Companion planting is the strategic planting of certain crops close by others, and it’s a practice that’s beneficial in several ways. Companion planting can be used to exercise pest control, provide a habitat for beneficial insects, pollinate plants, maximize the use of space in your growing area, and increase the productivity of your crops. It’s a great natural way to increase your yield and to make your plants healthier and more robust.
Companion planting is a strategy that can be implemented with almost any crop, and cannabis is certainly no exception. But, as with any other crop, it’s important to select the right companion plants to grow alongside your cannabis to ensure the best results.
If you’re growing cannabis independently, consider adding one or more of these companion plants to your grow.
To Mask the Smell – Mint, Rosemary, or Thyme
You might love the smell of cannabis, but maybe you have neighbors who don’t. Or maybe you yourself prefer not to have the distinctive aroma permeate your home. Whatever the reason, many people choose to mask the smell of cannabis with such aromatic herbs as mint, rosemary, and thyme. Any of these plants contain oils powerful enough to overwhelm the smell of cannabis.
To Add Nutrients – Alfalfa
Alfalfa draws nitrogen from the air and stores it in its roots. Growing this plant alongside another, like cannabis, allows the alfalfa to release the nitrogen into the soil, where the companion plant can utilize it. Nitrogen is a major component of chlorophyll, the compound that allows plants to convert sunlight into energy, so having an abundance of it is a great way to increase the overall health of your cannabis plants. With increased energy, your cannabis is sure to thrive.
A Natural Insecticide – Chamomile
Planting chamomile alongside your cannabis is a great way to ward off destructive insects. The herb will keep out such crop destroyers as flies and nematodes. What’s more, if you brew up some chamomile tea and spray it on your cannabis crop, it will discourage the growth of fungus. Finally, spreading some cuttings of chamomile around struggling cannabis plants will give them a jump start and help them achieve growth. All in all, chamomile makes for a great companion to your cannabis plants.
To Keep Pests Away – Lavender
If you worry that pests will invade your crop, planting a little lavender can help. Mice are repelled by its scent, as are fleas, ticks, and moths. Of course, Lavender is also pleasant to look at, and you can use the flower in soaps and perfumes, so it’s beneficial not just as a companion plant but on its own merits as well!
To Increase Oil Production – Basil
Planting basil alongside your cannabis has a great benefit that you can pass along to the eventual consumers of the plant—it increases the oil and resin content of the bud, making for a more potent experience. Basil is multifunctional as a companion plant, since it also resists such pests as aphids, mites, beetles, and flies, keeping them away from your garden as a whole and therefore off of your cannabis plants. Additionally, basil works well to camouflage the aroma of cannabis. If you prefer it to mint, rosemary, or thyme, its many functions may even make it the optimal companion plant for cannabis.
If you’re embarking on the journey of growing your own cannabis, you have a lot to consider. But to give your cannabis the best chance to thrive, it’s a great idea to incorporate the use of a companion plant.