You don’t need a green thumb to grow your own rosemary plant with other herbs. What you need are a few rules of thumb in companion planting, particularly growing rosemary with other culinary herbs.
What is Companion Planting?
With the right combination, you can increase yield, promote pollination, and repel pests.
Curiously, it seems that this system also has a way of identifying which insects are harmful and which are helpful. In fact, it drives away pests and provides shelter for beneficial insects.
Rules of Combining Rosemary Plant with Other Herbs
- Combine plants with similar needs
This is no rocket science, yet people commit the very simple mistake of doing the exact opposite.
Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb. It loves temperate climate and dry sandy soil.
So your effort is doomed from the start if you insist on growing rosemary with herbs that require lots of shade and moisture.
- Consider the herbs’ compatibility
Well, some plants just can’t get along being planted together, notwithstanding their similar needs. They’re the types that just don’t get along well, no matter what. So much like humans, huh? Compatible companion plants, on the other hand, mutually benefit from each other. They tend to have a symbiotic relationship that makes each other grow and thrive. Some even have protective effects over others.
- Give them space
Didn’t I just say they’re a bit like humans? Proper spacing between herbs is crucial for optimal growth. In a large pot (at least 12-15 inches in diameter),
A rosemary plant can be grown with 3 companion herbs.
If you plant more than that, the plants will be too crowded. They will struggle for the soil’s nutrients, and this can cause some plants to fail.
- Don’t include plants that tend to grow profusely
This is also about giving others space, with more emphasis on the kind of plant that you put into your combined garden.
Don’t put in a mint, for instance, because it tends to grow profusely.
It kind of stifles others with its mere presence. If that reminds you of someone, then you understand why you shouldn’t put mint in there. I mean no offense against mints – I love mint. It’s just that if you need mint, then plant one by itself.
- Transplant when they start to become bushy
Transplant your herbs on the ground or in individual pots when they start to grow out of their container. Rosemary and most of its Mediterranean cousins are woody shrubs. They’ll be happier in a larger space, although they would still love to be together.
Best Companion Herbs for Rosemary
Lucky for us herb-lovers, most of our aromatic friends come from the Mediterranean region. Thus, they share a common love for sunlight and fairly dry soil.
Aside from our hardy rosemary, this sun-loving group also includes sage, thyme, oregano, lavender, and marjoram.
Like a happy family, they coexist and grow well together in a garden. Planting them in a large container or pots by the kitchen’s window will work just fine.
Let’s take a look at each of these potential garden companions for your rosemary plant.
- Thyme is a small creeping plant that can be kept in bounds in a pot when paired with rosemary and multicolored sage. It enhances the aromatic flavor of the adjacent sage or rosemary. Talk about encouraging garden mates to become their better selves! I couldn’t be prouder of my herbs.
- Lavender is prized for its soothing aroma and delightful blooms. It features tall purple flowers which, with rosemary’s blue and pink, add pretty hues to your herb garden.
- Oregano is more than just a flavor enhancer for various dishes. Like rosemary, it has a variety of healing qualities. It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidative effects.
- Marjoram is oregano’s closest cousin. It is a perennial aromatic herb widely used for cooking and aromatherapy. The health benefits that can be derived from marjoram include protection against common illnesses and relief from insomnia and stress.
- Sage is so much like rosemary. It helps to enhance brain function and memory. It has antibacterial and antiseptic qualities which are highly effective against throat and gum infections.
Other Companion Plants for Rosemary
Herbs are not the only plants known to thrive with rosemary in a shared space. The truth is that rosemary grows really well with vegetables.
By planting rosemary with cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, you’re providing these plants a natural insecticide.
The herb’s pungent smell repels a wide variety of insects that harm vegetables.
Why we want them all in one place
We think that planting herbs together makes it easy to snip their leaves each time we need them. That’s especially true if you plant them by the window sill or in a garden nearby. They’ll be always fresh and available that way.
What’s more, it’s not only in cooking that you’ll enjoy these herbs. We don’t deny the gastronomic delight that can be derived from them.
You have to agree, however, that seeing and smelling live herbs offer a whole new level of excitement.
A garden may look like a lot to do, but starting one is not difficult at all. Just start with one rosemary plant. Then plant sage, and probably thyme the next. In no time, you’ll have a garden.