Here I explain rosemary companion plants. Whether it’s the sage that shares rosemary’s love for sunshine, or beans that enrich the soil, companionship in the garden can support productive plants.
By learning what to plant with rosemary and what not to plant, you can maximize the opportunities to help enhance growth, protect plants from pests (including deer),, and create a symbiotic ecosystem in your garden.
Keep reading to learn about what grows well with rosemary (aka rosemary’s plant pals) and how to have a thriving garden whether you want to grow foods or flowers.
Rosemary Companion Plants
In the heart of companion planting, rosemary’s plant pals – like sage and beans – truly shine. In addition to these edibles, there are many more herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers.
What’s great is you can keep growing rosemary throughout the year and plant rotate different companion plants, depending on the season. For example, you can plant strawberries with rosemary in the spring and summer, and then carrots and onions next to rosemary in the fall and winter. By rotating crops, you will also reduce the susceptibility of pests.
As long as you are careful uprooting the companion plant so you don’t disturb rosemary’s roots, you can grow next to it all year long. Consider also adding amended soil with each new planting. Here’s what to plant with rosemary.
Rosemary Companion Plants Vegetables and Fruits
Growing bean plants complement rosemary by fixing nitrogen in the soil, which is beneficial for rosemary. Additionally, the scent of rosemary deters beetles, protecting beans from the Mexican bean beetle.
Nutritious blueberries thrive best in well-drained, acidic soil and sunny areas. The presence of rosemary nearby can keep pests at bay and potentially improve the fruit’s flavor. Additionally, rosemary’s ability to deter deer can safeguard the blueberries.
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes, rutabagas, kohlrabi, and kale all grow well with rosemary. These are plants in the cabbage family. They benefit from rosemary’s companionship due to its strong aroma that masks the scent of brassicas and repels pests such as cabbage moths and butterflies.
As stated above, broccoli makes a great companion plant for rosemary. Broccoli’s large leaves provide useful shade, helping to keep the soil cool for the heat-sensitive roots of the rosemary plant. Also, rosemary’s strong aroma can deter common broccoli pests like cabbage flies. Thus, planting them together offers mutual benefits for both plants.
Cabbage is in the Brassicas family. I wanted to mention it here because cabbage is a good companion to rosemary. Rosemary helps cabbage by repelling cabbage moths. They grow well together because cabbage similar with water requirements to rosemary.
Rosemary’s strong scent deters carrot flies, protecting carrot crops. A benefit for rosemary is that in return, carrots enrich the soil and boost the overall health of rosemary plants.
Another vegetable in the Brassicas family, cauliflower is a beneficial companion plant for rosemary. Both plants have similar soil and sunlight requirements, making them compatible in the garden.
Cauliflower’s dense foliage can provide shade and help retain moisture in the soil, which benefits the rosemary plant. Additionally, rosemary’s strong scent can help repel pests that commonly affect cauliflower, such as cabbage worms. Planting cauliflower and rosemary together can create a mutually beneficial environment for both plants to thrive.
Similar to carrots, parsnips benefit from rosemary’s insect repellent properties, particularly deterring carrot flies.
Rosemary’s aromatic properties and ground-covering growth habit help to deter pests from pepper plants and keep the surrounding soil weed-free.
Raspberries flourish in sunny spots with well-draining soil. Growing raspberries adjacent to rosemary helps to guard against pests and may enhance the berry’s flavor. The deer-resistant nature of rosemary also provides an extra layer of protection for the raspberries.
Strawberries adapt well to diverse climates, sun-drenched locations, and well-draining soils. When strawberries are planted alongside rosemary, the rosemary will deters pests and slugs and also enhances the strawberries’ flavor. The combination improves the vitality of both plants.
Rosemary’s deer-repelling properties are an added advantage. However, when planting these two together, ensure there is ample space for their respective growth.
Apple trees prefer well-draining soils and sunlit conditions for optimal productivity. The addition of rosemary to the apple tree environment can serve as a pest deterrent and can also enrich the apple flavor. Plus, rosemary’s deer-repelling attribute provides an additional safeguard for apple trees.
Cherry trees yield sweet, antioxidant-rich fruits and prosper in well-drained soil and sun-kissed locations. When rosemary is planted close by, it assists in keeping pests away and could amplify the cherry flavor. Furthermore, rosemary’s deer-resistance offers a bonus protective element for the cherry trees.
Rosemary Companion Plants Herbs
Borage, an annual, is characterized by vivid blue blossoms and textured leaves. It’s an excellent companion plant for rosemary. Borage thrives under drought conditions and serves as a magnet for pollinators, enhancing the overall health and productivity of your garden.
Like rosemary, chives deter pests and enhance the taste and growth of plants they’re paired with, making them a beneficial rosemary companion. (Beans are a rosemary companion plant but don’t plant chives near beans.)
Known for releasing chemicals into the soil that accelerate growth and enhance taste, marjoram promotes the overall health and success of rosemary when planted together.
This low-growing plant can act as a natural sunshade for other plants without impeding rosemary’s growth. Oregano and rosemary also share similar growing conditions.
Sage shares rosemary’s love for basking in the sunlight. Together they form a strong aromatic alliance. (Go out after it rains and you will see what I mean.) Both rosemary and sage thrive in similar growing conditions, making them an excellent pair. Rosemary is known to enhance the flavor of sage, and together they deter pests like deer and rabbits.
Rosemary and thyme plants go hand in hand. Thyme is another Mediterranean herb like rosemary and shares similar growing conditions. Thyme, known to ward off cabbage worms, combined with the insect-repelling qualities of rosemary, provides a formidable defense against a range of pests when planted together in your garden.
Rosemary Companion Plants Flowers
For visual appeal, consider growing flowers, even one or two plants, among your rosemary. In addition to the flowers listed below, rosemary also pairs well with sunflowers, daisies, black-eyed Susan, and coneflowers. They are good at attracting pollinators and boost overall garden health.
Find the flowers that will thrive in your hardiness zone and plant them with rosemary for a colorful display.
The small flowers of alyssum attract beneficial insects, while rosemary repels pests. This combination creates an excellent pest protection team for the garden.
Calendula, or pot marigold, is a resilient annual flower that showcases radiant, sunny blooms. Its ease of growth and adaptability to varying soil types make it an excellent companion for rosemary.
Cosmos are annual flowers characterized by their abundant, vibrant blooms ranging in colors from pink, red, orange, yellow to white. Requiring sunny, well-draining soil, these resilient flowers resist most pests and diseases. Planted alongside rosemary, they add a visually appealing contrast and supplement the rosemary’s growth requirements.
As a native Mediterranean plant, lavender shares similar growing needs with rosemary, making them suitable garden companions. In addition, the purple lavender blooms complement the pale blue rosemary flowers, creating a stunning color display in the garden.
Marigolds are versatile annual flowers known for their bright hues and pest-repelling properties. These flowers complement rosemary well, protecting it from aphids and other common garden pests. Marigolds are often planted around vegetable gardens or in containers around outdoor areas.
Nasturtiums, recognized for their pest-deterring qualities, can enhance your garden’s visual appeal with their vivid flowers. They share similar growth requirements with rosemary, making them good companion plants.
Zinnias are annual flowers renowned for their colorful blooms in pink, red, orange, yellow, and white. Their easy cultivation and preference for sunny, well-draining soil make them ideal for companion planting with rosemary.
What Not to Plant with Rosemary
Here are the vegetables, fruits, and herbs to not plant with rosemary. They may compete for nutrients or need more water than rosemary. Some of these can introduce pests to rosemary plants. Here is an alphabetized list of what not to plant with rosemary.
While basil and rosemary are both beloved herbs, they’re not the best pairing in a garden. Their contrasting water needs make cohabitation problematic. Basil thrives with more moisture than rosemary, causing a potential imbalance.
Additionally, the space and nutrient needs of basil can directly compete with those of rosemary, hindering their mutual growth. Lastly, the potent scent of basil may overpower the subtle aroma of rosemary.
Cucumbers and rosemary have different watering and nutritional requirements, making them unsuitable companions. Cucumbers require a high nitrogen level in the soil, which rosemary cannot tolerate, and also need more water. Moreover, the robust cucumber scent can dominate the mild fragrance of rosemary.
Fennel’s growth can hinder other plants, including rosemary, making it a poor companion choice. Additionally, fennel attracts aphids and spider mites, pests that could harm rosemary plants.
The strong aroma of garlic can suppress rosemary’s scent, which can hamper their successful growth when planted together.
Lemongrass is not an ideal companion for rosemary for several reasons. Perhaps most importantly, lemongrass requires moist soil and high humidity to thrive, while rosemary prefers drier conditions.
This difference in watering needs can lead to overwatering and root rot in rosemary. Rosemary does not like wet feet.
Additionally, lemongrass can spread rapidly through its rhizomes, overpowering and crowding out the rosemary plant. Depending on which side it’s planted, it can also shade rosemary plants.
Also, lemongrass has a strong scent that can mask the delicate aroma of rosemary, affecting its overall appeal. Lastly, lemongrass is known to attract certain pests like aphids and spider mites, which can potentially damage the rosemary plant.
Lemongrass is a plant to not grow with rosemary. Keep them separate in your garden.
Mint and rosemary are ill-suited companions due to mint’s invasive growth nature. Mint can quickly dominate the planting area, competing for resources and space, thus inhibiting rosemary’s growth. Despite the exception of catnip or catmint for pest deterrence, it’s recommended to plant mint in a separate container to prevent garden takeover.
Onions, prone to attracting aphids, could potentially introduce these pests to your rosemary plants. It’s best to keep onions separate from rosemary to maintain the health of both plants.
Pumpkins demand more nutrients than rosemary, leading to a potential nutrient competition, which could harm both plants. Their deep roots may also compete with rosemary’s shallow root system. Moreover, pumpkins can suffer from mildew, a condition that rosemary is susceptible to, making their proximity risky.
Additionally, pumpkins are water-loving, sprawling plants. They don’t mix well with the sun-basking, drought-tolerant rosemary. Their growth requirements are very different.
Tomatoes and rosemary exhibit different watering needs, making them incompatible. The high moisture necessity for tomatoes can potentially overwhelm rosemary. Also, the shade from rosemary can interfere with the sunlight requirements of tomato plants. Rosemary’s strong odor may affect the flavor of your tomatoes, and its higher nitrogen needs can decrease productivity for both plants.
Benefits of Companion Planting
Companion planting is essentially the garden’s version of a neighborhood watch. Certain plants, when grown together, support each other in terms of growth, health, and pest control. Like a good friend, a companion plant might attract beneficial insects, deter pests, improve soil health, or simply help its neighbor “breathe easy” by not competing too aggressively for resources.
There are many benefits of taking advantage of rosemary companion plants:
- Pest control: Some companion plants, like sage and thyme, can deter pests that are harmful to rosemary, such as aphids and spider mites.
- Enhanced growth: Certain plants, including beans and peas, can improve soil fertility by fixing nitrogen, which can indirectly benefit rosemary’s growth.
- Improved soil structure: Companion plants with deep root systems, like certain varieties of beans, can help improve soil structure, enhancing drainage and benefiting rosemary.
- Disease prevention: Certain companion plants may help prevent soil-borne diseases that can affect rosemary.
- Mutual support: Some companion plants, like cabbage and broccoli, can provide ground cover, reducing water evaporation and keeping the soil cool for rosemary in hot conditions.
- Aesthetic value: Companion plants, particularly flowering ones like lavender and marigold, can enhance the visual appeal of your garden alongside rosemary.
- Attracts beneficial insects: Companion plants that produce flowers can attract pollinators and beneficial insects, improving the overall health and productivity of the garden, including the rosemary plant.
- Protects from harsh conditions: Certain companion plants can act as windbreaks, or provide some shade during the hottest part of the day, creating a more favorable microclimate for rosemary.
Purpose of Rosemary Companion Planting
Rosemary, with its aromatic presence and culinary prowess, is more than a simple Mediterranean herb. It’s a sun-loving, drought-tolerant champion that thrives when paired with the right garden companions.
Rosemary is a fragrant herb that adds a flavorful punch to your dishes and an aromatic touch to your garden. This Mediterranean native, with its sun-loving and drought-tolerant nature, plays well with certain other plants in the garden and needs to stay away from others.
Understanding the concept of companion planting is like discovering a secret language spoken only in the realm of flora.
In the world of rosemary companion plants, every plant has a role and every role has a plant. Companionship in the garden can lead to beautiful and productive outcomes. Like tomatoes growing well with basil, rosemary has it’s besties too. (And they are NOT tomatoes and basil!)
Soil Requirements for Rosemary
Rosemary thrives best in well-drained, sandy or loamy soil. This herb can tolerate a wide pH range but performs optimally in slightly acidic to neutral soil conditions, ideally around a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Incorporating organic matter such as compost or aged manure into the planting site can enhance the soil’s structure and fertility, fostering a nurturing environment for rosemary and its companion plants.
Rosemary is reasonably undemanding and can grow in low-nutrient soils. Frequent fertilization isn’t typically necessary. However, it may benefit from a light application of a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring, particularly when grown in conjunction with nutrient-loving companions such as cabbage or broccoli.
By observing these soil requirements, not only will you promote the health and vitality of your rosemary plant but also create an enriching habitat for its companion plants.
Watering and Sunlight Needs for Rosemary
Rosemary, true to its Mediterranean roots, flourishes under full sun, requiring a minimum of 6 – 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. This herb is adapted to handle sunny, dry conditions, much like many of its ideal companion plants, such as lavender, thyme, and sage.
While mature rosemary plants exhibit a strong tolerance to drought, they still need regular watering in their initial growth stages and during extended dry spells. However, it’s crucial to avoid overwatering as this can cause root rot, a common problem with rosemary and many of its companions.
To strike the right balance, allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions, mirroring the natural conditions these plants would experience in their native habitats.
Additionally, ensure that your rosemary plant, along with its companion plants, are situated in an area with good drainage. This approach will help maintain the optimal moisture levels for rosemary and its companions, enhancing their overall health and productivity.
Common Pests and Diseases that Can Affect Rosemary
Rosemary is relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, it can occasionally be troubled by aphids, spittlebugs, spider mites, and whiteflies. These pests usually infest plants that are stressed due to overwatering or lack of sunlight.
As a preventive measure, ensure your rosemary is planted in well-draining soil and receiving ample sunlight. A strong blast of water can often dislodge these pests. For more severe infestations, an application of insecticidal soap may be necessary.
When I found spittlebugs on one of my rosemary plants, I simply removed every branch that had the spit-looking bug on it. I snipped them with scissors, making a pile on the ground. I took extra care that it didn’t spread to other parts of the rosemary plant. Then I put them in a bag and threw them in the garbage can. It cured the problem.
As for diseases, rosemary can be affected by powdery mildew, especially in humid conditions or if there is poor air circulation around the plant. This fungus appears as a white or gray powdery substance on the leaves. To prevent it, make sure your rosemary has plenty of space around it for good airflow, avoid overhead watering, and remove any affected parts of the plant as soon as you notice them.
Companion planting can also be beneficial in deterring pests. For instance, planting garlic near rosemary can help keep aphids at bay. Other companion plants like thyme and sage can improve air circulation around the rosemary, reducing the chances of fungal diseases.
What is Rosemary
Rosemary is an aromatic perennial evergreen shrub known scientifically as Salvia rosarinus (formerly classified as Rosmarinus officinalis). It’s a popular culinary herb in the world of gardening and gastronomy.
It’s often hailed as the “dew of the sea,” owing to its Mediterranean origins and its love for well-drained, sun-drenched slopes. Packed with aroma, flavor, and a multitude of medicinal benefits, rosemary is truly a plant that is cherished around the globe.
People use rosemary in various ways, primarily in cooking and aromatherapy. In cooking, rosemary is a popular herb used in a wide array of dishes. Its strong flavor is well-suited to hearty meals like roasted lamb, chicken, and potatoes. Rosemary is also used in breads and other baked goods, such as focaccia.
Rosemary can also be used to enhance the flavors of various drinks, offering a sophisticated twist. Its fragrant, woodsy flavor pairs well with many cocktails, such as gin and tonics or vodka lemonades. Additionally, it can be used in non-alcoholic drinks, like homemade lemonade or hot teas, providing a unique and refreshing taste.
It’s commonly used in marinades and infused oils as well. In aromatherapy, rosemary essential oil is often used for its invigorating and refreshing scent.
Growing Conditions for Rosemary
Rosemary likes to keep it “real” – real sunny and dry, that is. So avoid planting it near plants that love water and shade.
Rosemary thrives as a perennial in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 10, where it can survive year-round in the outdoor conditions. However, in cooler climates of zones 7 and below, rosemary often grows as an annual, as it may not survive the frosty winter months.
With proper care and indoor overwintering, it’s possible to keep rosemary alive in colder regions as well.
When it comes to growing rosemary successfully, think about a typical Mediterranean climate – warm, with well-drained, sandy, and somewhat alkaline soil. Rosemary enjoys basking in full sunlight, so a sunny spot is vital for its successful growth.
Be cautious about overwatering this drought-tolerant herb. It’s more at risk from root rot than a bit of thirst.
As for temperature, rosemary prefers a chill in the air, but doesn’t fare well under a blanket of frost. This means if you live in a region with harsh winters, consider growing rosemary in a pot that can be brought indoors when the temperatures start to plummet.
Tips for Implementing Rosemary Companion Planting
Plan your space
Remember, rosemary can grow to the size of a small shrub, and it won’t play nice if it’s crowded.
Consider growing needs
Keep in mind the water, sun, and soil needs of each plant in your garden to ensure they can coexist peacefully.
Rosemary is an evergreen perennial shrub. It is typically hardy in USDA zones 8 and 9, and a few types do well in zone 7. (When I lived in Washington, zone 8a, rosemary lined my driveway, and I did nothing to maintain it. I only ever snipped it for recipes and enjoyed its scent!)
However, if you live in other hardiness zones, you will likely be growing rosemary as an annual. Avoid planting rosemary in the same spot year after year to prevent the build-up of any potential soil diseases. Rotate crops!
Respect the roots
Rosemary’s roots go deep, and they don’t appreciate being disturbed by plants with similarly deep root systems.
Rosemary’s strong scent can deter pests, but make sure its companion plants don’t attract bugs that rosemary is susceptible to.
What should not be planted with rosemary?
Plants such as pumpkins, mint, basil, cucumbers, onions, garlic, fennel, and tomatoes should not be planted with rosemary. Their thirst for water and love for shade are in stark contrast to rosemary’s preference for sun-bathing and its drought-tolerance.
What plants can be planted with rosemary?
If rosemary were to host a garden party, the guest list would certainly include sage, cabbage, beans, carrots, strawberries, chives, oregano, blueberries, raspberries, thyme, lavender, marigolds, and zinnias.
These plants harmonize well with rosemary’s needs and can play significant roles in a thriving garden plot. They don’t just coexist with rosemary. They create an ecological balance, deter pests, and in some cases, enrich the soil with essential nutrients.
Can you plant rosemary with tomatoes?
No, it’s best not to plant rosemary with tomatoes. These plants have significantly different watering needs. Tomatoes require more water than rosemary. This can lead to complications in their shared care and overall health.
What flowers grow well with rosemary?
Flowers such as lavender, sage, and thyme grow well with rosemary. They share similar growing conditions and also mutually benefit each other through pest deterrence. Marigolds and nasturtiums also pair well, as they can deter pests that might harm rosemary.
What herbs can you plant next to rosemary?
The best herbs to plant next to rosemary include sage, thyme, oregano, borage, chives, and marjoram. In particular, sage and thyme grow very well with rosemary. These aromatic companions share similar sunlight and watering preferences, making them good neighbors. Their combined fragrance can keep pests at bay.
Note, while basil is a prolific grower, it loves water and does not pair with rosemary.
What does rosemary like to be planted by?
Rosemary enjoys being planted alongside other Mediterranean herbs and plants that share its preference for well-drained soil and full sun exposure. Beneficial companions include sage, thyme, and lavender, which all share similar growth requirements.
Additionally, rosemary can be a good companion to cabbage, beans, and carrots, as it can deter certain pests that are harmful to these crops. Its deer-resistant properties also make it an excellent protective companion for plants prone to deer damage.
Companion Plants for Rosemary to Make Your Plants Thrive
When considering what to plant with rosemary, use this list for what to plant together and what to avoid. Choosing the right companions for your rosemary can transform your garden from a solitary stand of plants into a harmonious community, each contributing its own strengths for the collective good.
Remember, choosing the right companions can make all the difference.
When to plant rosemary outside
Rosemary companion plants featured image Flickr © Theen Moy CC BY 2.0