Companion Planting to Attract Bees and Deter Pests

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  • Bachelor’s Buttons has bright blue flower that attract pollinators that are important to the formation of beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. They also attract insects that will prey upon damaging insects such as scales and thrips.
  • Bee Balm Monarda is a bee favorite and will help your tomatoes taste better. It’s a beautiful plant but it can be invasive so be prepared to remove plants as they spread. Also keep in mind that it gets tall so consider what sunlight it may block from other plants when finding it a home in your garden.
  • Borage deters tomato hornworms and cabbage worms by confusing the moths that lay the eggs that become those pests. It’s a great companion plant for tomatoes, squash, strawberries, and other plants. The leaves are rich in and vitamin C calcium, potassium and mineral salts and the flowers are edible. Bees absolutely love it! It’s self-sowing so be sure to pick your spot for it carefully and till it back in the soil.
  • Chamomile (German) is a sun loving annual which plays host to hoverflies and trichogramma wasps. These two eat the eggs and larvae of many garden pests including tomato hornworms, aphids, scales, whiteflies, sawfly larvae, ants, leaf miners, and several types of caterpillars. It also improves your soil by accumulating calcium, potassium, and sulfur then returning them to the soil. Chamomile improves the flavor of cabbages, cucumbers, and onions. It will reseed itself so remove it before it bolts or rotate crops that love it when you plant the next season.
  • Lavender repels fleas and moths, including codling moths if planted near fruit trees. It attracts beneficial insects and protects plants from whiteflies. Allow lavender to dry out between waterings.
  • Petunias in purple and pink tones are a bee favorite. Petunias are a good companion plant for tomatoes. It repels a wide range of pests including the asparagus beetle, leafhoppers, certain aphids, tomato worms, and Mexican bean beetles. Be sure to buy heirloom seeds so the plant will self-seed.
  • Rosemary deters cabbage moths, bean beetles, and carrot flies. It’s a perennial so plant it where it can have a home for a long time. It is an excellent companion plant for cabbage, beans, carrots, and sage. A cutting of rosemary placed by the crown of carrots deters carrot rot.
  • Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) is an herb that not only attracts bees but contains saponins which cause boiled solutions made with soapwort to lather. Before phosphates this plant was used for washing lace, silk, and woolens. It was also used as a shampoo. Harvest the leaves, stems, and roots to make liquid soap. You don’t want the soapwort groundcover, however. Be sure to plant Saponaria officinalis. It’s a perennial that grows to about 3 feet and will grow from zones 3 – 9. It, unlike many herbs, needs well-composted soil and excellent drainage. It can become invasive so be watchful of it. When it blooms, usually in late July, it has a lovely spicy berry scent. It requires support to stay upright.
  • Sunflowers attract hummingbirds that eat whiteflies. Ants will herd aphids on to sunflowers and small birds eat both the ants and the aphids.
  • Zinnia attracts bees and other pollinators and hummingbirds which eat whiteflies. Pastel varieties of zinnias can be used as a trap crop for Japanese beetles.
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Author: Elizabeth

I'm a wife, mom, and grandma who loves cooking, baking, gardening, and all things that go into making a cozy coop for my brood. Although I'm disabled I try not to let it get in the way of what I love doing.

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