Herbs for Companion Planting

Herbs used in cooking enhance the flavors of your foods. Herbs used in your garden enhance the health of your garden. Herbs deter pests and attract beneficial insects, and some may add flavor to the vegetables as they mature on the plant. Some herbs exude scents that attract or repel insects without disrupting the natural food chain within the ecosystem of your garden.

Rosemary

The earthy aroma of a rosemary plant repels cabbage fly, carrot fly and bean beetles. Their flowers attract bees to your garden, and the bees pollinate your flowering plants. Rosemary also provides a habitat for ladybugs to lay their eggs. Ladybugs in your garden greatly reduce any aphid infestation on your plants.

Sage

Carrot fly, beetles and slugs dislike the scent of sage. Plant this woody herb near your carrot patch and squash plants, but not near your cucumbers.

Dill

Protect your cucumbers with the tall and willowy dill plant. Dill attracts such beneficial bugs as the parasitic wasp and deters the cucumber beetle. Like rosemary, dill also attracts bees needed for pollination. Mature dill plants may negatively affect your tomato plants, which are sensitive to certain scents such as tobacco and dill. Keep dill away from your tomatoes, and don't smoke in your garden.

Thyme

Thyme is a prolific herb but may be harvested frequently. If you have raised beds, plant thyme as a ground cover between your beds. Walking on thyme releases its delicate scent. Thyme deters white fly, cabbage fly and, when flowering, attracts bees and wasps to your garden.

Lavender

The lovely scented lavender attracts a host of beneficial bugs, including bees for pollinating and the parasitic wasp for eating pests. Create a border of lavender for your garden to deter moths.

Tansy

Plant tansy near your raspberries and grapes to prevent borers and near your squash to discourage squash bugs. Tansy also concentrates potassium, a necessary nutrient for most plants, in the soil. Cut back tansy in the fall and add the cuttings to your compost to increase its nutrient value.

Yarrow

Yarrow is a tall, flowering plant that attracts ladybugs to your garden. The nectar of the flower also attracts hoverflies and wasps, both predatory insects that aid in controlling pests such as aphids and white fly. Yarrow is also thought to concentrate the oils within nearby plants, thereby increasing their ability to process nutrients and produce more flavorful fruits.

Keywords: herbs companion planting, herbs that help plants, rosemary pest control, sage control pests

About this Author

Shelly McRae resides in Phoenix, Ariz. Having earned her associate's degree from Glendale Community College with a major in graphic design and technical writing, she turned to online writing. Her credits include articles for 123Life.com, eHow.com and several non-commercial sites. Her work background also includes experience in the home improvement industry and hydroponic gardening.