Are you looking for a good flavor for your sauces or for essential oils that are cultivated from the plant? Lavender has a variety of uses. Even the nectar collected by bees from lavender is cultivated to produce a high variety of honey. Lavender plants grow in the form of small shrubs, which are usually grown for ornamental purposes. The plant produces flowers of a distinct blue or lilac color. It is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean terrains.
The plant grows well at lighter temperatures, ranging from 7 to 21 degrees Celsius, and is suited for sandy soils, which are slightly alkaline. Of course, the plant is highly drought resistant, although it requires occasional watering.
8 Companion Plants For Lavender
Following is a list of some of the plants that would make for excellent companions with lavender:
Sage is a hardy plant that can survive drought-like conditions. Consequently, it can be a good companion plant for lavender, which also grows well in the heat. The aromatic scent of the herb helps to repel pests that may otherwise tend to damage the lavender. Also, the sage would come in handy after harvesting for both kitchen and medicinal purposes.
The yarrow is a perennial flowering plant that is usually used in herbal medicine. Yarrows attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs—the latter feed on pests that attack herbs with a powerful fragrance, such as lavender. Also, yarrows are not heavy feeders on the soil; consequently, they do not compete with lavender for nutrients.
Marigolds and lavenders make for excellent companion plants due to a variety of reasons. They both blossom to have wonderful flowers, and this helps them to attract not just pollinators but also beneficial insects, which help to keep the regular pests away. There is some difference in the planting pattern. Whereas lavender is grown along raised beds, marigolds can be planted on the periphery.
Thyme has similar growing requirements when compared with lavender. Both of them require adequate exposure to sunlight as well as water. Growing together, both of them would also attract a lot of pollinators towards themselves. Also, while watering them, it would be ideal for giving them the same amount of water. This is because they do not thrive with water accumulating at their base and do their best in well-drained soil.
Some care has to be taken when planting the thyme around the lavender, for thyme can be a bit shorter. On the other hand, lavender can grow to a height of 4 feet. It should be ensured that the thyme is not left in the shade of lavender. Both require at least 6 hours of sun in a day, without which the thyme could start wilting.
5. Shrub Roses
The roses would attract the aphids. Lavender is an excellent companion to counter this because they attract ladybugs. The ladybugs make short work of the aphids and thus act as a natural pest control.
While planting, care should be taken that the lavender goes at a distance of at least 1 to 2 inches from the rose shrubs so that there is no problem for the roots of the shrubs to grow. While overhead watering is not advised for either of the plants, roses tend to have a greater water requirement than lavender. Apart from that, both thrive in the sun, proper air circulation, and well-drained soil.
Of course, it does not need to be mentioned that your garden will have quite the aesthetic appearance, with the lilac of the lavender merging with the pink of the roses.
6. Black-Eyed Susan
The Black-eyed Susan attracts bees and other pollinators. Like lavender, it is easy to grow in dry conditions. Lavender around the black-eyed Susan helps to keep away wildlife that may gravitate to it, such as deer, rabbits, etc.
Another plant that resists wildlife, such as deer or rabbits, is the coneflower due to its prickly stems. They also attract a lot of pollinating agents, such as butterflies and bees, which is beneficial for lavender.
Similar to lavender, rosemary is a native of the Mediterranean climate. Consequently, they have very similar requirements when it comes to maintenance. They barely need to be exposed to water and must be pruned only once or twice a year. Rosemary thrives on hot, dry soil. Of course, rosemary is not as cold-resistant as lavender and usually does not survive without frost protection. Care has to be taken that the rosemary is planted at least 2 to 4 feet away from the lavender bush because, even with pruning, it grows to a height of around 4 feet.
Lavender Companion Plants: What to Avoid?
The plants mentioned below should not be grown with lavender under any circumstances:
Mint has completely different growing needs as compared to lavender: hence they do not make for good companion plants. Mint requires soil that has a good amount of moisture, is loose in texture, and drains properly, while lavender does well when the soil is dry and of sandy texture. Mint needs much water to flourish, whereas lavender cannot stand much water or moisture at its base. Moreover, mint is invasive because it might not leave much room for the other plant to grow.
Hosta grows up to have a lot of foliage. On paper, it sounds like the hosta should go along with lavender. This is because it can grow across various climates and is not too particular about growing conditions such as temperature or humidity. Moreover, it is a perennial plant that does not require much water while growing as long as the soil is rich in nutrients. However, the main catch is that it grows better in the shade or with partial exposure to the sun. This is in direct contrast to lavender, which requires at least 6 hours of sun each day.
Camellia has opposite requirements for growth as compared to lavender, according to several parameters. The camellia cannot stand exposure to direct sunlight for an extended duration, an essential requirement for lavender. It also requires a lot of moisture and does well when moist soil.
Impatiens require to be shaded throughout and simply start dying out when exposed to the sun. If the reverse is tried, that is, planting lavender in the shade – they will not grow to their proper potential and will also probably not flower. It is also not at all drought resistant, and hence its requirement for water might tend to drown out the lavender.
Lavender is easily grown and has a few excellent applications for domestic purposes. For instance, it can be used for homemade soaps, bathing soaps, room fresheners, fragrances, and so on. In case your priority is to have a flowering plant suited towards these ends, lavender is certainly a plant you can consider going for.