Mint is a very easy herb to grow, but you can make it even easier by choosing the right mint companion plants. Understanding how mint interacts with its companions can be both fascinating and beneficial, no matter what your gardening skill level is. This post is designed for anyone interested in exploring the natural dynamics of plant relationships and how they can contribute to a healthier garden ecosystem. You’ll learn which plants to grow alongside your mint, and which ones to avoid.
In this post, we’ll delve into the practical aspects without the frills. From pest management to soil improvement, we’ll explore how different plants can complement all types of mint and enhance the overall well-being of your garden. So, if you’re curious about maximizing the potential of your green space, stick around as we uncover the secrets of mint companionship.
Good Mint Companions
When considering companion plants for mint, it’s worth noting that while these companions certainly benefit mint by repelling pests and enhancing soil quality, mint primarily serves to benefit them. Plants like carrots, brassicas, and nightshades thrive alongside mint, enjoying the boost in soil health and the deterrent effect on common garden pests that mint provides. This dynamic underscores the importance of mint as a supportive member of the garden ecosystem, contributing to the overall well-being of its neighboring plants and fostering a harmonious balance in your garden beds.
Warning: Mint is Invasive!
Using mint as a carrot companion plant can help prevent infestations of carrot root fly. The scent of the mint will help confuse the fly and protect the carrot crop. Companion planting mint close to the edges of your carrot beds will help ward off those pesky carrot flies.
- Did you know that you can grow carrots in containers and turn a wonderfully healthy crop? We have an article on how to grow carrots in containers you might want to check out!
Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Broccoli
Mint is a great companion plant for brassica family members like kale, cabbage, broccoli, turnips, and cauliflower. The strong, pungent scent of mint will deter white cabbage moths (cabbage loopers). Mint is also said to help improve the flavor of cabbage family plants.
Many people claim that planting mint near brassicas will help deter flea beetles, but in my experience, I’ve found that mint attracts flea beetles.
Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplants
Members of the nightshade family like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant make good companion plants for mint. They say that mint will help improve the vigor and growth of tomato plants and improve their flavor. Adding a mint plant to your garden bed can also help deter pests like tomato hornworms.
Peas, Pole Beans, Bush Beans
Planting mint near beans and peas will help keep away mice and rats. The small mammals do not like the scent of mint and it will keep them away from your crops. Mint is also said to help repel Mexican bean beetles.
Zucchini & Squash
Companion planting zucchini and squash with mint offers a range of benefits for both plants. Mint, with its strong aroma, acts as a natural repellent against pests that commonly afflict squash plants, such as aphids and squash bugs. Additionally, squash plants provide a sprawling ground cover that can help shade the soil, conserving moisture and suppressing weed growth, which in turn benefits the mint plants by reducing competition for resources.
Mint also attracts beneficial insects and pollinators to your zucchini, pumpkin, and squash beds.
If you have a problem with ants and your peony flowers, try growing mint around the base of the plants. Spearmint is an excellent repellent for ants and will help keep the pests off your precious flowers.
- Curious about growing peonies? Check out our article on how to plant peony roots in your gardens.
Poor Mint Companions
While mint thrives in the company of certain plants, it’s important to be mindful of its less compatible companions in the garden. Plants like strawberries, oregano, rosemary, and lavender are among those that make poor companions for mint. From shared pests and diseases to mis-matched water requirements, these plants are not considered good partners for mint. Understanding which plants do not fare well alongside mint is key to maintaining a harmonious and productive garden, allowing each plant to thrive to its fullest potential without unnecessary competition or interference.
Mint is not a good choice for strawberry companion plants. Strawberries and mint plants are vulnerable to a disease called verticillium wilt. Planting them together increases the risk of the disease spreading quickly through the entire garden bed. It’s best to avoid planting all varieties of mint away from your strawberry plants.
Oregano, Rosemary, and Lavender
Oregano, rosemary, lavender and mint all enjoy different watering schedules, and when planted together it makes watering challenging to manage. If planting mint near these other herbs keep them in a separate container so you can control the moisture levels.
- Plan Your Garden Layout: Before planting, carefully consider the layout of your garden beds to optimize the placement of mint and its companions. Group plants with similar needs together and ensure that each species has enough space to thrive without overcrowding.
- Mindful Mint Containment: Given mint’s vigorous spreading nature, consider planting it in containers or confined areas to prevent it from overtaking your garden. Alternatively, plant mint in designated areas where its growth can be easily managed, such as in raised beds with barriers installed beneath to prevent spreading.
- Rotate Companion Plants: To prevent soil depletion and pest buildup, rotate companion plants annually or between growing seasons. This practice helps maintain soil fertility and reduces the risk of disease and pest infestations that can occur with continuous planting of the same crops.
- Diversify Companion Plant Selection: While mint has its preferred companions, don’t hesitate to experiment with a variety of companion plants to find the best combination for your garden’s unique conditions. Incorporating diverse plant species can enhance biodiversity, attract beneficial insects, and improve overall ecosystem resilience.
- Embrace Sustainable Practices: Incorporate sustainable gardening practices into your routine, such as composting organic matter, utilizing natural pest control methods, and minimizing chemical inputs. By fostering a healthy and balanced garden ecosystem, you can create a thriving environment where mint and its companions can flourish for seasons to come.
Yes, mint can be planted alongside certain herbs and vegetables like basil, parsley, and chives, which can benefit from its pest-repelling properties. Make sure that your selected companions share similar growing requirements with mint.
Yes, plants like strawberries, oregano, rosemary, and lavender may not thrive when planted near mint.
Mint companion plants can help deter common garden pests such as aphids, squash bugs, and cabbage moths, reducing the need for chemical pesticides.
Grab Our Ultimate PRINTABLE Garden Planner
With 39 pages of planning and organizing and the ability to customize your planner with the pages you need, you won’t need another planner for the rest of your gardening life!
Companion planting with mint offers a wealth of benefits for gardeners aiming to create resilient ecosystems. By understanding the dynamics between mint and its companions, we can foster healthier growth and deter pests naturally. While some plants thrive alongside mint, it’s essential to recognize those that may not. With thoughtful choices, we can cultivate balanced and vibrant gardens that enrich our lives and the environment. Happy gardening!
Author: Laura Kennedy
Writer & Owner of Little Yellow Wheelbarrow
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on March 22, 2022. It was updated on February 28, 2024 to remove unrelated content and add expert tips, FAQ and table of contents.