cabbage and related plants. The mutual benefits include healthier, less pest-ridden cabbages and a fragrant, robust rosemary.

12. Beans (Phaseolus spp.)

Beans are known for their ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, which enriches the environment for surrounding plants like rosemary.

The vertical growth of beans can also provide some shade during the hottest parts of the day, potentially benefiting rosemary in very sunny gardens.

13. Strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa)

Rosemary can help repel some common pests that target strawberries, such as aphids and spider mites.

The strong scent of rosemary acts as a natural deterrent, protecting the delicate strawberry plants while also adding structure and diversity to your garden layout.

14. Kale (Brassica oleracea var. sabellica)

The robust nature of kale benefits greatly from rosemary’s pest repellent properties, particularly against cabbage moths, which can also target kale.

Planting these together ensures that your kale remains healthy and less bothered by pests, with rosemary enhancing the garden’s overall resilience.

15. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

Parsley and rosemary share many of the same growing conditions, including their preference for full sun and well-drained soil.

Parsley can benefit from the insect-repelling properties of rosemary, while its lower growth habit helps to fill in the space around taller rosemary plants, creating a lush, green garden aesthetic.

16. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

Spinach thrives in the cooler, partial shade provided by taller rosemary plants, especially in warmer climates.

This leafy green benefits from the cooler soil and reduced sunlight, which can help extend its growing season and yield.

17. Peas (Pisum sativum)

Like beans, peas enrich the soil with nitrogen, benefiting neighboring plants like rosemary. The vertical growth of peas can also help to maximize space in your garden, creating a more efficient and productive planting area.

18. Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

Asparagus, a perennial, can benefit from rosemary’s long-term presence in the garden. Rosemary helps to repel common pests that might harm asparagus, and the two can coexist for many years, each enjoying the stable growing conditions they prefer.

19. Celery (Apium graveolens)

Celery, which often attracts pests like aphids, can benefit from the pest repellent properties of rosemary.

This herb’s strong scent can help keep pests away from celery, reducing the need for chemical treatments and promoting a healthier, more natural garden environment.

20. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

Nasturtium acts as a trap crop, luring aphids and other pests away from valuable herbs like rosemary. This plant’s bright flowers not only add beauty to your garden but also serve a practical purpose by protecting rosemary and other plants from pest damage.

Plants to Avoid Planting with Rosemary

While rosemary plays well with many garden plants, there are a few that should be kept apart due to conflicting needs or negative interactions:

1. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum)

Potatoes require a lot of nutrients and water, which can compete with the needs of rosemary. Additionally, the damp soil conditions preferred by potatoes can lead to root rot in rosemary, making them incompatible garden mates.

2. Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus)

Cucumbers also prefer moister conditions compared to the dry, well-drained environment favored by rosemary. This disparity in watering needs can stress both plants, reducing their health and productivity.

3. Pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo)

Pumpkins, like cucumbers, have large leaves that can overshadow smaller herbs like rosemary, blocking their access to sunlight.

The high water and nutrient demands of pumpkins can also deplete the soil, leaving rosemary with less than it needs to thrive.

Companion planting with rosemary can greatly enhance your garden’s beauty, productivity, and health.

By choosing the right companions, you can create a vibrant ecosystem that naturally repels pests and promotes robust growth.

Remember to consider the specific needs of each plant in terms of soil, water, and sunlight to ensure that all your garden inhabitants can coexist harmoniously.

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