Best (and Worst) Companion Plants for Thyme

Are you wondering what the best (and worst) thyme companion plants are? Then you’re in the right place! Using companion planting is an excellent way to save space in the garden all while maximizing the health of your plants. Thyme is generally a HUGE help to most plants due to its pest-repelling properties!

Together, we will explore the 5 BEST companion plants that pair beautifully with thyme, providing numerous benefits like pest control and increased yields. We’ll also discuss 3 plants that are best kept far away from thyme since they have competing needs

So grab your gardening gloves and let’s dive into how to use thyme as a companion plant in your garden!

Thyme growing in the garden near other plants as companions

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to products (including Amazon). I’ll earn a small commission if you make a purchase through my link, at no additional cost to you! Regardless, I only link to products that I personally use on our homestead or believe in.

What is Companion Planting?

Companion planting involves grouping certain plants together to provide a beneficial relationship. They are like BFFs in the garden. However, not all plants are friends, which we’ll cover later on in this article!

Benefits of companion plants

Companion planting also allows for closer plant spacing, which is great for those with limited garden space. Making the most of every square inch is always a win in my book!

The 5 BEST Thyme Companion Plants

Thyme is pretty resilient, so it doesn’t require other plants’ help to thrive. However, thyme is an excellent plant for repelling pests, so it largely helps other veggies in the garden that are often plagued by pest pressure. Thyme is a wonderful helper!

#1: Brassicas

If you’ve grown anything in the brassica family (brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, etc.) before, then there’s a good chance that you’ve battled the dreaded cabbageworm! They can quickly take your plants out if you’re not keeping a careful eye out for them.

The good news is that thyme is an effective repellent to cabbage moths, cabbage loopers, and cabbageworms. Thyme also repels aphids, which are common pests to the brassica family. So, if these pests are present, try adding a few thyme plants nearby as companion plants to ward them off.

A large broccoli head forming on a broccoli plant in the garden

#2: Tomatoes

Thankfully, I haven’t had to battle it out with tomato hornworms yet, but I know many gardeners have. They can do A LOT of damage to tomatoes in a short amount of time! Eek! To avoid dealing with this pest, add some clusters of thyme as a companion plant to deter them!

*New to growing tomatoes: Check out my guides on how to top them and how to grow them in grow bags!

A close up view of cherry tomatoes growing on the vine of a tomato plant

#3: Eggplant

Thyme is a wonderful companion plant to eggplant because thyme can repel whiteflies, a popular pest for eggplant. Additionally, thyme can draw in predatory insects that love to feast on whiteflies. A double benefit here! Just make sure to plant thyme on the south side of the plant so it doesn’t get shaded out.

A photo of 2 eggplants in the garden

#4: Asparagus

Aphids can become a BIG problem in the garden, but they particularly love to munch on asparagus. Guess who repels aphids? You guessed it! Thyme! Thyme also attracts ladybugs, who also like to feast on those pesky aphids. What an awesome plant, right?

The other thing that I love about planting thyme as a companion plant to asparagus is that they are both perennials, so you can plant them together once and they’ll be buddies in the years to come.

Asparagus spears growing up from the soil

#5: Marigolds

Marigolds are excellent at repelling pests in the garden, so I often have 15-20 of them interspersed in my garden, near my high-risk plants. You can see below I have several around my zucchini plant to ward off the dreaded squash vine borer. To provide double duty on repelling pests, add some thyme to the mix as well! 

Marigolds planted next to zucchini

3 Plants to AVOID Planting With Thyme

Thyme doesn’t necessarily have any plant enemies in terms of plant compatibility. Its main threat is fungal issues if grown in soil that is too rich and moist, so avoiding plants that like those soil conditions is key. Thyme prefers dry, sandy soil that’s of poor quality.

#1: Celery

Celery is notorious for being a diva in the garden. It needs high amounts of moisture and nutrients to thrive due to its dense but shallow root system. While celery and thyme have similar needs when it comes to light (they both prefer full sun, but will tolerate light shade), they won’t be able to agree on the rest.

#2: Corn

Corn is a bad match for thyme for multiple reasons. First, corn has high watering and nutrient needs like celery, so thyme’s preference for dry, poor-quality soil won’t be able to be met. Secondly, corn is tall and can quickly shade out the thyme as it grows. While thyme can tolerate a small amount of shade, it prefers full sun and likely won’t thrive under the towering corn. 

#3: Cucumber

Are you seeing a trend here? Cucumber falls into the same bucket as celery and corn. Those juicy cucumbers definitely take a lot of water throughout the gardening season, so thyme will certainly experience some fungal issues if planted together. Plus, cucumbers can get quite tall and can shade out that sun-loving thyme. 

Other Gardening Articles You’ll Love:

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*Information in this article was referenced from personal experience and/or from my favorite gardening book: The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, unless otherwise noted.

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