Growing rosemary and basil

Asked April 12, 2016, 10:00 PM EDT

Hi bonnie plants sent me your direction for my question. I have had a hard time keeping rosemary alive through the years i have managed to kill about 5 plants. I read online that basil will kill rosemary. If this is the case, is it only when the 2 plants are planted in the same bed? Would the plants be fine together if planted in 2 separate pots?

Jefferson County Alabama herbs container gardening

2 Responses

Many online recommendations are based on someone's experience with plants, and may not be rooted in pure science. As example, I've grown basil and rosemary together for years and not had a problem. Upright rosemary can grow to shrub size, needs well-drained soil, almost no fertilizer, and definitely full sun. As long as the herbs aren't crowding each other, plant them in the same bed. Or if grown in containers, allow a large enough pot, especially for the rosemary as its stems can become woody and spreading with age. Some gardeners have reported problems with rosemary staying healthy for many years. I suspect that is due in part to our climate, which is a good deal more humid than its Mediterranean ancestry. Try planting in a different location; I've had more success in some places in my garden than in others. Give the herbs another try - they are worth it. As a plus, my honey bees love the flowers of both rosemary and basil!

Many online recommendations are based on someone's experience with plants, and may not be rooted in pure science. As example, I've grown basil and rosemary together for years and not had a problem. Upright rosemary can grow to shrub size, needs well-drained soil, almost no fertilizer, and definitely full sun. As long as the herbs aren't crowding each other, plant them in the same bed. Or if grown in containers, allow a large enough pot, especially for the rosemary as its stems can become woody and spreading with age. Some gardeners have reported problems with rosemary staying healthy for many years. I suspect that is due in part to our climate, which is a good deal more humid than its Mediterranean ancestry. Try planting in a different location; I've had more success in some places in my garden than in others. Give the herbs another try - they are worth it. As a plus, my honey bees love the flowers of both rosemary and basil!

-Sallie Lee