Take A Walk In Nature: Good Companion Plant List


Here, I have put together a list of plants that are good grown next to each other in the garden. You will notice that      many of the companions listed are herbs, mainly because I think they are the most beneficial to a wide variety of other plants in the garden. I have not tried all of the plants listed, but some of them I have successfully grown. You can use this as a starting point for planning your garden, or just a general reference. Just like in nature, plants can have their likes and dislikes where their neighbors are concerned! This may just be a great way to bring out the best in your garden as you learn and understand the natural rhythms of a planted garden, and a natural way to fight garden pests!


Alfalfa  Is an excellent cover crop used to fix the soil with nitrogen a   nd other nutrients. Easy to grow alfalfa will help to break up hard clay soils and has a long taproot, needing very little watering.  Alfalfa is one of the best attractors of beneficial insects including Assassin bugs, Big Eyed bugs, Damsels, Lady Beetles, and Parasitic Wasps.

Arugula Good companion plant with bush beans, beets, carrots, celery, cucumber, dill, lettuce, mint, nasturtium, onion, potato, rosemary, spinach, and thyme; but not with strawberries.  This is a cool weather plant that doesn't grow in very hot conditions.

Basil  Plant with asparagus, peppers, petunias, oregano, and tomatoes to improve the flavor and growth. Basil is known to repel flies, mosquitoes, asparagus beetle, and tomato hornworms. Try planting near cucumbers to prevent mildew from growing on them. Basil and tomatoes are a natural together in the garden and the kitchen. Bumble bees are attracted to many varieties of flowering basil.

Beans Will help all the other nearby plants by enriching the soil with nitrogen. Good with beets, borage, cabbage family, carrots, celery, collars, chard, corn, cucumbers, radish, eggplant, nasturtium, pea, potatoes, strawberry, sunflowers.  It's great to grow summer savory with beans, which will keep away bean beetles, while improving the growth and flavor of the beans. 

Borage  These edible flowers are excellent planted with fava beans, cucumbers, grapevines, tomatoes, squash, and strawberries.  Intercrop borage with your strawberry patch, to enhance the fruits flavor and production.  Overall it's beneficial to most plants growing next to it, increasing resistance to disease and pests.  Known as a good deterrent for the dreaded tomato hornworm and cabbage worms ~  *This is working for me so far.*  Bees just love borage as well as other nectaring insects.  Borage makes a nice mulch for most  plants and adds nutrients to the soil.  This is in my 'top ten' must have plants for com panion planting.

Buckwheat  Another excellent cover and green manure crop that will benefit even small gardens. Known to attract beneficial Syrphid Flies. 

 Calendula These edible flowers are good grown with asparagus since it repels the asparagus beetles; also good grown with tomatoes ~ repelling the tomato worm.  They will also provide nectar and pollen for insects until late fall.

 Candytuft Is a long-flowering annual that provides nectar and pollen for insects and, if planted under brassicas, reduces flea beetles.  It will attract beneficial Syrphid Flies.

Carrots Make good companions with beans, brussels sprout, cabbage, radish, peas, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, and leaks.  Chives and onions are good allies, helping to improve the growth, while rosemary and sage will help repel the carrot fly.  Do not grow with dill, as it will stunt the growth of your carrots.

Catnip Is good planted with eggplant to repel the flea beetles that will devour the leaves.  This herb from the mint family is also a good deterent for ants, aphids, cockroaches, Japanese beetles, squash bugs and weevils.  And, it's known to repel mice ~ sprigs can be placed around the house to keep the mice and ants away!  The Gray Hairstreak butterfly was very attracted to my catnip this year.

Chamomile  Is a host to hoverflies and wasps. Grow with cabbage, cucumber and onions.  Grown with other herbs, it helps increase their oil production and is considered a friend any plant its grown with.

Chives Are a very abliging companions, planted with apple trees, brassicas, carrots, roses, and tomatoes.  They help prevent scab on apple trees and deter Japanese beetles, as well as keep aphids and black spot off your roses.

Chrysanthemum, particularly Pyrethrum, or Dalmatian Chrysanthemum a multi-stemmed white flowering perennial is known as a natural insecticide.  Pyrethrum kills or deters many pests including cockroaches, aphids, spider mites, ants and flies.  You can sprinkle the dried flowers {or make into a powder} in the garden, but do so only sparingly on over stressed plants because beneficial insects can also be killed or paralyzed along with the pests.

Clover A great green manure plant, also good planted around fruit trees, fixing nitrogen into the soil.  It attracts many bees and other beneficial insects to the garden.

Comfrey  The benefits of this herb will definitely outweigh anything bad you may have heard, namely known for its enormous root system.  It should be planted where you want it to stay!  Comfrey accumulates calcium, phosphorous and potassium and is very beneficial, not only to the garden, but for animal feed, compost, as well as some fantastic medicinal properties.  I should give this one its own page... and will probably do so at some point.  In the meantime, check into this herb and you will want to grow some too.

Coriander This is one that I have yet to get growing very well in my garden..... although it is said to be one of the easiest to grow.  Groan.  I keep trying and if you can grow coriander, it's great at repelling aphids and spider mites. Coriander will attract lacewings and lady beetles, beneficial insects to your garden.

 Cucumber Grow with beans, cabbage, dill, eggplant, lettuce, nasturtium, peas, radish, sunfloers, tomato, corn, and onions. Nasturtium improves the growth and flavor of cukes and dill will help attract beneficial predators of the cucumber beetle, as well as planting radish.  Oregano is a good ally.

Dill Will grow well with cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, and sweet corn.  Dill repels the squash bugs so grow it near your pumpkin vines. It is also perfect grown with any brassicas like broccoli and Brussel's sprouts.  But grow far away from your tomatoes because it will attract the tomato hornworm!  If you like attracting butterflies to your garden, dill also attracts the beautiful swallowtail butterflies, and the caterpillars will use the plant for food.  Dill and carrots do not grow well together, I have found this will cause the carrots growth to be stunted.

Fennel Most garden plants dislike fennel, probably due to some negative allelopathic effect.  Best grown near calendula, sunflowers and nasturtiums.  Dill will tolerate fennel but why make them?  If you have had success growing fennel in the garden, I would love to hear about it.  Fennel is a very strong repellent for fleas and would be great grown near your kennel.  It also deters cabbage worms and attracts several beneficial insects such as ladybugs and hoverflies.

Flax Grows well with potatoes and carrots and will repel the potato beetle. Flax grows to about one foot high so will make a nice accent flower or grown on path edges where the butterflies will visit the flowers.

Garlic Is great grown near roses to repel aphids as well as eliminate black spot.  Garlic accumulates sulfur, making it a natural fungicide and, very helpful in the garden as a disease preventative.  Besides aphids, it will also repel other insects such as Japanese beetles, borers, spider mites, ants and carrot root flies.  Society garlic is also a nice attractive choice that will repel pests.  Garlic is always welcome throughout my garden and gets along with most veggies, except beans and peas.  Come to think of it, it's a favorite in the kitchen too!

Geranium Grow around cabbage, grapes or roses to deter cabbage worms and red spider mites.  It can also help to confuse or distract leafhoppers away from plants in the Solanaceous family.

Horehound Is another in the mint family. Grows well with tomatoes and peppers, helping them grow lots of fruits.  Repels grasshoppers.

Hot peppers Do well planted with cucumbers, eggplant, okra, squash, Swiss chard, and tomatoes, and herbs basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary and marigolds.

Hyssop Another member of the mint family, attract bees like crazy. The roots of hyssop are said to purify the surrounding soil. Good companion planted with cabbage, eggplant and grapes.  It deters cabbage moths and flea beetles.

Larkspur Is poisonous and reseeds itself profusely... causing it to be less desirable to some gardeners with pets and children.  On a positive note, it is a very attractive flower and will attract Japanese bettles that eat the plant and die.

Lavender is great for borders and its nectar will attract many beneficial insects, including bees and butterflies. Plant near fruit trees to deter codling moths.  Lavender is a natural repelent used to keep mosquitoes, ticks and fleas away. 

Lettuce Gets along with just about everything, but especially beans, beets, brassicas, carrot, onion family, radish and strawberries.

Lemon Balm Has citronella compounds that repels many pesty insects.

Marigolds, Tagetes  Are probably one of the most well known companions, and for good reason. Tagetes is a genus of about 52 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family. Most of them are cultivated hybrid varieties from T. patula, T. erecta, and T. minuta.  The hybrid varieties may or may not have effective beneficial properties, since some no longer have scents and the properties have been bred out of them.  This is another than deserves its own page, something I will work on. T. patula, French marigold and T. erecta, African marigold, which by the way are not from Africa but from Mexico....I am still trying to decifer this?  Anyway, they are known to emit a substance that deters root damaging nematodes, which plague certain vegetables and are favored as companions in the veggie garden.  Now, T. minuta, Mexican marigold, officially, is considered to have the most powerful insecticidal effect on the soil, effective against nematodes and keeled slugs, as well as having an effect on some persistent weeds such as couch grass.  One more marigold that deserves mention is the Mexican Mint Marigold aka Mexican terragon, Tagetes lucida which also carries these vertues.

Marjoram Is a good companion with most vegetables and herbs and, will help improve their flavor when grown nearby in the garden.

Mint Is a very aggressive ground covering herb that can take over your garden if you're not careful.  But can be successfully grown in containers to deter ants, aphids, cabbage moths, fleas, flea beetles, and mice.  You can put cuttings of mint in the garden, or the house to keeps the pests away. Keep parsley away from mint.

Nasturtiums The leaves and flowers are edible and make a great companion plant to many garden veggies, including those in the cabbage family, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, radishes, cucumbers and zucchini.  Known to repel cucumber beetles, wooly aphids, whiteflies, striped pumpkin beetle and squash bug.  Or plant a vining nasturtium with cucumbers.  Also good with tomaotes and under fruit trees. Definitely in my top ten, nasturtiums are one of the best around at attracting predatory insects!

Onions Interplanted with carrots, should help reduce carrot fly and thrips. Plant chamomile and summer savory with your onions to improve flavor.  Also plant beets, brassicas, carrots, dill, leeks, strawberries and tomatoes with onions.  Although I'm not sure why, do not plant with peas.

Oregano Is a companion to cabbage and other brassicas, repelling the cucumber beetle and cabbage butterfly. Oregano is one of many herbs that grow well with everything in the garden.

Parsley Grows well with asparagus, carrots, chives, dill, onions, roses and, tomatoes.  It will attract tachinid flies, hover flies, mini parasitic wasps and, other beneficial insects.  Parsley and mint do not like each other.

Peas Are companions to beans, carrots, celery, chicory, eggplant, lettuce, parsley, peppers, potato, radish, salvias, spinach, strawberries and, tomatoes. Basils grow well along side peas. Peas fix nitrogen into the soil. 

Potato Will grow well with members of the cabbage family, carrots, celery, corn, flax, horseradish, marigold, peas, petunia, onion, and marigold.  A compost of dried comfrey leaves will provide nutrients and protect them from scab.  Not to plant with potatoes are cucumber, fennel, kohlrabi, parsnip, pumpkin, rutabega, squash, sunflower and turnip.  Keep potatoes and tomatoes apart since they can both get early and late blight contaminating each other.

Pumpkins Do well grown with corn, eggplant, marigold, nasturtium, onion family and radishes.  Doesn't do well planted with potatoes.  Vining nasturtium will grow right along with your pumpkin vines and keep squash vine borers away.

Radish Grow radish with beans, carrots, chervil, collars, cucumber, grapes, lettuce, melon family, nasturtium, onion family, peas, squash; but don't grow with potatoes, brassicas or hyssop.  According to traditional wisdon, radishes planted among summer squash will repel all sorts of bugs, including cucumber beetles, squash borers and rust flies.  Don't pick the radishes - just leave them to do their work.  Radishes will also lure leafminers away from spinach and, the damage done to the leaves will not stop the root from growing. 

Rosemary Deters bean beetles, cabbage moths and carrot flies - so grow rosemary near these veggies in the garden. Sage and rosemary are good companions.

Rue Is a good companion to roses, raspberries, and lavender, but dislikes sweet basil.  Also should not be planted near cucumber, cabbage, or sage.  It's a good repelant against the Japanese beetles.  Some people also find the scent of rue repelling;  I like the smell and think it's an attractive herb.  The oils in rue can cause skin irritations and blistering for some people as well - take cautions rubbing against rue, especially in hot weather.

Sage Gets along well with rosemary, cabbage, and carrots but dislikes cucumbers.  Repels cabbage moth, carrot fly, flea beetles and slugs.  Sage gets along well growing next to beebalm, lemon balm and other herbs.

Squash Companions are beans, corn, cucumbers, melons and pumpkins.  Plant borage nearby to help improve growth and flavor, as well as deter worms.  Marigolds and nasturtiums will also help deter squash pests.

Strawberry Will benefit growing with beans, onions, spinach and, time.  Planting borage with your strawberries will help the flavor of your fruit and will strengthen its resistance to disease and insects.

Summer Savory Is a good friend to beans and onions, helping them grow and improving the flavor.  Deters cabbage moths and black aphids.  When flowering, many bees will come to visit.

Sunflowers Some are big enough to use as a support for a vine, other varieties are short and make a nice border, either way sunflowers are a bright, cheery addition to the garden.  Planting sunflowers in the garden, even if just a few, can help with aphid problems.  Ants will herd the aphids onto the sunflower plants, keeping the aphids off your other plants; and the sunflower?  Oh, don't fret, it will hardly notice the aphids and flourish, delivering beautiful seed heads for the birds, or yourself!

Tansy Is rather well known as an ant deterrent.  I've seen conflicting reports as to whether tansy works to repel all ants, or just the sugar variety.  I would be interested in hearing if tansy has worked for you in keeping the ants away.  Tansy would be worth trying since it also repels other flying insects, such as the striped cucumber beetle, Japanese beetles, and mice! It will attract beneficial tachinid flies and mini parasitic wasps.  If you have livestock, or live around it, please note that tansy is toxic to livestock.

Tarragon The scent and taste is disliked by many pests, making tarragon a great herb for intercropping to protect its garden mates.  Nearly all vegetables grow well with tarragon.

Thyme Grows well with other woody herbs and makes a good companion with cabbage, deterring the cabbage worms.

Tomatoes Are often grown in a wide variety of gardens, maybe more than any other fruit.  Grow tomatoes with asparagus, basil, bean, bee balm, carrot, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pepper, pot marigold, and sow thistle.  Don't grow potatoes near your tomatoes since they can both get blight and contaminate each other.  Borage is very good at deterring the tomato hornworm so, be sure to plant it nearby.  For additional support, plant nasturtium, marigolds and basil nearby to ward off tomato pests.  Do not plant kohlrabi near, as it will stunt tomato growth and, keep cabbage and cauliflower away from them.

Wormwood Is used as a border to keep animal pests out of the garden.  It makes a natural insecticide and deters most insects.  

Yarrow Grow it to attracts beneficials like predatory wasps, ladybugs, lacewings and syrphid flies to your garden.  It will improve the vigor in neighboring plants and is an excellent natural fertilizer.  Yarrow acts as an activator, speeding the decomposition of your compost, and you only need to add a few leaves to get this benefit.

Zinnia Is a pollinating magnet that attracts many bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.  And hummingbirds eat whiteflies; I have seen them hovering over the whiteflies for a long time, having a feast!! I do all that I can to keep hummingbirds in my garden, including several feeders just in case!!

This is undoubtedly an incomplete list... and will eventually be continued by Part Two.  If there is a companion plant that you are fond of that isn't listed here, or one that you would like to know more about, please let me know in our companion planting forum.


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Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

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