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I want to grow some herbs for regular use on my kitchen window sill. As herbs influence other plants growing next to them, I want to make sure they'll go well together before planting/sowing them.

Which herbs can be planted closely without having a negative effect on each other?

In particular I want to put rosemary, basil and parsley together in one pot.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The only 'negative effect' from planting culinary herbs together would be the differing sizes and growth rate related to the amount of space available for each plant. For the three you have specifically mentioned, Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a reasonably hardy, evergreen, woody shrub. Basil is a tender annual, and parsley is a hardy biennial, although the flavour of its leaves is best in its first year, so is usually treated as an annual.

For a decent amount of Parsley to use in cooking, you will probably need more than one plant - recommended container size for 3-5 plants is 20-40cm wide by 20-25cm deep; Basil gets taller, so doesn't need quite such a wide container. Rosemary needs good root room to form a good branchwork above the ground, and recommended pot size is 30-45cm wide by 30-40cm deep, although if you only want the plant for one season, a smaller pot will do for that. Therefore, planting parsley and basil together in, say, a trough on a sunny window sill is possible, and should be sufficient for both plants, with the parsley taking up most room on the surface of the soil. Rosemary is better being grown separately, in its own pot. Unless you choose one of the half hardy varieties, R. officinalis is hardy down to -5 deg.C.

UPDATE: No, there aren't any problem combinations for culinary herbs in the same way as vegetables. The combination of medicinal and culinary herbs is another matter - I wouldn't, for instance, grow Wormwood (artemisia) in with edible herbs in pots if I intended to use the latter in food. I don't actually know that this is a risky thing to do, but given that wormwood is used as a moth repellent and insecticide, I wouldn't be prepared to take a chance. I do, though, grow Artemisia in the garden, which also contains Chives, Thyme and Sage, though it's not particularly close to the edible ones.

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Thank you Bamboo. That was very helpful. I'll probably give the Rosemary it's own pot, but probably indoors, as our winters can get as cold as -10 to -15°C. What I actually wanted to know though is if there are any problematic combinations. e.g. like shown for vegetables in the table in the middle of this page. – Kaadzia Sep 14 '12 at 14:57
And Thanks for the Update. Question answered :-) – Kaadzia Sep 14 '12 at 16:07

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