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

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.

Thyme

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.

Basil

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.

Next Up

When to Plant Garden Mums

Want your garden mums to survive winter? Learn tips for planting fall garden mums to help them return next spring.

Garden Design: Connect Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Let your indoor space inspire your landscape design plans.

The Cold, Hard Facts on Protecting Potted Plants

Get tips for helping your potted plants survive winter.

Garden Plants and Flowers

Learn how to discover which plants underscore and help define a specific garden design style.

Choosing Plants for a Sensory Garden

A specially planted sensory garden heightens the experience of all of the senses, rather than concentrating primarily on sight.

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden

Yee-haw! Turn a container into a desert landscape by filling it with prickly cacti and other succulent plants. 

How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden

Yee-haw! Turn a container into a desert landscape by filling it with prickly cacti and other succulent plants.

How to Plant an Herb Container Garden

Herbs have been grown all over the world for centuries for their flavor and healthful benefits. Learn how to plant an herb container garden.