Planting Herbs and Flowers Together in Pots | 15 Winning Combinations

Plant herbs and flowers together in pots to create an edible and beautiful display to place around your home.  The tips to success are to choose herbs and flowers that like the same conditions and that grow in the same season. If you are new to gardening, growing herbs and flowers together is a great place to start.

This article will explore the best flowers and herbs to plant together, easy tips for selecting the best pot and potting soil and fertilizing tips.

Best herbs to plant with flowers

All herbs can be planted with flowers. The only exception I would make is mint. Mint is a fast invasive grower, so it is best to plant it in a pot on its own.  There are loads of other herbs and flowers that will happily live together in a pot.

Mixing herbs and flowers together is a great way to add color and interest to your garden and give some diversity to the bugs attracted to your garden.

Annual flowering plants make a perfect pair with herbs

Herbs and flowers to grow together in pots

Choosing plants that like sun or shade, dry conditions or like be watered regularly.  Here are some great herb and flower combinations that will look and grow well together in a pot.

ParsleyPetunias, rosesParsley grows well when planted in mild weather. Sow seeds in early fall.  Planting with roses will bring out the sweet smell of the rose flowers.  
BasilMarigoldsFragrant marigolds can deter pests, plant them with basil to help deter bugs from eating your basil leaves. Both basil and marigolds can be planted by seed in spring.  
ThymeLavenderLavender is a great flowering plant to combine with thyme.  They both like Mediterranean conditions. Plant them in well-draining soil and let the soil dry out between watering. The key is not to overwater.  
ChivesDianthusChives have beautiful flowers themselves but pairing then with another flower will make a great display for your garden. Dianthus love to grow over the warmer months and come in great colors including reds and purples.  
Cilantro or corianderYellow pansyPlant with yellow pansies and this will look amazing over the winter season. Sow in Fall.  

Here are another 10 great herb and flower combinations to try at home:

  1. Lavender and Rosemary: A fragrant duo that also repels pests.
  2. Chives and Marigolds: Chives provide a tasty addition to dishes, while marigolds deter pests and add a pop of color.
  3. Sage and Nasturtiums: A flavorful and visually striking pair that also attract beneficial insects.
  4. Thyme and Pansies: Thyme is a versatile herb that pairs well with many dishes, and pansies add a splash of color.
  5. Basil and Petunias: Basil’s strong aroma deters pests, while petunias attract pollinators and add color to the mix.
  6. Lemon Balm and Begonias: Lemon balm’s citrusy flavor pairs well with summer drinks, and begonias add a bright pop of color.
  7. Mint and Alyssum: Mint is a refreshing herb that complements many dishes, while alyssum’s delicate flowers attract pollinators.
  8. Parsley and Violas: Parsley is a nutritious herb, while violas add color and are edible as well.
  9. Dill and Zinnias: Dill attracts beneficial insects, while zinnias add color and are great for cut flower arrangements.
  10. Cilantro and Calendula: Cilantro is a staple in many cuisines, while calendula’s bright yellow and orange flowers add beauty and can also be used in recipes.
Infographic: planting herbs and flowers together in pots - combinations

Choosing a pot and soil for flowers and herbs

When it comes to planting herbs and flowers together in pots, choosing the right pot and soil is crucial to ensure healthy growth and successful cohabitation.

Check out this video for companion planting basics

Selecting the Right Pot

When selecting a pot for your herbs and flowers, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure the pot is large enough to accommodate all the plants you want to grow together. You don’t want them to be overcrowded, which can lead to stunted growth and poor health.

Consider the material of the pot. Terracotta pots are a popular choice as they are porous and allow for good air circulation, but they can dry out quickly. Plastic pots are lightweight and retain moisture well, but may not be as aesthetically pleasing. Other options include metal, ceramic, and concrete pots.

Make sure the pot has proper drainage holes to prevent water from pooling and causing root rot. You can also add a layer of gravel or broken pottery at the bottom of the pot to aid in drainage.

Choosing the Right Soil

Choosing the right soil is just as important as selecting the right pot. Most herbs and flowers prefer well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter. Avoid using regular garden soil as it can become compacted and retain too much moisture.

Use a high-quality potting mix made for herbs and flowers. These mixes are usually a blend of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite, which provide good drainage and aeration.

You can also add organic matter such as compost or aged manure to the soil to improve its nutrient content. Just be sure not to over-fertilize, as too much nitrogen can lead to excessive leaf growth at the expense of flower and herb production.

Selecting Plants with Similar Growing Conditions

Another important factor to consider when selecting plants is their growing conditions. Different plants have different requirements for sunlight, water, and soil, so it’s important to choose plants that have similar needs.

For example, herbs like thyme and oregano prefer well-draining soil and full sun, while mint and lemon balm prefer moist soil and partial shade. Similarly, flowers like petunias and geraniums prefer well-draining soil and full sun, while impatiens and begonias prefer moist soil and partial shade.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When planting herbs and flowers together in pots, there are some common mistakes that you should avoid to ensure the success of your plants. Here are some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:

Overcrowding the Pot

One of the most common mistakes when planting herbs and flowers together in pots is overcrowding the pot. While it can be tempting to plant as many plants as possible in a single pot, overcrowding can lead to competition for resources like water and nutrients. This can result in stunted growth, poor health, and even death of your plants.

To avoid overcrowding, make sure to choose a pot that is large enough to accommodate all of your plants. A good rule of thumb is to allow at least one inch of space between each plant. If you’re not sure how many plants to include, consult the planting instructions for each plant and choose a pot size accordingly.

Overwatering or Underwatering

Another common mistake when planting herbs and flowers together in pots is overwatering or underwatering. Both of these can lead to poor plant health and even plant death.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, which occurs when the roots of your plants are constantly submerged in water. This can cause the roots to rot, which can lead to poor plant health and even death. To avoid overwatering, make sure to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Underwatering, on the other hand, can lead to wilted, dry plants. To avoid underwatering, make sure to water your plants regularly and thoroughly. A good rule of thumb is to water your plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Neglecting to Fertilize

Neglecting to fertilize your plants is another common mistake when planting herbs and flowers together in pots. Fertilizer provides essential nutrients that your plants need to grow and thrive. Without enough nutrients, your plants may become stunted, weak, and more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Herbs and flowers that should not be planted together

It is best when planting herbs and flowers that you choose ones that like the same conditions.  Some herbs will not live well with each other so keep this in mind when choosing what to put in pots.

There are 2 main categories that I consider when planting, these are Mediterranean and Water Loving.  Mediterranean herbs and flowers like to dry out before watering they can easily be over watered.

Plant thyme with flowers that can tolerate dry periods like society garlic or even violas.

They love a good amount of sun as well. Water loving herbs and flowers like to be kept moist and  will suffer if left to dry out.  These can usually tolerate more shade so won’t mind a part shade/part sun position.

Mediterranean  Thyme, rosemary, lavender, sage
Water lovingParsley, chives, basil, coriander  
Alone  Mint, fennel

Benefits of planting flowers and herbs together in pots

Flowers will attract bees which will help to pollinate fruit in your garden.  If you are letting your herbs go to seed so you can collect them, and plant them again in the next growing season.

1. Attracts good insects

Both herbs and flowers can attract beneficial insects.  These can help to keep away the other insects that have plans to eat your plants.  I don’t actually mind letting a caterpillar have a nibble at the leaves of my plants, but there are many other bugs that can cause more damage that would be best to be kept away.

2. Increase biodiversity

Having a range of plants mixed together in your pot creates a small eco system. A mix of plants will bring a mix of good bacteria, fungi and bugs which all together can create a happier system, even in a pot.

Check out my previous article here on how to attract bees to your vegetable garden.

3. Bright and Cheery

The biggest benefit to growing flowers and herbs together in pots is that they look amazing.  Mixing the color of flowers with the deliciousness of herbs is a great way to add interest and beauty to your garden pots.

Planting herbs and flowers together in pots – Summary

Planting herbs and flowers together in pots is a great way to create a co-benefit for your plants. Herbs can deter insect pests with the strong smells keeping your flowers healthy and flowering plants can brighten up your pots to compliment your herbs.

The key to success is to choose plants that enjoy the same conditions including water, sunlight and temperature and you will have a great display for your home.