Bad companion plants for basil can be found in its immediate vicinity, and the main enemies are the ones you probably have selected as companions for the basil! Companionship planting is a gardening technique that involves planting certain plants next to each other in order to benefit both plants.

Bad Companion Plants for Basil

It is a way to maximize the amount of space in your garden and also to create a better environment for your plants. In this blog post, we will discuss how planting companions can benefit your basil plants and how to avoid common mistakes with unsuspecting basil companions.

👩🏻‍🎓 Scientific Reference

“Researchers from the University of Florida found that certain plants, when used in companion planting, led to a significant reduction in nematode populations in surrounding plants.” University of Florida Research

Bad Basil Companion Plants List- 8 Worst Neighbours of Your Basil

Companion planting is an ancient practice that has been around for centuries. It is the art of planting certain plants next to each other to benefit both plants. The idea is to create a balanced ecosystem in which the plants can flourish.

There are many benefits to companion plants. For one, it can help to improve soil fertility. Plants can help to add nutrients to the soil that other plants may need. Additionally, companion planting can help to control pests. Certain plants can help to repel pests, while others can help to attract beneficial insects. This can help to prevent the spread of disease in your garden.

Another benefit of companion planting is that it can help to conserve water. Certain plants can help to reduce the amount of water that is needed in the garden. This can help to save money on water bills and can also help to reduce water use.

Finally, good companion plants can help to create a more attractive garden. Certain plants can provide colorful flowers and foliage that can help to make your garden more beautiful.

However, there are some plants that make poor companions, and today we’re listing bad ones for basil!

1. Rue

Rue alter the flavor of your basil plants

Growing season Spring And Summer
Distinguish characteristics 
  • Clump-forming perennials
  • Tiny yellow flowers
  • Attract birds
Specific needs
  • well-drained soil
  • Full sun
Common pests 
  • Mildew, virus
  • Aphids

Yellow rue is a robust clump-forming perennial which boasts silvery and blue leaves, divided into plenty of tiny leaflets. The rue’ foliage is so beautiful that it is highly valued and prized in decorations.

From early to midsummer, heaps of fragrant and tiny yellow flowers emerge above the foliage. The flowers consist of yellow petals and bright yellow stamens, held in an upright pyramidal panicle which is around four inches across.

Yellow rue is especially beautiful when in bloom, thanks to the foliage and flower composition. This flowering plant is low maintenance and a beautiful sight in any bed or border and wildflower and herb garden. Some people are giving this one a place next to basil, unknowingly giving a hard time to both.

This flowering plant will grow up to four feet tall and around the same in width. It thrives in rich, humusy, and moist soil in full sun, as well as in partial shade. It is largely deer and pest resistant.

Rue can inhibit the development of basil plants, so it’s not advisable to plant these close by. Rues are poor companion plants as they accomplish this by releasing a toxic element through their roots and into the soil. This chemical prevents basil from growing healthy.

Rue can alter the flavor of your basil plants too and even increase basils’ susceptibility to plants and diseases — watch out for mildews, viruses, and aphids!

2. Mint

Mint quite an invasive plant

Growing season Summer
Distinguish characteristics 
  • Aromatic plants
  • Purple and pink flower
  • Fragrant leaves
Specific needs
  • Well-drained, moist soil
  • Full sun
Common pests 
  • Mealybugs, aphids
  • No serious disease issues

This highly aromatic plant actually comes from the same family as your basil plants, and so a lot of people mistakenly grow these together. Mint is a vigorous perennial with purple and pink stems with pairs of oval green leaves up to two inches long. The foliage is very fragrant and is often used in cooking or for tea!

Rich with that minty aroma, the mint plants are pollinated by various beneficial insects which they attract to the garden. Mint spreads by underground rhizomes bring fragrance and beauty to the garden.

Mint usually grows up to 24 inches tall and around 36 inches wide. The plant performs best in full sun and moist soil. It is a beautiful choice for most wet areas in the garden and looks amazing near ponds and wells. You can cut it back after flowering and propagate by taking cuttings in spring!

Mint is a very heavy feeder of the family and will leave your basil with little to no nutrients to feed itself. Mint is quite an invasive plant and will smother the basil and other herbs in your garden, so you should definitely look to give it a spot of its own. If you do grow it in the same bed as basil then know that you’ll have to keep a close eye on the two!

Although rarely, mint will also invite some beetles, mealybugs, and aphids to the garden, which can feed on both its’ and basils’ leaves.

3. Sage

Sage hinder basil’s growth

Growing season Spring And Summer
Distinguish characteristics 
  • Tall perennials
  • White and silvery green foliage
  • Pleasant smell
Specific needs
  • well-drained soil
  • Full sun
Common pests 
  • Slugs, Beetles
  • Root rot, wilt

Sage is a well-known plant that is grown for its beautiful silver and white foliage. It is a fast-growing perennial with the ability to spread rather fast, adding some adorable light and contrast to the dark green splashes in the garden and overall landscape. This plant grows as a good companion with almost anything in the vegetable garden but won’t work its’ magic with onions, cucumbers, and basil plants!

Sage is growing in bushy clumps on its given patches of land, and its foliage is so aromatic when scratched or bruised! The leaves leave a wooly sensation when you touch them and are slightly glabrous on the heads.

Sage grows up to be three feet tall and thrives in moderately fertile and sandy soils and in full sun. In some climates, the sage plant will self-spread with rhizomes and seeds rather aggressively and can become a nuisance. Sage is a beautiful addition to any herb and flower beds and borders and are great companion plants in your vegetable garden!

Although sage is a good companion for many vegetable garden plants, it won’t do well with your basil. Overall, sage will require different soil conditions than basil. Compared to basil plants, sage will like dry soil. Sage will also hinder basil’s growth and flavor.

Sage will also attract slugs, bugs, root rot, and wilt which will all affect and damage your basil plantings. You should also watch out for powdery mildew, which can easily spread to other plants nearby.

4. Fennel

best way to grow fennel is alone

Growing season Summer, fall
Distinguish characteristics 
  • Perennial
  • Tall stems, yellow flowers
  • Parsley-like leaves
Specific needs
  • Fertile, moist soils
  • Full sun
Common pests 
  • No serious pest and disease issues
  • Aphids, stem rot

Fennel plants are deliciously aromatic perennials. These grow feathery and finely divided aromatic leaves and large quantities of tiny yellow flowers that grow on top of tall green stems. Blooming in high summer, the flowers of fennel attract butterflies which will pollinate them. After pollination, these flowers will give way to aromatic fennel seeds.

Fennel is also grown for its delicious and edible bulbs. While fennel will add flavor to salads and plenty of various dishes, it has some health benefits too!

These plants grow up to six feet high and three feet wide. They prefer rich and moist soils and grow readily in full sun conditions. They are incredibly easy to grow and are a great addition to most flower and herb beds, as well as wildlife gardens! As long as you keep them as far away from basil as possible.

Fennel is a natural flea repellent and will improve your overall pest-fighting efforts in the garden. However, Basil is one of the numerous plants whose development can be slowed down by fennel. Fennel is also known to draw some pests like aphids and stem and root rot.

The best way to grow fennel is alone, as it hinders the growth of plants in its vicinity. In the event of basil growing, fennels could even kill your basil.

5. Thyme

Thyme has different growing conditions

Growing season Summer, fall
Distinguish characteristics 
  • Evergreen shrub
  • Gray and green leaves
  • Pink flowers
Specific needs
  • Average, medium moist soils
  • Full sun
Common pests 
  • No serious pest and disease issues

Thyme is both useful and ornamental plant. This bushy evergreen shrub has wonderful foliage of aromatic, grey, and green leaves with a dash of pink on its tips. In late spring and summer, this plant grows tons of small, bright purple and pink flowers, that attract bees and other beneficial insects. Thyme is an awesome herb, often used to flavor meat dishes, and is ideal for stuffing.

Thyme grows up to 12 inches tall and around 18 inches wide. It is a full sun lover and will enjoy average, medium, neutral, and well-drained soils. It loves well-worked soil that has excellent drainage and is a perfect choice for garden beds, borders, city gardens, Mediterranean gardens, and containers. However, it won’t be a good addition to your basil patch!

Basil and thyme don’t do well together primarily because they won’t enjoy the same growing conditions. However, thyme isn’t a picky grower and will grow in almost any soil setting.

Basil prefers plenty of moisture, but thyme will like sandy soil that can dry up fast.

6. Lavender

Lavender has different soil conditions

Growing season Summer, fall
Distinguish characteristics 
  • Evergreen shrub
  • Green leaves
  • Purple clumps of flowers
Specific needs
  • Average, medium moist soils
  • Full sun
Common pests 
  • No serious pest and disease issues

Lavender is a world-known purple flower plant that we all love and is incredibly easy to grow. The plants’ flowers bloom from mid to late spring and can even have a second yearly flush of growth. The plant is incredibly versatile — it can be grown as a hedge, a perennial ornament, a pot plant, or as a nice addition to the herb garden, flower bed, or any flowering border.

Lavender thrives in full sun and loves dry and airy soil. They will survive winters in zones five to nine and are awesome pest repellents. Its fragrant flowers can be cut, dried, and used to bring that fresh purple field scent indoors. People use lavender flowers for pot potpourris, but they can be hung in areas that need to be freshened up too.

It’s a great idea to put these insect-repellent flowers inside a bag and place them inside your wardrobe. However, lavenders won’t have too good a time being planted next to your basil plants.

With its aromatic foliage and purple flowers, lavender is an awesome plant for inviting beneficial insects to your veggie garden. However, lavender is a shrub that will prefer sandy and dry, poor soils and this is exactly what makes it such a poor neighbor for basil.

Lavender just won’t be able to hack it being planted next to a juicy herb like basil. So if you decide to grow basil and lavender in your garden just plant them in separate soils.

7. Cucumber

Cucumber infuse basil taste

Growing season Summer to Fall
Distinguish characteristics 
  • Succulent stem
  • Vining plant
  • Juicy and crunchy fruit
Specific needs
  • moist but well-drained soil
  • Ph of 6.0 to 6.5
Common pests 
  • Leaf rot, belly rot, mildew
  • Beetles, mites and aphids

Cucumbers are annual vining plants known and grown for their juicy and watery fruits, typically eaten when pickled or fresh on salads. Cucumbers are fairly easy and prolific growers and are a pleasant site in any garden!

Cucumber grows up to 18 inches tall and around eight feet wide. These perform best in rich, acidic, loose, and well-drained soils and in full sun! Before planting your cucumbers, you should add some organic matter to the soil, most ideally compost and work it into a depth of around eight inches, for later optimal growth of cucumbers.

Cucumbers are a well-welcomed addition to beds, borders, raised beds, containers, and even greenhouses. However, you shouldn’t plant them near basil plants.

Since cucumbers are mainly made of water, they’ll readily take over flavors from nearby plants. You should plant your aromatic plants like basil away from cucumbers as these may infuse basil taste.

When cucumbers are grown close to fragrant plants you can also have a somewhat lower yield. Cucumbers will attract various pests too, which will bug your basil plants. The most notable diseases that come with cucumbers include leaf rot and mildew which will surely transfer to your basil.

Also, cucumbers often have issues with various beetles, aphids, and mites all of which will love to take a nibble at the leaves of your basil plants!

8. Rosemary

Rosemary plants won’t do well together with basil

Growing season All year
Distinguish characteristics 
  • Bushy evergreen
  • Aromatic leaves
  • Soft, pink flowers
Specific needs
  • Well-drained soils
  • Full sun
Common pests 
  • No serious pest issues

Rosemary is a bushy evergreen shrub often resembling small trees. It has strongly aromatic and needle-like leaves. A huge number of soft pink flowers will appear and continue to bloom throughout spring and summer.

These plants are incredibly easy to maintain and are great candidates for garden hedges, and prairie gardens. Its leaves are ideal for cooking and are often used to flavor meat dishes.

Rosemary grows up to three feet tall and around the same in width. They perform best in full sun, and well-drained soils, and are very drought-tolerant when established in their habitat. They are highly attractive to bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other beautiful and beneficial insects. As long as you don’t plant them near basil, that is.

Much like thyme, rosemary plants won’t do well together with basil and are bad companions to basil. It’s primarily because they won’t enjoy the same growing and soil conditions. Unlike thyme, rosemary will be a bit picky and won’t stand the moist conditions of being grown next to water-loving basil.


Companion planting can be a great way to create a thriving garden. It can help to improve soil fertility, pest control, and water conservation.

Let’s see what we’ve said about companion planting with basil:

  • When it comes to companion planting with basil, plant basil with bell peppers, tomatoes, oregano, and marigolds.
  • Additionally, it is important to avoid planting basil near rue, fennel, lavender, rosemary, or cucumbers.
  • Finally, make sure to water the basil plants regularly and fertilize them every few weeks.

By following these tips, you can create a thriving garden that is both beautiful and productive.

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