Grouping herbs

When you are deciding on which plants to put in your container, it is important to choose ones that have the same growing requirement for light, water and nourishment.   You don’t want to put a sun and water worshiper next to one that likes it on the cool and dry side.   Making one happy will only make the other sad.

Some sun lovers who also enjoy moist soil that do well together are sweet basil, lemon balm, lovage and tarragon.  Sun lovers who like a drier soil are sage, thyme, coriander and dill.

Some plants that prefer partial shade, less heat, and their soil to be on the moist side are parsley and sweet woodruff.  Though not herbs, loose leaf lettuce and spinach also thrive under the same conditions and require little enough space to fit into a container.

Herbs that like partial shade and drier conditions are onion chives, lemon verbena, sweet marjoram, oregano and catnip.

Lavender and rosemary both enjoy full sun to part shade, but they can be fussy when the summer weather becomes too hot.  They also benefit from a boost of lime every so often, so once a month grind your eggshells and sprinkle them onto the soil.  This will keep the soil a bit more alkaline than most herbs like.

Herbs grown together in a container can work if you harvest their leaves regularly for cooking, which keeps the plants small and prevents any one plant from taking over the space and squeezing out the other plants.

Some herbs should be avoided when grouping because they are pushy neighbors.  Mint varieties and garlic chives should have their own containers because they are space hogs with a bad attitude.  Other herb won’t stand a chance against them for more than one growing season.


Sweet Basil      X      X
Lemon Balm      X      X
Lovage      X      X
Tarragon      X      X
Sage      X      X
Thyme      X      X
Corriander      X      X
Dill      X      X
Parsley      X      X
Sweet Woodruff      X      X
Onion Chives      X      X
Lemon Verbana      X      X
Sweet Marjoram      X      X
Oregano      X      X
Catnip      X      X
Lavender      X      X
Rosemary      X      X