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12 Best (and Pretty) Companion Plantings to Control Pests

Organic or not organic? ... Whether you grown organic or semi organic you will always face the question of what do do about pests?  They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and that is particularly true with growing a garden. 

Plant the right Companion Plants and reduce pests Automatically

Certain plants when planted as companions create natural pest control so knowing these is handy.   Even better?  Knowing which ones are pretty and can make your garden gorgeous.  For instance... we love to plant tomatoes on the edge of our rose garden to help reduce black spot.  And, we under plant the tomatoes and roses with lots of lots of flowering garlic, basil and geraniums to keep it pretty AND to naturally reduce aphids moles, rose beetles and other pests.    Learning these easy combinations is easy. 

 Our Favorite Companion plantings... 

(we chose these because they are pretty, work hard, some are edible and they add leaf or flowering interest to flower and vegetable gardens). 


  1. Basil – Is an easy to grow Herb that has nice leaves and texture. It repels aphids, mosquitoes, moles.  
  2. Chrysanthemum-  C. coccineum (painted daisies) can kill root nematodes.  It's flowers along with those of C. cineraruaefolium (white daisies) have a natural pesticide, pyrethrum. 
  3. Garlic – Great color foliage, flowers and is perennial.  It repels aphids, thrips and also helps fight black spot and mildew (for the best results keep the garlic planted near roses for several years)  Garlic will also grow in acidic soil so it is good to plant around rhododendrons or other flowering bushes that attract thrips
  4. Chives – pretty vertical stalks.... repels many pests
  5. Geranium – Has pretty flowers and there are perennial fragrant versions.  It repels Japanese beetles, aphids and rose beetles.
  6. Marigold – Pretty orange and red flowers, annual but easy to collect seeds from and grow.   Marigold discourages harmful nematodes, repels pests and is a trap plant for slugs and other insects. You plant a trap set of plants at the edge of or in a particular place in your garden. They attract the bugs there.  
  7. Onion –  Has pretty vertical stalks.    Onions repels aphids, weevils, borers, moles.   We plant onions everywhere.
  8. Mint – Fragrant perennial that is invasive.  Excellent in pots in garden area...deters ants and aphids
  9. Lamium is one of the few plants that repel potato bugs
  10. Lamiun -  Wonderful Ground-cover with flowers. This plant is one of the few that repel potato bugs!
  11. Sweet Alyssum - Easy annual groundcover with lots of flowers that reseeds.  Alyssum flowers attract hoverflies whose larva devour aphids. Bees love it. Find an heirloom variety that self sows and put it everywhere. 
  12. Tomato – Fruit... and it is pretty....  helps protect roses from black spot 
  13. Yarrow - Flowers, self sows and is drought tolerant.  Yarrow has insect repelling qualities and is an excellent natural fertilizer.  It can be invasive, but it also really makes your compost pile work better so a win win.  It attracts predatory wasps and ladybugs.  

BONUS:  Lemon Balm - this is in the mint family also so keep it in a pot.  Pretty perennial and you can sprinkle the leaves though out the  garden  to deter many bugs. Lemon balm has citronella compounds that make this work and you can ground the dried leaves into a powder and use it in your house.   AND.. you can crush and rub the leaves on your skin to keep mosquitoes away! Use the dried powder or sprinkled leaves to ward off squash bugs!


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