A companion plant is any plant that is purposefully planted next to another plant to enhance its growth, its beauty or its flavour

There are many ways to reduce the insect burden on your plants without using pesticides and companion planting is one of them.  Take a look below and see who helps who.  Companion planting by definition is simply any plant that is purposefully planted next to another to enhance growth, beauty or flavour. Typically we see companion plants that do any number of supportive things for both vegetable gardens and our ornamental plants. Sometimes you've companion planted completely by accident. 

If you have giant sunflowers and decide to plant cucumbers in between to take advantage of the space underneath the flowers, you have companion planted. Gardeners swear by this companion planting because the sunflowers provide afternoon shade for the cucumbers and end up producing a higher yield of veggies.  The sunflowers benefit form the cucumber plants because they act as living mulch keeping moisture in the soil and deterring weeds. The result is productive and gorgeous plants – and the added benefit of less weeding makes this a serious - it's a win-win.

African Marigold:

This plant gives off chemicals from its root and Ariel parts pests don't like it also helps protect neighbouring plants. For serious nematode control plant these densely. The effects can last for years. They help deter white fly, as they hate the smell, when planted around your tomato plants both in and out of the greenhouse. Make sure you have the scented variety and they look good too.                                     

Companions: Tomato plants, Basil, parsley, tomato.                                                                                                                                                            
Good, the Bad & the Ugly  Deters the beetles but is like a magnet for slugs and spiders


This Perennial roots deeply into the soil fixing nitrogen, accumulating iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. It has a long tap root so it doesn't mind the droughts. It improves just about any soil. It is extremely hardy and can break up hard clay and root through rocks. It has practically no pests or diseases 
Companions: basil, parsley, tomato


Liquorice flavoured herb, Predatory wasps love it. They prey on the aphids. Anise is said to repel aphids. It odour is strong and camouflages the odour of other plants to deter pests. As an ointments it can protect against bug stings and bites. 
Companions: Brassicas  & Coriander


Friends: Aster family flowers, dill ,coriander, tomatoes, parsley, basil, comfrey and marigolds. Avoid: Onions, garlic and potatoes. 
Companions:  Tomato, Parsley, Basil 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Pot with marigolds to deter beetles


It improves the growth and flavour. 
Companions: Peppers, Tomatoes, oregano, asparagus, petunias 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Repels thrips, flies and mosquitoes


By pulling nitrogen from the air all beans put it in the soil.pLant with nitrogen grabbing plants like corn and grains French Haricot beans, sweet corn and melons are a good combo. Summer savoury deters bean beetles and improves growth and flavour. Keep beans away from the alliums. 
Companions:  beet, cabbage family, carrots, celery, corn. peas, potatoes, brassicas, beet, radish, strawberry, cucumbers 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Garlic, onion and shallot stunt the growth of beans. marigolds, nasturtium and rosemary deters bean beetle


Great for adding minerals to the soil. The leaves are 25% magnesium making them fab for any compost pile. Runner or pole beans and beets stunt each other's growth. 
Companions: lettuce, onions, cabbage family, kohlrabi, garlic, mint 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly:Runner, pol beans and beets together stunt each others growth. garlic adds flavour and improves growth


It adds trace minerals to the soil and is a good addition the compost pile. The leaves contain vitamin C and are rich in calcium, potassium and mineral salts. Borage may benefit any plant it is growing next to via increasing resistance to pests and disease. It also makes a nice mulch for most plants. Plant near tomatoes and strawberries to improve growth, yield and disease resistance. It self seeds snd the flowers are edible 
Companions: tomatoes, strawberry, squash in fact most other plants too 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: It deters tomato hornworms and cabbage worms. It attracts loads of bee and wasp


Benefit from chamomile, peppermint, dill, sage, and rosemary. They need rich soil with plenty of lime to flourish. Avoid planting with mustards, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, etc).


Accumulates calcium and can be grown as an excellent cover crop. Attracts hover-flies in droves. (Member of the brassica family.)


Celery improves growth and health. Clover interplanted with cabbage has been shown to reduce the native cabbage aphid and cabbageworm populations by interfering with the colonisation of the pests and increasing the number of predatory ground beetles. Plant Chamomile with cabbage as it Improves growth and flavour. Cabbage does not get along with strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, rue, grapes and pole beans.                  
Companions: Beet, celery, dill, cucumber, lettuce, onion, potato, spinach Chamomile and garlic improve growth and flavour. Dill improves growth and health.
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Catnip, hyssop, rosemary and sage deter cabbage moth. Mint deters cabbage moth and ants, improves health and flavour. Nasturtium deters bugs, beetles, aphids. Southernwood deters cabbage moth, improves growth and flavour. Thyme deters cabbageworm.


Their pals are leaf lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Plant dill and parsnips away from carrots. Flax produces an oil that may protect root vegetables like carrots from some pests. One drawback with tomatoes and carrots: tomato plants can stunt the growth of your carrots but the carrots will still be of good flavour 
Companions: Bean, lettuce, onion, pea, pepper, radish, tomato 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Good: Chives improve growth and flavour. Rosemary and sage deter carrot fly Bad: Dill retards growth.


Deters flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, ants and weevils. Smells good and very safe.


Companions: Bean, cabbage family, leek, onion, spinach and tomato. Flowers for celery: cosmos, daisies and snapdragons 
Companions: Bean, cabbage family and tomato 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly:Chives and garlic deter aphids.Nasturtium deters bugs and aphids.

Chaomile, German:

Annual. Improves flavour of cabbages, cucumbers and onions. Host to hover flies and wasps. Accumulates calcium, potassium and sulphur, later returning them to the soil. . Leave some flowers unpicked and German chamomile will reseed itself. Roman chamomile is a low growing perennial that will tolerate almost any soil conditions. Both like full sun. Growing chamomile of any type is considered a tonic for anything you grow in the garden.


Bean, cabbage family and onion. 
Companions: :Bean, cabbage family and onion


Companion to radishes, lettuce and broccoli for improved growth and flavour. Keeps aphids off lettuce. Said to deter slugs. Likes shade.


Improves growth and flavour of carrots and tomatoes. A friend to apples, carrots, tomatoes, brassica (broccoli, cabbage, mustard, etc) and many others. Chives may drive away Japanese beetles and carrot rust fly. You will need patience as it takes about 3 years for plantings of chives to prevent the 2 diseases. A tea of chives may be used on cucumbers and gooseberries to prevent downy and powdery mildews. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Avoid planting near beans and peas.Keeps aphids help to keep aphids away from tomatoes and sunflowers.Planted among apple trees it helps prevent scab and among roses it prevents black spot.


C. coccineum kills root nematodes. (the bad ones) It's flowers along with those of C. cineraruaefolium have been used as botanical pesticides for centuries. (i.e. pyrethrum) White flowering chrysanthemums repel Japanese beetles.

Clover :

Long used as a green manure and plant companion and is especially good to plant under grapevines. Attracts many beneficials. Clover interplanted with cabbage has been shown to reduce the native cabbage aphid and cabbageworm populations by interfering with the colonisation of the pests and increasing the number of predator ground beetles 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Useful planted around apple trees to attract predators of the woolly aphid.


Accumulates calcium, phosphorous and potassium. Likes wet spots to grow in. Comfrey is beneficial to avocado and most other fruit trees. Traditional medicinal plant. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Good trap crop for slugs


Repels aphids, spider mites and potato beetle. A partner for anise 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: A tea from this can be used as a spray for spider mites.

Corn: Amaranth, beans, cucumber, white geranium, lamb's quarters, melons, morning glory, parsley, peanuts, peas, potato, pumpkin, soybeans, squash and sunflower. A classic example is to grow climbing beans up corn while inter-planting pumpkins. The corn provides a natural trellis for the beans, pumpkins smother the weeds and helps corn roots retain moisture. Corn is a heavy feeder and the beans fix nitrogen from air into the soil. The beans do not feed the corn when it is growing but when the bean plants die back they return nitrogen to the soil that was used up by the corn. A win-win situation. 
Companions: Bean, cucumber, melon, parsley, pea, potato, pumpkin, squash 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: bad ...Tomatoes and corn are attacked by the same worm.:Another interesting helper for corn is the weed Pig's Thistle which raises nutrients from the subsoil to where the corn can reach them. Keep corn away from celery and tomato plants.


This 2-3 foot tall perennial of the chrysanthemum family helps to repel moths.

Cucumbers :

Cucumbers are great to plant with corn and beans. The three plants like the same conditions warmth, rich soil and plenty of moisture. Let the cucumbers grow up and over your corn plants. A great duet is to plant cucumbers with sunflowers. The sunflowers provide a strong support for the vines. Cucumbers  also do well with peas, beets, radishes and carrots. Radishes are a good deterrent against cucumber beetles. Dill planted with cucumbers helps by attracting beneficial predators. Nasturtium improves growth and flavour. Keep sage, potatoes and rue away from cucumbers. 
Companions: Bean, cabbage family, corn, pea, radish, tomato 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Bad: Sage is generally injurious to cucumber.


These beautiful, tuberous annuals that can have up to dinner plate size flowers repels nematodes!


Improves growth and health of cabbage. Do not plant near carrots, caraway or tomatoes. Dill goes well with lettuce, onions, cabbage, sweet corn and cucumbers. Dill does attract the tomato horn worm so it would be useful to plant it somewhere away from your tomato plants to keep the destructive horn worm away from them. 
Companions: Do plant dill in an appropriate spot for the swallowtail butterfly caterpillars to feed on. Even their caterpillars are beautiful. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Best friend for lettuce. Attracts hover-flies and predatory wasps. Repels aphids and spider mites to some degree. Also may repel the dreaded squash bug! (scatter some good size dill leaves on plants that are suspect to squash bugs, like squash plants.)


Put branches and leaves in mole runs to banish them. Elderberry leaves added to the compost pile speeds up the decomposing process. 
Companions: A spray made from the leaves can be used against aphids, carrot root fly, cucumber beetles and peach tree borers.

French Marigold

(T. patula) has roots that exude a substance which spreads in their immediate vicinity killing nematodes. For nematode control you want to plant dense areas of them. There have been some studies done that proved this nematode killing effect lasted for several years after the plants were . Do not plant French marigolds next to bean plants. 
Companions: These marigolds also help to deter whiteflies when planted around tomatoes and can be used in greenhouses for the same purpose. Whiteflies hate the smell of marigolds


Plant near roses to repel aphids. Garlic accumulates sulphur: a naturally occurring fungicide which will help in the garden with disease prevention. Garlic is systemic in action as it is taken up the plants through their pores and when garlic tea is used as a soil drench it is also taken up by the plant roots. . It's certainly worth a try! Concentrated garlic sprays have been observed to repel and kill whiteflies, aphids and fungus gnats among others with as little as a 6-8% concentration! It is safe for use on orchids too. 
Companions: It also benefits apple trees, pear trees, cucumbers, peas, lettuce and celery. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Has value in offending codling moths, Japanese beetles, root maggots, snails, and carrot root fly. Researchers have observed that time-released garlic capsules planted at the bases of fruit trees actually kept deer away


Repels cabbage worms and Japanese beetles, plant around grapes, roses, corn, tomatoes, peppers and cabbage. 
Companions: Geraniums help to distract beet leafhoppers, carrier of the curly top virus.


Hyssop is beneficial to grapes as are basil, beans, geraniums, oregano, clover, peas, or blackberries. . Chives with grapes help repel aphids. Plant your vines under Elm or Mulberry trees. 
Companions: : Planting clover increases the soil fertility for grapes. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Keep radishes and cabbage away from grapes


Repels many types of beetles which attack brassicas


Horseradish increases the disease resistance of potatoes. There are some very effective insect sprays that can be made with the root. Use the bottomless pot method to keep horseradish contained.
Companions: Plant in containers in the potato patch to keep away Colorado potato bugs. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Also repels Blister beetles


Companion plant to cabbage and grapes, deters cabbage moths and flea beetles. Do not plant near radishes. . It is not as invasive as other members of the mint family making it safer for interplanting. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Hyssop may be the number one preference among bees and some beekeepers rub the hive with it to encourage the bees to keep to their home


When used in a powder mixture or tea as a spray, this versatile sea herb will not only repel insects but feed the vegetables. In particular we have observed that kelp foliar sprays keep aphids and Japanese beetles away when used as a spray every 8 days before and during infestation times. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: If you have access to seaweed, use it as a mulch to keep slugs away.


May be planted with cucumber, onion and chives. Kohlrabi not plant kohlrabi with pole beans, pepper, strawberry or tomatoes. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Kohlrabi and beets are perfect to grow with one another!


This will repel potato bugs- a big problem for many gardeners!


Prolific flowering lavender nourishes many nectar feeding and beneficial insects. Use dried sprigs of lavender to repel moths. Start plants in winter from cuttings, setting out in spring. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Repels fleas and moths.Lavenders can protect nearby plants from insects such as whitefly, and lavender planted under and near fruit trees can deter codling moth.


Use leeks near apple trees, carrots, celery and onions which will improve their growth. Leeks also repel carrot flies. Avoid planting near legumes.

Lemon Balm:

Lemon balm has citronella compounds that make this work: crush and rub the leaves on your skin to keep mosquitoes away! 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Sprinkle throughout the garden in an herbal powder mixture to deter many bugs.Use to ward off squash bugs!


Does well with beets, bush beans, pole beans, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, onion, radish and strawberries. It grows happily in the shade under young sunflowers. 
Companions: Beet, cabbage family, carrot, onion, radish,


(Calendula): Given a lot of credit as a pest deterrent. Plant freely throughout the garden. The marigolds you choose must be a scented variety for them to work. One down side is that marigolds do attract spider mites and slugsA pot of marigolds will deters beetles. 
Companions: basil, parsley, tomato 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Keeps soil free of bad nematodes; supposed to discourage many insects.


Suggested helpers for melons are as follows: Marigold deters beetles, nasturtium deters bugs and beetles. 
Companions: Corn, pumpkin, radish and squash. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Oregano provides general pest protection.


Use cuttings as a mulch around members of the brassica family. Earthworms are quite attracted to mint plantings. Be careful where you plant it as mint is an incredibly invasive perennial. Deters white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, flea beetles, fleas, aphids and improves the health of cabbage and  tomatoes. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: It attracts hover-flies and predatory wasps.

Morning Glories: 

A plus if you want a fast growing annual vine to cover something up morning glory is an excellent choice. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: They attract hover-flies.


Deters wooly aphids, whiteflies, squash bug, cucumber beetles and other pests of the cucurbit family. Great trap crop for aphids (in particular the black aphids) which it does attract, especially the yellow flowering varieties. Likes poor soil with low moisture and no fertiliser. It has been the practice of some fruit growers that planting nasturtiums every year in the root zone of fruit trees allow the trees to take up the pungent odour of the plants and repel bugs. Studies say it is among the best at attracting predatory insects. . 
It has no taste effect on the fruit 
Companions: Plant as a barrier around tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, and under fruit trees. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Do not plant near cauliflower..The leaves, flowers and seeds of nasturtiums are all edible and wonderful in salads!


Sprays made from these are rich in silica and calcium. Invigorating for plants and improves their disease resistance. Leaving the mixture to rot, it then makes an excellent liquid feed. Comfrey improves the liquid feed even more. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: The flowers attract bees.Hairs on the nettles' leaves contain formic acid which "stings" you.


Other companions are carrot, leek, beets, kohlrabi, strawberries, brassicas, dill, lettuce and tomatoes. Intercropping onions and leeks with your carrots confuses the carrot and onion flies! 
Companions: chamomile and summer savoury with onions improves their flavour. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Onions planted with strawberries help the berries fight disease. Keep onions away from peas and asparagus.


Can be used with most crops but especially good for cabbage. Plant near broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower to repel cabbage butterfly and near cucumbers to repel cucumber beetle. 
Companions:: Also benefits grapes.


Plant next to corn. Companions for peas are bush beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Celery, Chicory, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant, Parsley, Early Potato, Radish, Spinach, Strawberry, Sweet pepper and Turnips. Do not plant peas with onions. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Peas fix nitrogen in the soil.


Repels white cabbage moths, aphids and flea beetles. It is the menthol content in mints that acts as an insect repellant. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Bees and other good guys love it.

Sweet Peppers:

Onions make an excellent companion plant for peppers. They do quite well with okra as it shelters them and protects the brittle stems from wind. Don't plant them near fennel or kohlrabi. They should also not be grown near apricot trees because a fungus that the pepper is prone to can cause a lot of harm to the apricot tree. Peppers can double as ornamentals, so tuck some into flowerbeds and borders. Harvesting tip: The traditional bell pepper, for example, is harvested green, even though most varieties will mature red, orange, or yellow. 
Companions: Plant peppers near tomatoes, parsley, basil, geraniums, marjoram, lovage, petunia and carrots Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Peppers can be harvested at any stage of growth, but their flavour doesn't fully develop until maturity.

Chilli Peppers:

Chilli peppers have root exudates that prevent root rot and other Fusarium diseases. Plant anywhere you have these problems. Teas made from hot peppers can be useful as insect sprays. Hot peppers like to be grouped with cucumbers, eggplant, escarole, tomato, okra, Swiss chard and squash. 
Companions: Herbs to plant near them include: basils, oregano, parsley and rosemary.


They repel the asparagus beetle, leafhoppers, certain aphids, tomato worms, Mexican bean beetles and general garden pests. . The leaves can be used in a tea to make a potent bug spray. 
Companions:  A good companion to tomatoes, but plant everywhere


Companions for potatoes are bush bean, members of the cabbage family, carrot, celery, corn, dead nettle, flax, horseradish, marigold, peas, petunia, onion and Tagetes marigold. Horseradish, planted at the corners of the potato patch, provides general protection. Don't plant these around potatoes: asparagus, cucumber, kohlrabi, parsnip, pumpkin, rutabaga, squash family, sunflower, turnip and fennel. Keep potatoes and tomatoes apart as they both can get early and late blight contaminating each other. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Protect them from scab by putting comfrey leaves in with your potato sets at planting time.


Pumpkin pals are corn, melon and squash. Marigold deters beetles. Nasturtium deters bugs, beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection.


Companions for radishes are: radish, beet, bush beans, pole beans, carrots, chervil, cucumber, lettuce, melons, nasturtium, parsnip, peas, spinach and members of the squash family. Why plant radishes with your squash plants? Radishes may protect them from squash borers. Anything that will help keep them away is worth a try. Radishes are a deterrent against cucumber beetles and rust flies. . Planting them around corn and letting them go to seed will also help fight corn borers. Chinese Daikon and Snow Belle radishes are favourites of flea beetles. Plant these at 6 to 12 inch intervals amongst broccoli. In one trial, this measurably reduced damage to broccoli. Radishes will lure leaf-miners away from spinach. The damage the leaf-miners do to radish leaves does not stop the radish roots from growing, a win-win situation. 
Companions: Keep radishes away from hyssop plants, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and turnips. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Chervil and nasturtium improve radish growth and flavour One of the workhorses for the garden.


A good companion to all brassicas. Try planting cabbage and broccoli plants your rhubarb patch watch them thrive. Some other interesting companions for rhubarb are the beautiful columbine flowers, garlic, onion and roses! It helps deter red spider mites from the columbines. A spray made from boiled rhubarb leaves, which contain the poison oxalic acid may be used to prevent blackspot on roses and as an aphicide. 
Companions: Rhubarb protects beans against black fly.


Companion plant to cabbage, beans, carrots and sage. Deters cabbage moths, bean beetles, and carrot flies. Use cuttings to place by the crowns of carrots for carrot flies.


Use as a companion plant with broccoli, cauliflower, rosemary, cabbage, and carrots to deter cabbage moths, beetles, black flea beetles and carrot flies. Do not plant near cucumbers, onions or rue. There are some very striking varieties of sage with variegated foliage that can be used for their ornamental as well as practical qualities 
Companions: Sage repels cabbage moths and black flea beetles. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Allowing sage to flower will also attract many beneficial insects and the flowers are pretty.


Plant with peas and beans as they provide natural shade for the spinach. Gets along with cabbage, cauliflower, celery, onion, peas, strawberries.

Soya beans:

They add nitrogen to the soil making them a good companion to corn. They repel chinch bugs and Japanese beetles. Why not try soybeans, they are good for you. They are many tasty ways to prepare them.


Companions: Corn, cucumbers, icicle radishes, melon and pumpkin. Helpers: Borage deters worms, improves growth and flavour. Marigolds deters beetle. Nasturtium deters squash bugs and beetles. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Oregano provides general pest protection.


Planting sunflowers with corn is said by some to increase the yield. Aphids a problem? Definitely plant a few sunflowers here and there in the garden. Step back and watch the ants herd the aphids onto them. The sunflowers are so tough that the aphids cause very little damage and you will have nice seed heads for the birds to enjoy who in turn eat a few bugs.

Sweet Alyssium:

Direct seed or set out starts of sweet alyssum near plants that have been attacked by aphids in the past. Another plus is their blooms draw bees to pollinate early blooming fruit trees. They will reseed freely and make a beautiful ground-cover every year. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Alyssum flowers attract hover-flies whose larva devour aphids.


Plant throughout the garden, not many pests like this one. Recommended to enhance growth and flavour of vegetables.


Wooly thyme makes a wonderful ground cover. You may want to use the upright form of thyme in the garden rather than the ground cover types. Thyme is easy to grow from seeds or cuttings. 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Deters cabbage worms.


Tomato allies are many: asparagus, basil, bean, carrots, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, head lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pepper, marigold, pot marigold and sow thistle. One drawback with tomatoes and carrots: tomato plants can stunt the growth of your carrots but the carrots will still be of good flavour. Chives and mint improve health and flavour. Enemies: corn and tomato are attacked by the same worm. Kohlrabi stunts tomato growth. Keep potatoes and tomatoes apart as they both can get early and late blight contaminating each other. . Don't plant them under walnut trees as they will get walnut wilt: a disease of tomatoes growing underneath walnut treesBorage deters tomato worm, improves growth and flavour. Keep cabbage and cauliflower away from them 
Companions: Onion, Marigold, Asparagus, Carrot, Parsley, Cucumber Cabbage, fennel, Potato Turnip Pea 
Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Basil repels flies and mosquitoes, improves growth and flavour. Dill, until mature, improves growth and health, mature dill retards tomato growth.


Yarrow has insect repelling qualities and is an excellent natural fertiliser. A handful of yarrow leaves added to the compost pile really speeds things up. It attracts predatory wasps and ladybugs to name just two.


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