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11 Fabulous Thyme Companion Plants! [Fruit Bushes, Herbs, and Veggies!]

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One of the first herbs I plant in any garden is thyme – this versatile herb is easy to grow and has many benefits. I’d never be without it! But what are the best companion plants for thyme? And how does thyme get along with other plants?

It gets along surprisingly well. And – thyme also aids other beneficial garden crops, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. So – let’s look at some of the best companion thyme companions perfect for whether you grow it indoors on a windowsill or in your garden.

Lovely thyme plants growing with other herbs and shrubs.

Sound good?

Then let’s get our hands dirty!

Why Is Thyme a Good Companion Plant? 3 Big Reasons!

Lovely backyard garden with thyme and aromatic herbs.

Companion planting makes much more sense when you learn why a plant might benefit others! Thyme has several properties making it a good companion for many plant species.

Consider the following!

1. Ground Cover

Thyme grows into a low, bushy mound, forming a mat of dense foliage over the ground. This low-growing nature keeps weeds at bay and retains moisture in the soil. But may swamp younger or slow-growing seedlings.

2. Pest Deterrence

Thyme has excellent pest-repellent properties and will keep whiteflies, cabbage maggots, corn earworms, cabbage loopers, and tomato hornworms at bay. Lemon thyme is good for repelling mosquitos, but it needs to get gently crushed to release the natural oils first.

3. Beneficial Pollinators and Predators

Not not only does thyme deter the nuisance bugs, but it also draws in the good ones! Thyme produces lovely flowers that honeybees and other friendly pollinators cannot resist.

The nectar of thyme flowers will also attract lacewings, ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and hoverflies. And the larvae of these insects will munch up troublesome pests such as aphids, tomato hornworms, and squash vine borers.

Beneficial predators for the win!

lovely thyme plant growing in the backyard herb garden
Now let’s brainstorm the best thyme companions! Luckily – thyme is a perennial plant from the mint family Lamiaceae that grows in diverse conditions, including sunny conditions or shade. Since it’s tremendously easy to grow in most locations, thyme welcomes a litany of companion crops, including vegetable crops, lavender flowers, blueberry plants, fruit trees, other mint plants, and many others. Thyme itself is an excellent companion plant for endless beneficial plants. Let’s discuss them all in more detail. Shall we?

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11 Best Companion Plants for Thyme

We grow thyme yearly and enjoy a breathtaking harvest for our entire family.

We also have experience growing thyme with the following companion plants. These are our favorite crops for growing with thyme in raised garden beds, containers, terracotta pots, or alongside your front yard walkway.

1. Rosemary

honeybee visiting blooming purple rosemary flowers, a great thyme companion plant
Rosemary is a perfect companion plant for thyme. They’re both aromatic plants from the mint family and prosper in similar conditions. Though, rosemary grows taller. Cultivate them both in full sun for the best results. If winter temperatures stay above around five degrees Fahrenheit, expect your rosemary plant to remain evergreen. (Rosemary and thyme also combine deliciously for flavoring savory meats.)

Rosemary and thyme both enjoy the same growing conditions – they grow in abundance in the wild on dry, arid hillsides in the Mediterranean. They grow best in that dry, sunny spot in your yard where nothing else thrives.

Rosemary and thyme are good companion plants because they thrive in the same conditions, and planting them together is not detrimental to either plant. However, there is no beneficial symbiotic link between the two plants. They merely happen to like living in the same place!

2. Basil

tomatoes and basil plants growing in small greenhouse
Here’s another mint relative and beneficial herb that grows abundantly alongside your thyme and tomato plants. We’re talking about basil! Basil is a relatively delicate plant compared to other hardy thyme companions. However, basil grows like a dream if you provide ample sunlight and well-draining soil. Basil also rocks for cooking! It’s one of our favorite culinary herbs for homemade pesto, fresh homemade pizza, soups, puree, and pasta.

At first, basil and thyme may not seem like apparent companion plants. Thyme likes hot, dry soil conditions, while basil likes to get planted in a damp, shady patch. Plant basil next to thyme in full sun, then watch it bolt within a few weeks.

However, the ground cover offered by thyme provides just the conditions basil needs to thrive! This relationship will only work if you have an established thyme plant in a shadier spot. Plant basil seedlings around the margin of the thyme, and they will reap the benefits of the soft, damp soil under the mounds of thyme leaves.

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3. Lavender

Lavender is one of the best thyme companion plants
Lavender is one of our favorite aromatic thyme companions. It enjoys bright sunlight and can tolerate drought. And they prefer well-drained soil – just like thyme. Lavender plants also summon swarms of honeybees! And make no mistake. Bees are every gardener’s best friend. Most of your beneficial plants love bees. We also encourage growing lavender if you cultivate fruit trees, pumpkins, squash, and garden plants that need pollinators.

Thyme is a surprisingly good choice to plant with lavender. It will suppress weeds under the taller lavender plants while still receiving enough light to thrive. Both plants enjoy growing in full sun, making them a great addition to a drought-tolerant garden.

4. Peppers

colorful bell pepper plant in the garden with red orange and yellow peppers
Want to add natural balance to your herb garden? Try adding in some peppers! We love cultivating peppers within our herb garden because the plants are relatively tiny (compared to zucchini and tomato plants, at least), grow beautifully alongside basil and thyme, and love growing in full sunlight. Add a few pepper plants alongside your thyme, basil, and rosemary, and prepare for an epic, flavorful, and zesty harvest.

Common pests of bell pepper plants include aphids, thrips, loopers, caterpillars, and whitefly. A good solution is to plant thyme at the edge of your pepper growing plot to draw in beneficial insects such as lacewings and ladybugs.

5. Strawberries

Strawberries and thyme are great companion plants.
Strawberry flowers possess both male and female components. But strawberries also benefit tremendously from honeybee pollination. That’s one reason strawberries make excellent thyme companion plants. Thyme and other flowering herbs summon troves of honeybees to your garden. But the bees won’t stop at your thyme plants. We bet they’ll visit your highly desirable and seductive strawberry flowers. Bees can’t resist them! (And your strawberry fruit will be superior as a result.)

Planting strawberry plants and thyme together has been practiced by farmers for centuries. Thyme helps repel whitefly, which can destroy a strawberry crop (nearly) overnight. It also attracts pollinating insects to boost your strawberry harvest.

Read More – Yellow Flowering Herbs – 18 Most Beautiful Herbs With Yellow Flowers

6. Cabbages & Other Brassicas

delicious cabbage cauliflowers growing in garden
Cabbage is another delicious garden crop that benefits tremendously from honeybees. Therefore, we encourage our gardening colleagues to cultivate cabbage alongside flowering herbs and other honey-bee-summoning crops. Besides, we couldn’t write about thyme companions while neglecting the entire cabbage family! (Cabbage is also criminally underrated in the kitchen. Try making this quick homemade coleslaw recipe to help cool down during the summer harvest. We’re not sure if you could try adding some minced thyme. But we bet it would work!)

All brassica crops, including cabbage, calabrese, and Brussels sprouts, can be decimated by harmful pests such as cabbageworm, cabbage looper, and the larvae of cabbage moths. The flowers of thyme plants will attract ladybugs and parasitic wasps, both of which act as natural pest control against these problematic garden invaders.

Cabbage worms, moths, and aphids are three of the worst pests when growing brassicas because they can entirely consume the crop’s leaves. Thyme repels many of these pests and attracts beneficial pollinators and predatory insects like ladybugs that can eat as many as 50 aphids daily.

7. Potatoes

Potatoes are great thyme companion plants
Planting potatoes alongside thyme and other flowering herbs is an excellent touch to your garden. The tiny potato plant emerging from the soil looks charming alongside low-growing herbs. Potatoes are also embarrassingly-easy to grow in chilly climates and make perfect cold-weather herb garden companions – thyme, parsley, and chive are three of our favorites. Cultivate potatoes in full sun for the best results. Potatoes also love moist soil – and don’t like drought conditions.

The highly scented flowers of thyme are particularly good at attracting hoverflies, lacewings, and ladybugs. The larvae of these insects are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to pest control – a single ladybug larva can eat up to 200 aphids in a single day!

Ladybugs are an insanely-valuable boon to your potato crop, helping to ensure you have a decent crop of healthy potatoes come harvest time. Many gardeners believe that growing thyme near potatoes improves the crop flavor, but we must take their word for it, as the enhanced flavor is difficult to prove with certainty! (But the thought of thyme-flavored potatoes is pleasant enough. We like the idea.)

8. Blueberries

bee visiting and pollinating a blooming blueberry bush
Our list of companion plants for thyme would be remiss without blueberries. They’re one of our favorite shrubs for growing alongside our herb garden. Like many flowery herb companions, blueberries require full sun. And did you know that blueberry shrubs produce many flowers numbering in the thousand? Unfortunately, blueberry flowers are less appealing to bees than other nectar-rich flowers. So we try to plant as many wildflowers and flowery herbs as possible to summon more bees. Including thyme, oregano, and lemon balm. And rosemary!

Planting thyme under blueberries will help to keep the soil moist and suppress weed growth. Bees attracted to the fragrance of thyme flowers will also help to pollinate your blueberry bushes, resulting in a superior crop.

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9. Tomatoes

sowing a tomato plant into the raised garden bed during a spring day
Tomatoes are one of the best companion plants for thyme! Tomatoes and thyme grow magnificently together in moist soil and sunny conditions. (Our tomato plants grow better with more sunlight. The more sun, the better.) We also propose that tomatoes benefit from the honeybees that creeping thyme flowers summon – much like the other bee-loving thyme companions on our list. Tomatoes and thyme also taste succulent when combined in various pasta dishes. Check out this epic fresh tomato and thyme pasta sauce recipe for undisputable proof of their simpatico.

If you’ve lost your tomato crop to tomato hornworms in the past, then thyme may be the solution! Tomato hornworms are moth caterpillars, and these hungry creatures can wreak havoc upon your carefully nurtured tomato plants in no time whatsoever.

The foliage of thyme contains a substance called thymol, which is repellent to tomato hornworm caterpillars. Thyme also attracts insects that reduce tomato hornworm numbers, including ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps.

(If you’ve never investigated the role parasitic wasps fill in your garden, I suggest you do so! It is a war zone out there. And wasps are on the gardener’s side!)

Read More – What to Plant In a Plum Tree Guild – Examples, Flowers, and Herbs!

10. Shallots

organic shallot crop growing in the backyard garden
Shallots prefer full sunlight, fertile soil, and cool temperatures. You can plant them in spring as soon as the soil thaws. And shallots taste perfect with thyme! We found this succulent blueberry shallot sauce recipe with fresh blueberries, thyme, and diced tomatoes. We’ve never seen such a yummy recipe with so many thyme companions in one place. We figured we’d give it a try!

Shallots can be surprisingly frustrating to grow, as they seem to lack the resilience of other onion species! They are ludicrously sensitive to attack by onion thrips, which destroy the foliage and reduce the yield of shallots come harvest time.

Luckily, one insect loves onion thrips – lacewings! Thyme will attract lacewings to your yard in their droves, and they will quickly work on keeping your shallots predator-free.

11. Eggplants

plump purple eggplants growing in the greenhouse garden
Eggplants are one of our favorite thyme companion nightshades for growing alongside our herb garden in the summer. The only caveat is that eggplants are tremendously cold-sensitive (like tomatoes) and demand warm temperatures. Also – eggplants are more water-sensitive than thyme plants. Your eggplants require at least one inch of water each week.

Eggplants are notoriously tricky customers – they need bee vibrations for successful pollination, and without this, you won’t get a crop! Interspersing eggplants with thyme will ensure plenty of bees, wasps, and hoverflies visit your garden, boosting the pollination rate of your eggplants.

The foliage of thyme will also deter moths from your garden, reducing the population of moth caterpillars which can lay waste to your carefully nurtured eggplant patch.

Thyme Companion Plants – FAQs

We spend nearly our entire spring and summer gardening! We do not only grow thyme and other herbs. We also grow veggies, fruits, nuts, and enough forage for an entire goat army!

We amassed the following thyme companion questions and answers to make your gardening quest easier.

We hope they help you!

Can Thyme Grow With Other Herbs?

The most obvious place to plant thyme is in your herb garden, but which herbs particularly like to grow near thyme? When planting herbs, you’ll find two distinct groups. Woody perennial herbs. And soft-leaved annual herbs.

Thyme belongs to the first group, which all thrive when grown in sandy soil in direct sun. You will often find these aromatic herbs referred to as Mediterranean herbs, as this is where most originate. Soft-leaved herbs prefer moist soil and partial shade. And they tend to be thirstier than woody perennial herbs. The easiest way to discover where to plant herbs is to separate the two groups. They have such different growing conditions they will not thrive if planted near each other.

Can Rosemary and Thyme Be Potted Together?

Rosemary and thyme can be potted together, and they make an excellent evergreen exhibition in a backyard herb planter. Bush rosemary plants can overshadow low-growing thyme, so creeping rosemary varieties might work splendidly.

Why Should I Bother Growing Thyme Companions?

We always say that more herby perennial flowers bring more bees. And pollinators! And – taking a few moments to consider which plants grow well beside each other can reap tremendous benefits in your garden. Companion planting means placing plants nearby with a mutually beneficial relationship, resulting in more vigorous growth or better protection from pests. And, when it comes to thyme, the benefits of companion planting are immense!

Can Thyme Grow With Vegetables?

While the best place to plant thyme is in your herb garden, are there benefits to cultivating it in your vegetable plot? Yes, absolutely! Thyme is not just an extraordinary culinary herb. It also has many other noteworthy benefits in the garden.

Planting thyme in the appropriate places in your vegetable plot will attract predatory insects that help to keep troublesome pests at bay. This strongly-scented herb also repels the insects we don’t want – an undeniable win-win situation!

What Are the Best Fruits and Vegetables to Grown With Thyme?

Fruit trees and fruit bushes are perfect for growing alongside thyme. Blueberries, strawberries, and apples come to mind. Any fruit and vegetable that can benefit from increased pollinators is an excellent thyme companion. Squash, zucchini, and pumpkins are three other crops that grow symbiotically with thyme. (These crops love full sunlight and often suffer without bees.)

lavender flowers getting attacked by popillia japonica
Here you see a Japanese beetle feeding on a lavender flower. It reminds us that no matter which thyme companions you cultivate, it requires effort. Each morning, we scour our garden to look for harmful insects! Since we always rant about the lack of honeybees, we never use pesticides. That means we must scan manually for spider mites, potato beetles, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, and other wicked garden invaders. It’s ongoing work – but worth the effort!

Conclusion

Thanks so much for brainstorming all about thyme companion plants with us!

Thyme is one of the easiest crops for kickstarting your herb garden. And it also grows alongside many fruits, veggies, native shrubs, and other herbs.

Which thyme companions seem the most worthwhile and fruitful to you?

Or maybe you know of a thyme companion plant we have not covered yet?

Either way – we love hearing from you. And we thank you again for reading.

Have a great day!

adorable hedgehog in a colorful herb garden with thyme and green plants
We searched high and low for the best thyme companions. And in so doing – we stumbled upon this hidden gem. It’s a thyme-covered hedgehog! We think it got attracted to the lovely thyme aroma. Or maybe it loves the taste of freshly-munched thyme leaves. Either way, we thought it was a unique and adorable thyme companion. Perhaps the best one yet. Thanks again for reading!

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