Oregano is a member of the mint family and is one of the most popular herbs to use in Italian dishes. It is also commonly used in soups, stews, and dry rubs for roasted and grilled meats. Growing it yourself can ensure that you have a supply of this versatile herb whenever you need it. Like other herbs, oregano is enhanced by being grown alongside companion plants.
Companion planting refers to the cultivation of different plants close to each other so that the plants benefit from their nearest companions. The benefits that crops get from the companion planting arrangement vary from plant to plant. Some benefit from having the same watering needs as others, while others may benefit from a neighboring plant’s ability to discourage pests. The benefit of companion planting is to efficiently use your space while enabling your plants to thrive. Below are some of the best companion plants for oregano.
In addition to being a relative of oregano, sage does well in a similar growing environment. If you want your oregano to thrive, you plant it in the same kind of dry and sandy soil that you use for sage. With both plants, you will water lightly when the soil is dry.
Like other members of the Lamiaceae family, thyme grows best with limited water. The love of dry conditions is why you should plant it along with oregano. The plants don’t do anything to benefit each other, but they benefit from light watering, so you won’t accidentally over-water one because it is close to the other.
Another oregano relative, rosemary is highly drought-tolerant, like its other family members sage and thyme. That is the main factor that makes it such a great companion plant. It has the same water needs as oregano, so you can plant both plants in the same part of your garden or the same container.
While basil is a member of the Lamiaceae family and is sometimes recommended as an oregano companion plant but note that its watering needs can vary. The best-known basil varieties like moist soil, while oregano does not. Overly wet soil can cause oregano’s roots to rot, which means that how well oregano and basil do together may depend on the basil variety. Look for one that can handle dry conditions.
While tomatoes do like lots of water and oregano plants do not, tomatoes can grow their roots deeper into the soil for moisture. Because of this ability, their water needs don’t have to harm the oregano. Tomato plants will benefit from oregano’s ability to ward off certain pests that may pose threats to it. Allowing oregano to grow below tomato plants may also increase humidity and help to keep soil from drying out as quickly, which benefits the tomato plants.
Which plants should not be planted with oregano?
While oregano does seem to pair well with numerous vegetables and herbs, you should avoid growing it around plants that have heavy water requirements. This includes crops that grow best during colder weather, like cruciferous vegetables. You don’t want to plant oregano too close to cabbage, broccoli, or collards. Keep oregano away from lettuce as well. You also want to avoid those varieties of herbs that like moist soil, such as celery and some varieties of basil.