7 Basil Companion Plants

Basil will grow the best when grown near other beneficial plants. Which companion plants should you consider?

Basil is a rockstar in the gardening world in terms of companion plants. It’s one of the best herbs to grow near others because it guards against pests.

Other than planting basil in a sunny spot in well-draining soil, we’ve identified 7 plants with similar needs as basil and make good companion plants. 

1. Tomato

Planting basil near tomato plants is companion gardening at its finest. Basil repels hornworms that can destroy tomatoes. 

In return, neighboring tomato plants help maintain optimal moisture levels in the soil and provide shade for basil in extreme heat, which prevents basil from wilting.

fresh and ripe tomatoes in the home garden

2. Borage

The borage’s purple flowers add color to gardens. Borage plants, which are annuals, grow about 20 inches tall and are fantastic additions to indoor and outdoor herb gardens.

Borage plants deposit beneficial nutrients in the soil, which basil roots absorb. Borage also deters earthworms and attracts pollinators.

bee pollinating on a borage plant

3. Chamomile

Chamomile is a flowering plant that is not difficult to cultivate and grows nicely alongside lots of herbs, including basil. It is believed that this plant can increase an herb’s essential oils, thus enhancing the flavor.

Chamomile plants come in two types: Roman and German. The German variety is an annual that requires far less maintenance than Roman chamomile. In addition, Roman chamomile helps basil plants achieve optimal growth.

blooming field chamomiles flowers

4. Marjoram

Marjoram is a perennial herb that tastes and is used like oregano. It is a hardy plant with similar maintenance needs as basil – it requires 6 – 8 hours of sunshine each day and it should be planted in well-draining soil. 

This herb is a great companion plant for basil and other plants because it attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings that prey on pests like aphids. 

Marjoram plants are popular; you should have no trouble finding potted marjoram plants in garden centers. Simply transfer them to a spot in your garden next to your basil plants.

leaves of a marjoram plant

5. Pepper

Peppers and basil grow well together from an aesthetic standpoint; basil’s dark purple-green leaves provide the perfect background for the vibrant colors of peppers.

Peppers benefit from growing next to basil because basil draws heat and helps retain the soil’s moisture. In return, pepper plants’ leaves create a canopy that can shade growing basil plants which, in turn, enhances its flavor.

Since basil and pepper are both effective insect repellents, planting them together is a great way to ward off common garden pests like flies, mosquitoes, and thrips. 

6. Marigolds

Marigolds and basil plants also create an effective natural insect deterrent when planted together. Plus, pollinators are attracted to the marigold’s nectar, especially in late summer when most of the other flowers have already faded.

Marigolds promote the development of basil plants, even after their blooms fade. The plant generates a chemical in its roots that act as a natural pesticide. 

Aside from their benefits to basil, marigolds make beautiful border plants. They are often compact and bushy, and they don’t grow more than 12 inches tall.

beautifully blooming yellow marigolds

7. Asparagus

This perennial plant, which is usually harvested in the spring, benefits basil by providing it with shade and attracting ladybugs, which destroy aphids. 

Basil, on the other hand, wards off asparagus beetles when it’s planted near asparagus. Including parsley and marigolds add a layer of protection against pests.

Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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