Many people that are planning a garden are wishing to plant multiple different species together. You need to be careful though — not all plants are compatible together. Some plants work very well together and will even help each other out. Other plants can be detrimental to each other.
When it comes to mint, you need to be extra careful about which plants you include in your garden. Mint grows very quickly and can easily smother the other plants in your garden.
Of course, there are plants that are compatible with mint, and there are ways to ensure that your mint doesn’t grow out of control.
Below I cover an introduction to companion planting including the benefits before describing what you need to look for in good campanion plants for mint. I then walk you through what are good companion plants for mint and which are bad whether you are looking for what herbs grow well with mint, vegetables or other plants.
- 1 What Is Companion Planting?
- 2 What Are The Benefits Of Companion Planting?
- 3 What To Consider When Looking For Mint Companion Plants?
- 4 Companion Planting Mint: What To Grow With Mint
- 5 What Makes A Bad Mint Companion Plant?
- 6 Final Words
What Is Companion Planting?
As you’ve probably guessed from my introduction, companion planting refers to planting multiple species of plants together. It goes a bit further than that, though. Not only are you going to plant different species together, but you want them to benefit each other.
That’s the true definition of companion planting: growing multiple species of plants in the same garden that benefit each other. Most of the research done on companion planting has been done on vegetable crops. Still, there is some good information about mint and what plants go well with it.
It stands to reason that all plants can benefit from companion planting. The best practices of companion planting are not yet known for some plants. But, that’s okay. Scientists, farmers, and gardeners are always watching and learning.
A lot of what we know about companion planting has come from observation as well as trial and error.
How are you to know if a plant will work well with another plant if you’ve never tried it? The answer is that you won’t, so you need to find out.
What Are The Benefits Of Companion Planting?
Plants in the wild do not have the option of having their own little spot of soil. They have to grow wherever they can, competing with whatever plants are in their space.
It’s safe to say then, that plants have adapted over the years to be mutually beneficial to each other. Again, this is not true for every plant. There are some plants that should not be planted together and will kill each other. But, there are also lots of plants that will “eagerly” help each other out when planted near each other.
Some things that plants will help each other with include:
- Attracting pollinators
- Deterring pests & predators
- Improving nutrient supply & availability
- Shade for plants that aren’t sun tolerant
- Support for weaker plants
- Weed suppression
Creating a garden with a lot of different scents is very enticing to pollinators. If you plant multiple companion plants together, you’re likely to see an increase in hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Attracting pollinators will only further help your garden. They will help your existing plants to grow healthier while also enabling new crops to sprout.
Many companion plants are good at deterring pests which can be beneficial to those plants unable to protect themselves. For example, mint has a very pungent odor that protects many plants from a wide range of pests.
Besides deterring pests, they may also attract bugs that will eat the pests. Bugs like ladybugs will be drawn to certain crops like dill and cilantro. Lady bugs aren’t harmful to those crops, but they will eat aphids that can kill plants.
Improve Nutrient Supply & Availability
Companion plants can help restore the balance of nutrients in the soil, helping other plants to grow.
Crops like beans and peas fix the imbalance of nitrogen in the soil which helps crops that use nitrogen to grow, like brussels sprouts and rhubarb.
Shade For Plants
Some plants do better when they’re growing in partial or full shade rather than directly out in the sun.
Crops that do better in the shade include bush beans and lettuce. Plants that grow taller, like corn, can provide shade for the crops that need it.
We all know how common weeds can be in the garden and how frustrating they can be. When there are empty spots in and around plants, that is ample opportunity for weeds to pop up.
Companion planting helps fill in any gaps and ensure that there is no space for weeds to pop up. Having crops that completely cover the earth also prevents the soil from drying out.
Besides helping each other out, companion planting can make the life of the farmer or gardener easier. Planting several crops together can help a planter know which row is which. It can also help the planter know which plants are fast growing versus which ones grow slowly.
What Not To Do
As I said before, there are some plants that simply do not do well together. In general, you won’t want to put plants together that are too similar. If their growing conditions are the same (e.g. nutrient needs, space, water, light, etc.), they will compete with each other and they won’t grow well.
You also don’t want to grow plants together that grow the same way. For example, you won’t want to grow two plants that spread using rhizomes (e.g. mint). You also wouldn’t want to grow two plants that both use aboveground root systems. You get the picture.
Plant disease and pests can be a big problem among gardeners and farmers. You’ll want to plant crops that protect each other from various diseases and pests. You don’t want to plant crops that are susceptible to all the same things.
What To Consider When Looking For Mint Companion Plants?
When mint companion planting, you’ll want to keep in mind that some plants will do better with mint than others. So, what characteristics should you be looking out for when looking for a companion for your mint?
Mint has thick rhizomes that spread horizontally underneath the ground. They spread vigorously and can quickly overtake any garden. Because of this, you won’t want to get any plants with thin or delicate underground root systems. For example, rosemary is not a good plant to place near mint.
It is better to stick to plants that have a hardier and sturdier underground root system, or plants with an aboveground root system.
Mint has a very strong scent that, while enticing to us, is very unappealing to bugs and rodents. For this reason, many gardeners like to plant mint to protect their other plants from pests.
Some pests that mint can protect from include: ants, aphids, spiders, rodents, fleas, and flies.
Companion Planting Mint: What To Grow With Mint
I’ve told you what to look for when searching for a companion plant for you mint. Still, I’d like to make this easier for you and just provide you with a list of what plants grow well with mint:
|Pests Protected From||Attract Pollinators|
|Kale||Flea Beetles (chew holes in foliage)||No|
|Radish|| Flea Beetles (chew holes in foliage)||No|
|Cabbage|| Flea Beetles (chew holes in foliage)|
White Cabbage Moth
|Cauliflower|| Flea Beetles (chew holes in foliage)||No|
|Carrots||Carrot Root Fly||No|
Other good companion plants for mint include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Chili and bell peppers
- Salad burnet
What Makes A Bad Mint Companion Plant?
Just as there are a lot of plants that are good to be planted with mint, there are plants that should never be planted with mint.
Chamomile will prevent mint from releasing its essential oils. Without its essential oils, mint will not have its minty scent. This is bad for the gardeners that want to harvest the mint. It’s also bad for other plants relying on the smell of the mint to deter pests.
Mint is more likely to get verticillium, a fungus that can quickly kill plants. Strawberry plants are particularly susceptible to this fungus, and are more likely to get it if they’re planted near the mint plant.
Oregano requires different soil conditions than mint, so they don’t grow well together.
Rosemary requires different soil conditions than mint, so the two plants don’t grow well together. Also, rosemary has a very delicate root system that can easily be destroyed by the mint’s rhizomes.
Parsley and mint have different growth requirements and do not grow well together.
Companion planting is practiced by farmers and gardeners all across the world. It is a great practice because you can combine a host of different plants that will all act to protect each other.
However, when you’re considering companion planting, you need to know which plants will go well with one another. Some plants will cause each other to suffer, while other plants will help each other to thrive.
There are a lot of plants that mint is compatible with. This mainly comes down to mint’s strong odor that repels pests. Gardeners have found that mint successfully protects many of their other plants from nasty pests like aphids, flea beetles, and rodents. Still, there are some plants that don’t go well with mint.
That being said, companion planting simply requires a bit of practice. But, if you’re willing to put in the work and watch your crops as they grow, you’ll find yourself on your way to a successful garden.
Want to learn more? Click here to learn what to do to stop mint spreading and here to learn about using mint to repel bugs. You can also find my guide to peppermint companion plants here and all my guides to growing mint here.
Suzi is a stay at home mom who juggles earning money online whilst raising 2 kids. She’s passionate about continual self development and earning money online for the benefit of herself and others.