What Flowers Complement Vegetable Plants?

You can combine vegetables and flowers, or flowering herbs, to create a healthier garden. Nobody is quite sure why companion planting works, but there are many theories. Some say that growing stronger scented plants with your vegetables hides them from pests. Some attract pollinators, increasing productions. Some flowers seem to synergistically boost some vegetables. It also makes for a more attractive garden.

Root Crops

Beets are stronger and more flavorful when grown with garlic or garlic chives. Carrots are improved in growth and flavor when planted with chives; rosemary and sage deter carrot fly. Onions appreciate being planted with chamomile and summer savory. Pigweed makes nutrients in the subsoil more available. Sow thistle improves health and strengthens the onion plants. Plant horseradish at the corners of your potato bed, to provide general protection. Marigold deters beetles. Chervil and nasturtium improve the growth and flavor of radishes.

Greens and Leaf Vegetables

Pot marigold helps asparagus, which is actually a grass, by deterring asparagus beetles. The cabbage family, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, kale and kohlrabi are improved by dill, mint, nasturtium, southernwood, tansy, thyme, chamomile and garlic. Celery should be planted with chives, garlic and nasturtium to improve growth and deter bugs and aphids. Chard, spinach and lettuce are helped by chives, garlic and strawberries.

Bush, Vining and Tall Crops

Beans should be planted with marigolds, nasturtium, rosemary and summer savory to encourage growth and deter Mexican bean beetles. Corn is assisted by odorless marigold and white geranium; they deter Japanese beetles. Pigweed makes subsoil nutrients more available. Cucumber is helped by marigold, nasturtium, oregano and tansy; they deter aphids, beetles and bugs, and improve growth and flavor. Eggplant planted with marigold is more resistant to nematodes. Melons can be protected from bugs and beetles by marigold, nasturtium and oregano. Peas can be protected from aphids by chives; mint will improve health and flavor. Pumpkins can be protected from bugs and beetles by marigold, nasturtium and oregano. Squash improves in flavor when planted with borage; it is protected from pests by borage, marigold, nasturtium and oregano. Strawberry is generally strengthens by borage; a border of thyme deters worms. Tomatoes have many friends. Health and flavor are improved by basil, bee balm, chives, stinging nettle, mint and borage. Borage and marigolds deter tomato worm, nematodes and general garden pests.

Keywords: companion planting, companion plants, complementary plants, complimentary plants, flowers and vegetables

About this Author

Patricia Bryant Resnick started writing when she was 7. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Sonoma State University in 1975. She began writing professionally in 1996 and has been published in "Rolling Stone," "Georgia Family Magazine" and online. Resnick specializes in food and gardening articles; she is a regular reviewer of tea on the Web.