The Best (and Worst) Rosemary Companion Plants

by balconyboss
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Companion planting is a pretty ancient practice of growing plants together that benefit one another. This could be for shade, extra nutrients, to deter pests or attract pollinators.

In this article, we’ll look at companion plants for rosemary. This garden herb is perfect for planting on balconies and in other small gardens and is very low maintenance.

We’ll also look at what planters will work best with different combinations.

Companion Plants for Rosemary

The first thing to understand is the growing requirements for rosemary. Although it works well in a balcony herb garden, it prefers dry, warm conditions. As such, the rosemary companion plants listed below generally shouldn’t be put in the same pot.

If you’re planting vegetables, some of the best companion plants for rosemary include:

  • Brassicas – cauliflower, kale, cabbage, broccoli, etc.
  • Carrots
  • Beans
  • Strawberries
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Marjoram

Planting any of these herbs in the same pot as rosemary is fine because they all like the same conditions. A simple railing planter (like this one) should accommodate small herbs. However, for long-term growth, you’ll want a larger and deeper planter (like this one).

Attracting Pollinators

One thing rosemary is good for is attracting pollinators. Its flowers are very popular with bees and other insects, so it works well around plenty of fruit and veg plants. If you want a pollinator’s paradise, other rosemary companion plants include:

  • Lavender
  • Marigold
  • Alyssum

You can plant lavender and rosemary in the same pot because they’re both Mediterranean plants with the same water and sun requirements. However, marigold prefers more water, so a tiered planter (like this one) would work best. Locate it near your vegetables to attract pollinators and deter pests.

What not to Plant with Rosemary

Just as there are rosemary companion plants, there are certain things you shouldn’t plant near it. Rosemary has very low nutrient requirements, so that’s not something we need to worry about. Instead, it doesn’t work well with plants that compete for space or those affected by strong aromas.

As such, keep it away from:

1. Mint

Mint is a very invasive plant that can easily take over a garden. While this isn’t a massive issue with balcony or patio gardening, the two plants will compete for soil space if kept in the same pot. However, they can be planted near each other as long as they’re kept separate.

2. Tomatoes

Although rosemary doesn’t have a lot of nutritional needs, it likes lots of nitrogen. Unfortunately, so do tomatoes. Also, tomatoes like lots of water, whereas rosemary doesn’t.

3. Basil

The same is true for basil, which is a bit of a loner in the herb world. There aren’t many herbs it enjoys being with, particularly rosemary.

4. Cucumbers

Cucumbers hate aromatic plants, so keep them away from rosemary and other strong herbs like sage and oregano.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of rosemary companion plants that work well on a balcony or patio. Generally, it works best if you keep rosemary in its own pot because its watering needs are quite different from other plants. Once you’ve got that sorted, though, it’ll bring plenty of benefits to your garden.