Just like humans need and desire a companion in life, plants are the same. Plants that get planted together grow into much happier and healthier plants. Companion planting is intentionally planting different plants or varieties together according to needs, colour or esthetic.
For those planting in backyard gardens, companion planting can offer some great benefits as well as offering a beautiful visual. You can use a combination of complimentary plants that grow well together, making a great visual effect while helping you to take advantage of more space in the garden.
Read on to understand what you can plant together in your garden that will give you the best overall look, as well as creating the best beneficial effects.
Beneficial companion planting
Choosing companion plants takes a little more thought that just considering what the finished visual might be or what would fit into the space that you have. Choose companion plants based on the following:
1. Encourage pollination & provide natural pest control/repellent
You can use plants to help encourage pollination, drawing bees, butterflies, and sunbirds to a specific area.
Another great reason to choose companion plants are to increase pest control in certain areas of your garden, as some varieties work as a repellent against some pests and wildlife.
You can make the most of your garden by planting beneficial companions that can help improve home-grown produce by managing pests & promoting pollination.
- Sweet Alyssum + Swiss Chard
Alyssum is a big attractor of hover flies, which are beneficial insects that control aphids
- Calendulas/Marigolds + Broccoli
These flowers exude a sticky substance on their stems that attract aphids and traps them there. Plus, it brings in beneficial ladybugs to dine on the aphids.
- Roses + Geraniums/Chives
Plants with a strong fragrance or taste will discourage beetles and aphids. This will prevent your roses from getting eaten by those pesky little bugs.
2. Water & light requirements
You’ll want to look at what the growth needs are of the plants that you are considering placing in the same area. For instance, in most cases you will want to have plants that have similar sun and water needs together to help them flourish as you care for your garden.
Can take extreme heat and doesn’t require much water.
- Hydrangeas and Carex Everillo
Both are shade to semi-shade plants.
Visually appealing companion planting
When companion planting with flowers, there are a few more things to keep in mind. What are your flowers’ growing conditions? Make sure to pair flowers that require the same amount of moisture and sunlight. Don’t accidentally pair a short, sun-loving plant with a taller one that will cast a shadow over it.
When pairing flowers that will bloom at the same time, consider their colours, shapes, textures, and movement. For example, a wash of the same colour is nice, but the individual flowers might get lost. Try combining complementary colours, like yellow and purple, to make the colours pop.
Flowers that look good together:
- Hemerocallis and Lavender
An orange Daylily and blue Lavender – complementary colours.
- Hydrangeas and Begonias/Impatiens
Flower petals are the same shape.
- Hibiscus and Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’
Brings movement to your garden.
Upright and rough textured leaves vs. downward and soft textured leaves.
Don’t be afraid to play around with companion planting in your garden. Follow our examples as a guideline and you should have a very beautiful looking garden.
For more information on companion planting, feel free to contact us.