How to Avoid Herb Garden Design Mistakes

Avoid These Garden Design Mistakes

Overhead view of an herb garden

The Spruce / Nisanova Studio

Many herbs are known for their companion plant qualities. They help improve the soil, the environment, and, of course, the beauty of their neighboring plants. This is not the case for all herbs, though. Some herbs actually harm the growth and vigor of certain neighbors, including vegetables and other herbs.

  • 01 of 10


    anise hyssop

    The Spruce / K. Dave

    Anise, although wonderful for many things, does not make a good companion for carrots. Do not plant this naturally sweet herb anywhere near your carrot patch, and you will be safe. Anise is, however, a good companion plant for beans and coriander.

  • 02 of 10



    The Spruce / K. Dave

    Chives grow well with just about anything. Grapes, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, kohlrabi, mustard, peppers, potatoes, rhubarb, roses, squash, and strawberries all do better when growing near chives. Asparagus, beans, peas, and spinach, however, have a harder time growing when planted near chives.

  • 03 of 10



    The Spruce / K. Dave

    Coriander grows so well, if you blink, it might go to seed and start taking over the garden. Try to keep it contained, and avoid growing near fennel, which is a poor companion plant for most herbs.

  • 04 of 10



    The Spruce / K. Dave

    Dill is another herb that is easy to grow and certainly is showy. Dill is a poor companion plant for angelica, cabbage, caraway, chili and bell peppers, eggplant, fennel, lavender, and potatoes. It is also a particularly poor companion for carrots: the two plants are closely related and may cross-pollinate.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10



    The Spruce / K. Dave

    Fennel is a poor companion plant for most herbs and vegetables. While it can grow near dill, the two plants tend to cross-pollinate. As a result, it's usually best to grow fennel separately; keeping it in a container avoids any possible negative outcomes.

  • 06 of 10



    The Spruce / K. Dave

    In the modern herb garden, rue is used as an herb for the ornamental garden. It makes a lovely accent planting, and it does have a rich history in folk medicine. Do not plant rue near basil or sage to avoid inhibiting the growth of both.

  • 07 of 10



    The Spruce / K. Dave

    Sage is so worthy of your space in the herb garden. It is delicious and easy to grow. Sage works well with many herbs, but avoid planting next to onions.

  • 08 of 10



    The Spruce / K. Dave

    Tansy is a must-have for the ornamental herb garden. The bright, button flowers, are an eye-catching addition to your landscape. Just do not plant Tansy next to your delicious collard greens, or you will be disappointed.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10



    The Spruce / K. Dave

    Wormwood may no longer be used as a natural wormer, but it still holds a place as an ornamental bedding plant. Because it contains a large amount of absinthin, it is toxic to other plants. When it rains, the water will wash this substance into the soil and inhibit the growth of anything growing nearby. Enjoy wormwood in a location that will otherwise not be planted.

  • 10 of 10


    garlic harvest

    The Spruce / K. Dave

    So much good comes from a delicious garlic plant, that we may overlook that it doesn't grow well next to everything. When planting your garlic, avoid planting next to beans or peas. Garlic will inhibit the growth of both of these crops.

How to Design Your Garden for Best Outcomes

It may be helpful to draw your garden space and then cut out slips of paper with each individual herb written on it. Then, you can move the slips of paper around until you find a configuration that works for all your crops.