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Perfect Rosemary Companion Plants for Your Garden

Rosemary is such a useful plant to have in your garden and one that is easy to grow without too much regular maintenance.

Not only can you use this flavoursome herb in your cooking but rosemary adds some other benefits to your garden as well.

Personally, I always like to have a rosemary bush or two near my veggie bed because it will attract pollinators such as bees to my garden when it flowers.

It’s also quite an attractive shrub if you prune it annually so that it doesn’t get too woody. 

And, as a sustainable gardener, I do like to consider companion planting in order to create the perfect ecosystem for all the plants that I grow.

If you’ve not ventured into companion planting yet or you’re just getting started, here are some important tips to remember and also some suggestions of what you should and shouldn’t plant near your rosemary.

Essential companion planting tips

Before you start delving into pairing your plants, you need to consider the essentials.

  • Soil type – make sure that the plants all like the same type of soil
  • Water requirements – ensure that companion plants need a similar amount of water
  • Sun or shade – don’t plant sun-loving plants in a shady spot
  • Space your plants according to their individual needs

What plants make excellent companions for rosemary?

As rosemary is a Mediterranean plant, it likes a hot and fairly dry environment. This should give you some indication as to what you can pair it with.

Consider other herbs that like similar conditions such as sage, oregano, marjoram and thyme. These herbs all like a similar environment and will thrive when grown together.

Rosemary Companion Plants | Plant care

Rosemary also likes to be paired with members of the onion family such as chives and onions. I actually have my rosemary bush planted in a bed right next to some chives with both sage and thyme further along.

There are also plenty of different vegetables that make excellent companions to rosemary. These include beetroot, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, capsicum, carrots, beans, tomatoes and eggplants.

If you’re looking to add some additional colour to your vegetable garden, you can plant flowers such as sweet alyssum and marigolds next to your rosemary. Lavender is also an excellent match for rosemary.

What plants don’t work well with rosemary?

Just as there are plants that work well with rosemary, there are others that you generally shouldn’t plant nearby. Here’s why.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are thirsty plants and need a lot of water on a daily basis in summer. This makes them not ideal for planting next to rosemary which prefers much drier conditions.

Mint

Similarly, mint likes a damper environment than rosemary and is very likely to compete for both water and nutrients if grown nearby. Mint is also a very vigorous grower and can quickly overtake rosemary which grows much more slowly.

Basil

Basil and rosemary also don’t make ideal companions because basil requires far more water than rosemary does.

Pumpkins

This one is a little subjective because some gardeners believe that rosemary can inhibit the pumpkin’s growth and therefore should not be planted together.

However, I recently had a pumpkin plant self-seed in my vegetable garden. Although the original root system of the pumpkin was a fair distance from my rosemary plant, some of the long vines ventured right in front of where the rosemary is growing.

Interestingly, it was this particular vine that produced the only two pumpkins that matured on the entire plant and the largest of these was sitting right in front of the rosemary bush.

So, I would argue that pumpkin vines might actually benefit from growing near rosemary. I’ll let you make up your own mind, but I believe that gardening is a science and experiments should be conducted regularly to see what works and what doesn’t.

FAQ

Can you plant basil and rosemary together?

No, basil requires much more water than rosemary does so these two should not be planted together.

Where is the best place to plant rosemary?

Rosemary should be planted in a sunny position in the garden. Ideally, plant your rosemary near your veggie patch and surround it with other Mediterranean-type herbs such as thyme, sage, marjoram and oregano.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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