16 Way to Use Companion Planting to Control Pests Naturally

companion planting

Companion planting is a way of planting in which you inter-plant different varieties of plants to enhance growth or aid in pest control. Companion planting is based on years of  experience passed down through the generations and some scientific studies. Over all, companion planting is simply about plants helping each other- to grow better, to fend off pest and to taste better. Some plants do better when planted with a certain type of neighbor, and some should not be placed in close proximity to each other. How can companion planting help you fight your garden pests? Here’s a list of 16 ways to get the most out of your companion planting pest control.

companion planting nasturtium with squash

16 Ways to Use Companion Planting to Control Pests


1. If your beans are struggling with Mexican Bean Larvae, try mixing in some marigold plants in your rows. Marigolds can help with a number of pests including cabbage worms and aphids. Sprinkle them throughout your garden!

cabbage moth butterfly companion plant2. Interplant celery with your cauliflower to help repel the white cabbage butterfly.

3. Planting cucumber with your corn is mutually beneficial. The cucumber plants will help keep the racoons off of your corn, while the corn will help reduce wilt in your cucumbers.

4. Plant radishes in your cucumber hills- just a couple- and leave them there all season. This will help protect your cucumbers against cucumber beetles. This also works with squash and melons that are attacked by the striped cucumber beetle.

5. Growing beans among your eggplant will help repel the Colorado potato beetle.

6. Mix parsley into your carrot rows to help repel the carrot fly.

7. Grow nasturtiums with your squash to help keep that dreaded squash bug away.

8. Put tomato plants in your asparagus bed after the early spears have be harvested to keep the asparagus beetles away. Plant the tomatoes on the side of the bed, leaving the asparagus intact- don’t cut it!

companion planting basil with tomatoes9. Garlic planted with your tomatoes can help with red spider mites.

10. Grow your basil alongside your tomato rows for insect control as well as flavor enhancement.

11. Oregano can be planted with broccoli to help repel the cabbage butterfly.

12. Sage is also helpful to all brassicas by protecting them from the white cabbage butterfly. It is also helpful to carrots since it protects them from the carrot fly.

13. Thyme deters the cabbage worm, so it is good placed in your rows of cabbage, broccoli, kale, and other brassicas.

14. Wormwood is a repellent for a number of pests such as moths, flea beetles and cabbage moth butterfly. But it is best as a border plant since most plants do not like growing near it. On another note, wormwood is also great for natural pest control in your livestock. We feed it to our non-pregnant goats and our chickens for a natural way to fight intestinal worms.

15. Alternate rows of bush beans and rows of potatoes for a mutual relationship. Potatoes protect the beans from the Mexican bean beetles while the beans help keep away the Colorado potato beetle.

16. Add calendula to your tomatoes and asparagus (see #8) to deter tomato hornworm and asparagus beetles.

Have you tried companion planting? I’d love to hear your experiences!


© 2014 – 2016, Sarah R Toney. All rights reserved.

28 comments on “16 Way to Use Companion Planting to Control Pests Naturally

  1. Annie says:

    Thank you for this post. Definitely a few more practice I would try from your suggestion:). We planted marigolds/calendula in our vegetable patch and it draws lots of bees which is beneficial to help spread pollination for fruiting purpose. It add colours and beauty to the normally all green veggie patch too.

    • Calendula is beautiful and I love having it everywhere. Marigold is helpful to have for so many reason and I love the burst of color they both give throughout the garden! Thanks for reading!

  2. terrirochenski says:

    I’ve read countless articles on this subject, but I learned a few new ones today. Thanks!

  3. Karen says:

    This is always an important topic, and here’s to dreaming of spring already! I am following along from Homestead Bloggers and look forward to more!

  4. heather says:

    Pinning this for this year’s garden! great info here! thank you!

  5. tessa says:

    I shared this on Homestead Wellness’s FB page for this week – great information!

  6. Nice info! I’ll be putting some of this to use in our garden this year!

  7. janetpesaturo says:

    Good info- Thanks for sharing on HomeAcre Hop.

  8. Pam says:

    Would you also suggest nasturtiums to be planted with pumpkins? Every year the beetles get my pumpkins too! Haven’t tried companion planting but will definitely do so this year! Thank you!

    • You can plant them with any squash that would be bothered by squash bugs. I would also recommend some icicle radishes along with them. Picking them off and removing eggs will probably still be needed for bad infestations though.

  9. Judy Anthony says:

    I found a lot of these helpful and am going to try them in my garden this year. We also have fruit trees (apple, cherry, and pear) and a 16 foot grape vine. Any suggestions for natural pest control for those. I would appreciate any suggestions or web sites I can go to.

  10. Anne H says:

    reminds me of an old song”…I’m a lonely little petunia in an onion patch and all I do is cry all day.”

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  14. Nancy W says:

    I always enjoy learning more about companion planting, thank you for sharing your post on the HomeAcre Hop! – Nancy The Home Acre Hop

  15. swood97 says:

    Great information, Pinned it for future use. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  16. JaonS says:

    Great info.
    Saved it and passed it on to my mom.

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  19. Tam says:

    I have always planted marigolds in my tomatoes to help ward off deer.

  20. Lisa Albert says:

    Love ur post but any ideas for keeping ground squirels out of the garden ? Love the lil guys so not in our food. Lol

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  25. Great information and useful ideas on companion planting! My sister is making her first steps at this and she’ll be very glad to have your suggestions on mind. Thank you for sharing and happy gardening!

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