COMPANION PLANTING - Plant Guide
What To Plant With What ....
Alfalfa is a perennial plant that roots deeply. It’s growth infuses soil with nitrogen and helps it to accumulate iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. The plant withholds drought due to it’s long tap-root, and this also promotes the breaking up of hard clay soils with its thin but strong roots.
Alfalfa is basically pest and disease free and does not attract ‘bad’ insects into the garden. Being a hardly plant, Alfalfa only needs natural rainfall to survive.
Amaranth is a tropical annual plant that needs very warm to hot conditions to flourish. The fresh, young leaves can be eaten in salads.
Plant Amaranth with sweet corn as it’s leaves provide shade which allows the soil to retain moisture. Amaranth is a great host to predatory ground beetles.
Anise is a licorice flavoured herb which is a good host for predatory wasps which prey on aphids. It’s scent also repels aphids and deters pests from brassicas (such as cauliflower and broccoli) by camouflaging their odour.
The Anise plant improves the vigour of any plants growing near it and grows well planted near Coriander.
The ointment or essential oil of Anise is an excellent protectant against bug and insect stings and bites.
ARTEMISIAS: See Wormwood
Asparagus can be planted with tomato, parsley and basil, as they all enhance one another.
Basil is a wonderful plant to place alongside tomatoes as they improve growth and flavour. Basil can be helpful in repelling thrips, flies and mosquitoes as they detest the smell.
Do NOT plant Basil near Rue.
Bay trees can be planted throughout the garden and can be used both as a companion plant as well as an ornamental tree.
Bay leaves can be placed in storage containers of beans and grains as the smell and oil of the Bay deters weevils and moths. Dried Bay leaves can be sprinkled with other deterrent herbs in the garden as a natural insecticide dust. For example, Bay leaves, cayenne pepper, tansy and peppermint make a great combination to keep ‘bad bugs’ out of the vegie patch.
All varieties of beans enrich the soil with nitrogen. They make great companions for carrots, brassicas, beets, zucchinis, melons and cucumbers. Beans make excellent companions for potatoes, radishes, celery and strawberries. Beans are also good to plant near heavy nitrogen users such as grain plants and corn.
Do NOT plant beans near alliums, sunflowers, beets or onions.
Beet is excellent for adding minerals to the soil as beet leaves are composed of 25% magnesium. Beet make great companions for onions, garlic, leeks, lettuce and brassicas.
Borage makes for a brilliant companion plant for strawberries, squash and for tomatoes especially as borage deters hornworms and cabbage worms.
Plant borage near strawberries as it makes an excellent protective companion.
Borage adds trace minerals to the soil and is a good addition to any compost pile, heap or bin.
Borage is one of the best bee and wasp attracting plants and can benefit everything planted around it.
Brassicas need a rich soil and plenty of lime ... and just about all the help they can get.
Excellent companion plants to benefit brassicas are chamomile, peppermint, dill, sage and rosemary.
Brussel sprouts are best grown alongside chamomile, hyssop, sage, thyme, rosemary and marigolds.
Buckwheat is a species of plant that has an extensive root system which breaks up heavy soils and clays and also accumulates calcium for the benefit of the other plants around it.
Buckwheat attracts butterflies and hoverflies to the garden.
All in the cabbage family grow will with the help of all aromatic herbs, celery, beets, the onion family, chamomile, spinach and chard.
Rows of cabbage can be inter-planted with sage, hyssop, rosemary and thyme as these suppress aphids and white butterflies.
Capsicum (and all peppers) have root exudates that prevent root-rot and other diseases of the soil. Plant capsicum wherever these issues are present.
A capsicum tea can be made to act as an insect repellent.
Caraway is an excellent plant for loosening compacted clay soils. Caraway has deep, strong roots which burrow and break up hardened earth.
Caraway flowers attract butterflies and beneficial insects into the garden.
Carrots are best planted with companions such as peas, lettuce, rosemary, the onion family, sage and tomatoes.
DO NOT plant dill near carrots.
CATNIP: (Mint family)
Catnip deters flea beetles, aphids and weevils, and is a great companion plant for tomatoes.
Mice detest the smell of Catnip (and all mints) and it can be used as a deterrent anywhere where there is a mouse infestation. Place sprigs of Catnip wherever needed. Catnip can also be used as a deterrent for ants, using the same principles.
Celery is best planted with the onion and cabbage families, tomatoes, bush beans and nasturtium as companion plants.
The annual Chamomile plant improves the flavour of cabbages, cucumbers, onions and leek. Chamomile is an excellent companion for all in the brassica family. The plant accumulates potassium, sulphur and calcium and returns them to the soil for the benefit of all plants around it.
Chamomile increases and enhances oil production in herbs and is considered to be a ‘tonic’ for any plant growing near it.
Chervil is an excellent companion plant for radishes and lettuce, as it keeps aphids at bay. Chervil increases and improves growth and flavour of any vegetable or herb it is planted near.
Growing chives as a companion to carrots and tomatoes improves the flavour, texture and growth and drives ‘bad bugs’ away.
Chives can be planted among apple trees as it helps to prevent scab. Chives make a wonderful companion for celery.
A tea made of chives can be easily made (steep chives in boiled water until cooled) and watered over cucumber and zucchini plants to prevent downy mildew.
Chrysanthemum flowers have been used as a botanical pesticide for centuries and can be planted anywhere around the garden.
The Chrysanthemum plant kills root nematodes.
Clover can be used as a ‘green manure’ and makes for an excellent companion plant as it attracts beneficial bugs and insects. Clover is particularly beneficial planted around apple trees as it attracts predators of aphids.
The Comfrey plant accumulates calcium, potassium and phosphorus, then disperses it back into the soil.
The Coriander plant repels aphids and spider mites. A tea can be made of the coriander leaves and flowers and used to spray under leaves to deter spider mites and aphids.
Corn is best planted with companion plants such as potatoes, beans, peas, sunflowers, radishes ........
DO NOT plant corn near tomatoes.
Excellent companion plants for cucumber are beans, corn, peas, sunflowers and radishes.
DO NOT plant cucumbers near potatoes or aromatic herbs.
Dahlias are beautiful, tuberous annuals with huge flowers. Dahlias repel nematodes.
Dill is excellent to plant next to cabbage and lettuce as it improves their growth and health. It also goes well with cucumbers and all in the onion family.
Dill flowers attract predatory wasps and butterflies and repel aphids and spider mites. Scatter some dill leaves on and around plants that show signs of aphid invasion.
Wonderful companion plants for eggplant are beans, peas and marigolds.
Plant garlic near roses and all other aphid-attracting plants and the aphids will be less likely infest as they dislike the smell of the growing garlic.
Garlic accumulates sulphur (a naturally occurring fungicide) which helps to prevent disease in the garden. Garlic is systemic in action as it is taken up the plants throughout their pores and when used as a soil drench, is also taken up by the roots.
Garlic repels cabbage moth root maggots, snails and slugs. A concentrated garlic spray can be used to repel and kill aphids and fungus gnats, amongst other garden pests.
Geranium is excellent to plant near and/or around rose bushes, corn, cabbage and grapes.
Horseradish can be planted (in containers or pots to contain spread of growth) amongst potato plants to repel and deter slugs and burrowing bugs.
Horseradish is an excellent companion for potato crops.
An effective insect spray can be made with horseradish root.
HYSSOP: (Mint family)
Hyssop is a great companion plant for cabbage and grapes as it deters cabbage moth and beetles. It is also an excellent companion for all in the brassica family.
Hyssop attracts bees to your garden and can be inter-planted between just about all fruits, herbs and vegetables.
Do NOT plant hyssop near radish.
Lavender is excellent to plant all around your garden as the lavender flower attracts bees and butterflies. Lavender nourishes many nectar feeling and beneficial insects.
Use dried lavender sprigs to repel moths.
Leeks are excellent companions of carrots, celery, onions and garlic as it improves their overall health and growth.
Dried Lemon Balm leaves sprinkled throughout the garden deters many bugs.
As Lemon Balm has citronella compounds, the crushed leaves ward off mosquitoes. Crush and rub some leaves on your skin to keep them away.
Excellent companion plants for lettuce growing are carrots, radishes, strawberries and cucumbers.
Loveage is a large plant once full grown, so keep this in mind when planting out.
Loveage improves the health and flavour of most plants and is a good habitat for ‘good bugs’.
Marigolds discourage many pests in the garden and keeps the soil free of bad nematodes. Plant marigolds next to tomatoes and in potato crops as marigolds excrete an enzyme or hormone into the soil that deters nematodes from infesting the roots.
Marigolds are able to be inter-planted freely throughout the garden – but make sure they are the scented variety as it is the scent with is the deterrent. Plant around tomatoes to deter whiteflies as they detest the smell of the marigold flowers.
Plant marigolds with garlic to ensure nematode free soil.
Marjoram is an excellent companion plant to all vegetables and herbs.
Mint deters white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, fleas and aphids.
Plant mint around cabbage and tomatoes to improve the health and taste. Mint is also an excellent companion for all in the brassica family.
Earthworms are attracted to mint plantings - but we aware that mint can spread quickly and invasively so ensure that you grow mint in pots and place the pots wherever you wish around the garden.
DO NOT grow mint anywhere near parsley.
Companion plants for the onion family are beets, carrots, lettuce, and the cabbage family, although DO NOT plant onions near beans and peas.
Parsley makes for a good companion plant for tomatoes and asparagus.
Peas fix nitrogen in the soil and are excellent planting companions for sweet corn as they are heavy feeders.
Peas make great companions for carrots, radishes, turnips, cucumbers, beans, brassicas, beets, zucchinis, melons and cucumbers.
Nasturtiums are excellent companions for a variety of plants. Plant nasturtium as a barrier around tomatoes, radishes, cabbage, cucumber, zucchini and pumpkin. Also grow nasturtiums under fruit trees as it deters aphids, whiteflies, destructive beetles and other pests.
Nasturtiums are excellent companions for all in the brassica family as well as tomatoes. They also prove beneficial to squash, celery and radish.
The flowers and leaves of the nasturtium plant can be used in salads as a colourful and peppery addition.
Onions and garlic do best when planted alongside marigolds.
Potato makes a wonderful companion for beans, corn, the cabbage family, marigolds and horseradish. All compliment one another.
Marigolds and corn are great companion plants for pumpkins.
The flowers of the Stinging Nettle attracts bees to your garden.
Parsley makes for an excellent companion plant for tomatoes and asparagus.
Parsley increases the fragrance of roses when planted around their base.
Peppermint repels white cabbage moth, beetles and aphids. The menthol content in the mint acts as an insect repellent – although bees and other friendly insects love it.
PEPPERS – See CAPSICUM
Pennyroyal repels fleas. It can be grown as a lawn to repel mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas and gnats.
Petunias make excellent companions for asparagus, tomatoes, roses, beans, peas and just about all vegetables.
Petunias deter certain aphids and other garden pests.
Radish is a good companion plant for sweet corn and squash plants. Radishes are best grown alongside peas, nasturtium, lettuce and cucumber – but DO NOT plant radishes near hyssop.
Rosemary makes an excellent companion plant for cabbage, beans, carrots and sage as it deters cabbage moth and other pests.
Sage is a wonderful companion to cabbage in particular, but is of benefit throughout the garden on a whole – although do NOT plant near cucumbers or rue.
Sage can be used as a companion plant to cauliflower, broccoli, rosemary and carrots as it deters moths, beetles and other pests. The sage flower attracts many beneficial insects into the garden.
Soybeans add nitrogen to the soil making them a great companion plant to corn in particular. Soybean repels bugs and beetles.
Excellent companion plants for spinach are strawberries and faba beans.
Squash is best grown amongst nasturtium, corn, and marigold.
An excellent companion plant for strawberries is borage.
Sunflowers are excellent companion plants for all species that attract aphids.
Planting sunflowers with corn increases the yield and quality.
Tansy is a wonderful companion plant for fruit trees, raspberries and roses. When planted near fruit and nut trees, vegetables and berry fruits, Tansy discourages fruit fly, ants, beetles and aphids. Planted near cabbages, Tansy will repel cabbage moth and white butterfly.
Tansy is also an excellent insect repellent and deters flying insects.
Tansy is said to act as an ant repellent, although this only works with sugar ants.
Tansy has a high content of potassium and is an excellent addition to the compost box or heap.
DO NOT plant Tansy anywhere near livestock of any kind as it is toxic to many animals.
Tarragon can be planted throughout the garden as this is a repellent for many pests. It also makes an excellent companion plant as it enhances the flavour and growth of all vegetables it is grown near.
Thyme is a great companion plant for cabbages as it deters moths.
Excellent companion plants for tomatoes are the onion family, basil, nasturtium, marigolds, asparagus, carrots, parsley and cucumber.
DO NOT grow tomatoes near potatoes, fennel and the cabbage family.
Turnips are best grown alongside peas and beans.
NO NOT grow turnips near potatoes.
White Geraniums are members of the pelargonum family and make excellent companion plants with all vegetables and herbs.
Wormwood is an excellent insect repellent to most insects. A tea made of wormwood will repel cabbage moths, slugs, snails and fleas.
Wormwood is said to keep animals out of the garden when planted as a border.
DO NOT plant directly next to food crops as wormwood produces a botanical poison!
Yarrow is an excellent companion for all plants as it is a natural fertilizer. It also attracts predatory wasps and ladybugs to the garden.
When placed amongst herbs, yarrow promotes the increase of essential oil content.
Add a handful of yarrow leaves to the compost heap or bin as it speeds up the composting process. The foliage of yarrow can be used to make a tea that will speed up the decomposition rate in the compost heap.
Related Organic Gardening Hubs ...
- The Self-Seeding, Self-Sowing Vegetable Garden
- ORGANIC PEST CONTROL - Recipes and Remedies
The very best form of natural pest control is to grow healthy plants so that they are able to look after themselves. As a starting point, give your plants the right amount of food, soil, moisture and...
- COMPANION PLANTING - The Basic Concepts
Companion planting is planting vegetables, herbs and flowers together which benefit one another in several ways. Companion planting brings together the observations and experiences of countless...