22 Basil Companion Plants and 5 to Avoid

Companion planting is like creating a harmonious symphony in your garden. By strategically placing plants together, you can achieve remarkable results that benefit both their growth and your harvest.

When it comes to basil, selecting the right companions can mean the difference between thriving plants and lackluster growth. In this guide, we’ll delve into the world of basil’s companions, exploring the benefits and best choices for a thriving garden.

Benefits of Companion Planting

Pest Control

One of the key advantages of companion planting is natural pest control. Certain plants emit scents that repel pests, providing your basil with an added layer of protection. The concept of “companion” extends beyond human gardening – plants can be buddies too!

Improved Growth

Companion plants can also enhance the growth of your basil. Some plants have soil-improving properties, enriching the soil with nutrients and creating a favorable environment for your herbs to flourish. It’s like giving your basil a boost of natural vitamins!

Biodiversity Boost

Biodiversity is essential for a healthy garden ecosystem. When you diversify your garden with companion plants, you attract a variety of beneficial insects and pollinators. It’s like hosting a garden party for nature!

Companion Plants for Basil


Basil and tomatoes make a classic gardening combo that goes beyond culinary delight. Basil’s aromatic leaves not only enhance the flavor of tomatoes but also act as natural pest repellents for common tomato pests.

Meanwhile, the sprawling tomato plants provide essential shade to the base of basil, helping it maintain optimal soil moisture and preventing it from drying out too quickly. This partnership is like a dynamic duo fighting off garden intruders while enjoying each other’s company.


Oregano brings its aromatic oils to the table, effectively deterring pests that might bother basil. This partnership not only contributes to the flavor complexity of your dishes but also plays a crucial role in keeping unwanted visitors at bay.

The aromatic synergy between basil and oregano creates a harmonious environment where both plants thrive, leaving pests with no choice but to look elsewhere for a meal.


Marigolds bring more than just a burst of color to your garden. These vibrant blooms are excellent companions for basil, as they help deter nematodes that could harm the roots of your herb.

Moreover, marigolds attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, which act as natural predators for common pests. It’s like having tiny, colorful bodyguards that ensure your basil’s safety and growth.


Lettuce and basil share a mutually beneficial relationship in the garden. Lettuce’s broad leaves offer natural shade to the delicate basil plants, preventing the soil from drying out too quickly under the sun’s heat.

This leafy collaboration ensures that your basil stays comfortably hydrated, contributing to its overall health and vigor. Think of it as creating a cozy oasis for your basil amidst the summer sun.


Chives are not only known for their subtle onion flavor but also for their pest-repelling properties. By planting chives near your basil, you create a barrier against aphids and deter fungal diseases that might otherwise affect your basil’s growth.

Additionally, the upright growth of chives complements the bushy nature of basil, creating an aesthetically pleasing visual contrast in your garden.


Cilantro steps up as a true garden superhero when paired with basil. While cilantro repels pests that bother basil, it also serves as a trap crop.

Insects that would otherwise target basil are lured away by the aromatic cilantro, leaving your basil to flourish without the hassle of constant pest attacks. This dynamic duo showcases the power of strategic companion planting in maintaining a healthy garden ecosystem.


Thyme’s aromatic oils not only add fragrance to your garden but also play a role in pest control. By planting thyme near your basil, you create an environment where pests are less likely to thrive.

Thyme also acts as a natural ground cover, reducing weed growth around basil and allowing your herb garden to remain tidy and manageable.


Parsley proves to be a loyal companion for basil, both in the garden and in the kitchen. The strong scent of parsley confuses pests that might be looking for basil, creating a protective barrier.

Beyond pest control, these two herbs have each other’s backs in terms of growth and flavor enhancement. Together, they create a harmonious environment that benefits both plants.


Garlic is like the guardian of your basil plants. Its natural pest-deterrent properties protect basil from potential threats, allowing it to grow and flourish without constant pest attacks.

The combination of basil and garlic forms a robust line of defense that ensures the well-being of both plants, contributing to a thriving garden ecosystem.


Mint is renowned for its potent aroma, which not only adds a refreshing fragrance to your garden but also serves as a powerful pest repellent.

When planted near basil, mint’s aroma helps keep pests at bay, while also inhibiting the spread of diseases that could affect basil’s growth. This partnership showcases the strategic use of aromatic plants to maintain a pest-free garden environment.


Rosemary’s distinct scent not only adds a savory note to your culinary endeavors but also serves as a natural insect deterrent.

By planting rosemary near your basil, you create an environment where a range of insects that might bother basil are deterred. This partnership showcases the power of scent in maintaining a balanced garden ecosystem.


Nasturtiums step up as the bodyguards of your herb patch when planted alongside basil. These vibrant flowers repel aphids, whiteflies, and squash bugs that could harm your basil plants.

Nasturtiums act as a trap crop, diverting these pests away from basil and ensuring its undisturbed growth. This collaboration exemplifies the strategic use of companion plants to protect and enhance your garden’s well-being.


Onions take on the role of a versatile garden protector when grown near basil. Their strong scent deters many pests, creating a protective barrier around your basil plants.

This partnership showcases the potential of combining plants with complementary properties to create a fortified garden environment.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers and basil form a visually pleasing and mutually beneficial partnership in the garden. While basil aids in deterring pests and enhancing the growth of bell peppers, the peppers themselves benefit from the aromatic presence of basil.

This collaboration demonstrates how plants can work together to improve each other’s health and growth.


Calendula brings both beauty and practicality to your garden when planted alongside basil. The bright blooms of calendula attract pollinators and beneficial insects, enhancing the overall health of your garden ecosystem.

Additionally, calendula acts as a natural pest deterrent, preventing pests from bothering your basil plants. This partnership showcases the dual benefits of creating an attractive and functional garden space.


Fennel’s aromatic compounds serve as a natural deterrent for unwanted pests, making it an ideal companion for basil. By planting fennel near your basil, you create an environment where basil is less likely to suffer from pest attacks. Additionally, fennel’s ability to attract helpful predators further contributes to the well-being of both plants.


Lavender brings a touch of elegance and fragrance to your basil bed. Its distinct scent not only repels pests but also adds a serene ambiance to your garden space.

By planting lavender near your basil, you create an environment where pests are less likely to thrive, while also enjoying the sensory pleasures of lavender’s aroma.


Dill steps in as a formidable pest repellent when grown near basil. Its strong scent helps keep unwanted insects at bay, ensuring that your basil plants remain healthy and pest-free.

Dill’s tall growth also provides valuable shade to the base of basil, contributing to optimal soil moisture retention. This partnership exemplifies the power of scent and structure in maintaining a thriving garden.


Cucumber vines offer a dual advantage when planted alongside basil. Their sprawling growth creates natural shade for basil’s delicate leaves, preventing the soil from drying out too quickly.

Moreover, cucumber vines act as living mulch, preserving soil moisture and creating a favorable environment for basil’s growth. This collaboration showcases the ingenious use of plants to create microclimates within your garden.


Spinach and basil create a harmonious partnership that benefits both plants’ growth. Spinach’s leafy growth offers natural shade to the soil around basil, preventing it from becoming overly dry.

This shade also creates a microclimate that contributes to optimal soil moisture retention, enhancing the well-being of your basil plants. This collaboration highlights the importance of thoughtful plant placement in maintaining a healthy garden.


Radishes serve as multifunctional companions for basil, contributing to both pest control and garden organization. When grown near basil, radishes help deter certain pests that could harm your herb.

Additionally, radishes act as markers for rows, providing visual organization and structure to your garden. This partnership exemplifies the strategic use of companion plants for enhanced pest management and garden aesthetics.


Carrots contribute to improved soil quality and drainage when planted near basil. Their growth habit involves breaking up the soil, enhancing soil structure and nutrient distribution. The presence of carrots also doesn’t interfere with basil’s growth, allowing both plants to thrive side by side.

This partnership highlights the potential of combining plants with complementary growth habits for overall garden enhancement.

Plants to Avoid Near Basil


Borage might have a charming blue bloom, but its invasive nature could overshadow and impact basil’s growth negatively. To ensure your basil’s optimal growth, it’s best to keep borage at a distance.


Sage’s growth habit could potentially limit basil’s access to sunlight due to its height. To avoid competition for sunlight and resources, it’s advisable to plant basil away from sage.


Rue’s strong aroma can have a negative impact on basil’s growth and flavor. To protect your basil’s vitality and flavor profile, it’s recommended to avoid planting rue near it.


Cabbage family plants, like cabbage itself, can attract pests that may also target basil. To prevent potential pest infestations, it’s wise to keep basil and cabbage family plants separate.


Beans and basil have distinct soil and growth requirements that may not complement each other. To ensure both plants thrive without compromise, it’s best to plant them separately.

How to Implement Companion Planting

Garden Layout Considerations

When planning your garden layout, take into account the height, sunlight requirements, and growth habits of companion plants.

By strategically placing plants with compatible characteristics, you can create a harmonious garden environment where each plant thrives.

Interplanting and Intercropping

Interplanting involves placing companion plants in close proximity to each other within the same bed or area. This method maximizes space utilization and encourages beneficial interactions between plants.

On the other hand, intercropping involves alternating rows of different plants. Both techniques contribute to increased biodiversity, pest control, and overall garden health.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is companion planting?

Companion planting is the practice of growing different plants together to enhance their growth, deter pests, and improve overall yields.

Can I plant basil with other herbs?

Yes, many herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary make excellent companions for basil.

Do basil companion plants require the same care?

Not necessarily. While some companions share similar care requirements, it’s important to consider each plant’s specific needs.

Should I rotate companion plants each season?

Yes, rotating companion plants helps prevent soil depletion and pest buildup.

Can I grow basil near fruit trees?

Yes, basil can benefit fruit trees by deterring pests and attracting beneficial insects.

Do I need to use pesticides with companion planting?

Companion planting can reduce the need for chemical pesticides, but some vigilance may still be required.

Are there any plants that harm basil’s flavor?

Yes, plants like rue and certain cabbage family members can negatively impact basil’s flavor and growth.

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