Famed for their anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties, Basils also support the growth of other neighboring plants and suit perfectly as companion plants.
The love-hate relationship concerns the aroma of Basil, which many find appealing or distasteful.
So, let’s learn about the plants that can be good and bad partners with Basil.
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What Is Basil A Good Companion Plant For?
Basil is a sweet-scented aromatic herb that can be annual or perennial.
Thai Basil, Cinnamon Basil, and African Blue Basil are perennials, while Sweet Basils are annuals with tons of goodness.
Many Basil companion plants include members of the Nightshade family, such as Bell Peppers or Capsicum, and Chillies and Legume family members, like Beans.
These plants provide complementary and supplementary benefits of Basil when planted together with calculated spacing and offer additional protection.
Due to a volatile compound called eugenol, Basil’s scent suppresses infestation by masking the scent of the pest’s host.
Further, the mutualistic pairing of Basil with many plants bestows significant benefits to its companions.
- The purplish white Basil flowers draw bees and other important pollinators.
- The height of Basil can provide some shade to its partner plant.
- In some cases, Basil improves the essential oil content of its companion.
- Basil enhances the flavor of fruits, herbs, and vegetables it is paired with.
Do You Know?
You can easily plant different Basil varieties (Thai Basil, Sweet Basils, Everleaf Basils, Spicy Globe) that cross-pollinate to form more selective cultivars or new varieties.
To grow suitable partner plants with Basils, maintain a warm soil temperature. So the right time is 2 weeks after the last frost date.
Most of the beneficial effect of Basil comes from its leaves. However, leaves of wide varieties feature subtle hues of red or purple.
What Can I Plant With My Basil?
Basils can be planted with fellow vegetables and aromatic herbs with similar growth requirements to that of Basils.
However, some ornamental flowers dislike being around Basils due to their bug-repellant activity and other cultural care.
1. What vegetable can you plant with Basil?
Vegetables enjoy the partnership of Basil for its pest-resistant scents, which surely can save the harvest.
The classic pairing of Basil and Tomatoes goes well in pizzas and on the soil, sharing similar benefits.
Basil releases a strong aroma that helps deter seasonal pests like hornworms, aphids, and whiteflies munching on Tomatoes.
Moreover, Tomato bear fruits simultaneously during the flowering period of Basil.
Hence, Basil may help to attract pollinators and positively influence Tomato fruiting.
Additionally, Tomatoes and Basils prefer direct sun and well-draining soil.
Pest reduction increases Tomato yield. So, you must plant 4-5 Basil seeds a foot from Tomatoes.
Potatoes and Basil have similar environmental requirements, i.e., full sunlight and slightly acidic, well-draining soil.
Additionally, Potatoes go well with many other plants, having similar growth requirements to Basils.
This companionship allows Basil to remain protected from harsh sunlight under the shade of a Potato yet receive enough light to keep away the browning of the stem.
In exchange, the Basil repels the pests that harm Potatoes.
However, keep both plants a foot away for their better growth.
Garlic and Basil can be lifelong garden partners if grown at least 12 inches apart from each other.
Thrips are problematic to your Garlic, but the aromatic Basil leaves can be an organic deterrent for them.
Besides, growers often say that taste of both plants amplifies grown close together.
Although they can grow well in similar soil and light conditions, overcrowding may hamper their growth.
The combination of Asparagus and Basil in the garden attracts beneficial pollinators like ladybirds.
Also, ladybirds eat aphids and beetles before they can devour the young Asparagus shoot tips.
Further, both plants fancy the sunny spot, well-draining with slightly acidic soil.
Hence you must maintain at least 6-14 inches of planting gaps between the plants.
Cilantro and Basil share common ground as they have aromatic leaves and similar watering and light requirements.
Also, Basil shades Cilantro from extreme heat during summer due to its height.
Further, the leaves of both plants keep pests like aphids and beetles at bay.
Additionally, Cilantro flowers draw pollinators favoring Basil and other neighboring plants.
Since Cilantro generally grows in clusters, you must keep a minimum 8 inches distance between Basil and Cilantro plants.
The peppery taste of chilies is also unbearable for many pests like aphids, mosquitoes, mites, and thrips.
Peppers serve as a companion plant for Basils because the pest-repelling effects are boosted to a new level.
Moreover, this pairing can foster the taste of Basil leaves as well.
To grow this plant pair, you must provide them with seasonal watering, well-draining, and slightly acidic soil while planting them together.
Both prefer a sunny area to grow so that they can work well in your garden.
2. What herbs can you plant with Basil?
Aromatic herbs have pungent fragrances due to the presence of essential oils.
Also, you can plant aromatic Basils with many herbs to boost the aromatic and bug-repellant barrier, keeping both plants safe.
Most people consider Borage an edible herb with showy star-shaped, purplish-blue flowers.
But gardeners plant them beside other plants like Basil because of their mineral-extracting properties.
Borage has long tap roots, which extract minerals from deeper soil layers and bring them closer to the topsoil, making the nutrients available for shallow-rooted plants like Basil.
Besides, Borage flowers are pollinator-favorites, aiding in pollination.
You must plant Borage at a distance of 1.5-2 feet from each other and grow Basil a foot away from each Borage.
b. Chamomile, Chives, and Oregano
Herbs like Chamomile, Chives, and Oregano pair with Basil in the garden.
Most of these herbs grow under full sun, with well-draining soil and similar acidic pH values to that of Basil.
Growing Chamomile, Chive, and Oregano alongside Basil improves essential oil contents, intensifying its culinary and allelopathic use.
But prevent overcrowding by keeping at least a 1-foot distance between them for proper nutrients, space, and growth.
Do You Know?
Chamomile, Chive, and Oregano are suitable companion herbs for aromatic vegetables like Peppers (Bell Peppers and Chillies)!
3. Basil Companion Flowers
Seasonal blooming ornamentals will relish the pollinators brought along with Basil.
Let’s see some popular ornamental flowers that pair well with Basil varieties.
Marigold flowers have a decorative purpose and a tendency to repel pests when paired with Basil.
Additionally, the aromatic shield is doubled, which helps to repulse the annoying pests for both plants.
The pollinator-attracting property of Marigolds is effective even late into the season when the Basil flowers become spent.
However, you must maintain a 1.5-2 feet gap between the plants in your garden.
This shall give the pair enough time to bloom in sync during summer.
Nasturtium is a trap crop with a peppery umami taste to its flowers and leaves, attracting pests like aphids from nearby crops.
When Basil is your priority, Nasturtium helps you to draw all the pests from Basils and nearby plants.
Likewise, both prefer well-draining, slightly acidic soil and bloom under full sun.
However, keep a distance of 12 inches between the plants while sowing the seeds in early spring.
What Should You Not Plant With Basil?
Although Basil is a useful neighbor for most herbs, flowering plants, and vegetables, many plants consider it a third wheel.
Most negative impacts include resource competition, different watering, sunlight, pH demands, and pest-attracting or repelling properties.
So, here are some of the plants that you should avoid planting alongside Basil.
|Cucumbers||Creeping habit of cucumber can easily block out the basil.
Cucumbers take on the taste of their neighboring plant.
Both plants are highly aggressive in terms of nutrients and water uptake from the soil.
|Fennel||Fennel has long tap root that may inhibit he growth of basil.
Both fennels and basil attract numerous harmful pest.
|Rue||Have opposite soil demands.
Rue can impact the flavor of basil’s leaves, making them bitter.
|Sage||Roots of sage release some type of growth-inhibiting substances that can stunt basil.
Tips for Companion Planting With Basil
Companion planting shares beneficial properties with Basil and its partner plants.
Take help from the tips below to improve the state of Basil to benefit companion plants.
- Cut the central stem to 3-4 inches, at 1/4th inch above the leaf axils, once the plant grows 6-8 inches tall.
- Deadhead the flowers to increase the essential oil content making it more potent in repelling pests.
- Consider an open area to grow Basil and its companions together.
- Use water-soluble nitrogen feed 2-4 times a month to promote leaf growth.
- Grow Basil in borders at the required distance around its partner to elevate the pest-deterring effects.
- Some Basil companions need support for upright growth as they can droop and hamper Basil’s growth.
Basil loves 6-8 hours of direct daily sunlight, watering 1-2 times a week, and organic well-draining soil with pH 5.1-7.5. So, consider these while growing other plants around it.
From Editorial Team
Basil grows harmoniously with many vegetables, flowering plants, and other herbs.
Ensure your Basil plant is not overshadowed by the companion plants and gets proper light, temperature, and water to help them co-exist and leverage matching benefits.