Tarragon is a culinary herb in the Asteraceae family, which includes lettuce and sunflowers as well as artichokes. The tarragon used for cooking will be of the French rather than the Russian variety, which does not have much flavor. French tarragon has a strong reputation as an all-purpose companion plant that does best in moderately dry conditions. A companion plant is believed to either benefit other plants or be benefited by them. In some cases, companion plants are just ones that can thrive next to each other.
Tarragon can be an effective pest repellent for many plants, which is one reason that so many gardeners view it as a versatile companion plant. It is considered versatile enough that some gardening guides suggest planting it all over your garden; however, this might be a mistake since its versatility is not universal. Here are some of the best tarragon companion plants and a few that you will want to keep away from it.
Chives belong to the onion family and bring many of that family’s companion planting benefits. For example, chives and tarragon are good companion plants for many vegetables in your garden, including brassicas. Chives also help to ward off pests that attack tarragon, like spider mites. (If your tarragon’s leaves start showing yellow spots or you see little webs on the undersides of those leaves, you might have a spider mite infestation.) Tarragon and chives enjoy the same climate and soil conditions, which means that you can plant them together and expect them to do well. They both like moderate dryness and heat.
Tarragon has a reputation as a good eggplant companion and not just because it likes similar levels of moisture. Tarragon is believed to enhance eggplant’s flavor.
Because their watering requirements are similar, tarragon and cilantro can thrive close to each other. Both plants like light watering and some shade if they are in hot environments. Another benefit is that cilantro repels spider mites, which are among the few pests that can damage the normally pest-resistant tarragon plant.
Tarragon and the right basil varieties can be good companions. Different kinds of basil have different watering requirements. Look for a basil variety like the African blue basil that likes a little water but not too much, and you should be able to plant it right next to tarragon in the ground or a container.
Garlic is a member of the Allium family like chives and can help to protect your tarragon plants from spider mites. Many believe that tarragon can benefit garlic by increasing its growth. Along with the spider mites, garlic can also help to discourage larger pests like rabbits.
What plants should not be planted with tarragon?
While tarragon does grow well with many plants, some plants won’t thrive in the same conditions, nor will they provide any benefit for tarragon. Rosemary is one example, since it likes very dry soil, which is not ideal for tarragon. While tarragon will not thrive in wet soil, it needs more moisture than rosemary does. You can plant rosemary in the same area as other herbs that like extremely limited watering like oregano and thyme since they all prefer very dry conditions.
Oregano and thyme are equally poor neighbors for tarragon. Sage is another herb that won’t make a good tarragon companion.