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Top Ten Companion Plants

July 2, 2010

These are plants which can be included in your vegetable garden, planted near their companions or planted around the garden where they fit.  These plants will benefit a variety of vegetables by increasing their flavor, improving growth, and deterring pests.  Many of the following companions have edible parts and add beauty to the garden.   

1. Basil

This fantastic herb is a great companion to tomatoes.  Is said that basil improves the flavor and growth of tomatoes and repels tomato hornworms.  Basil also repels certain insects, including flies and mosquitoes.  

2. Borage

This edible flower attracts beneficial insects, is a companion to strawberry plants, and deters tomato worms.  It improves the growth and flavor of squash.

3. Dill

Dill is a good companion to members of the Cabbage Family.  It improves the growth and health of cabbage and attracts beneficial wasps that control cabbage pests.  Dill can be grown with lettuce and onion.  It is a trap crop for tomato worm.  

4. Marigolds (Tagetes species)

Also known as French marigold or common marigold, these flowers can be planted all over the garden, especially near tomatoes.  Marigolds deter nematodes, Mexican bean beetles, and many other insects.  They are good companions to bush beans, potato, kale, and Chinese cabbage.  (Be sure not to confuse the common marigold with pot marigold, Calendula officinalis).

5. Mint

Mint plants spread rapidly, yet a pot of mint can be buried in the ground near its companions.  They grow well with tomatoes and cabbage, improving their health and flavor.  They are companions to cauliflower and broccoli.  Their flowers attract many beneficial insects.  Spearmint and peppermint repel ants, aphids, flea beetles, and white cabbage butterflies.

Nasturtiums, a great garden companion

6. Nasturtium

Edible leaves and flowers of this plant make an excellent addition to salads.  They deter stripped pumpkin beetles and other pests of the Cabbage family.  Nasturtiums grown near squash are said to repel squash bugs.  They can be used as a trap crop for aphids.  Nasturtiums are companions to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, kale, kohlrabi, pumpkins, radish, squash, tomato, and potato.

7. Onion Family

Members of this family make excellent companions.  They promote the health of other plants. Chives have edible flowers and leaves and grow well with tomatoes and carrots.  Onions are companions to beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, kohlrabi, leeks, Swiss chard, and tomatoes.  Garlic deters Japanese beetles, aphids, weevils, fruit tree borers, and spider mites.  Onion family members are good insectary plants, attracting predatory insects that feed on pest insects. 

8. Oregano

This aromatic herb is a wonderful herb for the garden.  It deters many insects, especially those of the squash family such as the squash borer.  Oregano also repels flea beetles and is a good companion to broccoli.   

Radishes are a good companion of cabbage.

9. Radish

Radish is a companion to many vegetables, including bush beans, beets, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, parsnips, pea, pumpkin, squash and spinach.  Radishes are often used as trap crops.  They can be planted near cucumbers and squash to lure away cucumber beetles.  They can also be used to keep flea beetles away from other members of the cabbage family.

10. Sunflower

These beautiful plants can be used to shade vine crops and greens, support climbing vines and attract birds to the garden.  Sunflowers are companions to cucumbers and deter the armyworm when planted with corn.    

Their height makes sunflowers ideal companions to many plants.

Please note:  Much information about companion planting comes from gardening folklore; few companion planting interactions have actually been researched.  Try these suggestions in your garden and see how they work for you!

Companion Planting

A table of companion plants

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2013 8:06 pm

    To be as informed as possible, read as many books, articles,
    and blogs on organic gardening as you can.

    Gardening season adds a lot of chores to my writing day. I have a few Rhododendrons, which bloom
    in the spring, but the latter two plants bloom for a longer period in the growing season,
    and come in many different varieties to keep the yard lively and pretty
    for a longer period.

  2. Mari permalink
    May 7, 2014 10:26 am

    I learned from last year’s gardening was marigolds and cabbage don’t belong together. Many sites will say to plant marigolds near cabbage, I did and it killed that closest cabbage plant. I agree with the previous comment, make sure you read and research before you plant.

    Happy Gardening

  3. February 23, 2016 2:31 pm

    As far as mint repelling aphids, I have a spearmint plant in a large pot. The plant is overrun with aphids all year long. Multiple varieties even: white, light green, dark green, black depending on the season. Could be some other tiny bug, but they look like aphids to me. Spider mites not so bad, although other plants potted nearby may have them. I’ve never had problems with aphids on my chives, but snails like them. I’ll try the chives in my mint pot to see if it helps. I also have problems with caterpillars chowing down on the mint, too.

  4. March 24, 2016 11:46 am

    Lovely information and good ideas! I just started my first try at companion gardening and your post will be of a great help for me. Thank you for sharing!

  5. whippedgreengirl permalink
    September 12, 2016 8:57 am

    Nasturtiums are a staple in my garden every year! Loved this list, I’ll be putting it to use. Thanks for sharing 🙂


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