Can I plant Basil, Parsley and Thai Basil in the same planter?

Asked May 11, 2015, 10:46 AM EDT

Can I plant Basil, Parsley and Thai Basil in the same planter? The planter is three feet long, I already planted them by seed with Parsley in the middle. My a friend told me that Parsley and Basil don't get along because Parsley is a trap plant for Aphids, which Basil is very susceptible to. Is this true?

Hennepin County Minnesota

2 Responses

Thank you for your question. There is not much research-based information on companion planting, more specifically basil and parsley, namely because companion planting is hard to replicate. Aphids are a common pest of basil and ordinarily controlled with insecticidal soap. Always read and follow the directions on the product label as the label is the law.

Parsley has its own host of pest issues, but I did not seem aphids listed as being a concerning pest. Your friend may have had aphids on parsley because they were on a nearby plant. That said, aphids could be controlled the same way with insecticidal soap. Agina, check the label and be sure your crops are listed as well as the pest.

If you do not want to spray, you can try covering your plants with with thin netting or a floating row cover material. Spacing plants / thinning plants properly can also help to reduce some pest issues. As your seedlings emerge, you may decide to introduce biological controls such as lady beetles or parasitic wasps that prey on aphids. Here is a good publication on aphids from University of California - Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Aphids

Thank you so much for the help. I'll watch the herbs as they grow and watch for any signs of pests, along with treating per your recommendation.

Thanks again!