Companion Planting

Companion Planting to Attract 
Beneficial Insects and Repel Pests

Most herbs attract pollinating insects with their flowers. Some of the stronger-smelling ones repel pests to various degrees. Slugs do not like the smell of anything from the allium family: chives, garlic, and onions. Many beetles and flies steer clear of mints and plants containing pyrethrum. By planting these with plants prone to pests, you may offer some protection. Be sure that the plants all require the same light, water, and soil conditions. An unhealthy plant will not thrive even when surrounded by the best of friends!

ASTER: Attracts pollinators.
BEE BALM: Attracts pollinators. Great for tomatoes. Keep away from peas and squash (may spread powdery mildew).
BORAGE: Attracts bees and wasps.
CARAWAY: Attracts tiny parasitic wasps. Competes with dill and fennel.
DILL: Attracts hoverflies and predatory wasps, which prey on pests. Avoid near carrots and tomatoes, as they also attract hornworms and swallowtail caterpillars.
LAVENDER; Attracts bees.
MINT: Attract hoverflies, predatory wasps, and earthworms.
NASTURTIUM: Attracts predatory insects, including ladybugs.
OREGANO: Attracts pollinators.
PARSLEY: Dropped seeds attract tiny parasitic wasps and hoverflies.
RED CLOVER: Attracts bees.
SAGE: Attracts pollinators.
SUNFLOWERS: Attract pollinators.

BORAGE: Deters cabbage worm and tomato hornworm.
CATNIP: Deters aphids, flea beetles, Japanese beetles, squash-bugs, ants and weevils.
CHERVIL: Deters aphids from lettuce. May deter slugs.
CHIVES: Deters slugs from lettuce and strawberries, carrot rust fly, and aphids. Avoid near beans and peas.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS: C. coccineum kills root nema-todes. White flowering mums repel Japanese beetles.
CLOVER: Attracts predators of the woolly aphid and interferes with the colonization of cabbage worms and aphids. Also attracts predator ground beetles.
COMFREY: Attracts (traps) slugs.
DILL: Repels aphids, spider mites, squash bug. 
FEVERFEW: High in pyrethrum, repels even bees. Toxic to cats. A good insect repellent if you rub leaves on skin.
FOUR-O’CLOCKS: Attracts Japanese beetles, who are poisoned by eating their leaves. Toxic to humans and pets.
GARLIC: Repels aphids, borers, snails, and some flies.
GERANIUM: Repels cabbage worms and Japanese beetles.
HORSERADISH: Repels blister beetles and Colorado potato beetle.
HOREHOUND: Attract Braconid and Icheumonid wasps, and Tachnid and Syrid flies, parasitic to pests.
HYSSOP: Deters cabbage moths and flea beetles. Avoid near radishes.
LAMIUM: Repels potato bugs.
LARKSPUR: Attracts and poisons Japanese beetles.
LAVENDER: Repels fleas and moths (codling/fruit pests).
LEMON BALM: Citronella repels mosquitoes and squash bugs.
MARIGOLDS: Kill bad nemotodes, but do attract spider mites and slugs. Deters whitefly, bean beetle, and rabbits. Mexican marigold is the most potent. Avoid near beans and cabbage.
MINT: Deters ants, aphids, flea beetles, fleas, squash bugs, rodents, and white cabbage moths.
NASTURTIUM: Attracts (traps) black aphids. Deters squash bugs, striped pumpkin beetles, wooly aphids, whiteflies, cucumber beetles and other pests of the cucurbit family.
OREGANO: Repels cabbage butterfly and cucumber beetle.
PARSLEY: Repels asparagus beetles. Keep away from mint.
SUNFLOWER: Attracts (traps) aphids. Ants will herd them onto stalks.

More tips and a plethora of recipes in my book Around the World in 100 Miles

Also, Karl Treen of Permaculture Providence came up with a great card game for Companion Planting.

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