Cilantro is one of the most used herbs in the world. In that case, it’s no surprise you want to plant and grow it at home. But before you do so, you should learn how to do it well.
Also known as coriander and Mexican parsley, it requires decently warm and high-nitrogen soil to thrive. More importantly, it depends heavily on excellent pest control.
How can you ensure these factors? Easy, you use cilantro companion plants alongside it.
These plants will come with a wide array of benefits, going from quicker growth to better pest control and even improved taste by ensuring the ideal environment.
Because the benefits of companion planting depend on the type of plant, we’ve assembled a list, separating them accordingly. You’ll learn why and how these different plants can help your cilantro grow.
Why Use Companions with Cilantro?
Instead of going directly into the main subject, let’s veer our attention to the benefits of cilantro companion planting instead. They will convince you if you still have doubts.
- Better Soil Quality
There’s an essential nutrient cilantro needs: nitrogen. Like most plants, nitrogen is vital for their growth. But cilantro, like many other herbs, are always hungry for it. In soils with little nitrogen, the plant is likely to struggle.
That’s why some plants that release nitrogen can be so helpful. This will give the perfect nitrogen delivery for the cilantro to never starve.
- Improved Taste
Even though cilantro is known as a taste-giving herb itself, it can get tastier with the right companions. Some plants produce unique chemicals that cilantro absorbs, producing a richer composition that provides a more pungent scent and flavor.
- Fewer Pests
Many of the cilantro-eating insects will be discouraged from approaching the plant if repellant plants are around. Similarly, cilantro repels pests like potato beetles, spider mites, and aphids that feed on other plants.
- Less Disease
The pest control advantage comes with another benefit: you experience fewer diseases over time. Planting cilantro with the right partners will make them healthier overall.
But this also happens because diseases tend to transmit faster between plants of the same species. If you have several species in the same area, the diseases are less likely to spread (or at least not as quick).
- Weed Control
The number one enemy of cilantro is weed. Invasive plants like weeds that suck away nitrogen from the soil are often damaging to many herbs. Luckily, you can use soil-covering plants around your coriander to prevent weeds from invading.
Considering all these benefits, you can say planting cilantro with other plants is all about improving their growth. For quicker, healthier, and all-around better cilantro crops, you should consider the plants below.
Vegetables & Fruits to Plant with Cilantro
Let’ start with vegetables and fruits. Generally, vegetables share many of the same needs as herbs like cilantro. But depending on the vegetable you plant, you could get tons of different benefits, going from pest repelling to improved shade and much more. Check them out below:
Any vegetable with edible leaves will benefit from being planted alongside cilantro. Also, cilantro would benefit from them as well.
One reason is that cilantro attracts pest-eating insects and leafy veggies distract those that feed on cilantro. The other reason is that these vegetables don’t affect cilantro’s growth in the slightest by consuming a modest amount of nutrients and being decently respectful of space.
Watermelons, cantaloupes, muskmelon, and even pumpkins are super-effective at keeping weeds out of cilantro’s reach. If you plant melons around cilantro and even close, you also get fewer pests on both plants due to the different insects they attract that feed on each other.
One of the major enemies of potatoes is the Colorado beetle. It loves feeding off the leafy potato top. But with cilantro around, these beetles will not thrive, as cilantro attracts predatory insects that feed on these beetles.
Cilantro demands warm soil and fresh temperatures. But when the soil gets hot and temperatures rise exponentially, it starts to fade away. Sometimes, too much heat and sun exposure could cause the cilantro to die.
When you plant a tall tomato alongside the cilantro, you can protect it against the summer’s sun rays and heat.
Other Fruits & Vegetables to Consider
None of these fruits and vegetables seems enticing enough? Then you can consider fruit trees to be helpful as well. Otherwise, species like these will also work:
Fruits & Vegetables to Avoid
There’s no real enemy of cilantro in the wild. However, we recommend staying away from vegetables that consume too much nitrogen, like cucumber and carrot. While they won’t necessarily cause damage, they could trump growth a bit – especially if they’re planted too close.
Flowers to Plant with Cilantro
Flowers are exceptional companions to most plants because they either repel pests or attract pollinators. When planted alongside cilantro, they also help to bring insects that eat pests. Here are some of these flowers to consider:
An easy-to-grow and gorgeous yet simple flower, coreopsis attracts those insects that feed on pests that could damage cilantro. If you want to keep aphids away from the coriander, the lady beetles and lacewings that coreopsis attracts will do so.
One of the best pollinators for most plants is butterflies. And one of the best butterfly magnets is the cosmos flower. Also, it brings insects that feed on cilantro’s primary enemies.
Similar to the cosmos, sunflowers are a great magnet for pollinators that cilantro could benefit from. But more importantly, they provide a slight shade that cilantro appreciates in the summer and late spring.
Probably the most attractive to lady beetles and lacewing that love eating aphids. You can keep pests away from your cilantro with sweet alyssum planted around.
When it comes to flowers that attract tons of pollinators, few can compete with zinnias. Interestingly, the flowers tend to grow large and tall enough to provide a mild but helpful shade. Your cilantro will appreciate having zinnias around.
Other Flowers to Consider
If you’re looking to plant a different type of flower, you may find some of the following to be ideal:
Flowers to Avoid
Even though lavender won’t cause direct damage to your cilantro, it is very likely they won’t grow well together. This mostly happens because lavender requires a totally different soil than cilantro. Also, it needs less humidity and thrives in sunnier areas where cilantro does not.
Herbs to Plant with Cilantro
What better to plant with your coriander than another herb? When planted together, herbs can absorb their chemicals and other properties, sweeting up and improving their flavor overall. Apart from that, they typically have similar needs so they can thrive together. Here are some herbs to consider:
Cilantro and anise love cold weather the same way. If your cilantro is thriving, then you may want to add anise to the mix as well. The combination will make both herbs grow quicker and larger than if you planted them separately.
The potent scent of chervil is typically used to keep pests away from other plants. Alongside cilantro, it does precisely that.
Not only does dill grows well in a similar environment to cilantro, but it also produces flowers that attract useful insects. These insects not only help with pollination but also feed on the bad ones, helping cilantro thrive.
Other Herbs to Consider
When planted alongside herbs with similar environmental needs, cilantro thrives. Luckily for you, there are tons of herbs that share watering, sun, and temperature needs, such as:
Herbs to Avoid
While many herbs work wonders alongside cilantro, others do not. One of these is fennel, one of the worst companion plants to cilantro and many other plants. Due to a slightly toxic chemical it produces, fennel tends to be harmful to cilantro and vegetables.
Other herbs like thyme, yarrow, tansy, and chives have different watering needs. If you water these the same way as cilantro, they may die. Similarly, if you water cilantro less to meet these herb’s needs, you may kill it.
And finally, you’ll find rosemary. While it won’t affect cilantro directly, it could take away some of its planting space. This could diminish coriander’s growth over time.
Grains & Legumes to Plant with Cilantro
The most beneficial type of plant you can grow close to your cilantro is a legume. Thanks to the high amount of nitrogen that legumes and grains produce, they help cilantro grow quicker and healthier. With legumes and grains planted with your cilantro, it will never starve.
Most beans produce vast amounts of nitrogen and secrete it into the soil. This nitrogen eventually works as food for the cilantro to enjoy. You can consider all types of beans for this, going from pole beans to string beans, wax beans, and even runner beans.
This is a combination of the nitrogen-inducing effects and the flowers it produces. While the nitrogen helps by feeding the coriander, the flowers bring pollinating insects like butterflies.
Like beans, peas help to increase the amount of nitrogen in the soil. But they come with an additional advantage: they warm up the ground. As cilantro appreciates warmed soil, it loves being planted alongside peas (preferably after the peas have grown already).
Other Grains & Legumes to Consider
There are tons of different grain and legumes you can grow alongside cilantro, and they all provide similar benefits. Other options include:
- Sugar Snap
Grains & Legumes to Avoid
Crops that grow too large and spread fast may not be an ideal choice as coriander companions. This includes plants like wheat and oats. These aren’t likely to cause direct damage. But once they grow high enough, they will trump cilantro’s growth.
Worst Companion Planting for Cilantro
Certain plants should not be grown in conjunction with cilantro. Here is a list of some of those common plants that you should avoid if you have cilantro in your garden.
1. Lavender, Thyme, & Rosemary
Cilantro grows best in moist soil. As a result, avoid pairing it with herbs that prefer well-drained, drier soil. Likewise, herbs from warmer Mediterranean regions, such as lavender and rosemary, should not be planted near cilantro because they love dry soil and may stunt its growth.
Fennel is an unsuitable companion plant for most garden herbs and vegetables. It should also not be combined with cilantro.
Cross-pollination may occur if dill and cilantro are planted together.
Carrot growth can be slowed by cilantro. Furthermore, if these two plants are paired, cross-pollination is highly likely.
Feel like these cilantro companion plants have your garden will appreciate? Don’t think twice and plant them right now.
Don’t think these are miraculous, though. Whether it is the nitrogen-inducing benefits or the ability to keep pests away, they won’t make your cilantro grow directly.
With that said, nothing is stopping you from trying these companions. Your coriander may grow like never before if you do it right.