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20 Best Basil Companion Plants – A Gardeners Guide

What are the best basil companion plants? Basil is a fragrant, flavourful herb that is considered a staple in many cuisines. It is not only used in pesto, it also enhances the flavor of pizza and pasta sauces, salads, and other dishes.

This aromatic herb is utilized in ayurvedic medicine and holds cultural significance in many parts of the world.

Basil proves to be a great companion plant for many crops as it wards off pests and enhances the flavor of other herbs.

However, it is a delicate herb, and you should carefully consider what to plant next to it.

Planting Cucumber, Fennel, Thyme, or Sage next to Basil stunts its growth and alters its taste.

So which crops prove to be good companions for Basil? Let’s take a quick look at Basil’s growth requirements first.

Basil

  • Scientific name: Ocimum basilicum
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Temperature: 60°-80° F (15°-26°C)
  • Soil: Well-draining, consistently moist, and organically rich soil
  • pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Fertilizer: Mix cottonseed meal or blood meal in the soil before planting
  • Environment: Needs direct sunlight for at least 6-8 hours. It can tolerate humidity, but a highly humid environment can cause mildew.

Now that we’ve discussed Basil’s growth requirements, let’s take a look at Basil’s companion plants.

Here is a list of the 20 best companion plants for your favorite herb!

 

20 Best Basil Companion Plants

  1. Allium sativum
  2. Asparagus officinalis
  3. Borago officinalis
  4. Tagetes
  5. Capsicum annuum 
  6. Solanum lycopersicum
  7. Origanum vulgare
  8. Daucus carota
  9. Allium schoenoprasum
  10. Solanum tuberosum
  11. Beta vulgaris
  12. Brassica rapa
  13. Raphanus sativus
  14. Pastinaca sativa
  15. Coriandrum sativum
  16. Petroselinum crispum
  17. Origanum majorana
  18. Petunia
  19. Matricaria chamomilla
  20. Tropaeolum majus
20 Best Basil Companion Plants
20 Best Basil Companion Plants

 

1. Allium sativum (Garlic)

Garlic is one of the best companion plants for basil as it enhances the latter's flavor, as well as ward off pests that commonly attack it
Garlic is one of the best companion plants for basil as it enhances the latter’s flavor, as well as ward off pests that commonly attack it

Garlic is an immensely fragrant, sharp-tasting bulbous plant. This edible bulb grows underground, while green leaves spout from its slender stalk.

These plants grow up to 0.5-2 feet tall. The bulbs contain multiple cloves within, each surrounded by a papery casing.

Garlic and Basil enhance each other’s flavors when planted together. Garlic also helps to ward off pests that commonly attack basil, like spider mites, aphids, and white flies

The nomenclature of Garlic is:

  • Scientific Name: Allium sativum
  • Family: Amaryllidaceae
  • Temperature: 32°-50° F (0°-10°C)
  • pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Soil: Loose, organically rich soil. Well-draining.
  • Environment: Full sun. Moist, well-drained soil. Less humidity.    

 

2. Asparagus officinalis (Asparagus)

Since the asparagus is tall, it provides shade to the basil as well as help keep the soil damp; not to mention attracting ladybugs that prey on aphids
Since the asparagus is tall, it provides shade to the basil as well as help keep the soil damp; not to mention attracting ladybugs that prey on aphids

Asparagus grows as slender green spears with purplish tips. What we eat are the young shoots of the plant.

If these are not harvested, they develop into big, fern-like plants. Asparagus can grow between 3.2-5 feet tall.

Asparagus and Basil are mutually beneficial to each other. The tall fern-like asparagus plants provide shade and help retain the soil’s dampness.

They also attract ladybugs, which are predatory to aphids. This is helpful since aphids prey on basil.

In turn, basil wards off the Asparagus beetle. Asparagus and basil thrive in similar sunny conditions, so it is favorable to plant them together.

The nomenclature of Asparagus is:

  • Scientific name: Asparagus Officinalis
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Temperature: Daytime – 70°-85° F (21°-29°C) Night-time – 60°-70° F (15°-21°C)
  • pH: 6.5-7.0
  • Soil: Well-draining, nutrient-rich soil with a loamy or sandy texture.
  • Environment: Good sunlight exposure, good moisture

 

3. Borago officinalis (Borage)

Borage not only attracts pollinators as a companion plant, but it also helps repel leaf-boring pests that eat the basil
Borage not only attracts pollinators as a companion plant, but it also helps repel leaf-boring pests that eat the basil

Borage is an herb with beautiful, vibrant blue star-shaped flowers. With a subtle, cucumber-like taste, they make a wonderful salad garnish or edible decoration.

This vegetable is capable of reaching heights of up to 2 feet tall.

They make great companion plants for basil since pollinators are attracted to them. They also repel leaf-boring pests. Borage enhances the flavor of basil.

The nomenclature of Borage is:

  • Scientific name: Borago officinalis
  • Family: Boraginaceae
  • Temperature: 50°-70° F (10°-21°C)
  • pH: 6.5, can survive in 4.8-8.5
  • Soil: Moderately moist, well-draining. Sandy, loamy, or clay
  • Environment: Full sun. Drought tolerant

 

4. Tagetes (Marigolds)

The limonene that the tagetes or marigold produces from its roots helps ward off the harmful insects eating the basil
The limonene that the tagetes or marigold produces from its roots helps ward off the harmful insects eating the basil

Marigolds are a favorite of gardeners, and not only due to their aesthetic appeal. These attractive flowers are great at warding off pests with their potent aroma.

They also have some edible varieties, offering a spicy-citrusy or mint-like flavor. Their height ranges from 0.9-3 feet.

They are very effective at keeping harmful insects at bay. French marigolds release a chemical called Limonene from their roots.

This chemical is pest-repellent, and it retains its efficacy even after the marigolds are long gone! 

The nomenclature of Marigolds is:

  • Scientific name: Tagetes
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Temperature: Germination at 65° F (18°C), thrives above 50° F (10°C)
  • pH: 6.2-7.0
  • Soil: Well-draining, highly fertile, rich organically
  • Environment: Sunny, tolerant to humidity if good airflow

 

5. Capsicum annuum (Bell Pepper)

Bell peppers provide the basil with shade while keeping the soil moist; the basil in turn enhances the bell pepper's flavor
Bell peppers provide the basil with shade while keeping the soil moist; the basil in turn enhances the bell pepper’s flavor

Unlike the other spicy peppers, bell peppers are sweet. They’re a delicious addition to the dishes you’re preparing, and they are highly ornamental as well.

Bell peppers come in a vast array of colors, ranging from yellow to green and red. Before this sweet pepper develops, its plant is lush green with small white flowers. 

Bell pepper and basil are mutually beneficial for each other. Bell peppers have a leafy canopy that helps provide shade and retain the ground’s moisture.

In turn, Basil helps enhance the flavor of these sweet peppers. Bell peppers plants are close to the ground, so they help keep the weeds at bay.

The nomenclature of bell pepper is:

  • Scientific name: Capsicum annuum 
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Temperature: 70°-80° F (21°-26°C)
  • pH: 5.5-7.0
  • Soil: Sandy and loamy, fertile, well-draining
  • Environment: Full sun, warm temperatures. Consistent moisture

 

6. Solanum lycopersicum (Tomato)

Aside from having the same growing conditions as that of basil, tomatoes also are good companion plants for basil as they enhance each other's flavors
Aside from having the same growing conditions as that of basil, tomatoes also are good companion plants for basil as they enhance each other’s flavors

Nothing goes better with basil than a tomato! This classic pairing isn’t just confined to the kitchen though.

Tomato and basil make great companion plants in the garden as well. The tomato plants can be upright or trailing, and they grow between 2-6 feet. 

Basil and tomato enhance each other’s flavors. They also thrive in similar conditions, so it is favorable to plant them together.

Basil keeps pests away from tomatoes.

The nomenclature of tomato is:

  • Scientific name: Solanum lycopersicum
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Temperature: 60°-85° F (15°-29°C)
  • pH: 6.2-6.8
  • Soil: Well-drained, loose sandy, organically rich soil
  • Environment: Sunny (10 hours of direct sunlight), humidity around 65%-75%

 

7. Origanum vulgare (Oregano)

Oregano is another great companion plant for basil as it enhances the flavor, essential oil content,  and attracts pollinators
Oregano is another great companion plant for basil as it enhances the flavor, essential oil content, and attracts pollinators

Oregano is used widely in several cuisines, most notably Italian. This delicious herb has a plant that can grow from 1-3 feet in length or height, depending on its direction of growth.

It has fuzzy green leaves, and tiny pink or purple flowers can sprout from the stems.

Oregano enhances basil’s flavor profile. It helps increase the essential oils found in basil.

It also attracts beneficial pollinators and insects. Oregano’s low-spreading plant keeps basil sheltered in harsh weather conditions.

The nomenclature of oregano is:

  • Scientific name: Origanum vulgare
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Temperature: 50°-80° F (10°-26°C)
  • pH: 6.5-7.0
  • Soil: Well-draining, sandy or loamy
  • Environment: Full sun, moist soil. Tolerant to drought and humidity

 

8. Dacus carota (Carrots) 

Carrots, as a root crop, help loosen the soil for the basil's roots while the latter enhances the flavor profile of the Dacus carota
Carrots, as a root crop, help loosen the soil for the basil’s roots while the latter enhances the flavor profile of the Dacus carota

This crunchy vegetable comes in a variety of colors and consists of a tapered root underground from which bright green leave emerge. The foliage grows up to 5 feet tall.

Carrots range from orange to pink, white, and even purple.

Carrots help loosen the soil for basil roots and drainage. In turn, basil enhances carrots’ flavor.

The nomenclature of carrot is:

  • Scientific name: Dacus carota
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Temperature: 60°-75° F(15°-24°C)
  • pH: 6-6.8
  • Soil: Well-draining, loamy or sandy. Not too rich organically
  • Environment: Full sun, moist soil

 

9. Allium schoenoprasum (Chives)

Chives, as a companion plant for basil, enhances the latter vegetable's essential oil content and flavor
Chives, as a companion plant for basil, enhances the latter vegetable’s essential oil content and flavor

Emerging from an underground bulb, chives consist of long slender leaves that can grow around 1-1.6 feet tall.

Their upright stalks have big globular blooms of purple, lilac, or pink flowers.

Chives help improve the essential oils in basil, and its flavor profile. They also aid basil in pest control.

The nomenclature of chives is:

  • Scientific name: Allium schoenoprasum
  • Family: Amaryllidaceae
  • Temperature: 40°-80° F (04°-26°C)
  • pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Soil: Well-draining, moist chalky, clay, loamy, sandy. If sandy, add compost to retain moisture. 
  • Environment: Good sunlight, consistent dampness

 

10. Solanum tuberosum (Potato)

Aside from having similar light and water requirements, potatoes are good companion plants for basil as it attracts pollinators
Aside from having similar light and water requirements, potatoes are good companion plants for basil as it attracts pollinators

Potatoes grow as a main underground tuber from which stolons develop and form potatoes. Above the ground, the potato plant leaves can attain a height of over 3 feet.

Potatoes help attract pollinators (butterflies and bees). Both the crops have similar water and sun requirements to thrive.

The nomenclature of potato is:

  • Scientific name: Solanum tuberosum
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Temperature: 60°-70° F (15°-21°C)
  • pH: 5.0-6.5
  • Soil: Loose, sandy, rich in organic matter. It should be well-draining
  • Environment: Sunny, moist soil. Prefers less humidity

 

11. Beta vulgaris (Beets)

While the basil enhances the beets' flavor, the beta vulgaris serves as trap crops, luring harmful insects away from the basil's leaves
While the basil enhances the beets’ flavor, the beta vulgaris serves as trap crops, luring harmful insects away from the basil’s leaves

Beets develop as bulbous taproots underground. Their red stems extend above the ground, while the green leaves have conspicuous red veins.

These plants can achieve a height of 3.3-6.6 feet.

Beets act as great trap crops for basil. They lure harmful insects away from the basil leaves.

In turn, basil greatly enhances beets’ flavor.

The nomenclature of beets is:

  • Scientific name: Beta vulgaris
  • Family: Amaranthaceae
  • Temperature: 60°-75° F (15°-24°C)
  • pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Soil: loamy or sandy. If the soil is clay, add perlite. Organically rich
  • Environment: Full sun, moist soil, low humidity. 

 

12. Brassica rapa (Turnip)

Turnips are great companion plants for basil as they lure pests away from the basil's leaves
Turnips are great companion plants for basil as they lure pests away from the basil’s leaves

Turnips can grow up to 1-1.5 feet above the ground. They consist of an underground bulbous taproot from which grass-like stems emerge.

Their leaves are broad and hairy.

Turnips are effective trap crops. They also require similar conditions to grow.

The nomenclature of turnip is:

  • Scientific name: Brassica rapa
  • Family: Brassicaceae
  • Temperature: 45°-70° F (07°-21°C)
  • pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Soil: Well-drained, loose and loamy soil. If the soil’s the clay type, add perlite or sand. 
  • Environment: Sunny, moist soil. 

 

13. Raphanus sativus (Radish)

Aside from being fast-growing vegetables, radish serve as markers and trap crops when grown with basil
Aside from being fast-growing vegetables, radish serve as markers and trap crops when grown with basil

Radishes are a longer taproot, ranging from white and red to yellow, purple, or even black.

Their leaves can grow up to a height of 3 feet. Radishes are one of the faster-growing plants.

Radishes are speedy growers and are utilized as markers for basil. They also lure away certain beetles and aphids from basil. 

The nomenclature of radish is:

  • Scientific name: Raphanus sativus
  • Family: Brassicaceae
  • Temperature: 55°-65° F (13°-18°C)
  • pH: 6.5-7.0
  • Soil: Well-draining, sandy loam
  • Environment: Good sunlight, high humidity

 

14. Pastinaca sativa (Parsnip)

Parnsips are great companion plants as they release a chemical that is harmful to spider mites and aphids attacking the basil
Parnsips are great companion plants as they release a chemical that is harmful to spider mites and aphids attacking the basil

Parsnip has an elongated, tapered taproot that is cream-colored. It is found under the ground, with its branched stems and leaves extended outwards.

Parsnips can reach heights of up to 3-6 feet.

The roots of the parsnip plant release a toxic substance that is harmful to spider mites and aphids.

Parsnip is also effective at luring away insects that attack basil leaves.

The nomenclature of parsnip is:

  • Scientific name : Pastinaca sativa
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Temperature: 55°-65° F (13°-18°C)
  • pH: 6.0-6.8
  • Soil: Well-draining, loose and loamy soil
  • Environment: Full sun, ample water, and moist soil

 

15. Coriandrum sativum (Cilantro)

Cilantro is a helpful companion plant for basil as it releases stimulating oils that repels beetles, aphids, and whiteflies eating the basil's leaves
Cilantro is a helpful companion plant for basil as it releases stimulating oils that repels beetles, aphids, and whiteflies eating the basil’s leaves

If you do not belong to the 14% of the population who believe cilantro tastes like soap, chances are cilantro is a staple in your kitchen.

This versatile herb consists of a delicate stem with small, scalloped leaves. A cilantro plant can grow up to 1-2 feet tall.

Cilantro releases stimulating oils that repel the pests that attack basil, including beetles, aphids, and white flies.

The nomenclature of cilantro is:

  • Scientific Name: Coriandrum sativum
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Temperature: 50°-85° F (10°-29°C)
  • pH: 6.2-6.8
  • Soil: Well-draining, loamy, rich with organic matter
  • Environment: Needs moist soil, does not prefer humidity 

 

16. Petroselinum crispum (Parsley)

Parsley helps repel nematodes and beetles that prey on the leaves of the basil
Parsley helps repel nematodes and beetles that prey on the leaves of the basil

Parsley is an aromatic herb, with thin stems. The plant’s leaves are dark green, with frilly edges.

A parsley plant can attain a height of 1-3 feet.

Parsley is a great plant as companion for basil as it repels nematodes and beetles. The crops need similar conditions to grow.

The nomenclature of parsley is:

  • Scientific Name: Petroselinum crispum
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Temperature: 72°-86° F (22°-30°C)
  • pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Soil: Loamy, well-draining soil. Nutrient-rich
  • Environment: Good sunlight. Do not overwater

 

17. Origanum majorana (Marjoram)

Marjoram, as a companion plant for basil, helps keep spider mites, white flies, and aphids away while enhancing the basil's flavors
Marjoram, as a companion plant for basil, helps keep spider mites, white flies, and aphids away while enhancing the basil’s flavors

Marjoram is often confused with oregano. However, oregano is stronger and pungent whereas Marjoram has woody and citrusy notes.

It grows up to 1-2 feet tall.

Marjoram repels pests that harm basil, like spider mites, white flies, and aphids.

They also attract known pollinators like butterflies and bees. Marjoram enhances the flavor of basil.

The nomenclature of Marjoram is:

  • Scientific Name: Origanum majorana
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Temperature: 60°-70° F (15°-21°C)
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Soil: Free-draining. Sandy, silt, or loamy
  • Environment: Need good sunlight. Mature plants are drought tolerant

 

18. Petunia

Not only do petunias attract pollinators, they also help repel harmful insects from the basil
Not only do petunias attract pollinators, they also help repel harmful insects from the basil

Petunia flowers are aesthetically pleasing. They are funnel-shaped and are found in many colors, from purple, pink, and red, to white, blue and yellow.

Petunias are attractive to pollinators like bees. They also repel pests like aphids and leafhoppers.

The nomenclature of Petunia is:

  • Scientific name: Petunia
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Temperature: 55°-80° F (13°-26°C)
  • pH: 5.4-6.0
  • Soil: Fertile soil, with peat moss, mature manure, or compost. It should be well-draining, light, and sandy.
  • Environment: Needs full sun

 

19. Matricaria chamomilla (Chamomile)

If you're looking for a companion plant that helps ward off harmful insects while enhancing the basil's flavors, chamomile is your best bet
If you’re looking for a companion plant that helps ward off harmful insects while enhancing the basil’s flavors, chamomile is your best bet

With pretty daisy-like flowers, Chamomile is used for making calming teas. When they grow on erect stems, they have a height of 3 feet.

In their horizontal mat-like growth they are usually 6 inches high.

Chamomile has a potent scent that wards off pests. It releases favorable chemicals in the soil that promotes better growth of basil.

It also increases the essential oils in basil and enhances the herb’s flavor.

The nomenclature of Chamomile is:

  • Scientific name: Matricaria chamomilla
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Temperature: 60°-68° F (15°-20°C)
  • pH: 5.6-7.5
  • Soil: Well-draining. Add sand or perlite to make sure moisture drains through
  • Environment: Drought resistant, so do not overwater. Needs sunny conditions

 

20. Tropaeolum majus (Nasturtium)

Another effective trap crop that is best grown with basil is the Nasturtium
Another effective trap crop that is best grown with basil is the Nasturtium

These beautiful plants have leaves that resemble small lily pads, and five-petal flowers in vibrant tones of orange, yellow, red, and some pastel colors.

Nasturtium is brightly colored, making it an effective trap crop. It attracts pests like aphids that are predatory to basil. 

The nomenclature of Nasturtium is:

  • Scientific name: Tropaeolum majus
  • Family: Tropaeolaceae
  • Temperature: 55°-75° F (13°-23°C)
  • pH: 6.5
  • Soil: Free-draining soil with low fertility
  • Environment: Full sunlight. Drought tolerant

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.