I have 3 tomato plants in pots right now. One of them is in a large pot and I recently planted some basil in the pot, partly for some extra basil, and partly because I have heard that basil and tomatoes go together nicely (I think I heard it enhanced the flavor of the tomato, but I don't remember exactly).

The other two tomato plants are currently in smaller pots and I am going to transplant them fairly soon to larger pots the same size as the other tomato plant. I want to put some herbs in that pot too, but I'm not sure if I can handle a ton more basil.

What other herbs will go well with tomatoes?

  • might this be a cooking question, more than a gardening question? the folks at cooking.se have a terrific amount of expertise and i think you'd get good answers over there Jul 11, 2011 at 12:13
  • @Tea - possibly. More wondering if other herbs would be harmful/helpful to my tomatoes flavor. Also looking for other issues like nutrient addition or subtraction.
    – wax eagle
    Jul 11, 2011 at 12:17

3 Answers 3


Not an herb, but lettuce intercrops well with tomato.

I have parsley growing amongst my tomatoes right now -- it doesn't seem to harm the tomato any and the parsley is doing well.

According to wikipedia*, and considering the time of year and how much growing you might have left, onion is supposed to help tomato. From the same list, don't plant dill as it is said to attract tomato hornworm.

*(I tend to take these lists with a big dose of salt -- some of the information on companion planting is based on bogus science and some of it is based on traditional wisdom. Some of the traditional wisdom has been confirmed by proper experiments and some of it has been proven wrong. E.g. the traditional lists don't pair tomato and lettuce, but the study referenced above shows that it works.)

  • That's a really good idea, because once the tomatoes get tall enough, you really don't want your lettuce in the sun all day. Also good for making BLT's Jul 11, 2011 at 14:22

Chives, Oregano, Cilantro, Mint, Basil, and Parsley all grow well as a companion to tomatoes. Some such as the Basil and Chives are said to enhance the flavor of the actual fruits as well but most all of these help deter harmful pests (such as aphids, certain beetles, etc.) while also helping attract beneficial bugs. Oregano in particular when it spreads out helps provide ground cover resulting in increased soil warmth too. Mostly it will depend on your preference for what herbs you prefer or will use.

  • could be coincidence but there could be something about that with basil: This year is the one year our basil failed to re-seed itself, and it is the one year we had aphids on outside pepper plants!
    – winwaed
    Jul 11, 2011 at 13:00

From a culinary perspective:

  • If you're planning spaghetti sauce, then plant basil, oregano and parsley.

  • If you're planning salsa, plant cilantro.

That probably didn't need to even be said, but it seems to be the answer, I don't think you should plant them in the same pot as your tomatoes though. If you had them outside in the ground, I'd say go for it (on the sunnier end of your tomatoes), but your tomatoes are going to wind up towering over your herbs regardless.

  • Oregano is a hardy perennial, probably not a good choice for interplanting in tomato pots.
    – bstpierre
    Jul 11, 2011 at 14:47

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