Planting Herbs and Flowers Together in Pots | Organic Tips

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.

What herbs can I 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

Choose plants that enjoy the same conditions

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.  
Check out this video for companion planting basics

What herbs can be planted in pots?

All herbs will grow well in pots.  If you are new to gardening, I would start with common herbs that grow easily. Basil, parsley and coriander all grow really well from seed.

I always buy thyme, rosemary and sage as small plants from my garden store.  These take a lot longer to grow from seed and are much more reliable if grown from a small plant.

Plant mint in pots to stop it from invading your garden.

I would always plant mint in its own pot, it will take over very quickly which is great on its own.  If you plant, it with another herb or flower it will likely take up all of the remove and starve the plant of space.

What herbs and flowers 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

What soil do I use to plant flowers and herbs in a pot?

I like to use the 1-1-1 seed raising mix with a secret added extra which will give your plants long lasting nutrients. My potting mix recipe is below:

How to make my potting soil mix

  1. Hydrate the coconut coir brick in a bucket of water
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together
  3. Use this to plant your seeds, add to pots or your garden beds.

What pot is best for my flowers and herbs?

The most important thing to remember for an outdoor pot is to make sure it has a drainage hole in the bottom.  Outdoor pots should have at least 1 hole in the bottom which will let the excess water out.  This will stop your plants from getting root rot. 

I like to buy a shallow, wide pot which gives me lots of room in the top to plant both your flowers and herbs in the same place.

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.

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.