If you’ve read any of our other articles on rosemary, you’ve seen that we talk a lot about where to plant rosemary. What you haven’t heard from us is whether it’s a good idea to plant your rosemary by your garden gate. Is this a good idea?
Many gardeners have heard that planting rosemary by their garden gate is a good way of warding off pests. But is this true, or is it just a myth?
Below, I cover why people want to plant rosemary by the garden gate, whether it works and the best spots to plant rosemary. I then talk about what plants go best with rosemary.
What Is Rosemary?
Rosemary is a beneficial herb that you can grow in your indoor or outdoor garden. Depending on which kind you choose, your rosemary can grow up to 6-8 feet tall and wide. It is a beautiful plant with rich green needle-like leaves. In the spring, subtly-colored flowers will bloom.
It’s native to the Mediterranean regions of southern Europe and parts of Asia. It prefers warmer temperatures, moderate humidity, and soil that drains easily.
Many people love to grow rosemary because it looks beautiful, is great in cooking, and can help will minor aches and pains.
Plant Rosemary At Your Garden Gate
So, is it really a good idea to plant rosemary by your garden gate, or is it a myth?
But how? Why do you plant rosemary by your garden gate?
Doing so is a great idea because it’ll help protect your other plants.
Rosemary has a very strong aroma that can confuse pests and will deter them from feasting on your other plants. There are two ways this could work.
Because the aroma is so strong and unappealing to pests, pests might not want to go after your other plants. It could also confuse the pests. They smell the strong scent of the rosemary and don’t realize that there are other plants in the area.
Rosemary’s pest deterring abilities is one reason why people like to use rosemary as hedge shrubs. It creates a protective “fence” around the garden, deterring pests from entering.
Does It Work?
Planting rosemary by your garden gate works. But, should you always plant rosemary by the garden gate?
How well this works really depends on how your garden is laid out. Planting rosemary by your garden gate will always be advantageous. However, if pests have easy access to your garden from other locations, it might not work as well as you’d think.
For example, if your garden is mostly surrounded by walls, planting rosemary by the entrance is likely to help a lot. But, if your garden is an open air garden surrounded by fences, rosemary might not be as effective. The pests can simply enter the garden from the “back” entrance, so to speak.
Still, having rosemary at the front entrance or anywhere in your garden will be advantageous. It still stands that rosemary has a very strong scent that is unpleasant and confusing to pests. If you keep rosemary in your garden, pests may become confused and not know where to locate their preferred dinners.
Another reason why it’s good to have rosemary at the entrance to your garden is because of pollinators. While pests don’t like rosemary’s scent, pollinators do. Bees, birds, and insects that like nectar will flock to your garden while your rosemary is in bloom. Obviously, this is a good thing because your garden will benefit from being pollinated.
If you have a garden that is somewhat closed off, planting rosemary by the garden gate is the best option. Being close to the entrance of the garden allows the pollinators to easily locate the rosemary so that it can pollinate your whole garden.
This method works similarly with other strong smelling plants. The more aromas you have wafting through your garden, the harder it will be for pests to locate and destroy specific crops.
Where Should You Plant Rosemary In Your Garden?
Rosemary is an easy plant to take care of and grow. It doesn’t require much, although it does have its preferences.
In short, the most important thing for rosemary is sun. It needs 6-8 hours of full sun every day. It can tolerate a bit of shade, but really needs a lot of sun to thrive.
It does not need a lot of water, and will begin to rot if covered in too much water. Make sure to plant it in well-draining soil, and only water it once its soil has completely dried out.
If you plan to plant rosemary with other crops, make sure they’re spaced at least 2-3 feet apart.
What Plants Are Good To Plant With Rosemary?
Whenever you’re considering adding plants to your garden, you should make sure that they’re compatible with your other plants. Some plants work very well together and even help each other.
Other plants compete with each other and may cause their neighbors to die. For example, tomato plants are not a good idea to plant with rosemary. Rosemary will suck all the nutrients from your tomatoes until they die off.
Rosemary acts as a companion plant for these crops, meaning that it helps them to grow. Some things a companion plant can help with are:
- Attract pollinators
- Deter pests
- Encourage growth
- Act as ground cover to deter weeds
- Provide nutrients to the soil
So, which plants work best with rosemary? Here are some of our favorites:
- Thyme: this herb protects its fellow plants from the cabbage worm. It is also a sweet-smelling herb like rosemary itself which acts to deter pests and attract pollinators.
- Chives: this herb protects its fellow plants from aphids, pests that are white and tiny. They also encourage growth of other plants and attract pollinators.
- Lavender: this herb is a very strong-smelling plant just like rosemary. They help to deter rabbits and deer when planted together.
- Beans: these are a good crop to plant with rosemary because it needs lots of warmth and little fertilization. Rosemary also protects beans from beetles that like to eat bean leaves. Also, because beans grow bushy above and below ground, they prevent weeds from sprouting.
- Broccoli: rosemary is good to grow with broccoli because it protects the broccoli from cabbage moths.
- Carrots: rosemary helps protect carrots from carrot flies.
- Sage: this is a good herb to grow with rosemary because it enhances its flavor. They both require very similar growing conditions and enhance each other’s growth.
- Parsnips: rosemary helps protect parsnips from carrot flies.
- Marjoram: this is a great plant to grow with rosemary because it enhances flavor and promotes growth. It also produces large flowers that attract pollinators.
- Oregano: both herbs require similar growing conditions and encourage each other to grow. Most rosemary grows taller while oregano creeps along the ground. So, they don’t get in the way of each other’s growth.
- Marigold: these two plants don’t necessarily benefit one another. But, they have almost identical growing requirements, so they do well planted together.
- Cauliflower: this is a great plant to keep with rosemary because it’s full of nutrients. It helps rosemary to grow better than it would alone.
- Onions: onions protect rosemary from bugs while rosemary protects onion from insects.
- Hot Peppers: rosemary brings out the flavor of the peppers.
- Strawberries: although benefits are not well known, the two plants do well together.
Although there are a lot of plants that work well with rosemary, there are also plants that should not be together. Some of these include:
So the verdict is in. It is advantageous to plant rosemary by your garden gate. However, how effective this layout will be depends on how your garden is set up. If your garden is open air, it might be more beneficial to spread multiple rosemary plants around the outside of your garden.
Rosemary is great for protecting other plants because of its strong smell. While the scent is pleasant to us and good pollinators, it’s unpleasant to the pests that like to destroy your crops.
If you’re looking for a nice looking, sweet smelling, pest repelling crop…rosemary might be right for you.
Want to learn more? Click here to read my guide to whether rosemary spreads or here for where to plant rosemary. You can also find out what rosemary repels here, the best growing conditions here or all my rosemary guides here.
Suzi is a stay at home mom who juggles earning money online whilst raising 2 kids. She’s passionate about continual self development and earning money online for the benefit of herself and others.