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Companion Planting Guide with patterning

Transforming your garden with pattern

Category: AgriculturePermacultureBiologyPatterning

Date: 12 September 2011

Description: A guide to Companion Planting, the practice of combining mutually beneficial species of plants in a naturally harmonious pattern that would promote the best features of each plant's growth habits and yields, while accommodating for differences in environmental factors and seasonal fluctuations. Bluntly put, "The art of putting plants together".


Plant Guilds (Plants with Benefits)

Companion planting is used for mutual benefit between plant species, to maximise yields and provide a healthy living habitat. Companion planting can be used for pest control and distraction; windbreak; accumulation and distribution of nutrients, minerals and helpful bacteria and fungi; dividing needs for nutrients, water, sun and shade; attracting predatory insects and birds; attracting polinators; and also to exentuate natural growth cycles and patterns to build relilience and diversity in the landscape.

To have an productive garden you need to have a diverse mix of locally trialed species. Introducing foreign crops can often bring in new pests and change the biological and mineral balance of the soil. If you do want to plant something rare, be sure to surround it with companions that will defend it from harm and assist its growth.

There are many known combinations of plants that co-operate to produce healthy yields and reduce pests. These are known as Plant Guilds.

You will notice that some plants have a one-way benefit from their companions, and others will have a two-way relationship. When putting together a Plant Guild, we should try and maximise as many beneficial relationships as possible to create a diversity of healthy plant interactions and pest control mechanisms.

Sort by Plant Name | Sort by Pests repelled | Sort by Insects attracted

Plant NameLikesDislikesAttractsRepelsComments
Ageratum      Japanese Beetle;  
Alfalfa    Assassin Bug; Big-Eyed Bug; Damsel Bug; Lady Beetle; Parasitic Wasp;    

Perennial that roots deeply. Fixes the soil with nitrogen, accumulates iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Withstands droughts with it's long taproot and can improve just about any soil! Alfalfa has the ability to break up hard clay soil and can even send its' roots through rocks! Now that is a tenacious plant! Alfalfa is practically pest and disease free. It needs only natural rainfall to survive.

AmaranthSweet Corn;     Predatory Ground Beetles;     A tropical annual that needs hot conditions to flourish. It's leaves provide shade giving the corm a rich, moist root run. Host to predatory ground beetles. Eat the young leaves in salads. Spiky Amaranth repels Cutworm.
Angelica  Dill;      

Angelica should be started from seed. It does not propagate well by division or by cutting the offshoots. It prefers rich, moist, well drained soil and partial shade. The leaves can be harvested in the spring of the second year, the roots in the fall of the first year, and the seeds when ripe.

AniseCoriander;   Carrot;      
Apple  Black Walnut Tree; Hawthorn;   Fruit Fly;    
Arbortivae      Japanese Beetle;  
Artemisia    Lady Beetle; Yellow Jacket; Wasps;   Black Flea Beetle; Cabbage Moth; Fleas; Japanese Beetle; Snails; Slugs;  
Ash      Japanese Beetle;  
AsparagusBasil; Parsley; Carrot; Tomato;        
Azalea  Black Walnut Tree;      
Barberry  Rye;      
Barley  Lettuce;      
BasilBeans; Broccoli; Brussel Sprouts; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Collard; Kale; Marigold; Pepper; Tomato;   Rue;   Butterflies;   Asparagus Beetle; Flies; Mosquitoes; Tomato Hornworm; Whitefly;   Opal Basil deters Tomato worms.
Beans, bushBorage; Broccoli; Cabbage; Carrot; Celery; Chinese Cabbage; Corn; Collard; Cucumber; Eggplant; Irish Potato; Larkspur; Lettuce; Marigold; Mint; Pea; Radish; Rosemary; Savory; Strawberry; Sunflower; Tansy;   Beet; Chive; Garlic; Onion; Pepper;     Colorado Potato Beetle;  
Beans, castor      Mole;  
Beans, poleBasil; Borage; Broccoli; Carrot; Chinese Cabbage; Corn; Collard; Cucumber; Eggplant; Lettuce; Marigold; Mint; Pea; Radish; Rosemary; Savory; Strawberry; Sunflower; Tansy;   Beet; Garlic; Onion; Kohlrabi;     Colorado Potato Beetle;  
Bee BalmTomato;        
BeetsBush Beans; Cabbage; Delphinium; Onion; Larkspur; Lettuce; Sage;   Pole Beans;      
Begonia      Japanese Beetle;  
BorageBeans; Squash; Strawberry; Tomato;     Honeybees;   Tomato Hornworm;   Said to deter tomato worm and improve tomato flavour and yield. Said to increase strawberry yield.
Boxwood      Japanese Beetle;  
BroccoliBasil; Beans; Cucumber; Dill; Garlic; Hyssop; Lettuce; Marigold; Mint; Nasturtium; Onion; Potato; Radish; Rosemary; Sage; Thyme; Tomato;   Grapes; Lettuce; Rue;      
Brussels SproutsBasil; Beans; Dill; Garlic; Hyssop; Lettuce; Mint; Onion; Rosemary; Sage; Thyme;   Grapes; Rue;      
Buckwheat    Syrphid Fly;     Alkalises (reduces Ph) of soils it is grown in.
CabbageBasil; Beets; Bush Beans; Chamomile; Celery; Chard; Dill; Garlic; Grapes; Hyssop; Larkspur; Lettuce; Marigold; Mint; Nasturtium; Onion; Rosemary; Rue; Sage; Southernwood; Spinach; Thyme; Tomato;   Grapes; Rue;      
Caladium      Japanese Beetle;  
Calendula      Asparagus Beetle; Nematodes; Tomato Hornworm;  
Candytuft    Syrphid Fly;    
Caraway  Carrot; Dill;       Plant throughout garden to loosen soil
CarrotsBeans; Chive; Delphinium; Pea; Larkspur; Lettuce; Pepper; Radish; Rosemary; Onion; Pea; Sage; Tomato;   Caraway; Dill;   Assassin Bug; Big-Eyed Bug; Lacewing; Parasitic Wasp; Yellow Jacket; Wasps;    
CatnipEggplant;     Birds; Honeybees;   Ants; Aphids; Colorado Potato Beetle; Cucumber Beetle; Flea Beetle; Japanese Beetle; Squash Bug;  
CauliflowerBasil; Bean; Dill; Garlic; Hyssop; Lettuce; Marigold; Mint; Onion; Rosemary; Sage; Thyme;   Grapes; Rue;      
CeleryBush Beans; Cabbage; Chinese Cabbage; Nasturtium; Onion; Spinach; Tomato;       Cabbage Worm;  
Chinese CabbageBasil; Beans; Celery; Dill; Garlic; Hyssop; Mint; Nasturtium; Onion; Potato; Rosemary; Thyme;   Grapes;      
ChamomileCabbage; Cucumber; Onion;        
ChivesApple; Carrot; Grape; Potato; Rose;   Beans; Peas;     Aphids; Japanese Beetle;  
Chrysanthemum      Aphids; Japanese Beetle; Leafhopper;  

Likes to be grown among other Chrysanthemums. 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. Dried and crushed Chrysamthemum repels aphids and leafhoppers.

Clover, White    Parasitic Wasp; Tachinid Fly; Yellow Jacket; Wasps;    
Cocscomb      Japanese Beetle;  
CollardBasil; Bean; Cucumber; Dill; Garlic; Hyssop; Lettuce; Marigold; Mint; Nasturtium; Onion; Potato; Radish; Rosemary; Sage; Thyme;   Grapes; Rue; Tansy;      
CorianderAnise; Potato;   Fennel;   Tachinid Fly;   Aphids; Colorado Potato Beetle; Spider Mite;  
CornBeans; Cucumber; Dill; Peas; Potato; Melons; Pumpkin; Soybeans; Squash; Sunflower;        
Cosmos      Corn Earworm;  
CucumberBeans; Broccoli; Cabbage; Carrot; Cauliflower; Chamomile; Collard; Corn; Kale; Lettuce; Marigold; Nasturtium; Onion; Pea; Radish; Savory; Sunflowers; Tomato;        
Currants  White Pine;      
Dead NettlePotato;       Potato Bug;  
DelphiniumBean; Cabbage; Oats;   Beet; Carrot; Chard; Parsnip; Turnip;      
DillBroccoli; Cabbage; Chinese Cabbage; Collard; Cauliflower; Lettuce; Onion;   Angelica; Caraway; Carrot; Lavender; Tomato;   Honeybees;   Cabbage Looper; Imported Cabbageworm; Tomato Hornworm;  
EgglplantBeans; Garlic; Marigold; Peas; Spinach; Tarragon; Thyme;   Apricot;      
Eucalyptus      Aphids; Cabbage Looper; Colorado Potato Beetle;  
Fava Bean  Lettuce;      
FennelBasil; Dill;   Bean; Coriander; Pepper; Tomato;   Syrphid Fly; Tachinid Fly;   Aphids; Snails; Slugs;  
FlaxCarrot; Potato;       Potato Bug;  
GarlicCollard; Raspberry; Rose;   Beans; Peas;     Aphids; Cabbage Looper; Cabbage Maggot; Flea Beetle; Imported Cabbageworm; Japanese Beetle; Mosquitoes; Onion Fly; Peach Borer; Rabbits; Snails; Slugs; Ticks;  
GeraniumRose;       Corn Earworm; Imported Cabbageworm; Leafhopper; Mosquitoes;   White flowered scented Geranium attracts Japanese Beetle.
Goldenrod  Black Locust Tree; Sugar Maple;   Assassin Bug; Big-Eyed Bug; Lady Beetle; Parasitic Wasp;    
Gooseberry  White Pine;      
Grapes  Cabbage; Beans; Brussels Sprouts; Broccoli; Cauliflower; Chives; Collard; Kale; Radish; Peas; Blackberry; Peach;      
HorehoundTomato;     Honeybees; Parasitic Wasp; Syrphid Fly;    
HorseradishPotato;       Potato Bug;  
Hydrangea      Japanese Beetle;  
HyssopBroccoli; Brussels Sprouts; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Chinese Cabbage; Collard; Grape; Kale;   Radish;   Butterflies; Honeybees; Hummingbirds;   Cabbage Looper; Cabbage Moth; Imported Cabbageworm;  
Ivy    Tachinid Fly; Yellow Jacket; Wasps;    
Juniper      Japanese Beetle;  
KaleBasil; Beans; Dill; Garlic; Hyssop; Lettuce; Marigold; Mint; Onion; Radish; Rosemary; Sage; Thyme; Tomato;   Grapes; Rue;      
KohlrabiBeets;   Pepper;      
LarkspurBeans; Beets; Cabbage; Oats;   Beets; Carrot; Parsnips; Turnips;     Aphids;  
Lavender      Moths;   Combine with Southernwood to repel Moths.
LeekCarrot;       Carrot Fly;  
LettuceBeans; Carrot; Cauliflower; Chrysanthemum; Collard; Cucumber; Onion; Radish; Strawberry;   Broccoli; Barley; Fava Beans; Rye; Wheat;     Carrot Fly;  
Lilac  Black Walnut Tree;      
MarjoramPepper; Sage;        
MarigoldBeans; Broccoli; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Collards; Cucumber; Kale; Pepper; Rose; Tomato;       Aphids; Cabbage Maggot; Colorado Potato Beetle; Corn Earworm; Cucumber Beetle; Mexican Bean Beetle; Nematodes; Rabbits; Tomato Hornworm; Whitefly;  
MelonsCorn; Nasturtium; Radish;        
MintBeans; Broccoli; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Chinese Cabbage; Collards; Tomato;       Aphids; Cabbage Moth; Flea Beetle; Imported Cabbageworm; Squash Bug;  
Morning Glory  Apricot;   Lady Beetle; Syrphid Fly;    
Mustard  Turnip;     Aphids;  
Narcissus      Mole;  
NasturtiumBeans; Broccoli; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Chinese Cabbage; Collard; Radish; Fruit Trees;       Aphids; Asparagus Beetle; Cabbage Looper; Colorado Potato Beetle; Cucumber Beetle; Imported Cabbageworm; Squash Bug; Striped Pumpkin Beetle;  
Nicotania  Apricot;      
OnionBeets; Broccoli; Brussels Sprouts; Cabbage; Carrot; Cauliflower; Celery; Cabbage; Chinese Cabbage; Chamomile; Collard; Cucumber; Dill; Kale; Lettuce; Pepper; Potato; Radish; Rose; Savory; Squash; Strawberry; Tomato;   Bush Beans; Pole Beans; English Pea; Rue; Sage;     Aphids; Cabbage Looper; Carrot Fly; Colorado Potato Beetle; Imported Cabbageworm; Rabbits;  
OreganoPepper;       Aphids; Whitefly;  
Pansy      Japanese Beetle;  
ParsleyAsparagus; Tomato; Rose;       Asparagus Beetle;   Said to improve flavour of asparagus and tomato.
Parsnip  Delphinium; Larkspur;      
PeaBeans; Carrot; Chives; Corn; Cucumber; Eggplant; Lettuce; Radish; Spinach; Tomato; Turnip;   Black Walnut Tree; Chives; Garlic; Grapes; Onion; Gladiolus; Irish Potato;      
PeachGrape; Garlic; Onion; Asparagus;   Potato; Tomato; Raspberry;      
Pear  Potato;      
PennyroyalRose;       Cabbage Looper; Fleas; Flies; Imported Cabbageworm; Mosquitoes;  
PeonyBlack Walnut Tree;        
PepperBean; Carrot; Horehound; Marigold; Marjoram; Onion; Tansy;   Black Walnut Tree;      
Peppermint      Cabbage Looper; Whitefly;  
PetuniaBeans; Potato;   Apricot;     Aphids; Asparagus Beetle; Leafhopper; Mexican Bean Beetle; Squash Bug; Tomato Hornworm;  
Plum  Apricot;      
Plumbago    Butterflies; Honeybees;    
PotatoBeans; Broccoli; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Chinese Cabbage; Collard; Coriander; Dead Nettle; Horehound; Horseradish; Lettuce; Marigold; Onion; Petunia; Tansy;   Apple; Apricot; Black Walnut Tree; Pear; Sunflower;      
RadishBeans; Beets; Broccoli; Cabbage; Carrot; Cauliflower; Chervil; Collard Cucumber; Cucumber; Grapes; Lettuce; Melon; Nasturtium; Onion; Parsnip; Pea; Radish; Spinach; Squash;   Hyssop;     Cabbage Maggot; Corn Earworm; Cucumber Beetle; Squash Bug; Squash Vine Borer;   Repels Corn Earworms after going to seed.
Rhododendron  Black Walnut Tree;      
RhubarbBroccoli; Cabbage; Garlic; Onion; Rose;        

A good companion to all brassicas. Try planting cabbage and broccoli plants in your rhubarb patch and watch them thrive. Rhubarb protects beans against black fly. 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.

RoseChive; Feverfew; Garlic; Geranium; Marigold; Onion; Parsley;        
RosemaryBeans; Broccoli; Cabbage; Carrot; Cauliflower; Chinese Cabbage; Collard; Sage;       Cabbage Moth; Carrot Fly; Mexican Bean Beetle; Moths; Snails; Slugs;  
RueBroccoli; Rose; Raspberry;   Basil; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Sage;     Cucumber Beetle; Flea Beetle; Flies; Japanese Beetle;   Repels Japanese Beatles when planted with Roses and Raspberries.
Rye  Barberry; Lettuce;      
SageBroccoli; Cabbage; Carrot; Cauliflower; Chinese Cabbage; Collards; Marjoram; Rosemary; Strawberry;   Cucumber; Onion; Rue;   Cabbage Butterfly; Honeybees;   Carrot Fly; Beetles; Black Flea Beetle; Cabbage Looper; Cabbage Maggot; Cabbage Moth; Flea Beetle; Imported Cabbageworm; Slugs;  

Allowing sage to flower will also attract many beneficial insects and the flowers are pretty. There are some very striking varieties of sage with variegated foliage that can be used for their ornamental as well as practical qualities.

Salvia    Butterflies; Honeybees;    
Savory      Cabbage Moth; Mexican Bean Beetle;  
SouthernwoodCabbage;       Flea Beetle; Imported Cabbageworm;  

Plant with cabbage and around the garden. Wonderful lemony scent when crushed or brushed in passing. Roots easily from cuttings. Does not like fertilizer! It is a perennial that can get quite bushy. A delightful plant that is virtually pest free.

SowthistleCorn; Onion; Tomato;        
SoybeanCorn;         Fixes nitrogen into the soil. Soybeans also repel chinch bugs and Japanese beetles.
Spearmint      Cabbage Looper;  
SpinachCelery; Cauliflower; Eggplant; Pea; Strawberry;        
SquashBeans; Corn; Mint; Nasturtium; Onion; Radish; Sunflower; Tansy;   Potato;      
StrawberryBorage; Beans; Lettuce; Onion; Sage; Spinach;   Cabbage;      
Summer SavoryBeans; Onion;     Honeybees;   Cabbage Moth; Mexican Bean Beetle; Sweet Potato Weevil; Black Aphids;  
SunflowerBeans; Corn; Squash;   Potato;     Aphids;  
Sweet PotatoAlyssum; Beans; Beets; Dill; Oregano; Parsnip; Potato; Thyme; Salsify; Savory;   Squash;      

Sweet potatoes are not the same as regular potatoes. They are a member of the morning glory family. "Regular" potatoes are a member of the Solanaceae family which is the same as tomatoes, peppers etc. Aromatic herbs make good companion plants. Summer savory helps to confuse and perhaps repel the Sweet potato weevil. Sweet potato does well with root crops. Alyssum makes a perfect living mulch for them. A problem with sweet potatoes and squash is they will compete with each other as they both like to spread out. In fact that is the general problem with sweet potatoes - they take up so much room and need full sun. Another idea is to grow them in a container.

Sweet William    Butterflies; Honeybees;    
TansyFruit Trees; Pepper; Raspberry; Rose;   Collard;     Asparagus Beetle; Colorado Potato Beetle; Cucumber Beetle; Flea Beetle; Flies; Imported Cabbageworm; Japanese Beetle; Mice; Squash Bug; Striped Cucumber Beetle;  
Tarragon        Enhances most vegetables when planted among them.
ThymeBroccoli; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Chinese Cabbage; Collard;       Cabbage Looper; Cabbage Moth; Cabbage Worm; Imported Cabbageworm; Whitefly;  
Tobacco      Carrot Fly; Flea Beetle;  
TomatoBorage; Broccoli; Cabbage; Calendula; Carrot; Cauliflower; Celery; Chive; Horehound; Marigold; Onion; Parsley; Pea; Petunia; Mint; Sage;   Apricot; Dill; Black Walnut Tree; Corn; Fennel;     Asparagus Beetle; Cabbage Worm;  
Turnip  Delphinium; Larkspur; Mustard;      
Wheat  Barberry; Lettuce;      
Wormwood      Cabbage Looper; Cabbage Maggot; Carrot Fly; Flea Beetle; Mice; Moths; Whitefly;   Improves growth of most vegetables.
Yarrow    Lady Beetle; Parasitic Wasp; Syrphid Fly;     Plant near aromatic herbs to enhance production of essential oils.
Yew      Japanese Beetle;  

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