11 Finest Herb Pairings to Develop Collectively in Pots or Containers

If I had to choose one type of plant to grow in pots, it would be herbs. Adding a few sprigs of dill or a sprinkle of fresh oregano is a surefire way to brighten up any dish you’re cooking. And since most varieties remain less than a few feet tall, they easily fit into containers you can place on porches and patios.

There’s nothing wrong with placing each type of herb in an individual pot, but you can also add multiple herbs in a single container. However, if you want them to mingle, it’s important to choose plants that grow well together. Plant water needs, heights, and growth habits all impact whether or not plants will get along.

Here, I’ll share 11 great herb pairings that grow together well in pots and containers so you can harvest fresh, herby flavor all summer long.

Italian Genovese Basil

Italian Genovese Basil Seeds

Tetra Dill

Common Oregano

Rosemary and Sage

Several black pots filled with thriving rosemary; their aromatic leaves vibrant green against the dark containers.This pairing grows up to three feet tall.

Rosemary and sage not only pair wonderfully in the kitchen, but they also grow well together in containers. Both of these herbs are perennials in growing zones seven and above, so you can plant them once and enjoy them for years to come. They also grow best in moderately dry soil, so you don’t have to worry about overwatering one while underwatering the other.

Both rosemary and sage can easily grow two to three feet tall, so choose a larger pot to accommodate their growth. A two-foot-wide round pot works well, as does a one-foot by three-foot rectangular planter. Regardless of which size and shape pot you choose, make sure to fill it with a well-draining soil mix. Sage and rosemary don’t need a ton of nutrients to thrive, but they hate sitting in wet soil.

These plants don’t require special care during the first year of growth. However, if they survive into a second year, they’ll benefit from light summer pruning after their flowers drop. Start by removing any dead branches, then remove the top quarter to third of growth from each branch. This will encourage the plants to develop strong root systems and grow in a bushy rather than scraggly form.

Dill and Cilantro

Green cilantro leaves with jagged edges and a vivid hue, offering a fresh aroma.
Harvest dill and cilantro together approximately 50 days after planting.

These two annuals have similar growth habits, days to maturity, and care needs, which make them a great pair. While you may think of dill in summer potato salads and imagine cilantro brightening up warm-weather salsas, cilantro and dill both prefer cool weather. Although they grow best in the spring and fall, you can also grow them in the heat of summer. Just don’t be surprised when hot temperatures and long days cause the plants to send up tall flower stalks.

Both dill and cilantro take about 50 days from when you plant the seeds to when the leaves are ready to harvest. That means if you plant dill and cilantro seeds at the same time, you can harvest them together. Since dill and cilantro will both begin to flower in hot temperatures, succession planting helps you enjoy a prolonged harvest. Planting a new round of seeds every month during the summer gives you a continuous supply of fragrant leaves.

Since dill and cilantro remain compact, you can plant them in a pot as small as a foot wide. Both of these plants will grow best in a rich and well-draining potting mix, so adding a few handfuls of compost will help enrich the soil. Aim to water the plants every few days to keep the soil moderately moist.

Italian Basil and Thai Basil

A white ceramic pot filled with fresh basil plants; its glossy leaves catching the light.These should be transplanted after the last frost into rich, well-draining soil.

While many people are familiar with the classic Italian basil used to make pesto and brighten up pizza, you can find many different basil varieties. All of these plants have similar growth habits and care requirements, so they pair well in containers. Two of my favorite types of basil to grow together are Italian basil and Thai basil. The former imparts a bright flavor to pasta and sauces, while the latter is a great addition to curries and chilled noodles.

A single basil plant will provide you with continuous harvests as long as the plants remain healthy and you avoid overharvesting. Therefore, planting one Italian basil plant and one Thai basil plant in a pot can provide you with fresh leaves throughout the summer. An 18-inch round pot ensures each plant has the space it needs to grow without the plants becoming crowded.

Both types of basil are warm-weather crops that grow best in temperatures above 60°F (16°C). While you can direct sow basil seeds, I recommend transplanting seedlings after the last frost has passed. Choose a rich and well-draining potting mix and water every few days to keep the soil moderately moist.

Oregano and Thyme

Two brown pots display thriving oregano plants; their green leaves reaching upwards with vitality.Ensure well-draining soil by mixing in sand or pine bark fines.

Both oregano and thyme prefer full sun and well-draining soil, so they grow well together. And since both plants remain under a foot tall when properly pruned, you don’t have to worry about one of the plants shading out the other. You can choose any type of thyme with oregano, including lemon thyme and English thyme.

Since these two like well-draining soil, consider mixing some sand or pine bark fines into your standard potting mix. These materials will improve drainage and prevent the roots from rotting. Along with using well-draining soil, make sure to avoid overwatering your plants. Watering deeply one to three times a week is typically sufficient.

Both oregano and thyme are perennials in zone four and above, so the plants can survive the winters in many areas. If you’re worried about the cold killing the plants, move the pots into a sheltered garage or porch during the winter. Even if the foliage dies back in the winter, new growth will likely appear the following year.

Parsley and Chives

Fresh chives planted in a brown paper pot, positioned next to a bright white window pane, catching the soft natural light of the morning sun.Harvest parsley by cutting the largest outer leaves.

Parsley and chives are two of my favorites to add flavor to salad dressing and marinades, so it works out that they grow together well. Both stay relatively compact, especially if you harvest them regularly. Therefore, a container that’s a foot or two wide works well.

Since these are slow growers, planting seedlings leads to an earlier harvest. Both can tolerate moderate cold, so you can plant them outside around the time of your last predicted spring frost. Just select a container that’s at least eight inches deep and fill it with a rich and well-draining potting mix.

Some people think parsley is a perennial, but it’s actually a biennial. That means it produces vegetative growth during the first year and sends up flowers during its second year of growth. I like to replant parsley every year to enjoy lush, green growth. Chives are perennial, so you don’t have to worry about replanting them each spring.

Both parsley and chives are suitable for continuous harvest. Cut the largest outer leaves off your parsley plants and leave the smaller interior leaves to grow. Harvest chives by cutting the leaves an inch or two above the ground.

Marjoram and Thyme

Marjoram and thyme flourish in separate black and green pots, standing against a softly blurred, sunlit backdrop.Choose containers wider than a foot to accommodate marjoram and thyme.

These two both grow best in well-draining soil that you allow to dry out between waterings. The plants remain under a foot tall, so placing them in full sun ensures they’ll receive the light they need to flourish.

You can tuck marjoram and thyme plants in containers as small as a foot wide, but larger containers will support more and/or larger plants. If you’re working with a larger pot, you can also add other drought-tolerant herbs like rosemary and sage. Just be careful that these larger plants don’t prevent the sun from reaching the shorter herbs.

Both marjoram and thyme benefit from regular pruning. Use a sharp and sanitized pair of pruning shears to remove the top third of the plant’s growth. This will encourage the plants to send out lush new growth and also help them establish a strong root system.

Lavender and Chamomile

Chamomile and lavender flowers nestle closely together; their delicate petals unfurling gracefully.
Pair these in containers due to their preference for well-draining soil.

These two are known for their colorful and fragrant flowers. Lavender produces spikes of purple flowers that can be used in teas, cookies, soaps, and more. Chamomile flowers are white and yellow and are one of the most popular ingredients in calming herbal teas.

Lavender and chamomile both grow best in well-draining soil, so they pair well together in containers. You can find different types of chamomile, and one isn’t necessarily better than the others. However, I like to pair the perennial Roman chamomile with lavender. Roman chamomile remains under six inches tall and develops a spreading form so it can fill in the space beneath your lavender plant.

Although both of these plants prefer well-draining soil, young chamomile plants require more water than lavender seedlings. Therefore, you’ll probably need to water your chamomile plants more often than the lavender plant during their first month of growth. Once the plants are established, they can both tolerate moderate drought.

Tarragon and Bronze Fennel

A close-up of a white pot containing a tarragon plant, with a small label partially submerged in the soil.Water these plants deeply once or twice a week.

Tarragon and bronze fennel may not be as popular as basil and dill, but their unique flavors make a nice addition to salads, marinades, and more. Plus, the plants are beautiful! Both of them grow as perennials in zones four and above, so many gardeners can plan on them coming back year after year.

Both tarragon and bronze fennel can grow tall and wide, so choose a big pot to ensure they have the space they need. I recommend using a pot that’s at least two feet in diameter. You can get away with planting them in a smaller container, but they’ll likely remain smaller than those planted in larger pots.

Choose well-draining soil and water deeply about once or twice a week. You should aim to allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings without it becoming completely dry.

Basil and Stevia

A close-up of a green stevia plant thriving in a brown pot, bathed in gentle sunlight.Place basil and stevia in a sunny location to thrive.

Two popular herbs that grow to similar sizes, basil and stevia make great container garden companions. Both grow well in well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter, so a compost-rich blend works well. They also both prefer moderately moist soil that doesn’t dry out completely nor stays sopping wet.

Although stevia is technically a perennial, its sensitivity to cold means that gardeners in most areas treat it as an annual. Since basil is an annual, you can plan to replace both of these plants each spring. Choose a pot that’s at least a foot wide to accommodate the plants’ growth.

Make sure to set your basil and stevia pot somewhere that receives full sun. Not only will this ensure the plants receive the light they need to thrive, but it will also help dry the leaves and prevent fungal disease from developing.

Mint and Lemon Balm

A pair of aged ceramic planters showcasing mint and lemon balm, positioned neatly on a smooth wooden surface.Provide at least eight hours of bright daily light.

Although mint has a reputation for taking over all of the garden, lemon balm can stand up to mint’s aggressive growth. Lemon balm is also a member of the mint family and spreads if left unchecked. Planting them in the same container keeps their growth contained without one plant overtaking the other.

Since these plants are such aggressive growers, they’ll eventually fill whatever pot you plant them in. Therefore, you can choose a container size based on the amount of herbs you’d like to enjoy. Just make sure to choose a container that’s at least ten inches wide.

As far as soil goes, they aren’t picky. They prefer well-draining soil but aren’t too picky about nutrients or soil texture. However, they grow best in an area that receives at least eight hours of bright light each day.

Anise Hyssop and Lemon Verbena

A close-up of an anise hyssop plant with delicate, small leaves, thriving in a white pot.Choose a large container at least two feet wide for this combination.

These two perennial herbs are some of my favorite additions to an herbal tea garden. Anise hyssop has a sweet, anise flavor, while lemon verbena packs a pungent, sour punch. And since they both grow well in pots, you can grow them even if you don’t have a large yard or raised bed garden! 

Both of these herbs grow multiple feet tall and wide, so choose a large container that can accommodate their growth. A two-foot-wide container works well, but a three or four-foot-wide pot works even better. Fill the container with a well-draining potting mix, then add a seedling of each plant to your pot.

If you notice these plants are growing larger than you’d like, you can prune the back with a pair of sharp clippers. Avoid pruning lemon verbena in the late summer or fall since new growth is more susceptible to cold damage. You can harvest them at any time by clipping off a small section of the stem.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know some herbs that grow well together in containers, it’s time to figure out which pairings you’d like to try. I recommend grabbing a few pots and filling each one with a duo. Not only will this provide you with an array of fresh flavors for your recipes, but it will also create a beautiful addition to your porch, patio, or yard.

Leave a comment