Plants for Companion Planting

Companion planting is an effective way to control pests, pollination and plant growth. These plants and flowers make ideal companions in container gardens.

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Container Companions

Try a combination of vegetables, herbs and flowers like this one.


Tomatoes form along a truss, or branch of yellow flowers. The flowers wither, drop off and leave behind tiny green tomatoes that will ripen and hang in clusters.

French Marigolds

French marigolds, Tagetes patula, are small bushy plants with flowers that are composed of a dense arrangement of rays that come in yellow, orange and a unique bronze color. French marigolds bloom continuously until frost. They are a valuable companion plant because they attract hoverflies, which feast on aphids.

Viola Tricolor

Viola tricolor, or johnny jumpup, is essentially a cold-weather flower, quite hardy. Its pretty flowers are usually three-toned, with yellow, white and purple blossoms. They grow any place, in full sun to full shade, in cool soil.


Thymus serpyllum 'Variegatus' is a low-growing, mat-forming evergreen thyme with oval- to lance-shaped, lemon-scented, dark-green leaves edged with pink and clusters of small, pale pink flowers in summer. Scent is an important element of companion planting, and using strong smelling culinary herbs, such as thyme, can confuse pests as to the location of their prey.


Ocimum basilicum, sweet basil, is used and harvested before flowering. The parts mostly used are the mature leaves. It is primarily cultivated for use as a spice in cooking and is mostly associated with tomato dishes, eggs, fish and Italian cuisine.