Companion planting is one of the most beneficial ways to grow a garden. Growing certain plants together can encourage healthy growth, repel harmful insects, and attract beneficial insects. Flowers can be planted in your vegetable garden to achieve a healthier and thriving garden.
Plant Flowers with Vegetables To Encourage Healthy Growth
There are many plants out there that can improve the growth on your vegetable garden. Below is a list of flowers that can be added to your garden, and how these flowers help promote healthy and prolific vegetable plants.
Borage is a Mediterranean herb that grows best in warm climates. Although is can be planted in other gardening zones as well. I have had success growing it in Montana by starting it indoors early.
This cucumber scented flower is known for attracting bees and other pollinators, repelling hornworms and is said to improve the taste of tomatoes, if planted nearby. Both the leaves and blooms of the Borage plant can be eaten and have a cucumber-like flavor.
Borage should be planted with: tomatoes, squash and strawberries.
>>>Related: The Benefits of Growing Borage (and How to Grow It)
Calendula is a yellow flowering plant that grows best in cooler climates with low humidity. This flower will help repel aphids and attract pollinators to the garden. Another benefit, calendula has thick roots, and acts as a living mulch, protecting to soil from the sun and retaining moisture for your vegetable garden.
This plant has edible leaves, and if you keep the flowers trimmed back, this plant will flower from spring until fall.
Calendula should be planted with: peas, carrots, asparagus and spring salad lettuces.
>>>Related: Planning a Spring Vegetable Garden
This cheerful, white flower is such a great plant to grow in the vegetable garden. Standing alone, Chamomile is perfect for tinctures and teas. So plant this flower even if you aren’t planting a vegetable garden!
This plant also helps improve the growth and flavor of many plants. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties as well, helping with mold, mildew and blight. This flowers is a cool weather, partial shade plant.
Chamomile grows best with: cabbage, onions, beans, cucumbers, broccoli, kale and brussel sprouts.
Cosmos are gorgeous, colorful flowers that do well in warm weather and are incredibly easy to grow! These happy blooms can be added to almost any garden bed as they grow anywhere. Cosmos do great job attracting pollinators. Their bright colors attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
Grow near tomatoes, and other flowering vegetables, to encourage additional pollination.
Cosmos also attract aphids. Plant them near aphid prone plants to deter aphids from your vegetables and fruits. Instead, attract them to your cosmos.
Lavender is one of my favorite flowers and herbs. This fragrant flower has many different varieties ranging from very hardy (English Lavender), and more delicate (French Lavender). Regardless of type, lavender does a great job attracting pollinators. Butterflies and bees love lavender and will visit your garden more frequently if planted nearby.
Lavender should be planted with: brussel sprouts, celery, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
Lavender’s strong scent repels harmful insects like cabbageworms. It can also help at repel larger pests such as deer and rabbits.
If you want to learn how to grow lavender, check out this great guide to planting and growing lavender.
Marigolds are easy-to-grow, happy plants, that do well in almost any climate. These bright flowers are great to have in the garden as they attract pollinators, like bees and butterflies. Marigolds do a great job repelling insects, specifically nematodes, which tend to attack tomatoes.
Calendula and marigolds are not the same thing, although calendula is called a “pot marigold.” Calendula is edible and marigolds usually are not.
Plant these flowers with tomatoes, beans and cucumbers. Although they do well helping almost any vegetable. If the soil conditions aren’t the same, just grow your marigolds in pots as they are easy to grow in containers as well!
If you need a more detailed look into companion planting with marigolds, check out this great guide!
Nasturtiums are sun loving flowers that grow in almost any zone. These pretty flowers attract hoverflies, which kill and eat aphids, so be sure to plant them near aphid prone vegetables. They also repel blackflies and slugs.
Plant nasturtiums with broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, beets, pumpkin and zucchini.
Nasturtiums are also edible, so you don’t need to grow them for their companion planting benefits.
Sweet alyssum is a small, white flowering plant that acts as ground cover in the garden. This hard working flower attracts many beneficial insects to include: crab spiders, ladybugs, predatory wasps and lacewings. The ground cover of the sweet alyssum also acts as a living mulch, which helps retain moisture for its companion plants and prevent weed growth in the garden bed.
Plant sweet alyssum with onion, chives, broccoli and carrots.
Zinnias are colorful, sun love flowers that grow in almost any zone, and prefer fertile, well-drained soil. These bright blooms attract so many pollinators, but particularly butterflies and hummingbirds. Hummingbirds eat whiteflies, which like to feast on tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes. Zinnias are also helpful in repelling cucumber beetles and tomato worms.
Plant these beautiful flowers near your tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes. Also be sure to plant them during the fall, for monarch butterflies during migration.
When planting a vegetable garden this year, be sure not to overlook companion flowers. By adding these wonderful flowers to your vegetable garden, your vegetables will grow healthier, and produce higher yields, all with less work!
Love this gardening post? Be sure to check out these Cheap and Free Soil Amendments when planting your garden this year. You may also like these chemical free Garden Weed Control Tips.
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so silly question. How far away or close to my raised beds do companion plants have to be and still be beneficial?
This probably isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but, it varies with each plant. For instance, sweet alyssum can be planted right underneath other plants, it acts a living mulch or ground cover. Other plants, such as zinnias, will need more room and light in order to do well, so they would need to be planted a little farther away. A quick rule of thumb would be to check how much room your vegetables need to grow, and plant your flowers as that distance. Hope that helps!
Hi! I have a question and i am fairly new at gardening and i am wondering can you plant any type of annuals and perennials in the same exact garden box side by side your vegetables ? Or can they make the vegetables toxic to eat? I really like a country garden look so i was hoping to be able to incorporate both together. Would you have any ideas? Thank you!
DO you mean in the same planter, or a separate planter just side by side? Most plants can be near each other. But, be careful with plants like fennel that shouldn’t be near any other plant. The best way to figure this out is to make a list of the plants you really love and want, and find out what vegetables they grow well with.
Joetta M. says
I found it to be very interesting
Dr Gail Rittenbach says
Thanks for the good ideas on flowers and veggies. I am happy to plant any flowers as I like to pick them for my table and serve my OWN veggies in a beautiful setting.