Best Companion Plants For Thyme: What To Plant With Thyme

A lot of gardeners haven’t heard of companion planting, and it’s really a shame. Companion planting is a wonderful way to fill up your garden with lots of plants, while also benefiting your plants!

Many people choose not to grow different plants near each other because they think that the plants will harm each other. This is true in some cases, but in other cases, quite the opposite is true! Many plants do really well together and will even act to help each other grow.

How do they do this, you might be wondering? Some companion plants, like thyme, ward off pests and attract pollinators. Others prevent weeds from growing, and others provide nutrients needed for the other plants to grow.

When you consider everything, companion planting for thyme can have a lot of benefits!

Below, I cover more details about what companion planting is and the benefits of it before talking about what to look for when chosing companion plants for thyme. I then go through the best companion plants for thyme.

What Is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is a relatively new concept in gardening. It refers to when you plant certain species together so that each plant will benefit the others. Some plants go really well together, while others don’t.

For example, you want to plant species that have similar needs. But, you don’t want those needs to be too similar or the plants will end up competing for resources.

You also don’t want to choose plants that will directly hurt other plants. For example, mint grows using sturdy, hard, underground rhizomes. You wouldn’t want to plant mint with something like rosemary that has a delicate underground root system.

As I said, companion planting is a relatively new concept in the world of gardening. Most of the research and experimentation that has been done has been performed on “farming” crops.

Still, researchers and gardeners alike have been slowly figuring out which garden plants go best with each other, and which ones don’t. Much of this is due to trial and error, growing plants together to see what works and what doesn’t.

What Are The Benefits Of Companion Planting?

Companion planting is great because it allows you to grow multiple species in your garden. Not only that, but all the species work together to support each other so that you have a big, healthy garden.

There are many ways in which companion planting can benefit your garden whether you’re using thyme or other species:

  • Certain plants (like thyme) deter pests and attract pollinators
  • Ground-covering plants (like thyme) prevent the growth of weeds
  • Some plants will provide extra nutrients to the plants around them
  • Taller plants can provide shade to shorter plants

Companion Planting Thyme: What To Consider When Looking For What To Plant With Thyme

Thyme is one of the best plants to companion plant with other plants. Thyme is a very easy plant. It’s hardy and can happily grow in most conditions.

It’s used to surviving on a lack of nutrients, so it’s not likely to deprive your other plants of the nutrients they need. Really, thyme is the perfect companion plant because it gives more than it takes.

Herb garden including thyme
Herb garden including thyme

Pests & Pollinators

One thing that makes thyme so great is that it is a strong-smelling plant. It smells and tastes similar to that of mint, which is a great plant for repelling pests. Similarly, thyme is also great at repelling pests.

If you’re growing plants in your garden that are susceptible to pests, plant some thyme alongside it. You just might find that your plants are protected by the thyme.

The aroma of thyme is great. It smells sweet, and it is a very pleasant smell for us as humans. At the same time, it gets rid of pests. The smell may be so strong that they become confused and are unable to find the plant they really want to feast on. Other times, the smell may be so strong that the pests simply choose to stay far away from it.

Thyme is very good at deterring things like deer, cabbage worms, corn earworms, flea beetles, and tomato hornworms.

Not only does thyme smell good to us and bad to pests, but it smells good to pollinators, too. Thyme is great for luring in bees who will pollinate the thyme as well as all the other plants in your garden.

Growing Conditions

For plants to work well together as companion plants, they need to have similar growing conditions. It’s usually best if the plants aren’t too similar.

If they are, they will often end up competing with each other, so then neither will thrive. But when they are just similar enough, they are able to grow well together.

The biggest thing about thyme is that it needs well-draining soil. Thyme doesn’t do well with a lot of extra water. It is actually better to underwater thyme than it is to overwater it.

Overwatering can cause the plant to wilt and develop root rot. So, thyme probably isn’t going to work well with crops that need really moist soil.

Read more about the best soil for thyme here.

Similarly, sunlight is very important to thyme. Ideally, thyme needs to have 6-10 hours of full sunlight every day. It can survive in partial shade, but it’s not going to grow as well as it would in full sun.

Thyme is also a low-growing plant that creeps across the ground. Because it grows low to the ground, it can be difficult to get enough sunlight when it’s planted around other crops. You should be careful to grow plants that are not excessively tall. You don’t want plants that are going to produce too much shade over your thyme plants.

Weeds

Plants that are susceptible to weeds will also do well with thyme as a companion plant. Thyme grows low to the ground and spreads out. Because it creates such great ground cover, it prevents weeds from popping up.

This will not only help your plants save nutrients, but it will make your garden look nicer. Instead of having to pull the weeds by hand, you can simply grow thyme and let it do the work for you.

Not only does thyme prevent weeds, but it also helps keep the soil moist. This is important for some companion plants that need moister soil to grow.

Best Companion Plants For Thyme

Thyme is one of the best plants to use for companion planting. Here is what grows well with thyme:

  • Potatoes
  • Shallots
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Eggplants
  • Roses
  • Salad Burnet
  • Blueberries
  • Cabbage
  • Lavender

Potatoes

Thyme is a great companion to potatoes because potatoes tend to attract potato beetles. In turn, thyme will attract parasitic wasps that eat the beetles, therefore protecting the potatoes.

Thyme also helps potatoes to taste better.

Shallots

Shallots work well with thyme because the herb helps to enhance the shallots flavor.

Thyme also works to deter worms that may feed on the shallots.

Tomatoes

Can you plant thyme with tomatoes? You sure can!

Tomatoes are at extreme risk of hornworms who will feast on them. Thyme works to repel these pests while also enhancing the tomato’s flavor.

Also, if you have a problem with white lilies around your tomatoes, thyme can help get rid of them and helps the tomatoes defend themselves.

Strawberries

Because strawberries are so sweet, they’re often predated by many pests. Thyme is a great companion plant because it helps prevent these pests from going after the strawberries.

Thyme also works well to suppress weeds when planted near strawberries. It also will help keep the ground moist, something that is important for strawberries.

Eggplants

Thyme acts as a great deterrent to garden moths that like to go after eggplant.

Roses

Roses are often in danger from pests like aphids and blackflies, but thyme works to deter these pests.

Salad Burnet

Salad Burnet is a very aromatic plant that will help make your garden smell good in combination with thyme.

Thyme also works really well at just helping this plant thrive in general.

Blueberries

Blueberries need pollination, and thyme can help with that. Thyme will use its alluring scent to attract honeybees which will pollinate the blueberries.

Cabbage & The Cabbage Family

Thyme works really well with cabbage and other crops like it. It helps to deter pests like cabbage worms, cabbage moths, cabbage loopers, flea beetles, and aphids.

Thyme can be planted around cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi.

Lavender

Thyme doesn’t necessarily offer any benefits to lavender, but it does grow well alongside it. Lavender is an herb from the Mediterranean, just like thyme is. Because of this, they both have very similar growing conditions and do well together.

However, there are some plants that you shouldn’t grow with thyme:

  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Cilantro

Chives

Thyme does best in soil that is sandy and well-draining. Alternatively, chives need soil that is moist, so these two plants don’t do well together.

Basil

Basil does best when it’s planted with vegetables rather than herbs. It doesn’t work well with herbs, so thyme should not be planted with it.

Cilantro

Like chives, cilantro does best with soil that is moist rather than dry.

For this reason, cilantro and thyme don’t work well together.

Good With ThymeNot Good With Thyme
PotatoesX
ShallotsX
TomatoesX
StrawberriesX
EggplantsX
RosesX
Salad BurnetX
BlueberriesX
CabbageX
ChivesX
BasilX
CilantroX
Which Plants Are Good Companion Plants To Thyme?

Final Words

If you’ve ever wondered whether planting certain crops together is a good idea, now you know! Companion planting is a great idea because different plants can work together to help each other be healthier.

Of course, this isn’t true in all scenarios. Some plants don’t do well together at all and should be avoided. Chives, basil, and cilantro do not do well with thyme, and they should never be planted with thyme.

Still, thyme helps a lot more plants than it hurts. Thyme grows great with potatoes, tomatoes, shallots, blueberries, roses, and others.

Thyme produces a strong scent that is pleasing to us, and is pleasing to pollinators as well. It helps bring pollinators into the garden to encourage plant growth for things like blueberries.

It also helps to ward off pests that find the scent disgusting, though. This seems to be the main benefit of planting thyme with other plants: warding off pests. It even prevents the growth of weeds!

Either way you look at it, you can’t go wrong choosing companion plants for your thyme.

Want to learn more? Click here to learn when to plant thyme and here to learn where you should plant it. You can also find all my guides to growing thyme here.