Dating back its origin to the South Pacific Islands, Basil is one of the most rapidly growing members of the mint family. The diversities in varieties of basil are too many depending on their use. The most commonly found types of basils include lemon basil, sweet basil, and Thai Basil.
From Italian cuisines and traditional dishes to gardens, one can find basil anywhere and everywhere. It can be quickly grown and is amazingly delicious and nutritious.
However, you might be stuck wondering which kind of plants would walk on well as companion plants for your basil plant. So, here we are to help you out.
Unlike other herbs from the mint family, basil won’t go well with other herbs. Now, it becomes crucial to decode those companion plants which can optimize your basil’s growth. So, without delay, let’s get started with our list of basil companion plants.
Benefits Of Basil Companion Plants
Companion planting is also known as intercropping. With proper and judicious use of space, one can significantly impact basil’s growth and harvest quality. However, there are numerous benefits of growing companion plants. The advantages are as follows:
- Repel Insect Pests: Sometimes, plants have their natural ability to kill those toxic and potentially dangerous toxins which are least affected by insecticides. In such cases, companion plants are helpful.
- More Soil Nutrients: While growing, the plants consume the nutrients in the soil, thereby exhausting it. This exhaustion leads to additional pressure on the gardener. In such cases, the companionship of plants such as beans and legumes will prove beneficial by replenishing the soil’s nutrients.
- Provides Shade: Not all plants require heavy sunlight and light exposure for their growth. While growing your plant in a place where sunlight is in excess, you can look for tall plants with big leaves as your companion plants. Asparagus and zucchini can turn out to be the best companion plants in these cases.
- Improves Ground Cover: Some plants don’t cover much soil cover due to which excessive sunlight can harm them. In such cases, you can use layering crops such as oregano which increases the ground cover of the plant by optimizing the amount of sunlight and temperature.
- Brings Home Beneficial Insects: Sometimes, companion plants such as marigolds can bring home a bunch of pollinators such as birds, bees, and butterflies. As a result, the pollination chances and amount of harvest increase significantly.
Not just this, companion plants can be beneficial in other ways too. Using fast-growing and slow-growing plants as companions will help in differentiation and improvement in the growth of the original plant.
11 Basil Companion Plants
Tomatoes, technically belonging to fruits, repel pests known as hornworms. On the other hand, basil plants can repel mosquitoes, thrips, and whiteflies. While tomatoes can easily fall prey to these pests, the fragrance of basil can keep the insects away, thereby protecting the tomatoes.
Moreover, while planting and gardening, ensure to plant the basil in well-drained soil and place it in such a place where it gets enough sunlight for 6-8 hours.
Moreover, the pot should also have a sound drainage system. Gardeners also believe that when tomatoes are grown beside basils, their sweetness upon ripening increases significantly.
Ranging from orange to mixed, marigold is beautiful in all forms and colors. Basils, by nature, are insect-repelling. In addition to that, different types of marigolds are also insect-repelling.
Branched beetle species of marigold will tend to repel Mexican bean beetles. Fragrant species will repel the beet leafhoppers. The Mexican Marigold species will repel rabbits.
Besides these, marigolds generally repel nematodes and other insects. The companionship of these two insect-repelling plants will increase the protection from insects and pests.
However, while planting them, let the basil lead the marigold with an 18-24 inches gap to avoid overcrowding. Moreover, it also allows both the plants to enjoy their space.
Besides delivering a mouth-watering taste together, basil and potatoes also grow together very well. However, it would be fruitful if you keep in mind to choose the perfect fertilizer.
Choosing the best fertilizer will turn out to be difficult because potatoes require fertilizers rich in phosphorus and potassium. Moreover, potatoes even boost the amount of potassium availability, thereby helping the phosphorus nurture and grow the plant.
On the other hand, Basile requires fertilizers rich in nitrogen. However, their companionship will turn out to be fruitful, thereby blending flavors and preparing a feast for the eyes and taste buds. Moreover, proper storage of potatoes increases their life during preservation.
Being a perennial crop, asparagus takes about three years to start yielding. However, when it starts producing, it yields for no less than ten years at one go.
While choosing the ideal companion plant for your asparagus, you should keep in mind that the plant should have the ability to control pests and diseases at bay, nurture the nutritional benefits, and provide the benefits of good bacteria.
Choosing asparagus as a companion plant for basil and vice versa is the best option. That’s because their companionship leads to the arrival of ladybugs.
Ladybugs, in turn, keep asparagus beetle and cabbage aphids at bay and protect the shoots and roots of your asparagus plant. Thus, basil and asparagus can be great companion plants.
You must have seen gardeners amazed by the fragrance of rosemary and basil, thereby landing at growing them together. Basil needs proper moisture, well-drained soil.
However, rosemary, the memory aid for ancient Greeks, needs adequate water but not excessively well-drained soil.
Moreover, rosemary can survive in less moisture, whereas basil can’t. However, the companionship of these fragrant plants can keep carrot flies, mosquitoes, and cabbage moths at bay. However, while planting, make sure to chop the flowers regularly from the basil plant.
6. Bell Peppers
Being the largest source of Vitamin C, the companionship of bell peppers and basil can turn out to be the best one with proper precautions.
You need to monitor the water levels at regular intervals, thereby ensuring that it’s balanced. It’s because excess water will lead to the suffocation of roots. On the other hand, less water will result in a bitter taste.
Besides water levels, you also need to measure the light exposure. Long hours of exposure to sunlight can lead to sunscald. Bell pepper will protect the basil from excess high temperatures and light exposure.
However, if your plant is unable to get enough sunlight, you can use black plastic mulch, which will maintain the soil temperature, thereby absorbing the sunlight.
The sowing time of various types of chilies varies from 60 to 120 days. Basil, when grown closer to peppers and chilies, can make their flavor more enticing. Moreover, their companionship can also repel garden pests like thrips, aphids, flies, spider mites, etc.
Besides repelling garden pests, basils can increase the ground cover of chilies. However, while planting chilies and basil for companionship, you should keep in mind not to do anything in excess.
Otherwise, basil will absorb the humidity and moisture, thereby causing deficiency in the chilies and peppers.
Borage, a herbaceous plant belonging to the forget-me-not species, is most popularly known as starflower. Besides this, they are also rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Borage, being repellent to bugs, acts as a companion plant for basil by improving its flavor and rate of growth. Moreover, it also appetizes the appearance and taste of salads.
With feathery green leaves, chamomile blooms from June till July. As chamomile exhibits the same behavior as basil, it can be considered a good companion for the basil plant.
Chamomiles grow fast and don’t require any sophisticated machinery or extensive care. Moreover, their lifespan is only for a year.
Both these plants can grow well with each other adapting to each other’s water requirements. In addition to that, these plants also increase the effectiveness of oils in the roots, thereby enhancing their flavor.
Being a perennial herb, oregano is the most popular due to its pest repelling capabilities. Besides these, they also have insect attracting benefits. Thus, you can always consider oregano as an ideal companion plant with basil.
Most gardeners also prefer to use oregano as a companion plant for many varieties of plants. Moreover, its watering and other requirements resemble basil’s, thereby providing it with enough flavor and taste.
Being rich in sources of Vitamin A & C, Marjoram has been used as a medicinal herb since ancient times. Marjoram has excellent insect-attracting properties by which it can keep pests and aphids at bay.
Moreover, you can grow it quickly in the beginner stages also. In addition to that, like basil, marjoram also needs exposure for about 4-6 hours for its optimum growth. Thus, the companionship of marjoram and basil can turn out to be an excellent one.
Other Basil Companion Plants
Basil is known for its aroma, which is pest-repellent. Thus, combining basil with root vegetables such as radish, carrot, turnip can protect the basil, thereby optimizing their growth positively.
Due to its aroma and fragrance, basil, by itself, can repel some common insects and pests, which can otherwise prove detrimental to a plant’s growth. Plants such as peppers, beets, beans, cabbage, eggplants generally fall prey to these pests.
Besides the fragrance of basil, it’s also found that basil’s oil can repel mosquitoes, houseflies, and blue bottle flies. Hence, you can go for basils with these common plants. However, there are some plants which you should never plant beside or closer to basil. Let’s have a look at them.
Plants Which You Shouldn’t Use As A Companion For Basil
However, you can use chive as a companion plant for basil. Owing to its similarities in growth rates and water requirements, their companionship won’t be detrimental or interfering in any respect.
Due to such similar requirements, one can also go for parsley as a companion plant for basil. Moreover, while planting herbs, make sure to maintain a minimum gap of at least 8 inches between the plants in the pots.
Topping the charts of the plants which can never act as a companion plant for basil are cucumbers. That’s because cucumbers have high water content, thereby borrowing the taste of their plant growing nearby. Growing cucumber and basil can drastically impact the cucumbers like, so this companionship should be kept at bay.
You might have also heard about the companionship between basil and fennel. However, it’s wisest to grow fennel alone because it has the ability to impact and inhibit the average growth of other plants growing nearby. Thus, this companionship between basil and fennel wouldn’t turn out to be a good or beneficial one.
Moreover, you should also never plant mint besides your basil. That’s because mint exhibits the nature and characteristics of an invasive herb. Its growth takes place rapidly within a short time.
As a result, it ends up occupying a large amount of space and nutrients of the pot. Thus, growing herbs or basil with mint will turn out to be a detrimental one.
In addition to that, you shouldn’t also use thyme and sage as companion plants for basil. The average water requirements of these plants will lead to overwatering conditions in the case of basils. Thus, your basil can’t grow well with these plants.
Growing basils with other plants such as rues wouldn’t also turn out to be good because rue produces some harmful chemicals by its roots which inhibits the growth of basil.
Basils are highly medicinal by nature. Growing them in summers when the soil is at warm temperatures is the best way. Moreover, it would be best if you kept in mind to keep the soil well-drained and moist.
In addition to that, if you’re going to use the plant for flavoring your foods, you should choose clean pots and soil for it. Moreover, choose the right companion plants.
The wrong ones will inhibit the growth, alter the taste, and lead to other serious consequences. Thus, choose the companion plant well to drive home all the benefits of intercropping.