Sage is a perennial herb commonly used to season Thanksgiving turkey and certain kinds of sausage, but it has a wide range of applications beyond those things. It is a great addition to bean dishes, squash dishes, and risotto. As a companion plant, sage can be tricky, since it does not do well around plants that like lots of moisture. The list of plants that can do well around it is relatively short. Companion planting is the gardening practice of positioning plants together for their mutual benefit. Here are some of the best companion plants for sage.
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Sage is a drought-tolerant member of the mint (Lamiaceae) family and so is oregano, which makes them great companions. They don’t provide any other benefits to each other, but they can both benefit from being planted in the same part of your garden or the same container. You won’t overwater one when you water its companion next to it.
Like sage and oregano, thyme needs little water to thrive. You should only water it when the top inch or so of soil around the plant is dry. As with sage, too much water can cause rot and eventually kill the plant. This makes thyme a good candidate for planting next to sage.
Rosemary is also a part of the same Lamiaceae family as sage, oregano, and thyme. You can plant it in the same part of your garden as sage or any of its drought-tolerant relatives.
Unlike most other fruits and vegetables, sage can be grown around tomato plants. Tomato roots tend to grow deep into the ground to seek water when the surface dries out. So growing oregano near a tomato plant isn’t necessarily a death sentence for either, the way it would be with other plants that have different water needs. Sage helps repel insects that may harm tomato plants, and it attracts pollinators that may increase their yield.
Not all kinds of beans will work in sage’s vicinity, just the ones that don’t need a lot of water. Drought-tolerant beans make great companion plants for sage. Pole beans and garbanzo beans are among the types that thrive in arid soil. Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, which will boost the sage plant’s growth, while sage will discourage some pests.
Sage is an effective repellent for carrot flies, as is rosemary, another one of its companions. Both together can help to protect your carrot crop.
Which plants should not be planted with sage?
Mint is a relative of sage, but it is not ideal for planting near your sage plants. You definitely don’t want it in the same container. Not only does mint grow rapidly enough to smother sage plants and compete for nutrients, but it also requires a lot of moisture. Constantly wet soil will kill your sage.
That same need for dry soil is also why you shouldn’t plant most Brassicas too close to sage, despite sage’s ability to ward off pests. While some gardeners disagree on whether these two do well near each other, most members of the Brassicaceae family (for example, cabbage, and kale) do demand lots of water and consistently moist soil. Basil is related to sage, but some varieties like wet soil. Those varieties will be poor companions for your sage.