Have you already heard of companion planting? If not, we’ll show you which plants are perfect to plant near garlic. It’s known as the king of herbs for a reason, and you can plant it in a variety of different ways to help cultivate a thriving, healthy garden. Here are the best garlic companion plants you need to know about.
What are Companion Plants?
Many organic gardeners and farmers began planting crops strategically in a way that allows mother nature to do all the hard work, allowing them to avoid using heavy chemical pesticides. As a result, companion planting soon became an easy way to deter pests from the garden to create a balanced ecosystem.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a great companion for multiple plants because it’s small, offers a pungent flavor and odor, and repels pests and diseases.
Companion planting is the practice of strategically placing a plant near or adjacent to another. Some plants, such as garlic, have natural pest-deterring properties that nearby plants benefit from. Other times, a neighbor plant may boost the soil’s nutrient level. Garlic is perfect for both purposes, benefitting a wide array of plants.
Let’s take a look at some of garlic’s best friends. Many of these species benefit from being planted near garlic, while others help garlic thrive in turn.
4 Plants that Assist Garlic
A plant that does well in most growing situations, garlic still can benefit from a few plants:
Rue is an old-fashioned herb that used to be found in gardens, but today is far less common. It was mostly used for medicinal purposes, which recent studies show aren’t as effective as newer treatments. However, its strong scent helps rue repel cat, dogs, and Japanese beetles, while attracting beneficial pollinators like butterflies. When planted with garlic, rue will drive maggots and beetle larvae away from your soil.
This well-known garlic companion plant will help improve garlic’s flavor when planted nearby, and it’ll deter pests like aphids, thrips, or mealybugs as well. Chamomile is also a great home cure for anxiety, as the apigenin within it has a mild tranquilizing effect. Growing chamomile is easy for beginner gardeners, and ideal for any garden.
3. Summer Savory
Summer savory is an annual commonly found in herb gardens, and there are hardy winter varieties available as well. Grow summer savory to help garlic grow well, and harvest them both at the same time.
Yarrow is a flowering herb that comes in a wide array of colors. It attracts beneficial pollinators like bees, and helpful pest-eating insects as well. In addition, it works as a great companion plant for a variety of plants, from tomatoes to melons, and spinach. It’s also beneficial in an herb garden alongside garlic, basil, lavender, thyme, and oregano.
10 Plants that Benefit from Garlic
Since garlic has such a strong aroma, it works as a great natural pest repellent for your plants. You can cultivate garlic near plants you want to protect—a method that works especially well for deterring pests like aphids. Planting garlic can help you keep away the following unwanted invaders:
- Spider mites
- Japanese beetles
- Fungus Gnats
- Cabbage Loopers
- Deer Rabbits
Garlic is also a natural fungicide, so it can help protect your plants from all kinds of fungus and mold diseases. These include Verticillium wilt, damping-off disease, and various types of blight, among others.
Experiment with various arrangements of companion plants in your garden. The following varieties can benefit greatly from having garlic as a close neighbor:
Garlic benefits peppers by feeding nutrients through the soil, but the pairing can be tricky because garlic enjoys cool temperatures while peppers need heat. A study in China found good results by planting a triple row of garlic, with peppers around the edges. Try harvesting the middle row of garlic first, and planting peppers in the opening row.
In much the same way garlic functions when planted with peppers, you can use the same methods mentioned above for eggplant. They’re both nightshades, after all! Studies show the garlic will protect the young eggplant while it grows. Just make sure to harvest the garlic before the eggplants grow too large and the plants begin competing for space. Intercropping these plants may help you increase your yield 2 to 6%.
Garlic and Spinach are a great pair because they’re both winter hardy plants. In fact, there aren’t many vegetables that partner quite as well as these two. Plant the spinach seeds in double rows with garlic in the middle during the early spring for the best results.
Garlic can boost the nutrient levels in cucumbers, aiding plant growth. A study found that when the two crops were grown together in a pot, calcium, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and manganese levels in the soil and the cucumbers all increased. The more garlic bulbs were planted, the better the results.
Potatoes and garlic go well together, both in the garden and in cooking a wide variety of meals. They’re both grown from cuttings rather than from seed, and easy to grow at home. For the best results, try planting onion and potatoes after St. Patrick’s Day and then plant the garlic bulbs in early spring.
When these two are planted together, the garlic plants will repel pests that love feasting on carrots, such as root maggots and carrot flies.
Garlic will boost the flavor and growth of beets, and the two plants together will benefit each other by keeping leafhoppers, worms, and flying pests away. For an added boost in the garden, grow onions, garlic, and beets together for the best results.
Most tomato varieties are compatible with garlic, which will work to repel red spider mites from the tomato plants. Make sure to avoid planting garlic and tomatoes near carrots, however, as the carrots won’t grow as large if there are tomatoes planted nearby.
9. Fruit Trees (all)
Garlic also works well at repelling pests who enjoy fruit, such as strawberries, peaches, raspberries, or any type of fruit tree. It repels peach borers as well. Fruit trees and garlic are both grown from cuttings, which makes them easier to plant together rather than separating seeds and cuttings.
Contrary to what many people think, you can use garlic for a companion plant to reduce spider mites on strawberries. A Brazilian study published research suggesting garlic was promising for reducing spider mites around 44 to 65%. Many Russian gardeners have planted garlic with strawberries in the middle row for years.
9 Great Cabbage Family Veggies
Companion planting between garlic and cabbage is ideal for protecting the latter from pests like cabbage worms, diamondback moths, and loopers. If you time the planting right, both crops will mature at the beginning of summer.
There are also multiple vegetables in the brassica family that benefit from garlic plants nearby. These combinations are very popular in veggie gardens, including:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Chinese Cabbage
Cultivating chamomile and garlic together is particularly effective for boosting the flavor and growth of any cabbage family vegetable. Onions and garlic planted together will also benefit brassicas because they repel pests.
4 Perfect Flower Companions for Garlic
Garlic is also a great companion for flowers and ornamental gardens.
Gardeners have long used this combination. Planting garlic near roses can help prevent diseases and repel pests like snails, aphids, ants, and more from the flowers. In addition, garlic produces tiny white and purple flowers in the late spring, which also appear gorgeous next to roses.
Companion planting garlic with flowers like marigolds is perfect for repelling pests both below and above ground. When used together, garlic and marigolds can make a powerful tool for reducing aphids from your garden, and are also great paired with raspberries.
Geraniums attract beneficial ladybugs to the garden and work as a great companion for many plants. Garlic can help repel a wide array of pests from your geranium flowers, and they may also keep snakes away from your garden. This combination aid pepper growth, and does well in ornamental gardens with petunias or marigolds as well.
Nasturtiums are often used in companion planting because they benefit veggies such as cucumbers by keeping beetles away. However, it can also be paired with garlic for a strong natural pest repellent.
The Worst Plants for Garlic
In the same way that some plants naturally do well when planted near each one another, other plants will compete (or cause harm). Growing certain plants near each other can result in a smaller yield or unhealthy veggies. Whatever you do, never plant garlic near the following:
- Beans (Pole Beans especially)
Whether you choose to plant garlic with vegetables, ornamental flowers, or herbs, it’s a great companion to a wide array of plants. Garlic is great for deterring pests while attracting helpful pollinators. There are many combinations to try, which truly makes garlic the king of companion plants.